Directing Benefits Plans Part 2

Directing Benefits Programs Part 2

This course is required to earn the following designations: GBA, CEBS (Updated April 2023)

GBA 2 highlights the impact of managing and directing employee benefit plans in realizing strategic organizational milestones.  The course's primary focus is on structuring, administering and enhancing health-related benefit programs to achieve competitive advantage in attracting and retaining talent in a constantly changing labor marketplace. The course begins with a comprehensive overview of the U. S. health care system, looking at various market segments and how these market segments impact pricing and offerings in other sectors. GBA 2 then delves into selected advanced topics to deliver value in health plan design.  The course examines rating and premium setting, controlling risk, and designing quality and cost-effective provider networks. The course integrates actuarial and funding issues with program design and compliance.  Additionally, the course acquaints the learner with an understanding of other needs-relevant group benefits; such as disability income programs, long-term care and life insurance protections. GBA 2 uses mini-cases and an integrated, course-wide case study to achieve its learning objectives of developing an appreciation for designing benefits programs within a highly volatile and rapidly evolving market economy. 

Topics covered in GBA 2

  • Changing Dynamics of U.S. Health Care System
  • Rating and Premium Setting
  • Controlling Risk Factors
  • Designing Cost-Effective Health Provider Networks
  • Participant Response to Health Plan Pricing
  • Initiatives in Health Care Quality Improvement
  • Self-Funding by Small Employers
  • Private Health Insurance Exchanges
  • Patient-Centered Medical Homes
  • Disability Income Programs
  • Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Life Insurance Concepts and Policy Options

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Resources for GBA 2


Successful completion of comprehensive exam         



GBA 2 Study Guide, including online access to the modules and practice exam, 2nd Edition 



Employee Benefits Management and Financing, 2nd Edition,  
Mahoney and Maniaci, editors, XanEdu, Inc., 2023. ISBN 978-1-71-147154-9   



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

Success Package                        $908

Save 20% when you purchase the textbook, Study Guide, Online Study Group and GBA 2 exam



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

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