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IRS Audit – Is Your Business ACA Compliant?

Henry Ford once said, “quality means doing it right when no one is looking.” The same applies for your business in matters of compliance. With the IRS beginning audits of Applicable Large Employers (ALEs), and reporting penalties in the millions, it is important to understand the facts and next steps.

Letter 226J

This letter is being sent out to ALEs that the IRS believes were not in compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It addresses penalties associated with forms filed in 2015. These penalties are also known as Employer-Shared Responsibility Payments (ESRPs) or the “pay or play” penalties. While a…


Protecting Your Business from Social Engineering Fraud

Fraud has been around for thousands of years, probably since the existence of man. As technology continues to advance, thieves are adapting as well. The FBI has identified more than 14,000 U.S. companies that have been plagued by social engineering fraud. This type of attack is on the rise – since January of 2015 incidents have increased more than 1300%.

Thieves use social engineering fraud to attack businesses that send wire transfers on a fairly regular basis, typically targeting CFOs and controllers who pay the bills. The fraudsters will hack into an email server to see who requests these wires…


How Late Insurance Payments Can Affect Your Business

Paying bills is something we all do as a part of life. Whether it’s personal or business, we have expenses that must be paid. I must admit, I’ve overlooked a bill in the past. For most of us, missing a payment can lead to a service being disconnected temporarily which is an inconvenience, but it doesn’t have a major long-term impact. However, missing an insurance payment is very different – it can result in having your policy canceled and leaving your business uninsured. Missing payments can also have major effects on how much you will pay for insurance premiums…


Is Your Business Protected? Property Coverage Insight

A business often has several different types of property to insure such as buildings, equipment, automobiles, cargo, inventory, and even customer’s property. Insurance policies all contain coverage forms that specify the details, limitations and exclusions governing each policy. Included in those forms is a valuation clause that determines how an insured’s property is valued at the time of a loss/claim.

Understanding these valuation details is critical to ensure you have the proper coverage to replace the damaged/missing property while avoiding unfriendly co-insurance penalties. Below is a list of the commonly used terms in property policies with which you should be…


Insurance – Shopping, Strategy & Sabotage

It is important to shop commercial insurance and there are many reasons to do so, the most common being to control expenses and improve coverages. However, it is necessary to develop a strategy in advance to avoid pitfalls. Planning your approach will help ensure you are maximizing your efforts, meeting your objectives and are not sabotaged by an agent. Here are guidelines to create your plan.

When to Shop: Shopping your insurance policies is not something that should be viewed as an annual routine, but rather as part of a larger strategy. Your strategy should be focused on maximizing your…


Cyber-Attacks Target Life Sciences and Healthcare Industries

As our society becomes more and more digital, it is increasingly important to protect your businesses from the repercussions of a cyber-attack. While creating privacy policies, building secure firewalls and being diligent with security are all critical to preventing a cyber-attack, it is equally critical to have the proper insurance program in place, should a breach occur. Cyber-attacks can be extremely costly and it is a common misconception that the associated damages would be covered under conventional insurance policies.

A common target of online criminals, the life sciences and healthcare industries need to be extra diligent when it comes to…


Healthcare Reform – Where Do We Go Next?

As a benefits consultant who has worked in the health insurance industry for more than twenty years, representing dozens of companies of all sizes, the discussion about what is next for healthcare reform both frustrates and intrigues me. We have an opportunity to make meaningful, cost-effective changes that are needed for all Americans, regardless of affiliations or preferences.

Here’s what we know. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Americans have struggled to afford their health care costs, access insurance that meets their needs, and see the doctor they know and like. Insurance premiums have risen 65% since 2010 and insurers…


Do I Need Insurance for a Rental Vehicle?

During the holiday season, many of us are traveling to visit family and friends and may need to rent a vehicle. A common question is if your auto insurance also covers a rental vehicle. The answer is maybe. There could be some gaps in coverage between the auto rental agreement and your Personal Auto Policy (PAP). Some things to consider are listed below:

Rental Agreement: The first item to look at is the name on the rental agreement. You need to be sure the person listed   on the agreement is a covered person on your PAP. For example, if you…


Don’t Shop Business Insurance Too Often

Operating any business involves balancing income and expenses. Shopping insurance rates is one of the common strategies used to balance expenses. There are obvious benefits to shopping your insurance, however, there are also pitfalls if done too frequently. Insurance companies are for-profit entities and, like many other businesses, they desire long-term customers which can be used to your benefit.

An insurance company’s pricing can change for many reasons. When the market is strong, companies can decrease pricing and increase coverages to be more competitive. When the market is weak, companies can increase prices and decrease coverages. These market swings can…


Strategies for Effective Benefits Programs

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2015 Employer Health Benefits Survey, health insurance premiums for employers have cumulatively increased by 65% from 2010 to 2015 while overall inflation has only increased cumulatively by 11% over the same time period.

Several strategies have emerged in response to the dilemma all employers face at renewal time each year. Most are available to all sizes of employer; others may be limited to large or self-insured employers. However, many insurance carriers are offering these tactics to their small group segments, therefore having a basic understanding of all six of these strategies is important for…

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