Archive for UBA Partner News’ Category

Ask the Experts: Can a well qualified older candidate fit on a much younger team? | Houston Benefit Advisors
Nov

27

2017

Ask the Experts: Can a well qualified older candidate fit on a much younger team? | Houston Benefit Advisors

Question: We recently interviewed an older candidate for a position. She’s well qualified, but the team she would be working with is made up of people who are much younger, and we are worried about how she will fit in. Can the criteria to hire for cultural fit outweigh potential age discrimination concerns? Answer: Your obligations under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act that protects…

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Nov

24

2017

UBA Survey: Weary Families Get a Break While Singles See Out-of-Pocket Cost Increases | Houston Benefit Advisors

While the rate impact of the regulatory environment plays out, one thing is clear from the 2017 UBA Health Plan Survey: employers continue to shift a greater share of expenses to employees through out-of-pocket cost increases. While this is just one of 7 mega trends uncovered in the survey, it is particularly interesting this year because singles were hit more heavily than families as compared…

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IRS Roundup: What Employers Need to Know about the Latest ACA Notices | Houston Benefit Advisors
Oct

2

2017

IRS Roundup: What Employers Need to Know about the Latest ACA Notices | Houston Benefit Advisors

In spite of the recent efforts by Congress to change or repeal the ACA, its provisions are still in effect. The IRS has issued continuing guidance on the affordability rate for coverage, the employer shared responsibility provisions and reporting, and the individual mandate provision. IRS Released the 2018 Affordability Rate The Internal Revenue Service released its Revenue Procedure 2017-36, which sets the affordability percentage at…

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Court Remands Wellness Regulations to EEOC for Reconsideration | Houston Benefit Advisors
Sep

22

2017

Court Remands Wellness Regulations to EEOC for Reconsideration | Houston Benefit Advisors

On August 22, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia held that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) failed to provide a reasoned explanation for its decision to adopt 30 percent incentive levels for employer-sponsored wellness programs under both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) rules and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) rules. The court declined to vacate the EEOC’s…

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Small Businesses Healthcare Competitive, But Faces Two Big Challenges | Houston Benefit Advisors- UBA
Sep

15

2017

Small Businesses Healthcare Competitive, But Faces Two Big Challenges | Houston Benefit Advisors- UBA

We recently revealed how competitive small business health plans are when compared to national averages—and even how they are doing a better job of containing costs. But the UBA Health Plan Survey also uncovers two challenges these groups face in its new special report: “Small Businesses Keeping Pace with Nationwide Health Trends”. 1. Small businesses are passing nearly 6.6 percent more of the costs for…

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The Killjoy of Office Culture | Houston Benefit Advisors- UBA
Sep

14

2017

The Killjoy of Office Culture | Houston Benefit Advisors- UBA

One of the latest things trending right now in business is the importance of office culture. When everyone in the office is working well together, productivity rises and efficiency increases. Naturally, the opposite is true when employees do not work well together and the corporate culture suffers. So, what are these barriers and what can you do to avoid them? According to an article titled,…

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Aug

17

2017

Strategic benefits communication: Five key steps to success this open enrollment season | Houston Benefit Advisors

In previous posts, I have talked about several aspects of strategic benefits communication. Now it’s time to put those strategies into action. As we approach enrollment season, let’s look at five key steps to ensuring this year’s open enrollment is successful for you and your employees. 1. Determine your key objectives What do employees need to know this enrollment season? As you review your benefit…

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Aug

15

2017

Wellness Programs – Getting Started and Remaining Compliant | Houston Benefit Advisors

Where to Start? First, expand the usual scope of wellness activity to well-BEING. Include initiatives that support more than just physical fitness, such as career growth, social needs, financial health, and community involvement. By doing this you increase your chances of seeing a return on investment (ROI) and a return on value (ROV). Qualitative results of a successful program are just as valuable as seeing…

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Aug

7

2017

Government and Education Employers Offer Richest HSA Plans | Houston Benefit Advisors

Across most industries, HSA contributions are, for the most part, down or unchanged from three years ago, according to UBA’s Health Plan Survey. The average employer contribution to an HSA is $474 for a single employee (down 3.5 percent from 2015 and 17.6 percent from five years ago) and $801 for a family (down 9.2 percent from last year and 13.7 percent from five years…

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Aug

3

2017

Best Practices for Initial COBRA Notices | Houston Benefit Advisors

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) requires group health plans to provide notices to covered employees and their families explaining their COBRA rights when certain events occur. The initial notice, also referred to as the general notice, communicates general COBRA rights and obligations to each covered employee (and his or her spouse) who becomes covered under the group health plan. This notice…

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