Thursday, February 21, 2013

Senn Dunn Webinar: Section 125 Cafeteria Plan Administration Issues for Employers

You are invited to join us for a webinar on March 21

1 - 2:30 p.m. Eastern
Noon - 1:30 p.m. Central
10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Pacific

Reserve your seat EARLY!

Register here...

Please be sure to list the name of the firm that invited you when completing your webinar registration.

Even if the IRS has not yet released final Section 125 regulations, employers must still make sure they are complying with current rules and guidance. This program will cover what employers really need to know to properly administer their Section 125 cafeteria plan.

Presented By: Fritz Hewelt, principal consultant, Benefit Comply, LLC

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Be sure to sign into the webinar early.

New FMLA Rule Effective March 8, 2013

The U.S. Department of Labor issued final FMAL rules effective March 8, 2013. The 2013 rule was needed because of two new laws:

• The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, which liberalized employee requirements for taking military "qualifying exigency" and "military caregiver" leave; and

• The Airline Flight Crew Technical Corrections Act, which pertains to calculation of FMLA time for members of airline flight crews.

A few revisions were also made to the traditional FMLA provisions.

Military Revisions

The new rule pertaining to qualifying exigency leave clarifies that it applies to members of the regular armed forces, and the National Guard and Reserves, called to service in a foreign country. A new type of qualifying exigency leave was also added: leave for care of a parent that is related to active duty or the call or impending call to active duty in support of a contingency operation. The parent must be the parent of the military member (not necessarily the employee) and must be incapable of self-care. The military member must be the spouse, parent, or child of the employee. As an example, an employee’s husband is called to service in a foreign country. The husband’s mother is incapable of self-care, and due to his leave, will have to be placed in a nursing home. The employee can now take qualifying exigency leave to help with these arrangements.

The new rule pertaining to military caregiver leave provides that covered servicemember includes covered veterans. A covered veteran is one who was discharged or released for reasons other than dishonorable within the five years preceding the day that the employee's FMLA leave for the veteran's serious injury or illness would begin. The DOL is not counting the period between October 28, 2009 (the date that the Fiscal Year 2010 NDAA was enacted) and March 8, 2013, in calculating the five-year period (approximately 1,226 days). Employers will have to keep these extra days in mind when determining whether an employer's family member is a covered veteran.

Serious injury or illness for current servicemembers and covered veterans now includes preexisting injuries or illnesses that were aggravated in the course of military service. For covered veterans, serious injury or illness also includes (1) a VA Service Related Disability Rating of 50 percent or greater; (2) a disability that "substantially impairs" the veteran's ability to get "substantial gainful employment" or would if untreated; and (3) injuries or illnesses that have been the basis for the veteran's enrollment in the Department of Veterans Affairs Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers.

Flight Crews

Consistent with the Airline Flight Crew Technical Corrections Act, a member of a flight crew is now eligible for FMLA leave if he or she has worked or been paid for at least 60 percent of his or her applicable monthly guarantee and has worked or been paid for at least 504 hours. An eligible flight crew member is entitled to 72 days per 12-month period for family/medical and qualifying exigency leave, and 156 days in a single 12-month period for military caregiver leave.

Traditional FMLA Revisions

Under the new rule, the employer is not allowed to charge for more FMLA leave than the employee actually needs. The only exception to this rule is where it is physically impossible for the employee to interrupt a shift once begun – for example, for a flight attendant who is in the air. In a case like that, in which it is impossible for an employee to miss only part of a shift, the employer may charge for the entire shift. An employer must charge for intermittent or reduced schedule FMLA leave in the smallest timekeeping increment it uses for other types of leave, and in no circumstance use an increment larger than one hour.

New Forms and Poster

The various FMLA forms have been revised to comply with the NDAA and the flight crew legislation, and are available on the DOL website: Scroll down to forms WH-380E through WH-385V.

By March 8th or as soon as possible afterwards, FMLA covered employers should update their FMLA policies in accordance with the new rule, and replace the current FMLA poster with the new one available at

This FMLA update is provided as a service to our clients and friends. If you need assistance with FMLA or any other human resource-related area, please do not hesitate to contact Senn Dunn’s Human Resource Consulting Services.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Senn Dunn Consultant Awarded 40 Leaders Under 40 Recognition

Senn Dunn Insurance is pleased to announce that Business Insurance Consultant Bryan Beasley has been awarded a place on the Triad Business Journal’s 40 Leaders Under 40 list of notable people who serve with passion in their company and in their community.
Read More about Bryan's award.

Monday, February 18, 2013

UHC: Cornerstone Health Care Launches Accountable Care Organization in Collaboration with UnitedHealthcare and Optum

   United Healthcare (UHC) has announced the launch of the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) that will enable Cornerstone care providers to manage all aspects of a patient's health care and ensure that the proper course of treatment is being followed. Cornerstone Health Care, United Healthcare, and Optum have collaborated to form this new organization that combines innovative, value-based performance incentives with advanced analytical tools. The ACO will coordinate the care of Triad area United Healthcare participants between its large network of physicians and health care professionals with the goal of improving the quality of patient care.

For more information, view the full press release here.

Friday, February 15, 2013

BCBSNC: Free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) from QuitlineNC for NC Residents

     Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) has announced that beginning on February 14th, 2013, all insured North Carolina tobacco users who register to quit using tobacco with QuitlineNC (1-800-QUIT-NOW) will be qualified to receive a free two-week starter kit of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in the form of nicotine patches, gum, or lozenges while supplies last. It is reported that success is greatest for those who take advantage of all coaching sessions plus eight weeks of NRT.
     In order to receive the free starter kit, all eligible individuals must enroll in the Multiple Call Program of QuitlineNC. To enroll, the North Carolina tobacco user must speak with a coach after registering and set a target quit date. Blue Cross and Blue Shield recommends that employers encourage their employees who use tobacco to call the QuitlineNC number today (1-800-QUIT-NOW) and receive their starter kit. This is a great incentive to help kick the habit.

  Please note that this is for North Carolina residents only and is available only while supplies last.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Senn Dunn Insurance Announces the Hiring of Four Associates

Greensboro, NC – February 14, 2013 - Senn Dunn Insurance, a full-service independent insurance agency, announces the hiring of four new associates: Erika Forrester, Amanda Harton, Donna Ricketts, and Kathy Luca. 


Monday, February 11, 2013

1st Annual Senn Dunn Insurance Sales Banquet 2013

Senn Dunn Insurance held its 1st annual Sales Banquet on Thursday, February 7th to celebrate all the accomplishments over the past year.  There were both award winners and others who won an incentive trip to Greenbrier on April 26 - 28, 2013.  Some people won both awards and the trip!  See the pictures below:

Agency Rookie of the Year 2012
Melissa Nelson

Business Insurance Consultant of Year 2012
Brad Southerland

Personal Lines Consultant of the Year 2012
Rodney Jonas

Employee Benefits Consultant of the Year 2012
Brandon Moorefield

Agency Consultant of the Year 2012
Randy Taylor

Agency Top Referrer for 2012
Karl Sherrill

Largest Agency Qualified Pipeline for 2013
Russell James

Group Award Winners

 Trip Winners and their Significant Other

Danielle Hoversten
Brandon Moorefield
Cory Newton
John Eddleman
Melissa Nelson
Scott Shepherd
Sonja Calabria
James Lowery
Randy Taylor

Congraulations Everyone!!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Senn Dunn Insurance Announces Sponsorship of Race the Bar – Raising the Bar on Wellness

Greensboro, NC – January 30, 2013

Senn Dunn Insurance announces their second annual presenting sponsorship of the
Race the Bar race series held in the Piedmont Triad in 2013 in a partnership with Dick Broadcasting Company. As the leading provider of employee benefit services in North Carolina, Senn Dunn is using these races to encourage each participant to raise the bar on their personal wellness goals for 2013.

Proposed Rule Eases Contraceptive Mandate for Non-Profit Religious Organizations -

On February 1, 2013, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury and Labor issued guidance on the provision of coverage for contraceptives with no cost-sharing for non-profit religious organizations.

The proposed regulations pertain to women’s preventive services that must be covered, without cost-sharing, by non-grandfathered plans under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The services include all Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved contraceptives.

The proposed rule outlines:

- An expanded definition of what qualifies a religious employer for an exemption

- How women working for non-profit religious organizations can obtain contraceptives without cost-sharing through an individual policy that is administered separately from their employer’s plan

- How the contraceptives without cost-sharing will be paid for


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

BCBSNC: Healthy Outcomes Helps Members Get and Stay Healthy

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) has issued a press release about their new wellness program, Healthy Outcomes. Healthy Outcomes will provide personalized tools designed to help members get and stay healthy.

For more information, view the full press release here.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Privacy Liability Seminar

On Wednesday January 30th, Senn Dunn Insurance held the Privacy Liability Seminar at the Proximity Hotel in Greensboro and later on in the afterrnon at Senn Dunn's office in Raleigh. The overall theme of the seminar was, "What is your plan of action, not “if” but, “when” a claim occurs for your business?"  The seminar taught everyone the risks of online security and what to do when a problem arises.  The speakers included:

Ted Claypoole – Privacy and Data Management Team Leader - Womble Carlyle

Kevin Violette – RT ProExec – Privacy Insurance Expert
Joe Harris - TCDI – IT Policy and Forensic Expert
Tim Ward – Senn Dunn Insurance

BCBSNC: Upgrading Main Operating System Feb 14th-18th

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) will be upgrading their main operating system February 14-18, 2013. This system is used for processing claims and serving customers and health care providers. This change is being made to allow BCBSNC to make future customer service improvements more quickly and efficiently.

BCBSNC is doing everything they can to minimize the disruption to their clients during this time. For more information please view the attached document from BCBS.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Aetna Announces Leadership Changes in Line with Growth Strategy

Aetna has announced changes to its executive leadership team as part of the company’s growth strategy and a continuing effort to align its businesses with the evolving needs of its customers.

For more information, view the full press release here.