Blog

Protecting Your Important Data When Employees Leave

| posted in Blog

When is a business most susceptible to losing data, intellectual property and important records? No, not during a cyber attack or a break-in, but during lay-offs. With employees maybe feeling disgruntled after being let go, it’s common for some of them to pocket important company data – usually client lists, old e-mails, vendor contacts and even intellectual property that is essential to the company’s competitive advantage. During lay-offs or termination, you need to take steps to protect your data and intellectual property, but there are legal implications as well for how far you can go. Consider the following: Non solicitation…
Read More

IRS Announces 2019 HSA Contribution Limits, Changes for HDHPs

| posted in Blog

The IRS has increased health savings account contribution limits for 2019, along with changes to the out-of-pocket expenses for HSA-qualifying high-deductible health plans (HDHPs). The 2019 HSA contribution maximum will be $3,500 for individual coverage, from $3,450 this year. The contribution maximum for family coverage will increase to $7,000 from the current $6,900. Individuals age 55 or older not yet enrolled in Medicare may make a catch-up HSA contribution of up to $1,000 – an amount that remains unchanged from last year’s catch-up limit. This most recent set of limit adjustments fits the pattern of previous years, with the IRS…
Read More

California High Court Upends Independent Contractor Test

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

The California Supreme Court has handed down a decision that rewrites the state’s independent contractor law by adopting a more stringent test for determining whether or not someone is an employee for wage order cases. The new test is similar to Massachusetts independent contractor law, which is considered the strictest in the country. The new law will affect any California business that uses independent contractors and it makes it more difficult to classify someone as an independent contractor. In its decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. vs. Superior Court, the court rejected a test that’s been used for more than…
Read More

Telemedicine Improves Outcomes, Saves Money

| posted in Blog

Recent studies have shown that telemedicine can yield significant savings for group health plans and covered employees – but only if the employees actually use it. While telemedicine has penetrated the ranks of large employers (96% say they make it available to their employees), 20% of employers say that less than one-tenth of their workers actually use it. The main thrust of telemedicine is to give workers the option to talk to a health care provider over the phone or by video link about a health issue they may be having. Maybe waiting for an appointment slot to open with…
Read More

Rating Agency Calls for 7.2% Workers’ Comp Rate Cut

| posted in Blog

Thanks to reforms enacted in 2014, California’s workers’ comp rating agency is recommending that the average benchmark rate be cut by 7.2% for policies effective July 1 and onward. The filing made by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau is for the state’s pure premium rates, which are essentially the base rates to cover expected costs of claims and claims-adjusting expenses across all worker class codes. The rates are advisory only and insurers can price their policies as they wish, so there are no guarantees that any particular employer will see a rate decrease when their policy renews. The rate…
Read More

Keep Injured Workers in the Loop to Reduce Claims Costs

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

One perennial topic in workplace safety is how to get injured workers back on the job as quickly as possible, and when it is safe to do so. The key, experts say, is to help the injured employee better engage in the workers’ comp system, so they have a better understanding of the claims process and what they can expect from it. Employers that have the best success actually advocate for the injured worker, instead of just giving them the standard booklets on what to expect and then leave them until they are healed up enough to go back to…
Read More

How Employers Can Fight the High Cost of Diabetes

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Diabetes is a devastating illness – and not just for those with the disease. Employers are also shouldering massive and increasing direct and indirect costs due to diabetes. Diabetes afflicts more than 11% of the adult population, including about 6.3% of full-time workers and 9.1% of part-time workers. Adults with diabetes incur more than $8,480 in direct treatment costs, on average. Those who are insured spend even more. A 2016 report from the Health Care Cost Institute estimated that insured workers with diabetes spend more than $16,000 on health care costs per year. Those without diabetes, on average, generate about…
Read More

Gaps in Your Policy Coverage Can Leave You Exposed

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

You may have auto insurance and home or renter’s insurance in place to make sure you are covered in case of an accident. But, depending on the circumstances of a claim, you may have coverage gaps in your insurance, and policyholders that do put themselves, their family and their possessions at risk. You should review your policies to see if you have any of the following gaps in your coverage: Coverage for your valuables This would include: • Any collections (coins, stamps, art, etc.) • Pricey jewelry or watches • Electronics. Most homeowner’s policies will typically have a set limit…
Read More

Settling Claims on Your Own Risks Voiding Your Policy

| posted in Blog

While your insurer has the responsibility to investigate and pay claims made on your firm’s commercial general liability policy, you also have responsibilities to ensure your claim is paid. Two of the key parts of your responsibilities are: • Notifying your insurer of the claim as soon as possible. • Not taking the claim into your own hands before notifying the insurer. Commercial general liability (CGL) coverage is usually written on an occurrence basis, meaning that the policy will cover events that occur during the period the policy is in force. In other words, if an occurrence hits towards the…
Read More

OSHA Cracks Down on Errant Electronic Filers

| posted in Blog

Despite the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration pushing back the deadline until Dec. 31, 2017, about a third of workplaces that were required to electronically file their 2016 Form 300A in a timely fashion, failed to do so. Now OSHA has started a crackdown on employers that failed to file their forms after the agency stopped accepting the 2016 forms as of Jan. 1, 2018. In February, compliance officers were instructed to initiate inquiries into whether workplaces had electronically filed their 300A forms for 2016. Failure to file can lead to an other-than-serious citation, with a maximum penalty of…
Read More