Directing Benefits Plans Part 2

Directing Benefits Programs Part 2

The US GBA 2 Course (Directing Benefits Programs Part 2) is being extensively revised and a new Study Guide and textbook will be required reading for purposes of the CEBS program and the national exam.  These materials will be available for purchase beginning in January 2023. The updates will be reflected in exams administered on or after April 15, 2023. These updates cover all modules of the course.

The course details below will be reflected in the national exam being offered now through March 15, 2023. 

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

The course places particular emphasis on managing and directing employee benefit plans to maximize their strategic impact in achieving organizational objectives. Primarily focusing on health benefits issues, the course seeks to clarify the ever-changing dynamics of the U.S. health care system and endow today’s benefits professional with the requisite skills and expertise to advance organizational objectives by enhancing benefits program design, pricing and operations. The initial modules probe financial and actuarial issues such as rating and premium setting, controlling risk and designing appropriate provider networks. The course also considers emerging marketplace innovations in care delivery platforms and quality improvement initiatives. Additionally, the latest thinking in benefit areas such as disability, long-term care and life insurance is presented.

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   



Employee Benefits Management and Financing 
Mahoney and Maniaci, editors, XanEdu, Inc., 2017. ISBN 978-1-50-669740-6   



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.


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