Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Senn Dunn Insurance Webinar: ACA Regulatory Update

Senn Dunn invites you to join us for a webinar on March 20, 2014.

3 - 4:30 p.m. Eastern
2 - 3:30 p.m. Central
Noon - 1:30 p.m. Pacific

 
Reserve your seat EARLY to ensure you receive advance webinar materials.

Register Now...

Please be sure to list the name of the firm that invited you when completing your webinar registration. Late registrants will not receive advance webinar materials.
 
 It is expected that the regulatory agencies will continue to release a large volume of ACA related regulations and guidance throughout 2014.  We will hold three webinars during 2014 specifically designed to address the most recently released guidance. This webinar will address issues relevant to both large and small employers.
Presented by Bob Radecki, President, Benefit Comply, LLC and Ragan Blomme, J.D., MBA, Senior 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.

Watch out for emails with fake Target websites

More fallout from that massive data breach from national retailer Target: fraudulent emails could be headed to your inbox.  If you get an email asking you to click on a link with “Target” in the web address, be cautious.

Soon after Target announced the security breach in December, dozens of new domain names were registered online that include “Target” along with words like “breach” or “credit cards” in the web address.

Email addresses for as many as 70 million U.S. consumers may have been stolen as part of the breach, and scammers may send phishing emails to those addresses.  These phony emails could look like they come from Target and include one of the suspicious web addresses.  The emails could be easy to fall for, especially if you are eager for information about how to deal with problems caused by the breach.

To protect yourself:

·   Don’t respond to unsolicited emails or click on unfamiliar links. Even if the email includes a real-looking logo or legitimate sounding link, it could be a scam.

·   Beware of any email or text message that asks for your personal information. Even if the message doesn’t mention Target, it could still be a scam.  Scammers may claim your account with another store, your bank or your power company has been compromised and ask for your bank account, credit card, or Social Security number.  Legitimate companies will not ask you for this information this way.

·   Never share personal financial information by email or text message, even with someone you know and trust, because it is not secure.

·   Report phishing attempts related to the Target breach.  File a complaint with our Consumer Protection Division at ncdoj.gov or call 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within North Carolina. Also, forward the entire email to the Federal Trade Commission at spam@uce.gov.

·   If you need to contact Target, go to a web address you know to be valid.  The real website set up to provide free credit monitoring for Target customers is creditmonitoring.target.com.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Workers' Compensation Myths

Workers’ compensation coverage is not required for businesses in every state, but for those who have the option, getting the coverage is a safe bet. Job-related injuries or illnesses can result in major costs for a business without the coverage.

Business owners may feel like they don’t need workers’ comp, whether they believe an injury couldn’t happen at their company, or they can pay for the expenses out-of-pocket. However, Travelers dispels these myths and others like them, providing helpful tips agents can give clients who are on the fence about getting the coverage.

source: www.propertycasualty360.com

Read More...

Please contact us today with any of your workers' compensation questions!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Employers Move to Private Health Insurance Exchangers

"One-third of U.S. employers plan to move their workers’ healthcare coverage to a private exchange in the next few years, a survey found, following the lead of companies like Walgreen Co. seeking to reduce costs.

While 95 percent of employers said they would continue to offer health care in the next three to five years, 33 percent may use a private exchange to provide the benefit up from 5 percent currently, according to a survey released today by a unit of Aon Plc, a London-based insurance broker."

Source: www.insurancejournal.com

Read More...

Stay up to date on health care reform by checking out our health care reform updates!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Reckless ATV Riders cause Injury and Death on Public Roads

"A recent Institute for Highway Safety (IHS) report on all-terrain vehicle (ATV) fatalities levels a strong challenge to the motorsports industry and consumer products safety advocates: What is the tipping point that will spur action to reduce the mortality/morbidity numbers that are troubling for families, legislators, insurers, and the powersports industry?"

source: www.propertycasualty360.com

Read More...

If you have any questions on your insurance needs, please contact us today!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Affordable Care Act requires insurers to cover clinical trials

The Affordable Care Act now requires health insurance companies to cover routine costs for clinical trial participants, the American Society of Clinical Oncology reminded clinicians in educational materials about the provision it released Feb. 4.

The group is concerned, it said, because "the federal government has not yet issued regulations to guide implementation of the new law," and, at least so far, has characterized it as a "self-implementing" statute that insurers are "expected to implement ... using a good faith, reasonable interpretation of the law."
 
source: www.oncologypractice.com
 
 
If you have any questions on health care reform please check out our website!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

No Coverage for Road Rage

"A Washington appeals court, affirming a trial court’s decision, has decided that a case alleging road rage did not allege an “accident” as required for coverage under either a homeowners-insurance policy or an auto-insurance policy.

The case:

Dennis Geyer and Robert Speed allegedly were involved in an altercation in which Speed suffered serious personal injuries. Washington State charged Geyer, a physician, with second degree assault with a deadly weapon. Speed’s attorney sent a demand letter to Geyer seeking $650,000 to compensate Speed for his injuries. The letter described the incident as follows:"

source: www.propertycasualty360.com

Read More...

If you have any personal insurance concerns please contact us today!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

 

Traditionally the East Coast has not had earthquake activity of significance, but in the past two years we have had significant earthquake events in Virginia (felt at our office in High Point) and most recently in South Carolina and felt in Georgia and North Carolina as well.
 
The link below shares the news story about the most recent quake:
 
 
Also, below is a snapshot of our most recent post that discusses why we recommend that every business and homeowner review the cost to cover this event.  If you would like a copy of the brochure sent directly to your attentino, just let us know.
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Winter Storm Preparedness and Claims Reporting



 
 
 
 
 
Good morning!  As you are reading this blog, many of us are under winter storm watches/warnings/alerts including potential for significant snowfall and icing events throughout the Southeast. 

In the event of our office being closed for weather, we wanted to remind you of the importance of quick access and contact as relates to claims reporting.  There is an internal process in place for our policyholders who need to report claims after hours or when closed. We wanted to make sure that everyone is aware of the process.  

When our clients call our office after hours (336.272.7161), they hear a prompt  that can be selected if they need to report a new claim. The prompt will advise them to call one of our Claims Specialist's cell phone numbers. If the client leaves a message on the designated extension, 2001, an automatic email is generated to the Claims team.  If they miss a client’s call, they will return the call as soon as possible. We check our phones on a continual basis when we are on duty. Normally, calls are returned within an hour. There are only a few exceptions when a return call may be a little more delayed; if we are in meetings, in church, on airplanes, etc. Our phones remain on throughout the night.

As always, you can reach me as well at my mobile number.

Here is a sample of a recent document we shared with our clients in preparation for the week's weather.
 

 
Source: FEMA.GOV
Design © 2013 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

 
Courtesy of Senn Dunn
While the amount of danger from winter weather varies across the country, nearly all Americans, regardless of 
where they live, are likely to face some type of severe winter weather at some point in their lives. Winter storms
can range from a moderate snow over a few hours to a blizzard with blinding, wind-driven snow that lasts for
several days. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and sometimes by strong
winds, ice, sleet and freezing rain.
A primary concern is that winter storms can knock out heat, power and communications services to your home or
office, sometimes for days at a time. Heavy snowfall and extreme cold can immobilize an entire region.
The National Weather Service refers to winter storms as “deceptive killers” because most deaths are indirectly
related to the storm. People die in traffic accidents on icy roads and of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to
cold. Because of this, it is important to be prepared for winter weather before it strikes.

(to receive the full 4 page brochure of this document in a pdf file, please email your request to Karl Sherrill at ksherrill@senndunn.com).

Have a great day and stay warm and safe!


Karl
 
















Target Breach Spurs ID Theft Insurance Interest

"If the Target security breach proves anything, it’s this: No one is safe from identity theft scammers. Authorities are still looking for the creator of the malware that compromised the credit card numbers and other personal information of up to 110 million Target customers in November and December.

Target has done its best to make amends: In mid-January it informed customers it had partnered with Experian to give guests who shopped in U.S. Target stores a free year of Experian’s ProtectMyID service, which includes a free credit report, daily credit monitoring, identity theft insurance, and identity theft resolution, which allows individuals who’ve been the victim of identity theft to work with a dedicated fraud resolution agent."

Source: www.propertycasualty360.com

Read More...

Please contact us today with any questions you have on your insurance needs!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

ALERT! Obama Administration Delays Part of the ACA Employer Mandate until 2016

The Obama Administration announced this afternoon that it will delay part of the employer mandate prescribed in the Affordable Care Act for a second year, now exempting companies employing between 50 and 99 full-time workers from complying with the mandate to offer employees affordable health insurance by another year, until 2016.

Companies that have 100 or more full-time workers, defined as employees who work more than 30 hours per week, will have to begin complying with the mandate to offer such coverage in 2015 or face financial penalties of up to $3,000 per worker. Officials Thursday said that the delay in the Obamacare mandate will affect 50 percent of the businesses that were supposed to be complying by 2015. In addition, the IRS is generally extending all of the transition relief for non-calendar year plans that were laid out in the proposed rule.

The Administration noted that transition relief for non-calendar year plans will apply again as proposed (now start of plan year mid-2015); the A Penalty will require employers offer coverage to at least 70% of their employees in 2015 (in 2016, this will be the normal 95% as was proposed); and, for purposes of specifically translating teachers’ hours of service, there will be a ratio of 2.25:1- meaning that every hour the adjunct faculty teaches, they are credited with an addition 1.25.

The Administration had already delayed the employer mandate by one year, until 2015, coinciding with the delay of the SHOP exchanges that now won’t launch until 2015. This marks the latest move to counter a torrent of criticism from the business community about the health law's impact on employers.

The announcement comes on the heels of The Council’s annual Legislative Leadership Summit, where Council members met with Members of Congress last week to voice concerns about protecting stop-loss policies recently attacked by state legislators and regulators, and protecting the employer-provided benefits marketplace.


 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Travelers' Safety Tips

"Although the snow can be beautiful, we sometimes forget how much havoc it can wreak on the roads. Slick, snowy conditions can be dangerous for drivers, making driving stressful but also risky. For commercial drivers, whose jobs depend on successful navigation through the worst road conditions, staying safe is critical not only for the driver, but for the business.

In order to ensure safe driving practices this winter, Travelers has compiled a set of guidelines for drivers to stay safe on the roads, eliminating some of the risk that comes with navigating a vehicle in frigid temperatures and slippery conditions."

Source: www.propertycasualty360.com

Read More...

If you have any personal or business insurance questions or needs please contact us today!!

 

Week in Review 
 
The Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 kicked off with the usual fanfare and excitement.  Our family is a big fan of the Olympics so we look forward to cheering on the USA!  By now you probably heard about the USA Team apparel being manufactured in the United States...but did you know that the yarn can be traced back to my home town of Hickory, NC?  Here is a great article including a video link to the news segment about this connection, from Hickory to Sochi:
 
 
 
Headlines of Note
 
US Economy recovery, some say sluggish may be the best we can hope for as many wonder if the new norm is here to stay:
 
There have been a number of positive news story expressing optimism about US Manufacturing and here is an article from USA Today specifically addressing the once mighty but still strong Textile industry's resurgence:
 
 
Seminars

Just recently announced our March seminar on Employment Law Updates and Legal Trends to be held in Charlotte on March 25, 2014!  Follow the link below from more information about all of our upcoming seminars:
 
 
Have a great week! 
 



Thursday, February 6, 2014

Healthful Dining: Proceed with Caution

"The Food and Drug Administration’s calendar shows that 2014 will be the year of final rulemaking for restaurant menu labeling, and restaurant operators will soon know exactly what requirements they’ll have to meet. But that won’t be the end of the debate over whether making changes in the ways restaurant operate can improve the diets of people who have poor nutritional habits. There are other irons in the fire that may have an effect on how restaurants conduct their business."

Source: www.restaurant-hospitality.com

Read More...

Please contact us today if you have any questions on your wellness initiatives!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Senn Dunn Consultant Earns Insurance Designations

Senn Dunn Insurance is pleased to announce that Karl Sherrill has earned the Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) and the Certified Risk Managers (CRM) designations. He is
co-leader of the manufacturing practice group for Senn Dunn and is located in the agency’s High Point office.

 
 
Congratulations Karl!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What Americans think about the Affordable Care Act now

"After mostly being split following the Affordable Care Act’s passage in 2010, the public’s views of the law became more negative after the troubled rollout of Healthcare.gov, and this month’s tracking poll by The Kaiser Family Foundation shows that they have not rebounded or fallen further since then."

"The January poll finds 50 percent of the public have an unfavorable view of the law, while 34 percent have a favorable one. Opinion stands at about the same place it was in October of 2011 during the Republican presidential primary debates."

Souce: www.insurancejournal.com

Read More...

If you have any questions about health care reform please check out our website!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Senn Dunn Insurance Webinar: Mental Health Parity Final Regulations

Senn Dunn invites you to join us for a webinar on February 20.

3 - 4:30 p.m. Eastern
2 - 3:30 p.m. Central
Noon - 1:30 p.m. Pacific

 

Reserve your seat EARLY to ensure you receive advance webinar materials.

Register Now...

Please be sure to list the name of the firm that invited you when completing your webinar registration. Late registrants will not receive advance webinar materials.

The DOL, HHS and the Treasury Department have issued final rules implementing the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA).  These rules are designed to expand coverage of mental health and substance abuse in general, and ensure that health plan coverage is not more restrictive for mental health and substance abuse than for other medical benefits. Note that the Mental Health Parity rules generally apply to employers with at least 50 employees.

Presented by Regan Bloome, J.D., MBA, and Mark Major, Esq.
 
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Be sure to sign into the webinar early.


What your credit reveals about auto insurance shoppers...

"Customers with lower credit-based insurance scores shop most frequently while consumers with the highest insurance scores are less likely than the general population to shop for new auto insurance.

Also, according to the Auto Insurance Shopping Index by consumer credit company TransUnion, the spring months are the most active for auto insurance shopping, while the holiday period around December is the least active time."

Read more...

If you have any personal insurance questions please go to our website!

Source: www.insurancejournal.com