California Supreme Court Ruling Establishes New Test For Determining Employment Status of Independent Contractors

Posted by Marsh & McLennan Agency West Region on May 10, 2018 at 8:00 AM
California Supreme Court Ruling Establishes New Test For Determining Employment Status of Independent Contractors

Decision may lead to higher costs and greater liabilities for employers

California employers who engage independent contractors are now subject to a stringent new test that may ultimately force employers to reclassify many of these workers as employees, according to a ruling by the California Supreme Court on April 30, 2018.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Breaking News, Property + Casualty, Human Resources, Workers' Compensation

GDPR: How Will the New EU Data Protection Regulation Affect Your Business?

Posted by Brad Hering, Cyber Liability Practice on April 2, 2018 at 10:00 AM
GDPR: How Will the New EU Data Protection Regulation Affect Your Business?

With the enforcement date looming, now is the time for organizations to determine whether the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies to their business, and to sort out steps to take in preparation of the law’s enforcement.  First thing’s first – do you need to worry about GDPR? Answer these questions to find out.

Here are a few fast facts about GDPR:

What is GDPR and when is it effective?

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the EU’s new regulation designed to govern the collection, storage, and usage of private information.  The regulation was created in 2016 and has an enforcement effective date of May 25, 2018.

What is the regulation’s intent?

In short, the regulation is intended to provide citizens of the EU with more control around their personal information. The law aims to unify privacy laws in the EU and sets strict standards for the collection and storage of private information, with unprecedented requirements surrounding consent, inventory accounting, demonstration of compliance, and notification of potential data breaches.  While governed by the EU, GDPR will apply to any organization that collects or processes data of EU citizens, regardless of where the business is located.

What are the ramifications of non-compliance?

Non-compliance could have crippling consequences. Penalties for non-compliant companies that experience breaches could be up to 20 million euros (about $24,000,000 USD), or 4% of the company’s global revenue – whichever of the two is larger.

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Topics: Breaking News, Property + Casualty, Cyber & Data Security, Technology

Two Ways Mid-Size Employers Can Reign in Health Care Costs

Posted by Matthew Coan, Principal, Employee Benefits Division on July 6, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Two Ways Mid-Size Employers Can Reign in Health Care Costs

For businesses of any size, controlling costs in this evolving healthcare environment is critical. Many smaller to mid-sized companies, however, aren’t aware of two lesser-known strategies effective at reigning in healthcare spending and regaining control.

The first is implementing a form of self-funding for employee benefits known as a captive. The second is containing prescription drug expenses by renegotiating pharmacy agreements and empowering employees to participate in cost-saving behaviors.

To find out more about these two cost-saving methods, read the rest of the San Francisco Business Times article by clicking the button below.

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Topics: Breaking News, Market Trends

ACA & Uncle Sam: News to Share with Your Employees

Posted by Christopher K. Bao, Esq, Compliance Manager on February 15, 2016 at 10:00 AM
ACA & Uncle Sam: News to Share with Your Employees

As you know, everyone in the United States is now required to have health insurance, or pay a penalty. And as an employer, you also know that individuals must be able to prove that they maintained health coverage in 2015, either through their employer or by acquiring other health insurance. Even though you are likely aware of the intricacies of the ACA & how it affects your employees, it’s still a good idea to communicate this new step to them to avoid misunderstandings or undue worry.    

Your employees don’t need to be tax attorneys, but they should learn about their own responsibilities and what they can expect from you and their insurance carrier. This proof of insurance involves IRS Forms 1095-C and 1095-B:

Form 1095-C:

Form 1095-C simply documents the months employees were offered health insurance in 2015, as well as in future years. If the employer is considered an applicable large employer with 50 or more full-time and/or full-time equivalent employees, then the employer has until March 31, 2016 to prepare and deliver Form 1095-C to all fulltime employees.

Form 1095-B:

Form 1095-B provides data on the employee (and potentially family members) enrolled in coverage, and will be sent directly to the employee from the insurance carrier, or included in Form 1095-C if their employer is self-insured.

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Topics: Health Care Reform, Breaking News, Legislative Compliance

Age-Based Rates: The Solution for Life Science Employers

Posted by Nicole Mehrara, Principal, Employee Benefits Division on May 13, 2015 at 10:00 AM
Age-Based Rates: The Solution for Life Science Employers

Beginning January 1, 2016, employers with 1-100 benefit eligible employees will be considered small group employers. If it hasn't already, this change has the potential to increase your rates by 20-30%, depending on your group.

Why the big jump in rates?

The change is tied to rules that apply to small groups. Small groups are charged what the insurance industry calls “age-banded” rates. Age-banded simply means age-based. In other words, cost is assessed for the age of each employee and spouse in the group. The shift impacts many employers, especially life science companies that typically employ within the 51-100 range, and adds another obstacle in the quest to offer affordably priced health care coverage.

If you are one of these employers, the following is a quick summary of things to know.

For renewal dates that occurred on or after January 1, 2016, employers with 51 to 100 benefit eligible employees will:

  1. Move from large group to small group
  2. Pay medical rates based on each family member’s age and not the employee’s age
  3. Have rates based on the ZIP code of the employer (instead of the employees’ residential zip codes)
  4. Lose online administration of benefit eligibility
  5. Cease to receive underwriting discounts for industry and favorable employee demographics

Solution for Life Science Employers

Marsh & McLennan Agency, in partnership with Biocom, created the Beyond Benefits Trust to provide large group underwriting for small group life science companies impacted by this law.

Beyond Benefits leverages specific regulations established by The Department of Labor (DOL). These regulations allow for the formation of DOL-qualified small business trusts which pool small companies together. Under this structure, employers qualify for large group rates, regardless of their size.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Health Care Reform, Breaking News

Marsh & McLennan Agency Opens Walnut Creek Office

Posted by Barney & Barney on November 24, 2014 at 10:00 AM

New East Bay Location Is Part Of Expanding Presence In San Francisco-Bay Area

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 24, 2014Marsh & McLennan Insurance Agency LLC announced today the opening of a Walnut Creek office to serve its growing number of clients in the East Bay.

The new office is located in downtown Walnut Creek and will accommodate more than 70 Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA) employees in the East Bay. MMA is relocating its workforce from Oakland to the 14,500 square foot office at Treat Boulevard and Oak Road.

Principal and Managing Director, Christopher Williams, who leads the firm’s Bay Area presence, is based in the Walnut Creek office. Jeff Calder, who leads the Employee Benefits team, is also based in Walnut Creek. MMA's Walnut Creek office specializes in serving clients in technology, healthcare, construction and higher education. The firm also serves local governments and non-profit organizations, among other industry segments.

“Our new Walnut Creek office gives us room to grow and serve the growing number of clients in Alameda and Contra Costa counties,” Williams said. “Walnut Creek is a terrific location for our employees and our clients. We look forward to making a valuable contribution in the community.”

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Topics: Breaking News

Marsh & McLennan Agency Celebrates New San Francisco Office

Posted by Kevin Mirsky, Principal and Director, Bay Area Commercial Division on October 20, 2014 at 10:50 AM
Marsh & McLennan Agency Celebrates New San Francisco Office

Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA)-West Region invited clients, colleagues, COIs and carrier partners to celebrate the expansion of the San Francisco office with an open house party on October 8. The new office is located at 201 California Street in the heart of San Francisco’s Financial District. A bright, modern space, the office mirrors the local fast-paced tech sector while staying true to all things San Francisco. An office favorite is the Giant’s themed lunch room complete with an orange wall and vintage Giants photographs. 

“Marsh & McLennan Agency's new offices in the Bay Area are the result of its continued growth and success,” said CEO Paul Hering. “With bigger offices, a larger staff and more capabilities, MMA will be even better positioned to help organizations manage risk, attract and retain employees and ultimately achieve their business objectives.” Read the full article here.

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Topics: Inside B&B, Breaking News

Barney & Barney Foundation Recognized as Outstanding Philanthropic Organization

Posted by Erin Quigley, Corporate Communications Director on August 20, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Barney & Barney Foundation Recognized as Outstanding Philanthropic Organization

AFPSD to Honor Foundation as Part of National Philanthropy Day

San Diego, August 20, 2014 - The Barney & Barney Foundation today announced that it will be honored as an Outstanding Philanthropic Organization by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, San Diego Chapter (AFPSD).

The Barney & Barney Foundation will join eight community leaders at the upcoming National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon, presented by Sharp Health Care, on Tuesday, October 28, 2014, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel.

National Philanthropy Day recognizes the critical role philanthropy plays in the community and honors those who do it best. The organizations that nominated the Barney & Barney Foundation include the following: Rady Children’s Hospital, Neighborhood House Association, the San Diego Symphony Orchestra Association, Voices for Children, and Walden Family Services San Diego.

“We’re honored to be recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals in San Diego for our commitment to our communities,” said Paul Hering, CEO, MMA West Region. “We also want to thank the organizations that nominated us, and we look forward to continuing our work to support our local nonprofit organizations.”

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Topics: Community Outreach, Breaking News

Breaking News: Cal/OSHA's TICF Assessment Slated to End June 30, 2014

Posted by Jennifer Reyes, Risk Consultant on April 21, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Employers are urged to continue investing in workplace safety

April 21, 2014 – The Department of Industrial Relations has announced they will suspend the high profile Targeted Inspection and Consultation Fund’s (TICF) yearly assessment program.

The Cal/OSHA TICF is part of the workers compensation insurance reform legislation passed by the California Legislature in July 1993. Under the program, insured employers with an experience modification rating (ExMOD) of 125% or higher were subject to an assessment penalty based on the annual payroll for the assessment year. The Department has not billed insured employers for TICF assessments after the 2012 assessment year.

The Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) states the Labor Code Section 62.9, the legal mandate for the assessment, will be repealed as of June 30, 2014.

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Topics: Breaking News, Workers' Compensation

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