Directing Benefits Programs Part 1

Directing Benefits Programs Part 1

This course is required to earn the following designations: GBA, CEBS

*Important note: The GBA 1 Course (Directing Benefits Programs Part 1) is being extensively revised and a new Study Guide and textbook are required reading for purposes of the CEBS program and the national exam.  These materials will be available beginning January 2022. The updates will be reflected in exams administered on and after April 15, 2022. These updates cover all modules of the course.*

The design and administration of relevant, highly valued employee benefits offerings are critical success factors in attracting and retaining global talent in today’s competitive environment. GBA 1 highlights the many challenges and opportunities of offering and directing a portfolio of strategically designed health and welfare employee benefits programs. The course details wide-ranging issues in managing employee benefit risks and builds a foundational framework explaining the distinct benefit plans that comprise the health and welfare continuum. Alongside group health, dental, behavioral health and other plan types, the course examines legislative and regulatory trends, innovations in wellness and cutting-edge evaluation tools to equip today’s benefits professional.

Topics covered in GBA 1

  • Employee Benefits: The Environment
  • Managing Employee Benefits Risks
  • Group Health Plan Structures
  • Consumer-Directed Health Plans
  • Dental, Vision and Hearing Care Benefits
  • Prescription Drug Plans
  • Behavioral Health Care Benefits
  • Workplace Wellness Programs
  • Section 125 Plans
  • Health Care Regulation
  • Health-Related Evaluation Methods​

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Resources for GBA 1


Successful completion of comprehensive exam         



GBA 1 Study Guide, including online access to the modules and practice exam   



Employee Benefits Design and Compliance: Health and Welfare Plans Mahoney and Maniaci, editors, XanEdu, Inc., 2017. ISBN 978-1-50-669745-1    



Online Study Group With Instructor Support 
12-week sessions in fall, spring and summer



Study Guide—Delivered in Print and Online!
The CEBS Study Guide is an essential component for mastering the CEBS material you will be tested on in the examination. Your Study Guide purchase includes both a printed study guide and access to an online environment.

  • Learning Modules provide structured coverage and highlight key elements and critical takeaways of the Assigned Reading. The learning modules draw on readings from Textbooks and journal articles written by leading academics and expert practitioners.
  • Applications are designed to make you think about how what you are learning translates to the work world. Two types of applications are provided throughout the CEBS courses—Benefits in Action and Integrated Cases (Capstone Cases).
  • Practice exam, accessible in the online environment, provides immediate results indicating the areas that may need additional study, along with page reference sources and an explanation of correct responses.


A textbook and/or supplementary readings are required for each course, providing the theory and content of the topics covered in the study guide.

Online Study Group With Instructor Support

Need a little push to stay on track or the security of expert and peer support? Online study groups are for you. Guided study groups provide access to instructors, a structured time frame and peer interaction.

Frequently Asked Questions

​Still looking for more information? Check out CEBS FAQ for further details on curriculum updates.


Need More Help? The CEBS Customer Service Team is here to assist you!
Call 800 449 2327, option 3 or –e-mail