Earlier this year, the Department of Labor and Treasury Department (the “Departments”) issued a Final Regulation extending certain due dates under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). The guidance, intended to provide relief for participants impacted by COVID-19, essentially suspends the COBRA election and payment deadlines during the declared National Emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic. The guidance issued by the Departments and the administrative considerations for employers in complying with the extension of the COBRA due dates can be found here.
DOL Revises FFCRA Paid Leave Rules
The Department of Labor has issued a revised final rule (the “Revised Rule”) under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The Revised Rule, issued in response to a recent ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, reaffirms, clarifies and revises parts of the Department’s August 1, 2020, rule interpreting the paid leave provisions of the FFCRA. Click here for more information.
School ReOpening and FFCRA Paid Leave
As September approaches school districts throughout Wisconsin are announcing their re-opening plans. The plans, which vary widely across counties and even among school districts within the same county, range from fully virtual to all students physically present to hybrid plans combining in-person and virtual learning. Employers should understand how these different re-opening plans affect the employers’ obligations and employees’ rights to paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Read here for more information.
Tom Schaetz Joins Vizance as Director of Strategy and Growth
Tom Schaetz has joined Vizance as a Shareholder and Director of Strategy and Growth.
Prior to joining Vizance, Tom held various leadership positions at Top 100 insurance firms. Tom began his career at Price Waterhouse Coopers, and later consulted with hundreds of insurance firms during his time as Senior Vice President at MarshBerry. His specialties include assisting agencies with their growth goals and objectives, implementing best practices, and assembling strong teams.
Tom holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and is a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC).
"Vizance's culture of putting associates first, a focus on continuous improvement, and a strong commitment to growth with the underpinnings of a firm built to last, attracted me to Vizance. Those are concepts that are often claimed, but very rarely executed upon, and I'm excited to join Vizance on this journey," said Tom.
Jeff Cardenas, President of Vizance, reiterated Tom's comments. "The last several years have brought sustained growth and the development of a strong and deep foundation upon which Vizance will continue to grow. Tom's unique background and depth of experiences will allow us to calibrate our organization, both structurally and operationally, in order to continue improving that foundation and further accelerate our growth."
Families First Coronavirus Response Act Signed Into Law
On March 18, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law. The Act includes several provisions to protect American workers and assist employers in providing emergency paid sick leave, as well as paid family leave in the case of school closures, for working families impacted by COVID-19.
The Vizance Coronavirus Resources Page contains more information, including tabs for “Client Resources” and “Useful Links.”
While the number of reported cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to rise, employers are faced with difficult decisions regarding their business practices. Vizance is constantly monitoring the situation and assisting our clients in these decisions. Please reference our Coronavirus Resources Page for more information, including tabs for “Client Resources” and “Useful Links.”
OSHA’s Deadline for Electronic Reporting Has Been Extended to December 31, 2017
On November 24, 2017, OSHA officially delayed the first deadline for its electronic reporting rule to December 15, 2017. On December 18, 2017, OSHA announced employers can submit their electronic reports until December 31, 2017 without fear of penalty. This Compliance Bulletin provides an overview of reporting requirements, submission options and OSHA-approved State Plan compliance issues regarding the electronic reporting rule.
Health FSA Limits Increase in 2018
The ACA imposes a maximum dollar limit on employees' salary reduction contributions to a health FSA. Although the ACA set this limit at $2,500, the limit is indexed for cost-of-living adjustments each year. On October 19, 2017, the IRS announced that, for taxable years beginning in 2018, the dollar limit on employees' salary reduction contributions to a health FSA will increase to $2,650. This Compliance Bulletin explains the indexed health FSA limit for 2018.
Mike Lappin Joins Valley Insurance Associates, a Vizance Company, as Partner and President
We are pleased to announce that Mike Lappin is joining Valley Insurance Associates, a Vizance Company, as Partner and President, effective July 11, 2017.
Since 1999, Lappin has been employed with Motorists Insurance Group, most recently serving as President of Wilson Mutual since 2013. Under Lappin's direction, Wilson Mutual experienced increased revenue, while also improving a number of internal departments, furthering Wilson's position as a leader in the insurance industry. At Valley Insurance Associates, Lappin plans to add additional associates to the team, and will also be exploring further opportunities for mergers and acquisitions.
"I am delighted to partner with the team at Valley Insurance Associates and Vizance," said Lappin. "This is a dynamic organization that has successfully evolved to meet the needs of an ever-changing business environment, and the values and vision of this company are in complete alignment with mine. This role provides the ideal leadership opportunity to merge my passion for insurance with my track record of robust business growth."
Jeff Cardenas, President of Vizance, echoed Lappin's thoughts: "We are thrilled to welcome Mike to the team. His outstanding character and values, combined with his proven success in helping Wilson Mutual grow over time, indicate that he will provide the leadership that is needed to sustain our rapid organic growth rate. We will also continue to look at opportunities to acquire agencies that fit with our
Changes to SBC Forms
As required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there is a new version of the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) that all health insurers need to provide to their group health plan clients.
The new SBC template includes an additional coverage example as well as language and terms to improve individuals' understanding of their health coverage. The updated template improves readability and includes more information about cost sharing, enhanced language to explain deductibles, and requires plans to address individual and overall out-of-pocket limits.
The new version of the SBC must be distributed to all eligible individuals and beneficiaries beginning on the first day of the first open enrollment period that begins on or after April 1, 2017. This means that upon your next renewal, the new SBC’s should be distributed to your employees.