Vizance is proud to announce that The Diedrich Agency is joining Vizance on January 1, 2019. The Diedrich Agency was founded in 1923, and specializes in business insurance, farm and crop insurance, home and auto insurance, employee benefits, and individual health insurance, including Medicare. The Diedrich Agency will continue to operate under the Diedrich name from its office locations in Ripon, Berlin, Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, and Green Lake. Agency Principals J. Drew Diedrich and Tobin Storzer will continue with the organization as owners of the new entity.
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Vizance Continues Its Growth with Addition of Kenosha Insurance Agency
Vizance has announced that Sparks Insurance has joined its agency. The combined organization will serve a geographic market stretching from Northern Illinois up through Northeastern Wisconsin.
Vizance, founded in 1978 and based in Hartland, is a privately-held independent agency offering a broad portfolio of insurance, risk management, employee benefits and financial service solutions for businesses and individuals. The agency has been named to the "Future 50" list three times, earning the "Master Mettle" recognition.
Founded in 1960, Sparks Insurance specializes in home, auto, life, health, and business insurance. Sparks Insurance will continue to operate under that name from its office location in Kenosha. The agency serves Kenosha, Racine, and Northern Illinois. Sparks Insurance President Lon Knoedler and Secretary/Treasurer Bonnie Knoedler, who have been the principals of the agency, will continue with the organization.
“We found a partner that meshes seamlessly with our philosophies, culture, and way of doing business. It's a win-win-win for our staff, our clients, and our company partners,” said Lon Knoedler.
Sparks Insurance will leverage the significant resources at Vizance to bring additional services such as safety, claims, risk management, and compliance services to its business clients.
We have been actively seeking to expand our services in the Racine and Kenosha areas, and we are pleased to partner with Sparks Insurance," said Vizance Presiden
Vizance Named to Fastest Growing Firms and Future 50 Lists
Vizance recently earned a place on the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Fastest Growing Firms list for the fourth time. This year’s list was comprised of 21 companies that have shown high levels of growth over the previous three years.
Vizance also received the Future 50 Award from the MMAC (Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce). Companies receiving this award have demonstrated strong growth in revenue and employment and can win the award up to three times. This was Vizance’s third and final time winning the award.
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A career with Vizance means being part of something truly meaningful. Learn more on our Careers page or email us at email@example.com.
Vizance Named to Top Workplaces List; Wins Communication Award
Vizance was honored to take 4th place in the annual list of the Top Workplaces in Southeastern Wisconsin, as announced by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Vizance was also awarded the Special Award for Communication, as described here. Thank you to our Associates who make Vizance a Top Workplace!
OSHA Electronic Reporting Due July 1
On April 30, 2018, OSHA announced it will require all establishments affected by the electronic reporting rule to submit their 2017 data to OSHA by July 1, 2018, regardless of whether the state has ratified or incorporated the electronic reporting rule into its OSHA state plan. Establishments in all states, including those with an OSHA-approved state plan, should prepare to submit electronic reports by July 1, 2018.
New IRS Guidance for HSA Limits
Recently, the Internal Revenue Service issued guidance again adjusting the maximum health savings account (HSA) contribution for individuals with family coverage under a high deductible health plan (HDHP). The new guidance, Revenue Procedure 2018-27, provides that for the 2018 calendar year an individual with HDHP family coverage may use $6,900 as the maximum contribution limit rather than the lower limit of $6,850 established following the passage of the 2018 Budget Reconciliation Act and published by the IRS on March 2, 2018. The new guidance further provides that, if permitted by the HSA trustee or custodian, an individual who receives a distribution from an HSA of an excess contribution (with earnings) based on the previously published $6,850 limit may repay the distribution to the HSA and the amounts will not be includable in the individual’s taxable income or subject to the 20 percent additional tax under Section 223(f)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code.
CMS Extends Transitional Relief for Small Groups through 2019
Recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) announced further extension of its transitional policy allowing insurers in the small group market to renew health insurance policies that they would otherwise have had to cancel due to noncompliance with the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”).
By way of background, the ACA includes market reforms that created new coverage standards for health insurance policies such as: premium rating rules, guaranteed availability and renewability, and the requirement to provide essential health benefits. Under the ACA the market reforms were to be effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2014. However, prior to the effective date, CMS implemented a transitional relief policy that, if permitted by the states, would allow insurers offering coverage in the individual and small group markets the option of renewing current policies for current enrollees without adopting all of the ACA market reforms. The transitional relief policy was extended several times, but was set to expire in 2018.
The CMS guidance extends the transitional relief policy through 2019. Under the CMS guidance, states can permit insurers that have continually renewed health insurance coverage for small groups since 2014 under the transitional relief policy to again renew such coverage for a policy year beginning on or before October 1, 2019. However, any policy renewed under the transitional relief cannot extend beyond December 31, 2
Vizance Insight Series: April – June 2018
Join us for our Vizance Insight Series webinars when Beth Ward, Vizance’s Compliance Attorney, will address several common issues affecting employee benefit plans. Beth will discuss the legal issues and practical concerns surrounding these topics and discuss strategies to help employers be compliant.
Benefits Based on Disability: What the New DOL Regulations Mean for Employers, Tuesday, April 10th, 1:30 - 2:30
Continuation Coverage: An Overview of Federal COBRA and State Continuation Rules, Tuesday, May 15th, 1:30 - 2:30
An Employer's Guide to FMLA, Tuesday, June 12th, 1:30 - 2:30
Please see our 2018 2nd Qtr Vizance Insight Series Schedule for more information.
16 Items to Pack in a Roadside Emergency Kit
Whether you are taking a casual drive or embarking on a long road trip, you never know when an emergency will arise. As such, it's important to have a roadside emergency kit packed in your vehicle. Consider including these items in your kit.