Blog   Tagged ‘health’

Q&A Series with Ben Morris, President of UMB Healthcare Services

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Part Two: Ann Mond Johnson examines how employers can effectively maximize their employees’ health care benefits

Repeal and replacement of the ACA didn’t happen, now what? UMB Healthcare Services’ Strategic Advisory Council, made up of five leading industry experts in a variety of health care, benefits and research-related fields, will discuss the uncertainty surrounding health care and how to manage health care costs in our April 27th webinar. Gearing up for the webinar, we asked members of our Strategic Advisory Council questions about their outlook for the future of health care and tips for managing health care costs. 

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In this Q&A series, I talk with Ann Mond Johnson, health care innovator and executive, about how employers can effectively maximize employees’ health care benefits, make wellness a key aspect of company culture and the future of making health care easier to understand and access.

What should employers be doing to effectively maximize their employees’ health care benefits?

Employees can maximize their benefit dollars when they understand what they’re selecting and are able to choose benefits that are most appropriate for them and their families. After all, people don’t want to buy health insurance; they want security for themselves and their families. They need protection against a financial disaster. Employers can help employees make better health care selections by providing comprehensive education on benefits and how to use benefits year-round. By engaging in the health care conversation throughout the year, employers can help employees make informed, thoughtful decisions.

How can employers make wellness a part of their culture?

Everything we’ve seen and read indicates that the most effective organizations “practice what they preach,” starting at the top of the organization. It doesn’t have to be very involved or expensive. Given that there are five big contributors to good health (tobacco, food choices, BMI, physical activity and unmanaged stress) focusing on at least one of these can likely make an impact. Employers can encourage a culture of wellness for their employees by providing useful resources such as timely and educational communications, sponsoring teams of employees for local races and having healthy food choices in on premise facilities.

Is health care going to become more complicated or easier for consumers?

It is imperative to make it easier for people to access and understand health care. But what does that really mean? First off, it needs to be easier for consumers to make the right decisions about their benefits, starting with health insurance. Second, they should understand how to make decisions that impact their health. Employees also need to understand what constitutes reliable sources of information. Finally, since we’re consumers until we become patients, we need more insights and transparency about the choices we make when we become patients – about drugs, physicians, treatments and facilities.

Are there any other topics or points that you want to touch on?

There is a growing acknowledgement of a close link between physical, emotional and financial health. Employers have the opportunity to help guide and encourage employees to make informed decisions about their general wellness. Offering programs that look at overall wellness is a great way to encourage the happiness and health of employees.

View this brief video for further thoughts from Ann Mond.

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.pulation Survey/Housing Vacancy Survey, Series H-111, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC 20233.

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GDP Goes Hollywood

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Did you know that every five years the statistics that determine the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are reviewed and modernized as the U.S. economy changes? The GDP is one of the main indicators used to measure the health of our economy, so this review is very important.

Earlier this month, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) conducted a comprehensive revision of the GDP statistics from 1929 through 2013. This time around, the revisions included changes to intangibles, including books, movies TV shows, music, photographs and even greeting cards. Specifically, “intellectual property products” (an idea for a movie franchise) were moved from expense to investment classifications. This includes research and development; entertainment, literary and artistic originals; and software. They will be considered fixed assets to account for their ongoing contributions, such as royalties authors receive for their book sales.

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Including specific works and ideas from the ever growing “knowledge economy” was done to fill a void because these intellectual property products had not been labeled as an asset until now. Check out this recent New York Times piece, Getting Creative with the GDP, to learn more about these recent additions to the GDP.

These changes are important in making sure the GDP calculation stays relevant and current.  Since the recent revisions created only a minimal statistical change to the GDP, the general consensus to date seems to be that the findings do not change the overall picture.

What it does change is the outlook on creativity and innovation. For example, research and development is often viewed by most companies as an expense and not an asset. It’s difficult to place a continuing value on it because sometimes it’s successful and sometimes it’s not. The goal is not to place a specific number value on each individual intangible. Instead this change in GDP reporting is a paradigm shift in how we view the overall value of imagination and the creative process.


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This content is provided for informational purposes only and contains no investment advice or recommendations to buy or sell any specific securities. Statements in this report are based on the opinions of UMB Investment Management and the information available at the time this report was published.

All opinions represent our judgments as of the date of this report and are subject to change at any time without notice. You should not use this report as a substitute for your own judgment, and you should consult professional advisors before making any tax, legal, financial planning or investment decisions. This report contains no investment recommendations and you should not interpret the statements in this report as investment, tax, legal, or financial planning advice. UMB Investment Management obtained information used in this report from third-party sources it believes to be reliable, but this information is not necessarily comprehensive and UMB Investment Management does not guarantee that it is accurate.

All investments involve risk, including the possible loss of principal. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Neither UMB Investment Management nor its affiliates, directors, officers, employees or agents accepts any liability for any loss or damage arising out of your use of all or any part of this report.

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*Investment Products Offered Through UMB Financial Services, Inc




When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.

K.C. Mathews joined UMB in 2002. As executive vice president and chief investment officer, Mr. Mathews is responsible for the development, execution and oversight of UMB’s investment strategy. He is chairman of the Trust Investment, Asset Allocation and Trust Policy Committees. Mr. Mathews has more than 20 years of diverse experience in the investment industry. Prior to joining UMB, he served as vice president and manager of the portfolio management group at Bank of Oklahoma for nine years. Mr. Mathews earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame. Mr. Mathews attended the ABA National Trust School at Northwestern University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst and member of the CFA Institute. He is past president of the Kansas City CFA Society and a past president of the Oklahoma Society of Financial Analysts.

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Wellness Counts: Invest in You

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Here at UMB, we encourage our associates to take personal responsibility for improving their health and that of their families. Already an important part of the company culture, we saw room for improvement in our current wellness plan and we knew we could do more. So in 2012, UMB rolled out a Health and Wellness program that was more thorough than anything we had done before. I volunteered to be the executive champion for this program because it’s important to me and it’s important to our associates.

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We want to have a healthier workforce. When we live a healthier lifestyle, we can positively affect our team. Living healthy often means you’re more alert, energetic and have fewer sick days. Not all health conditions are within our control, but many of them are. With our wellness plan, we focus on what our associates can control and put into place initiatives that give them the power to change their lifestyles for the better:

  • Medical plan discount incentive for associates enrolled in our medical plan who participate in various activities and receive a discount toward their monthly premium. Activities include completing health screenings (cancer, dental, vision, etc.), engaging in physical activity, and certifying that they are tobacco free.
  • Wellness coaches hired through Wellness Coaches USAto confidentially discuss health and wellness related topics and answer questions our associates might have. They can simply ask questions or even set goals with the coaches. The coaches will give them advice and tools to meet those goals and meet with associates to check on their progress.
  • Monthly newsletters to share our program offerings with associates. It includes an associate spotlight, information about what fruits and vegetables are in season, healthy recipes, and different ideas for exercise.
  • My blog to share with associates my thoughts and experiences on the monthly wellness topics. I also let them know about my wellness goals and how I’m progressing. For example, I’ve shared how I am working with our wellness coach about nutrition so I can develop healthier eating habits. Then in a later blog post I will share how I have been progressing toward that goal.

So far we’ve seen some fantastic progress. Our wellness coaches and health insurance carrier reported these findings over the past year:

Wellness Results Infographic

I’m extremely proud to say we’ve been recognized for the amazing efforts of our associates. UMB has been recognized as a Healthiest Employers finalist in Milwaukee (2012), St. Louis (2012), Wichita (2013) and Denver (2013). Just recently, the CEO Roundtable on Cancer honored UMB with the CEO Cancer Gold Standard for our efforts to reduce the risk of cancer for associates and their family members.

I realize this is only the beginning. We’re starting with awareness and slowly moving into building more engagement in the programs over time. We encourage our associates to evolve beyond any unhealthy habits they’ve developed and learn to lead a healthier lifestyle. As I’ve learned with the goals I’ve set with our wellness coach, the small successes will build over time and lead to a big difference.


When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.

Mr. Hagedorn is president and chief executive officer of UMB Bank and vice chairman of UMB Financial Corporation. Prior to this role, Hagedorn served as chief financial officer and chief administrative officer of UMB Financial Corporation. He joined UMB in March 2005.

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Making the most of your HSA

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As health savings accounts (HSAs) become more popular with employers and employees, you should be well-informed about the benefits and rules around this option. For example, did you know you can use an HSA as a savings/investment tool? Most HSAs are tax-advantaged, offer investment options and you can use them in retirement planning.

So, what else do you need to know? To get the most out of an HSA, you need to understand some of the long-term benefits of this health care savings strategy and what options are available when you sign up for an HSA.

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  • Move past the “use it or lose it” mentality

    HSAs are different than flexible spending arrangements (FSAs), because your unused HSA balance rolls over from year to year so you will not give up the money and your account may grow over time. FSA funds that aren’t used by the customer within a certain time period are lost.Here is an example of how an HSA can be used to save for future expenses.You’re a generally healthy, 20-something male who doesn’t have many major health care expenses. You would like to save for future health care expenses for when you start a family or possibly for when you are closer to retirement age and are more likely to have substantial health care costs. You should consider an HSA.

  • Take a long-term view

    Eligible HSA deposits are tax-deductable, earnings grow tax-free‡(1), and withdrawals for qualified medical expenses are tax-free1. These features may make the HSA a more appealing choice than other tax-advantaged financial instruments such as an IRA. With an IRA, you will pay income tax on your withdrawals used to pay for medical expenses and you may have to pay a penalty for withdrawing money too early. If you withdraw from an HSA for a non-qualified medical expense, you will have penalties and tax implications similar to an IRA.Many HSAs offer investment options. You can invest part or all of your HSA into money market accounts‡(2),or self-directed brokerage accounts (3) for mutual funds or individual stocks. Like all investments, other factors will determine the actual returns on those made within an HSA, but the reality is that these options are underutilized by most HSA accountholders.

  • Learn more and determine next steps

    If your company offers a high-deductible health insurance plan with an HSA, talk to your benefits department about what is included with the HSA. Determine if an HSA is right for you at the time. Many benefit partners will offer “people like me scenarios” to give you a better idea of how you can benefit from an HSA.Here is another example of how an HSA can be used to save for future expenses within a shorter timeframe.

    You’re a woman in your 50s and you are preparing for your retirement in the next 10 to 15 years. You have noticed that your health issues are more frequent and more expensive. You realize that the HSA makes the most sense for you to start investing in now, while you’re still eligible. You also learn that you can make a catch-up contribution to your HSA since you are over age 55. It’s not too late for you to consider an HSA.

To learn more, click here.

UMB CFO Mike Hagedorn discusses the innovation of HSAs and how they have become an important part of the payments industry. He explains the distinction between product and innovation and how a company can poise itself to be a leader in innovation.


1All mention of taxes is made in reference to federal tax law. States can choose to follow the federal tax-treatment guidelines for HSAs or establish their own; some states tax HSA contributions.  Please check with your state’s tax laws to determine the tax treatment of HSA contributions, or consult your tax adviser. Neither UMB Bank n.a., its parent, subsidiaries nor affiliates are engaged in rendering tax advice.

2 Contributions up to the $1,000 peg balance are FDIC insured.  Any funds over the peg balance that are swept into a money market mutual fund are not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC or any other governmental agency.  Although the fund seeks to preserve the value of your investment at $1.00 per share, it is possible to lose money by investing in a money market mutual fund.

3 Investments made through your HSA Self-Directed brokerage account are not FDIC insured.  Investments offered through UMB Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA, SIPC.  UMB Financial Services, Inc. is a subsidiary of UMB Bank n.a.  UMB Bank n.a. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of UMB Financial Corporation.  UMB Financial Services, Inc. is not a bank and is separate from UMB Bank n.a. and other banks.

Investments in securities, whether through the money market sweep account or through other investment options available in the self-directed brokerage account are:

Not FDIC-Insured · May Lose Value · No Bank Guarantee

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.

Dennis Triplett is chairman of UMB Healthcare Services. He has responsibility providing strategic direction and insights to the leadership team. Dennis has more than 29 years of experience in the banking industry. He currently serves as Chairman of American Health Insurance Plan’s (AHIP) HSA Leadership Council, Board Member and past Chairman of the Employer’s Council of Flexible Compensation (ECFC), and a Charter member of the American Bankers Association HSA Council.

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