School of Continuing Education

Group Benefits Associate (GBA) Designation

 

GBA 1 Employee Benefits: Concepts and Health Care Benefits (CBES Course 1)
The first two assignments of GBA 1 set the stage for the study of employee benefits to be pursued in the remainder of GBA 1 and 2 by examining the employee benefit environment, the functional approach to benefit planning, and risk management and insurance techniques in employee benefits. Much of this introductory material encompasses retirement plans, covered in RPA 1 and RPA 2 of the CEBS program, as well.

The coverage of health care benefits begins with a discussion of the environment of health care and health care plans, followed by health plan designs and cost-control techniques. An assignment is devoted to the managed care spectrum as well as one to the health care cost equation. Other assignments cover evaluating and selecting health and managed care plans, maintaining and improving employee health, medical benefits for retirees, and long-term care. Dental plans and specialized benefits—behavioral health, prescription drugs, vision, and hearing care plans—also are covered as is the timely topic of consumer-driven health plans, including health reimbursement accounts and health savings accounts. The course concludes with quality health care purchasing and vendor management, as well as fiduciary liability and ethical responsibility.

Study Materials  

  1. Study Manual, 4th edition-includes Practice Exam on CD-ROM
  2. The Handbook of Employee Benefits: Design Funding and Administration, 6th edition, Jerry S. Rosenbloom, editor, McGraw-Hill, 2005, ISBN 0-07-144512-9

 

GBA 2- Employee Benefits: Design, Administration and Other Welfare Benefits (CEBS Course 2)
Following coverage of the various forms of life insurance benefits provided through the employment relationship, GBA 2 examines a wide variety of other welfare benefits including: dependent care and family leave benefits; work/life benefits—such as financial planning, adoption assistance, legal services, and education assistance; and vacation and other time-off benefits. Two assignments deal with the important topic of flexible benefit plans and flexible spending accounts, and the course then covers various functions associated with welfare plans such as administration, funding, communication and taxation. One assignment is devoted to insuring and managing employee disabilities, and another to the timely topic of benefits technology and information management. The course concludes with assignments on workers' compensation and multiemployer plans.

Study Materials  

  1. Study Manual, 4th edition-includes Practice Exam on CD-ROM
  2. The Handbook of Employee Benefits: Design Funding and Administration, 6th edition, Jerry S. Rosenbloom, editor, McGraw-Hill, 2005, ISBN 0-07-144512-9

 

Note: The same text is used in GBA 1—Employee Benefits: Concepts and Health Care Benefits (CEBS Course 1)

GBA 3 Health Economics
GBA CEBS This is a required course for the GBA designation. It may be used as an elective for the CEBS curriculum.

The course examines health economic issues using various microeconomic tools. The purpose of the course is to provide a theoretical basis for understanding the practical issues in health plan design, management and administration.

The course begins with an introduction on how economic decisions are made. It presents an overview of the health care systems in the United States and other countries and discusses the role of third-party payers and their reimbursement methods. The course examines the determinants of good health in the United States and considers the variables including insurance that affect the demand curve for medical services. Microeconomic principles and concepts show the relationship between medical care cost and firm size and are used to develop a short-run and long-run production theory for medical services. The profit objective of non-health care competitive markets is contrasted with the objectives of some not-for-profit health care markets. The government's role in medical markets and its effect on the allocation of medical resources and output are covered in the course. Finally, the underlying structure and resulting performance of various health care industries is analyzed.

Study Materials  

  1. Study Manual, 2nd edition-includes Practice Exam on CD-ROM
  2. Health Economics, 3rd Edition, Rexford E. Santerre and Stephen P. Neun, South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning, 2004 ISBN 0-324-17186-2