Disability Insurance Can Protect Your Retirement Funds

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Disability insurance can help keep your cash flow going should you be hit by a disabling event such as an injury or a sudden illness that prevents you from working. But besides protecting your income, disability insurance can also safeguard your retirement goals by giving you much-needed cash that may keep you from tapping your 401(k) for emergency funds. Having to withdraw funds from your 401(k) can be costly due to the lost prospects of investment income, as well as tax penalties that you’ll be hit with. Think you wouldn’t do that? One in four consumers said they would make…
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Dental and Vision Benefits Are Inexpensive, and a Big Hit with Workers

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Employers nationwide are looking for ways to attract and retain talent and differentiate themselves from competing employers, and many are looking to the two most popular voluntary benefits: employee dental and vision plans. That’s important in today’s tight job market. After all, a recent survey from CareerBuilder found that 55% of workers believed an employer’s menu of benefits was more important than salary when considering a job position or offer. Here’s why dental and vision benefits are so popular and why, if you don’t already do so, you should consider offering them as well. Background For many years, dental and vision plans were…
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Reporting Workers’ Comp Claims Late Can Push up Costs Nearly 50%

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

One of the keys to keeping the costs of a workers’ compensation claim from spiraling out of control is prompt claims reporting. Claims are routinely filed late, either by the injured worker who fails to report it to the employer, or the employer dawdling or procrastinating and not reporting the claim to its insurer. Either way, those delays result in delays in treatment, which can exacerbate the injury, leading to additional medical care and higher costs. In fact, a 2015 study by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) found that the average claims for workplace injuries that were reported…
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Cal/OSHA Issues New COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Cal/OSHA has once again extended its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards, which cover employers’ obligations to protect their workers against the coronavirus. This is the third time the ETS has been extended and this one is slated to expire at the end of 2022. It’s being introduced as Cal/OSHA finalizes work on its permanent infectious disease standard. While the extended ETS includes many of the same provisions as the previous version, there are some changes. The new ETS, which took effect May 6, was written to be more flexible in response to when the California Department of Public Health updates its…
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In-House Inspections Crucial to a Safe Workplace

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When was the last time you or the person responsible for doing so walked around your facility, warehouse, office or other workplace and did a safety inspection? Your Injury and Illness Prevention Program should state that the owner, supervisor or person with authority and responsibility shall conduct monthly workplace safety inspections. To maintain a safe and healthful workplace, OSHA requires that you use the safety standard to help identify hazards that exist now or could develop. You are also required to indicate the frequency of inspections and identify the person responsible for conducting them and correcting unsafe conditions in all…
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Cal/OSHA Extends, Changes Temporary COVID Rules

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CAL/OSHA’s new COVID-19 workplace safety rules took effect Jan. 14. They extend earlier temporary rules until April 20. Under the new rules, employees must get a test in a health care setting or clinic that is sent to a lab, or take a self-administered test in front of a supervisor or a health care representative. Tests that are self-administered and self-read (like those taken at home) are no longer acceptable under the new rules. Employers can still offer self-read, self-administered COVID-19 tests to workers, but those that need to take a test after an exposure must adhere to the new…
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Cyber Attacks, Number One Risk for Businesses: Survey

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A new survey has found that cyber risks have risen to become the number one concern among businesses, replacing the COVID-19 pandemic and business interruption as the top risks in 2022. The second-most cited risk was business interruption and supply chain disruptions, followed by natural catastrophes, according to the “Allianz Risk Barometer 2022.” The rankings follow a year that saw an explosion in cyber attacks, massive business interruption and supply chain disruptions that have left factories idle and store shelves bare, and record damage caused by natural catastrophes. This annual survey provides perspective on the number and variety of threats…
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Workers’ Comp COVID-19 Payroll Reporting Rules Sunsetting

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The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau has announced that two temporary payroll reporting rules to reflect changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home orders will sunset. The move comes after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s June 9 executive order which revoked the statewide stay-at-home order that had been in place since March 19, 2020. You may recall that after the stay-at-home order took effect, the Rating Bureau issued new rules for classifying staff who were suddenly working remotely, as well as payroll reporting for staff who were at home but not working. The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) rules that are set…
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CMS Issues New Rules Barring Surprising Billing

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service in late June released a series of new regulations targeted at banning surprise billing in most instances, taking aim at a scourge that ends up costing many covered individuals thousands of dollars even when they are treated in-network. The goal of the rule, slated to take effect Jan. 1, 2022, is to ensure that health plan enrollees are not gouged for out-of-network billing and balance billing for most services unless divulged to the beneficiary and approved by them in advance. Balance billing ― when a medical provider bills a covered individual for the…
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Cal/OSHA Relaxes COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard

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CAL/OSHA last November issued COVID-19 emergency temporary standards, and now the agency has revised those standards to reflect the reduced risk of infection as more people get vaccinated. The revisions provide respite to many businesses ahead of the planned reopening of the state on June 15. Here are the more significant changes in the rules: Exemptions for the vaccinated The revised rules provide significant exemptions to COVID-19 prevention rules for workers who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, as well as for workers who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days and have recovered or are…
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