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BlogEEOC’s Status Report in AARP v EEOC Creates Uncertainty for Wellness Programs
GavelApril 19, 2018 - In its March 30 status report for AARP v. EEOC, the EEOC stated that “it does not currently have plans to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking... but it also has not ruled out the possibility that it may issue such a Notice in the future.”
Why Manufacturing Companies Are Now More Susceptible to Data Breaches

April 18, 2018 - Manufacturing companies are highly susceptible to cyber-attacks—or any kind of “data breach” for that matter. That’s especially true of small or mid-size companies.

Tips for Controlling Workers' Compensation Prescription Costs

April 12, 2018 - Workers’ compensation prescription drug costs have been a challenge for many employers in recent years. What can employers do to try and keep those costs in line?

CMS Extends Transition Relief for Non-Compliant Plans Through 2019
FlagApril 12, 2018- On April 9, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced a one-year extension to the transition policy for individual and small group health plans that allows issuers to continue policies that do not meet ACA standards.
Workplace Harassment- Can You Practice Zero Tolerance?
The concept of “zero tolerance” seems to provide absolute clarity. However, is an ill-timed dirty joke as egregious as verbal sexual harassment?
Safety Resources- Excavation Safety Stand Down
Workers in trenchApril 5, 2018 - There have been three fatalities in Minnesota since 2015 due to trench collapses. Join MN OSHA for Excavation Safety Stand-down from April 16-20 and make a plan to protect your workers and prevent accidents.
Electronic Logging Devices- A Hacker's New Window?
TruckApril 4, 2018 - The new ELD mandate will result in hundreds of thousands of new internet connected devices and opens another opportunity for hackers to access, expose or destroy critical private or personal information.
March 2018 Promotion & New Hires
GrowthApril 2, 2018 - MMA is pleased to announce its expanded its sales, service, administration and accounting teams to include the following new colleagues in the month of March:
Trustee Exposure
Signing paperMarch 28, 2018 - Serving as a family trustee is a difficult position. Trustees are tasked with multiple responsibilities. Insurance carriers have long recognized the legitimacy of trustee professional liability exposures.
IRS Adjusts HSA Contribution Limit
FlagMarch 22, 2018- The IRS has released adjusted contribution limits for health savings accounts due to changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Recap of MMA Seminar: Employment Law 2018
gavelMarch 21, 2018 - With both local and federal employment laws becoming increasingly complex, MMA's Employment Law seminar covered some of today’s most contentious issues. There are many new developments in employment law at every level of government (local, state & federal).
Safety Resources- Office Ergonomics
Hands on keyboardMarch 15, 2018 - Office ergonomics can be a key part of your injury prevention program. Keeping employees comfortable and pain-free is good business.
Talent Management- Planning for Growth
March 8, 2018 - Is "Talent Management" another buzzword or a key to your future growth or survival? The workforce has changed- and it's still changing. How should you adapt?
Agencies Release Proposed Regulations on Short-Term Limited Duration Insurance
Flag with stethescopeMarch 5, 2018 - On February 20, three U.S. government agencies released proposed regulations that expand the availability of short-term limited duration insurance. The direct impact to employers is limited; however, there is some concern that this rule may disrupt the individual and small group markets.
Fall Protection Standards
Danger risk of falling signMarch 5, 2018- Protect yourself: follow fall protection standards when working on a roof.
Safety Resources- Safe Driving Tips
Truck on snowy roadFebruary 28, 2018- Use MMA's safe driving tips to elevate your safe driving practices in your workplace.
Weight Management- Help Your Employees Help Themselves
Workout with friendsFebruary 21, 2018 - Increasingly, employers are finding the need for a more holistic approach to weight loss that relies on the cumulative effect of lifestyle habits throughout the day and is best anchored in a culture of wellness at home and at work.
Social Engineering Fraud
February 7, 2018 - While cyber liability losses and privacy claims continue to rise, a new exposure has arisen. Hackers have determined that due to the increased sophistication in computer security, it may be easier to manipulate an individual rather than a machine.
MMA Announces Client Directors and Technology Team Additions
February 5, 2018 - Marsh & McLennan Agency is pleased to announce it has expanded its service teams to enhance our colleague and client experiences.
Construction Contracts
Men with BlueprintFebruary 1, 2018 - Construction contracts are the blueprints to the relationship between the owner and the contracting parties. Understanding what each contract says, and understanding how the contract impacts your company is critical.
Texting While Driving
Texting driverJanuary 31, 2018 - Texting increases the chances of being involved in a vehicle-related accident by 23 times. Texting while driving is not only hazardous, but costly too, and the insurance industry has taken notice.
Spending Bill Delays Cadillac Tax
Money with StethoscopeJanuary 25, 2018 - On 1/22, President Trump signed a short-term spending bill that re-opened the federal government after a three-day shut-down.
2018 P & C Outlook
man reviewing chartJanuary 25, 2018 - Combine 2017's natural disasters with substantial change in auto/ truck risks and higher jury awards, along with an increase in General Liability litigation and awards, and 2018 is turning out to be a year of rising insurance rates.

What the 2017 Tax Reform Actually Means for Employers
January 12, 2018 - On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, marking his administration’s first successful modification to the Affordable Care Act.
Business Insurance Tips for 2018
January 11, 2018 - Five areas you should consider improving this coming year, from employee engagement to ergonomics!
Safety Resources- OSHA Recordkeeping
First Aid Kit

January 10, 2018 - OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements are designed to help employers recognize workplace hazards by keeping track of work-related injuries and illnesses. Knowing whether or not to record an injury on your OSHA Log can be tricky.

Employee Benefit Changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017
January 8, 2018 - On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed what is known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, overhauling America’s tax code for both individuals and corporations and providing the most sweeping changes to the U.S. Tax Code since 1986.
Court Vacates EEOC Wellness Program Incentives Rules
GavelJanuary 4, 2018- The federal court in the District of Columbia vacated, effective January 1, 2019, the portions of the final regulations that the EEOC issued last year under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) addressing wellness program incentives.
Environmental Compliance and the Trump Administration
White HouseJanuary 3, 2018 - One year into the Trump administration, many are still wondering what is going to happen to environmental laws.
IRS Extends Deadline for 1095 Forms
December 28, 2017- The IRS has extended the deadline for furnishing Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to individuals from January 31, 2018 to March 2, 2018, as well as penalty relief for good-faith reporting errors.
Employee Benefits in 2018
Woman with CalculatorDecember 27, 2017 - For those in the employee benefits arena, 2017 was a year of market chaos, regulatory uncertainty, consumer confusion, and technological complexity. 2018 may be more of the same.
Risk Assessment - Are You a Better Risk Than You Think?
Hand writingDecember 18, 2017 - Assessing risk can be difficult. Sometimes it can appear in unexpected places, maybe at the end of a chain of events, so it’s hidden from your view. It’s possible that you’re a far better risk than you realize.
Safety Resources - AWAIR Checklist
ChecklistDecember 13, 2017 - Start planning for next year by evaluating your existing safety & health programs. One of the most overlooked safety requirements is to evaluate and update your AWAIR program on an annual basis.
Environmental Compliance: Toxic Substances Control Act
December 4, 2017 - The amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) require the EPA to designate chemical substances on the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory as either “active” or “inactive” in U.S. commerce.
MA Releases Proposed Regulations on EMAC Supplement
November 28, 2017 - On November 6, the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance released proposed regulations on the EMAC. The Employer Medical Assistance Contribution (EMAC) applies to employers with 6 or more employees in Massachusetts.
MMA Stop Loss Survey
November 28, 2017 - The MMA Stop Loss survey features data from over 200 clients, spanning 11 MMA offices in 10 different states.
Work Wellbeing- Easing Holiday Stress
Smiling familyNovember 20, 2017 - Many Americans are never more busy than during the holiday season—so it’s a given that workers are stressed on the job as well. The good news is that employers can take a number of practical steps to reduce stress.
Revealing Financial Risk & Improving Financial Health
November 15, 2017 - At an MMA seminar held this fall, speaker Hugh O'Toole discussed retirement planning, including how employee retirement plans benefit the company's bottom line
Safety Resources - Winter Slips and Falls
Blowing snowNovember 13, 2017 - Winter is just around the corner. Now is a good time to proactively manage your winter slips-and-fall risks by planning ahead, identifying the risks and engineering controls.
The Opioid Crisis- Why Employers Need to Pay Attention
Pill bottleNovember 7, 2017 - Opioid abuse across the country is increasing. Employers need to take action before this growing crisis affects their workplace.
OSHA Injury Tracking Live Online
DOL logo

November 2, 2017 - OSHA Compliance Alert: Injury Tracking Application is Up and Running

Safety Resources- MN DLI Safety Grants
October 30, 2017 - Did you know that employers working on projects designed to reduce the risk of injury and illness to their workers may qualify for a matching safety grant up to $10,000 from Minnesota OSHA? Your MMA Safety Consultant can help with this process.
2017 Tax Returns Require Filers to Certify Health Insurance
Oct. 18, 2017--On October 13, 2017, the IRS announced that it will require tax filers to certify if they had health coverage for the year on their tax returns.
Discontinuation of Cost-Sharing Subsidies in the Marketplaces
October 16, 2017 - The Trump Administration has indicated it will stop paying cost-sharing subsidies immediately to insurance carriers.The cost sharing subsidies are available to individuals making 250% or less of the Federal Poverty Level.
Trumps Executive Order on Health Care
October 16, 2017- On October 12, President Trump signed an Executive Order described as “Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across State Lines.” Legal challenges to this Executive Order are anticipated.
Telemedicine and HSAs
Nurse on PhoneOctober 13, 2017 - As health care costs continue to rise, so does the demand for cost-control strategies. One such strategy is telemedicine.
Interim Rules on Contraceptive Exemptions
October 11, 2017 - On October 6, 2017 the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of the Treasury released interim rules expanding the exemptions from providing contraceptive coverage without cost sharing.
2017 ACA Reporting Forms Now Available
Stack of papersOctober 9, 2017- Employers must file Forms by February 28, 2018 if filing on paper, or by March 31, 2018 if filing electronically. Those employers who are filing 250 or more returns must file electronically.
The 4 Myths of IT Data Security
Online FraudOctober 6, 2017 - True or False: Data breaches can happen to any company regardless of size or industry.
Data Breach Risks During Annual Enrollment
Data SecurityOctober 6, 2017- Cybercriminals, identity thieves and hackers are willing to take drastic measures to infiltrate the data-rich annual enrollment process. How can you mitigate this risk?
Safety Resources- Fire Prevention & Control
October 4, 2017 - October 8-14 is National Fire Prevention Awareness week. That makes this a good time for you to prepare your workplace and your employees for the unexpected. It’s important to plan ahead in order to protect your business, customers and employees with a well-thought-out emergency action plan.
Truck Driving & Ergonomic Challenges
Semi truckSeptember 28, 2017 - Long-haul trucking is an industry that present unique ergonomic challenges.
Annual Enrollment Keeping Employees Engaged
Group of womenSeptember 26, 2017 - Annual enrollment can be intimidating for both employers and employees. Many employers are utilizing various communication channels and the support of their brokers to find the best fit for their workforces.
New OSHA Silica Standard Effective September 23
Silica DustUPDATED September 26, 2017 - The enforcement date for the Construction Industry is September 23, 2017. Read on for details on silica and tools that can generate silica exposure.
Catastrophic Disasters
Wet roadsSeptember 25, 2017 - 2017 has shaped up to be one of the worst catastrophe loss years ever recorded. What will the effect be on the insurance market?
Cyber Breach - Equifax
nullSeptember 15, 2017 - The Equifax incident proves that a cyber breach can happen to anyone. If this sort of widespread breach can happen to a company whose main responsibility is to collect and protect sensitive consumer information, how safe is your organization?
Medicare Part D Notices Due by Oct 14
September 14, 2017- Employers should confirm whether their health plans’ prescription drug coverage is creditable or non-creditable and prepare to send their Medicare Part D disclosure notices by Oct. 14, 2017.
Court Sends Wellness Regulations Back to EEOC for Reconsideration
GavelSeptember 13, 2017- On August 22, 2017, a federal court in the District of Columbia ordered the EEOC to reconsider the limits it placed on wellness program incentives under final regulations the agency issued last year under the ADA and the GINA.
Employee Retention- A Strategic Approach
September 5, 2017- Attracting good talent is difficult, but it’s getting harder and harder to keep talent in place. A strategic approach is essential to attract and retain the right talent.
Crisis Management Part Three- PR Plan
August 28, 2017 - A disastrous event at work has many downsides. Intangible things like your company’s brand also needs to be considered. Public Relations must be planned and handled appropriately.
Ergonomics- The Impact on Your Bottom Line
ROI on screenAugust 23, 2017 - Ergonomic solutions are allowing employers to address workers’ musculoskeletal disorders with simple workplace interventions that make a big difference. Making changes in the workplace ultimately results in lower costs and higher productivity.
New York Paid Family Leave Law
August 18, 2017 - Last month, Governor Cuomo announced final regulations implementing New York’s nation-leading Paid Family Leave (PFL) program. Nearly all private employees in New York State will be eligible for Paid Family Leave. An employer with employees working in New York for 30 or more days in a calendar year must obtain Paid Family Leave coverage.
Crisis Management Part Two - Business Interruption
Calculator w handAugust 15, 2017 - The losses due to a business interruption can be daunting: damaged property, the affect on workers, lost sales, and the challenges of re-starting production. The better prepared you are, the quicker you can expect to overcome these kinds of setbacks.
News Release - Tim Fleming New Upper Midwest CEO
Tim FlemingMinneapolis, MN, August 8, 2017 -  Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), today announced that it has named Tim Fleming CEO of its upper Midwest region.
Crisis Management Part One - Plan and Prepare
Storm CloudsAugust 3, 2017 - The single most effective thing a business can do to overcome a disastrous event, experts agree, is to have a good crisis response system already in place.
News Release - Bill Jeatran Appointed New MMA President
Bill Jeatran is the CEO of the upper Midwest region of MMA.White Plains, New York, July 31, 2017 – Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), the middle market agency subsidiary of Marsh, today announced that it has appointed Bill Jeatran as President and Christina Mott as Chief Operating Officer.
Where is Health Care Reform Headed
July 26, 2017 - Senators will consider and vote on amendments to or modify part or all of the ACA. There's no roadmap for this process, and no identified final destination. But apparently where the Senate is going, they don't need roads.
Preparing For Your Regulatory Inspection
InspectorJuly 26, 2017 - There are multiple local, state, and federal regulatory agencies that can show up unannounced to your facility. Ensuring your staff is prepared is a critical element to a successful inspection.
Revised I-9 Form Now Available
July 19, 2017 - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.
Local News- Minneapolis sets minimum wage to 15 per hour
July 12, 2017 - The City of Minneapolis has approved raising its minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024, after a long debate among business owners, workers, and the city council.
Workers Comp - Issues with Temporary, Seasonal and Contract Employees
Injury FormJuly 6, 2017 - No matter what time of the year it is, many employers use seasonal, temporary, and contract workers. These workers fill an essential role, but they come with their own risks and issues especially when dealing with on-the-job injuries and workers’ compensation claims.
DOL Workers Comp Program to Monitor Opioid Use
DOL LogoJune 27, 2017 - Effective June 26, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs instituted procedures to monitor and manage opioid prescription use under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act.
OSHA Compliance Alert OSHA Delays Electronic Reporting Requirement
DOL LogoUPDATED June 27, 2017 - OSHA has delayed the electronic reporting requirement. The July 1 submission deadline is now extended.
After Much Secrecy Republicans Release Healthcare Bill
June 26, 2017 - After much secrecy, Republican leadership released their Healthcare Bill in the Senate. The bill largely mirrors the House bill but with some key differences.
AHCA Bill Released in Senate
June 22, 2017 - An AHCA bill has passed in the U.S. House of Representatives. Today, an updated version was released in the Senate.
Ryan Watkins in Mpls St Paul Business Journal
June 6- Ryan Watkins, President of MMA Minneapolis Operations was interviewed by the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal in May. The full article is now available.
PCORI Fees Due by End of July
June 1, 2017 - Employers that sponsor self-insured group health plans, including HRAs, should keep in mind the upcoming July 31, 2017 deadline for paying fees that fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).
Sick & Safe Leave Rule- Ordinances in Minneapolis and St Paul
May 31, 2017 - The cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul have issued ordinances requiring employers to provide earned sick and safe time to employees, effective July 1. 2017.
The Annual HR Audit
May 24, 2017 - Why you need an annual HR audit and what you need to know. A seven point checklist to help make sure your audit is complete.
Reports Of The Fiduciary Rule’s Demise May Be Greatly Exaggerated
May 22, 2017 - It’s likely that the rule, which seeks to improve transparency and discourage conflicts of interest in investment plans, will see changes. But is it too late to change an industry that is already moving in a new direction?
ACHA Passes House- Heads to Senate
On Thursday, May 4, by a narrow vote of 217 to 213, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an amended version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which repeals and replaces significant portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Tips for Riding Out the Storm
May 8, 2017 - The spring storm season is here. Prepare your property and your policy for severe weather.
AHCA Passes in the House
The bill passed with a close vote of 217-213 and faces an uncertain future in the Senate.
OSHA News Release- Delay in Crystalline Silica Standard Enforcement
The afternoon of April 6, federal OSHA announced a delay in enforcement of the crystalline silica standard that applies to the construction industry.
News Release - Marsh & McLennan Agency Acquires RJF Financial Services
Marsh & McLennan Agency Acquires RJF Financial ServicesMarsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), the middle market agency subsidiary of Marsh, today announced that it has acquired RJF Financial Services, a retirement advisory firm based in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
House Republicans Withdraw the AHCA

On March 24, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Speaker Paul Ryan pulled from the floor the American Health Care Act (AHCA) once it was clear that the bill was short on votes to pass. Effectively, this means the AHCA will not survive to become law and, at this time, any future efforts to repeal and replace the ACA are uncertain.

Recap of MMA Seminar- The Future of Health Care & Employee Benefits
MMA hosted a forum on the Future of Health Care on March 14, 2017. The featured speakers were Mary Brainerd, outgoing CEO and President of HealthPartners, and Representative Eric Paulsen from Minnesota’s 3rd District.
Umbrella Policies-Customized Protection for High Earners
Business owners or executives—are increasingly at risk from threats to their assets and personal wealth. Most people have a portfolio of personal insurance policies, but a business owner or a top executive has a much different level of risk and should have a greater awareness of that risk—and the tools to protect him or herself.
The AHCA-- What Employers Need to Know
The good news for employers is that most of the changes will be targeted for the individual market, rather than employer-based health insurance. The bad news is that the new dynamics will affect the insurance industry at large in unpredictable ways, which could re-create the confusion and uncertainty of the early ACA years.
American Health Care Act -Congressional Republicans’ ACA Replacement
The proposed American Health Care Act (“AHCA”) retains many of the ACA’s key features while making substantial changes in other areas.
House Committees Release Proposed Legislation to Repeal and Replace the ACA
On Monday, March 6, the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees released the American Health Care Act (AHCA), their proposed legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Trends in Discrimination & Harrassment Lawsuits
The problem of discrimination and harassment in the workplace continues to be a big issue for employers—in part because employees are filing more retaliation claims, and because definitions are expanding.
News Release - Marsh & McLennan Agency Acquires Blakestad Inc
Marsh & McLennan Agency acquires Blakestad Inc.White Plains, New York, March 2, 2017 – Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), the middle market agency subsidiary of Marsh, today announced that it has acquired Blakestad, Inc., a private client and commercial lines independent insurance agency.
White House Extends Transition Relief for Non-Compliant Plans Through 2018
On February 23, 2017, the White House announced a one year extension to the transition policy for individual and small group health plans that allows issuers to continue policies that do not meet ACA standards.
2017 Employee Benefits Trends

Employee Benefits Outlook for 2017Analysis of the differing needs, perspectives, and desired mix of compensation and benefits will inform which benefit offerings will provide the most value and touch the largest segment of your employee population.

OT Regulatory burdens shift to states

Read about what is affecting the employee benefits outlook for 2016.Government regulation in the areas of overtime pay and minimum wage will certainly see some changes as a new administration settles in at the White House.

Compliance Update IRS Accepting Tax Returns Without Indication of Health Insurance

The IRS has announced that it will continue to process tax filings of individuals whose returns do not indicate whether they have maintained health insurance as required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Legalizing Marijuana Raises Legal Issues for Employers

As legalization of medical marijuana has become a reality for some states, Employers, especially those with workers in different states, should be aware of the new legal ramifications for a social and political issue that will get plenty of scrutiny in the future.

A Gap In Coverage- Locum Tenens Physicians
The hidden insurance risk for Locum Tenens physicians. A liability risk has emerged for these replacement physicians when it comes to malpractice coverage.
President Trump Issues Executive Order on the Affordable Care Act
President Trump moved swiftly after taking office on Friday, issuing an Executive Order intended to minimize the economic and regulatory burdens of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). The order is somewhat symbolic and has no immediate effect.
Property and Casualty Commercial Insurance 2017 - A Good Time to Re-Examine Strategies
Property and Casualty Business Insurance Outlook for 2017Property and casualty insurance experts say that insurance rates are likely to remain about the same, and perhaps even go down a little in some areas. Depending on how aggressive insurance carriers are going after new business, 2017 rates will probably be comparable to 2016.
Employee Benefits in 2017 - Change is coming - How will it affect you?
Employee Benefits Outlook for 2017It’s probable that most employers won’t see big changes in 2017, but warn that they will need to work closely with their brokers and carriers to stay informed and plan for changes in the future.
Updated OSHA Silica Standard aims to Keep Workers Safe
Learn about the new OSHA silica standards.The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) updated its Silica standards recently, in an effort to curb lung cancer, silicosis, and other chronic pulmonary diseases by limiting employees’ exposure to respirable crystalline silica.
Even with an uncertain future new fiduciary rule has changed retirement plans
 Read about what is affecting the commercial property and casualty insurance outlook for 2016.New regulations are set to go into effect that could significantly change the way employers oversee company-sponsored retirement plans. The changes reflect a broad push by the Department of Labor to ensure that investment advisors and plan fiduciaries are working in the best interests of consumers.

Congress Passes Law Explanding Use of HRAs by Small Employers
On December 7, 2016, the Senate passed the 21st Century Cures Act (“Cures Act”), an omnibus measure that includes the Small Business Healthcare Relief Act (“Relief Act”), which significantly expands small employers’ options for providing health coverage. 
Cyber Privacy Law and Governance in the Spotlight After US Election
December 5, 2016 -- Throughout the election cycle, anxiety over cybersecurity was a central theme, raising issues that businesses and government will face for years to come.
Improving Quality of Care Hinges on Employee Engagement
Improving the engagement of your employees at your health care organization can improve the quality of care delivered to patients.
IRS Provides a 30-Day Extension for Furnishing Forms 1095
November 29, 2016 -- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released Notice 2016-70, which extends the deadline for furnishing Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to individuals from January 31, 2017 to March 2, 2017. 
Judge Blocks Overtime Rule Set to Take Effect December 1
November 23, 2016 -- On Tuesday, November 22, a federal judge issued a nationwide injunction blocking the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) from implementing its new overtime rule scheduled to take effect December 1, 2016. 
Post-Election Returns What Now for Obamacare?
November 10, 2016 -- The votes have been counted and Donald Trump is the president-elect and Republicans control Congress.  While it is impossible for anyone to predict the future, we undertake to make a short, best guess about the future of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). 
IRS Announces 2017 HSA and FSA Limits
October 27, 2016 -- The IRS has announced the 2017 limits for FSA and HSA plans which include two changes.
Federal Contractors and Close Friends
October 25, 2016 -- There is significant change on the horizon for federal contractors. The Department of Labor (DOL) issued the Paid Sick Leave Rule  (Executive Order 13658) for federal contractors and it takes effect on January 1, 2017.
Drones expand business' horizons
Oct. 17, 2016 -- Aerial drones have been seen by many as a hi-tech toy or a curiosity, but the business applications for this new technology are expanding rapidly.
Workplace Bullying
October 11, 2016 -- Bullying is said to affect 65 million workers annually. Being a target of bullying is said to have greater long term effects on its victims than victims of sexual harassment. 
Medicare Part D Creditable Coverage Notice Requirement
Sept. 29, 2016 -- Group health plan sponsors that provide prescription drug coverage to Medicare Part D eligible individuals must disclose whether their plan is creditable.
Enrollment Counts for Transitional Reinsurance Fee Due Nov 15 2016
Sept. 28, 2016--Employers with self-insured major medical plans are reminded to report their membership count to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) by November 15, 2016.
PBJ Reporting & its Potential Impact on Workers' Compensation Insurance
Sept. 27, 2016--Long-term care communities are facing additional obligations since CMS launched its Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) system, but there are some opportunities as well. These include the potential for reductions in workers’ compensation insurance premiums.
Five Ways to Improve Your Company's Open Enrollment
Sept. 26, 2016--Keep your company's open enrollment from being overwhelming and confusing for your employees by following these quick tips.
Environmental Risk - Finding the Help You Need in this Highly-Regulated Area
Sept. 15, 2016--Environmental regulations affect all kinds of business, whether it's emissions, water pollution, shipping of hazardous material, keeping chemicals onsite, and more. This is becoming an area to look at when any company assesses risk.
New OSHA Reporting and Drug Testing Rules
September 12, 2016 -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a rule that will revise its Recording and Reporting of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses regulations.
Alternative to Affordable Care Act Unveiled
August 31, 2016 - The House GOP, led by Speaker Paul Ryan released their alternative to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on June 22.
Understanding the Medical Loss Ratio
August 31, 2016 - The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires health insurance carriers to spend a specific percent of premium revenue providing coverage (paying claims, providing clinical services and quality improvement).
DOL Proposes Changes to Annual Reporting for ERISA Plans
August 4, 2016 -- The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently proposed revisions to Form 5500 (Annual Return/Report for Employee Benefit Plan), the related schedules, and the rules that govern the forms. 
Final Rule on ACA Nondiscrimination Provisions
July 25, 2016--The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a final rule implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of, among other grounds, sex (including gender identity) in certain health programs and activities.
Effectively Managing Crises and Reputational Risk For Health Care Organizations
July 25, 2016--One critical way that health care organizations can be prepared for such events is to have a crisis management plan in place.
AIR System Will Remain Up and Running After June 30th Deadline
July 2016 --While the deadline to electronically file Affordable Care Act (ACA) information returns with the IRS passed on June 30, 2016, the ACA Information Returns (AIR) system used to electronically file those returns will remain up and running. 
Marketplace Subsidy Notices What Employers Need to Know
July 12, 2016- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reportedly mailed out notices to employers, dated June 21, 2016, informing them one or more of their employees have is eligible for a premium subsidy.
The Need for Flood Insurance
July 6, 2016 -- Ten inches of torrential rain. A “once-in-a-thousand-year” flash flood. A total of 25 deaths in five counties. More than 1,200 homes destroyed, roads washed out, and entire towns left in ruins.
Minneapolis Approves Paid Sick Leave Law
June 20, 2016- Minneapolis is the first city in Minnesota to require employers with six or more employees to provide paid sick leave.
PCORI Fees due by August 1 2016
June 13, 2016-- Employers that sponsor self-insured group health plans, including health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) should keep in mind the upcoming August 1, 2016 deadline for paying fees that fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).
2015 & 2016 Cyber & Data Security Risk Survey Report
June 8, 2016-- Marsh & McLennan Agency conducted a survey to find out how and what small and mid-sized employers are thinking about cyber and data security risk and the insurance protection available to them.
Beware of FICA-Reduction Arrangements using Wellness Programs
June 1, 2016--Certain FICA-reduction arrangements are being marketed to employers that are intended to reduce and employer's FICA obligation by increasing employee's pre-tax salary reductions.
EEOC Releases Final Rules for Wellness Programs under ADA and GINA
May 26, 2016 - The ADA rules cover an employer’s requests for health information from employees and the GINA rules cover requests for health information from family members.
Performance Management is Much More Than a Yearly Review
May 19, 2016-- While yearly employee reviews are important, the most effective performance management strategy is a ongoing, year-round process
Final FLSA Overtime Regulations to Take Effect December 1 2016
May 18, 2016--The United States Department of Labor announced its new regulations for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Coming Soon New DOL Overtime Rules
April 27, 2016--Under the new FLSA regulations, that salary threshold will increase to $970 per week or $50,440 per year.
DOL’s Final Fiduciary Rules for Investment Advisors Apply to HSAs
April 26, 2016-- The DOL finalized its fiduciary regulations which, among other things, expand the definition of who is an ERISA fiduciary to those providing “investment advice” with respect to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). 
HHS Announces Start to Phase 2 of HIPAA Audit Program
April 12, 2016--The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced the start of phase 2 (Phase 2) of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Audit Program.
HHS Finalizes 2017 Out-of-Pocket Maximums and Marketplace Guidance
March 30, 2016--HHS published the final version of its 2017 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters.  The Notice is issued each year as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Administration Extends Temporary “Fix” For Individual And Small Group Plans
March 17, 2016-- Relief was once again extended for all non-grandfathered coverage in the individual and small group markets for policy years beginning on or before October 1, 2017, provided that all policies end by December 31, 2017.  
Agencies Release New Summary of Benefits and Coverage Templates
March 8, 2016 -- Health care reform expands ERISA’s disclosure requirements by requiring that a summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) be provided to applicants and enrollees before enrollment or re-enrollment.
Marsh & McLennan Agency's Upper Midwest Region Adds Environmental Risk & Compliance Services
Marsh & McLennan Agency’s added six environmental health and safety compliance consultants to its Minneapolis office. This was in response to a growing need by clients in the industrial, real estate, construction, health care and energy sectors.
Total Cost of Risk
March 3, 2016-- Total cost of risk is a concept that looks at all the costs asscociated with a loss or a claim. Tools for implementing a total cost of risk strategy include analyzing claims data, improving corporate culture, and stressing prevention and training initiatives.
MMA Minneapolis Leadership Changes
March 1, 2016 -- Marsh & McLennan Agency Names Tim Fleming CEO and Ryan Watkins president of its Minneapolis operations.
News Release - Marsh & McLennan Agency Acquires Aviation Solutions LLC
White Plains, New York, March 1, 2016 – Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), the middle market agency subsidiary of Marsh, announced today the acquisition of Aviation Solutions, LLC, a leading aviation risk advisor and insurance broker.
FSA Discrimination Testing
Feb. 25, 2016- -Discrimination testing of an FSA plan is required on an annual basis to assure the plan has been implemented to the benefit of all employees and not just a select few.
Lawsuit alleges Dave & Buster's reduced hours to avoid ACA
Feb. 23, 2016 -- A class action was filed by employees of Dave & Buster’s asserting that the employer interfered with their rights under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) by reducing their work hours to below 30 in order to avoid the ACA’s employer mandate.
New Agency Guidance and Relief on Offering Student Health Insurance
Feb. 21, 2016--The Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (the Departments) issued a technical release (2016-01) addressing the application of market reforms and other provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to student health coverage.
Mercer Releases 2015 Health Plan Survey Results
Mercer releases its 2015 health plan survey results.Feb. 3, 2016--The Mercer National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans tracked health benefit costs for both small (1-499 employees) and large (500+ employees) employers to help determine the effects of rising health care costs.
Onboarding new employees and the growth of mentoring as way of improving retention
Feb. 2, 2016--The tightening labor market means you have to think strategically about the process of introducing new employees to your company. This “onboarding” process is an essential investment, one that helps reduce the costs of losing talent.
Congress Extends Parity to Mass Transit Benefits – Permanently
Jan. 15, 2016-- Recently the President signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (CAA), which, among other changes to the Internal Revenue Code, permanently and retroactively restores parity by equalizing the limits for pre-tax parking and commuter benefits.
EEOC Reminded That Congress Writes Laws
Jan. 11, 2016-- The federal court for the Western District of Wisconsin ruled for Flambeau and against the EEOC, holding that the employer’s Health Risk Assessment (HRA) was protected by the statutory safe harbor.
IRS Addresses ACA Rules for Employer-provided Health Coverage
Jan. 3, 2016 -- IRS notice clarifies numerous ACA issues, including opt-out payments and rules for employer-provided health coverage
ACA Reporting Delayed
Jan. 3, 2016 -- On Dec. 28, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2016-4 to delay the due dates for filing and furnishing forms under Section 6055 and 6056.
Cadillac Tax Delayed
Dec. 23, 2015-- On Dec. 18, 2015, President Barack Obama signed a federal budget bill for 2016 into law, which makes significant changes to three tax provisions under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

News Release - Marsh & McLennan Agency Donates 300000 to Three Twin Cities Charities
Tim Fleming and Laura Muhlstein pose for a picture with representatives from College Possible a recipient of MMAs 2015 Charity Challenge.MINNEAPOLIS, Dec 15, 2015—Marsh & McLennan Agency recently delivered $302,832 to three local charities supporting the health and wellbeing of children as the culmination of its sixth-annual Charity Challenge fund-raising drive.
A Year of Change - Employee Benefits in 2016
Read about what is affecting the employee benefits outlook for 2016.Dec. 9, 2015--A tight job market and compliance with new rules regarding overtime pay will be leading issues for HR managers in 2016. Additionally, more emphasis on wellness, and new regulatory and legislative challenges are likely in 2016.
Commercial Property and Casualty Insurance in 2016 - New trends and opportunities
 Read about what is affecting the commercial property and casualty insurance outlook for 2016.Dec. 9, 2015--The commercial property and casualty insurance industry saw a lot of positive developments in 2015, along with new challenges in the area of technology and cyber liability.
Employee Recruitment Build Creative Strategies for Marketing Your Employment Brand to Future Workers
Finding and keeping the right employees requires that you incorporate marketing tactics to your recruiting efforts. Nov. 18, 2015--In this environment, employers need a strong strategy for attracting and retaining workers, and must be able to show the value of their company’s brand to prospective employees.
Affordable Care Act amended the Fair Labor Standards Act FLSA
November 9, 2015 -- President Obama recently signed bipartisan budget legislation that, among other things, repeals health care reform’s automatic enrollment requirement.
Marsh & McLennan Agency Acquires Dawson Insurance
Marsh & McLennan Agency Acquired Dawson Insurance in Fargo North Dakota.Nov. 4, 2015 – Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), the middle market agency subsidiary of Marsh, today announced it has acquired Dawson Insurance Agency, a 98-year-old family-owned agency in Fargo, North Dakota.
2016 FSA Adoption and Commuter Limits Released
Oct. 28, 2015--The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released the 2016 §125 health flexible spending arrangement (HFSA) contribution limit.
New Rules on Overtime Pay on Track for 2016
Oct. 25, 2015--Employers should be planning now for changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which include the federal regulations on overtime pay for workers.
Getting Better Return-to-Work Programs are Helpful to Both Employees and Employers
Return-To-Work programs can benefit both employers and employees.Oct. 20, 2015--On-the-job accidents and injuries are costly to employers. But once an injury has occurred and the employee is recovering, employers can hold down costs and improve employee morale and loyalty by having a return-to-work policy.
ACA Small Group Expansion Repealed
Oct. 9, 2015--President Obama signed the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees (PACE) Act into law, repealing the ACA's requirement that the small group market in every state be expanded to include businesses with 51-100 employees.
Consider Hiring a Vet or his or her spouse or dependent
October 2, 2015 -- Employers who are not interested in potentially incurring pay-or-play penalties under ACA but who are looking to expand their workforce beyond 50 FTEs should consider hiring a U.S. military veteran or his or her spouse.
ACA Reinsurance Fee Overview
September 30, 2015--The transitional reinsurance fee is a temporary fee charged to health insurance issuers and third party administrators (TPA) of self-insured plans that is to be used to help stabilize premiums for coverage in the individual market.
IRS Issues Final 2015 Health Plan Coverage Reporting Instructions
Sept. 21, 2015--Certain employers must provide information to the IRS about the health plan coverage they offer employees. On Sept. 17, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service released final 2015 versions of the forms and instructions employers will use.
Draft 2015 ACA Reporting Instructions Require Reporting by Employers with HRAs
September 16, 2015--The IRS has released draft 2015 instructions for the B-Series and C-Series reporting forms that will be used by employers and coverage providers to report certain information regarding employment and health coverage.
Social Engineering Impersonation Fraud
Sept. 8, 2015--Impersonation fraud, also referred to as social engineering, can take several forms. It often occurs when a criminal pretends to be a high-level executive, a CEO for example, requests a wire transfer from a lower-level employee.
Managing ACA Tracking & Reporting Requirements for 2015
Aug. 31, 2015--Determining the number of full-time employees under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has emerged as one of the more complicated—and potentially costly—issues that large employers face. Finding the right tools and approach is critical.
Agencies Finalize Preventive Care Rules
August 26, 2015 -- The Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Department of Labor, and Health and Human Services (the “Agencies”) have released final regulations on several aspects of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) preventive care requirements.
IRS Releases Draft 2015 Instructions for ACA Reporting Forms
Aug. 18, 2015--The IRS has released draft 2015 instructions for reporting forms that will be used by employers and coverage providers to report certain information to full-time employees and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
New MNsure COBRA Special Enrollment Period
Aug. 14, 2015--On August 14, 2015, the Minnesota health insurance Marketplace, MNsure, issued a bulletin creating a special enrollment period (SEP) for current COBRA enrollees. The SEP will begin August 17, 2015, and continue through October 15, 2015
News Release - Marsh & McLennan Agency Acquires Tequesta Insurance Advisors
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., August 7, 2015--Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), the middle market agency subsidiary of Marsh, today announced that it has acquired Tequesta Insurance Advisors, a personal insurance provider in Florida.
IRS Issues More Cadillac Tax Insights
Aug. 5, 2015 -- The IRS released Notice 2015-52 which seeks public comment on a range of IRS ideas for how to implement the ACA’s excise tax on high cost employer health coverage, also known as the “Cadillac tax,”.
Workers Compensation Fraud - A challenge and an opportunity
Workers compensation fraud can be a big problem for employers but there are some things you can do to limit the likelihood of fraudulent claims occuring. Aug. 3, 2015--Workers compensation fraud remains a big challenge for employers: it can be an expensive drain on a company’s bottom line, and it has traditionally been hard to prove. There are ways address it in a smart and comprehensive way.
News Release - Marsh and McLennan Agency Acquires Cline Wood Agency
Aug. 3, 2015 - Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), the middle market agency subsidiary of Marsh, today announced it has acquired Cline Wood Agency, a suburban Kansas City-based independent specialty insurance agency.
IRS Releases 2016 HSA Account & Plan Limits
July 29, 2015 -- The IRS has released the 2016 cost-of-living adjustments affecting health savings accounts (HSAs) and high-deductible health plans (HDHPs).
Minnesota Senior Living Reimbursement Reform 2015
Minnesota passed funding changes in 2015 that will greatly affect senior living and skilled nursing facilities. Its important to find a partner to help navigate and leverage the funding opportunities to your advantage.July 24, 2015--Minnesota recently enacted legislation that will provide additional funding to skilled nursing facilities for a variety of employee issues, including health benefits, dietary staff, nursing, social services, and activities costs.
Agencies Issue Final SBC Rules
July 24, 2015 - The Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of Labor, and Health and Human Services (the “Agencies”) released final regulations (“Regulations”) for the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA’s”) Summary of Benefits and Coverage (“SBC”) requirements.
ACA Preventive Service Mandate
July 21, 2015 - The DOL, HHS, and IRS have jointly issued final regulations addressing health care reform’s preventive services mandate.
News Release - Liscomb Hood Mason Company and Marsh & McLennan Agency Offices Unite Under Common Brand in One Location
July 13, 2015 – The two previously-separate Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA) offices in Duluth are now operating under a single brand in a single location. This includes the former Liscomb Hood Mason Company.
ACA Reporting Penalities Increased
July 15, 2015 -- President Obama just signed a major trade bill containing a section stiffly increasing penalties for ACA reporting noncompliance.
Marsh & McLennan Agency Acquires JW Terrill
JW Terrill became a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company on July 1 2015.White Plains, New York, July 6, 2015 - Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), a subsidiary of Marsh, announced it has acquired St. Louis, Missouri-based J.W. Terrill
Population Health Management
July 1, 2015 -- Population health management is a promising tool now available to medium and large-size companies who are seeking to use the latest in data analytics to hold down health care costs.
Supreme Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage
June 29, 2015 -- The Supreme Court issued it's much-anticipated decision on same-sex marriage.
Supreme Court Saves the ACA
June 26, 2015-- The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the availability of subsidies on the federal health insurance exchanges.
IRS Releases Updated ACA Reporting Forms
June 24, 2015 -- The IRS has released draft 2015 versions of Forms 1094 and 1095 in anticipation of mandatory filing of these information returns in early 2016.
Prepare For US Supreme Court Health Insurance Exchange Ruling
June 18, 2015--The U.S. Supreme Court is debating a case challenging the legality of the IRS’ decision to extend ACA premium tax credit subsidies to individuals who purchase health care coverage through the federally-run health insurance exchange.
News Release - SFM Elects Marsh & McLennan Agency’s Jill Lowder to Board
June 15, 2015--Workers’ compensation insurer SFM on June 8 elected Jill Lowder, chief operating officer of Marsh & McLennan Agency’s (MMA) upper Midwest region, to its board of directors. She will also serve on the board’s investment committee.
Communication Tips for Surviving the Data Breach Epidemic of 2015
June 10, 2015--Even with the most rigorous preparations, your recovery from a data breach can be undercut by one crucial aspect: communication.
A Second Look at Onsite Clinics
Creative approaches and innovative technologies are enabling smaller employers to take advantage of onsite clinics.June 2, 2015--Most employers are familiar with the idea of onsite health clinics: a location where employees can get basic health services right at their place of employment. These are no longer limited just to the largest employers.
News Release - Marsh & McLennan Agency Acquires MHBT Inc
White Plains, New York, June 1, 2015 – Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), a subsidiary of Marsh LLC, a global leader in insurance broking and risk management, today announced it has acquired Dallas, Texas-based MHBT Inc.
Out-Of-Pocket Limit Rules for 2016
June 1, 2015 -- Under the ACA, all non-grandfathered group health plans must ensure that annual out-of-pocket cost sharing (e.g., deductibles, coinsurance and copayments) for in-network essential health benefits does not exceed certain limits.
Women's Preventive Care Under ACA
May 31, 2015 -- The Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasure, jointly released clarification on group health plans and insurance carriers' responsibilities to cover contraceptives and other preventative services.
Is captive insurance a good fit for your company?
May 10, 2015--Considering that the model can save companies money by allowing them to self-insure and (in many cases) band together with similar companies, it’s no wonder that captive insurance is a concept that continues to grow.
Job site safety - Controlling losses and reducing claims
Learn what you can do to keep your construction job site safe.May 4, 2015--In a time where the workforce is aging and workers’ compensation claims are a major concern, it’s likely that safety in the workplace—especially in the construction field—has never been more important.
ERISA Disclosure Requirements
May 1, 2015--There’s been a lot of talk about plan documents, ERISA e-disclosure requirements, and Department of Labor audits. In Thomas v. CIGNA, a court ruled against an employer who could not prove it employee received a Summary Plan Description.
The Cadillac Tax
May 4, 2015 -- Beginning in 2018, the ACA imposes a nondeductible excise tax (the “Cadillac Tax”) on employers, health insurance issuers, and/or entities administering plan benefits if the aggregate value of applicable employer-sponsored coverage exceeds the specified threshold limit.
EEOC Proposes Rules For Wellness Programs
April 21, 2015 -- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released new regulations on incentives offered under employer wellness programs.
HHS Updates Cost-Sharing Rule
March 19, 2015--HHS issued a “clarification” to the ACA cost-sharing rules that would require group health plans to embed an individual limit within the family limit. This rule is applicable to the group and individual market.
Minnesota OSHA Adopts Federal OSHA Reporting Requirements
MNOSHA adopts federal OSHA reporting requirements.March 10, 2015--Beginning March 18, 2015, the Minnesota Occupational Health and Safety Administration (MNOSHA) will adopt the Federal OSHA injury reporting requirements, which will change the types of injuries that must be reported to Minnesota OSHA.
Voluntary Benefits - Expanding Flexibility Building Loyalty
Voluntary benefits are becoming an increasingly valuable component of an employers benefits program, especially as the Affordable Care Act continues pushing changes on the industry.March 10, 2015--As the employee benefit landscape continues to evolve, with health care reform pushing some changes and the trend of more consumer involvement and decision-making continuing to grow, voluntary benefits are getting more attention.
Total Worker Health Introduction
March 2, 2015--Total worker health is not a program. It’s a culture shift and is bigger than safety, human resources or wellness alone.
DOL Revises FMLA Definition of Spouse
March 2, 2015--The Department of Labor recently changed the definition of spouse to be based on a marriage's place of celebration and not state of residence.
IRS Releases More Guidance on Employer Reimbursement Plans
Mar. 2, 2015--Recently the IRS released Notice 2015-17 which continues to expand on prior guidance regarding employer payment plans.
Anthem Cyber-Attack
Feb. 11, 2015--On Wednesday, Feb. 4, Anthem Inc. released news that it was the victim of a cyber-attack in which the personal information on 80 million individuals was stolen. Anthem notes that its internal investigation is ongoing.
Retroactive Increase to Mass Transit Benefit Limit
Feb. 10, 2015--Employees' maximum pre-tax contribution limit for mass transit commuting expense has increased to $250 per month.
News Release - Survey Spurs Marsh & McLennan Agency to Educate Mid-Market Employers on Cyber and Data Risk
Jan. 20, 2015--Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA) is launching a focused effort to increase awareness of the cyber and data risks facing small and midsize employers.
Employee Benefits Outlook for 2015 - Trends to Watch
In the area of health insurance and employee benefits, 2015 will see continued implementation of health care reform, with measures such as the employer mandate coming online.Jan. 13, 2015--As a new year begins, businesses are planning for 2015. In the area of health insurance and employee benefits, 2015 will see continued implementation of health care reform, with measures such as the employer mandate coming online.
Prevent Getting the Flu & Cold This Season
Jan. 12, 2015--Learn how to stay healthy during the cold and flu season.
Employee Benefits 2014 A Year in Review
Jan. 12, 2015--The world of Employee Benefits saw numerous changes this year. Take a look back at everything that has happened this year.
Introducing Employees to Private Exchanges
Jan. 6, 2015--The private exchange model holds a lot of potential to hold down health care costs and customize insurance plans to better fit enrollees' needs. But it requires employees to think differently about insurance and become more involved.
FLSA Rule Change in 2015 Could Have a Big Impact on Employers
Jan. 5, 2015--A change to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is expected in 2015 that would broadly expand the classifications of who is eligible for overtime pay. HR and employment law attorneys are recommending their clients begin preparing now.
Business Insurance Outlook for 2015
The outlook for commercial insurance in 2015 is more or less stable with some interesting trends to watch like cyber liability and the impact of the ACA on workers compensation. Image used under Creative Commons from Hartwig HKD ( 23, 2014--As 2014 winds down, businesses are looking ahead and planning for 2015. In property and casualty insurance there is less upheaval and change, but businesses still need to think carefully about their strategy for 2015 and beyond.
US Senate Adjourns for 2014 Without Reauthorizing TRIPRA
Dec. 19, 2014--The US Senate adjourned for the year last night without reauthorizing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2014 .
The Pros and Cons of Private Exchanges - Things Employers Should Know and Consider
There are several things employers should know when evaluating private health insurance exchanges. Dec. 2, 2014--As health insurance continues to evolve, the idea of a health care exchange—in which enrollees choose from a menu of insurance plan options—has become an increasingly appealing choice for millions of Americans.
2014 Cyber & Data Security Risk Survey Report
2014 Cyber & Data Security Risk Survey ReportNov. 20, 2014--Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA) recently completed a survey of 582 companies across the United States, asking about their perceptions of and exposures to cyber risk.
CMS Extends Reinsurance Fee Submission Deadline
On Nov. 14, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) extended the deadline to submit 2014 enrollment counts with respect to the 2014 Transitional Reinsurance Fee.
Agencies Issue Guidance on Employers' Premium Reiumbursement Options for Employees
Nov. 7, 2014--In clear and unambiguous terms, the U.S. departments of Labor and Health and Human Services and the IRS drove a stake into the heart of two health insurance strategies that have been promoted to business owners across the country.
Medica Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota at Odds on Renewal Contract
Nov. 5, 2014--Medica and Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota are in a contract dispute. The Star Tribune reported on this yesterday, and Children’s recently sent letters to its patients insured through Medica informing them of the impasse.
IRS Releases 2015 HFSA and Commuter Benefits Limits
November 4, 2014--On October 30, the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) released the 2015 Health Flexible Spending Account and commuter benefits limits with the HFSA limit being raised.
Health Plan Identifier Requirement Delayed
November 4, 2014--On Oct. 31, 2014, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service announced large self-funded groups do not need to obtain the Health Plan Identifier (HPID) by Nov. 5, 2014 and delayed it until further notice.
Reinsurance Fee Submission Guide
November 4, 2014--The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released the job aid to create the excel submission form for payment of the reinsurance fee.
Feds Sue Honeywell Over Wellness
Oct. 30, 2014--On Oct. 27, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sued Honeywell, alleging that their wellness program violated the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).
Taking Ownership of Your Workers’ Compensation Program
Managing your workers' compensation claims process effectively can lead to reduced work comp insurance premiums.Oct. 28, 2014--Effective management of your workers’ compensation program can deliver benefits, including a decrease in lost time claims, reduced frequency of claims and, and a lower experience modification rating, which results in a lower premium.
Ebola Preparedness Resources
Oct. 21, 2014--The Ebola Response Center contains links to articles and other resources, including an upcoming Webinar discussing the virus, what’s occurred so far, appropriate precautions and even pandemic preparedness.
Work Comp Claims Refile Services Bring Substantial Savings
Oct. 15, 2014--A couple months ago, Marsh & McLennan Agency Claim Analyst Dan Nyberg learned that he surpassed his yearly goal of $100,000 in client insurance premium reductions through claim refiles. That left him with five months to continue pounding out more savings.
Lower Court Same-Sex Marriage Rulings Stand in Five States
The United States Supreme Court declined to hear appeals from five states regarding lower court rulings overturning state bans on same-sex marriage. Image used under Creative Commons from Purple Sherbet Photography 8, 2014--On Monday, Oct. 6, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear appeals from five states regarding lower court rulings overturning state bans on same-sex marriage.
OSHA Expands Injury Reporting Requirements & Alters 300 Log Exemptions
OSHA expanded the list of severe injuries that must be reported to OSHA and redefined which employers need to maintain OSHA 300 logs. Image used under Creative Commons from Greg Younger ( 3, 2014--The federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration updated its recordkeeping rules by expanding the list of severe injuries that must be reported to OSHA and redefining which employers must maintain injury and illness reports.
Looking beyond MNsure's 2015 premium rates release
Oct. 1, 2015--At 11am today, state officials released some of the MNsure rates for the 2015 year and here are some early insights.
Low-Tech Cyber Risk
Faxing, emailing and lost paper contribute to more than half of data breach cyber-crime. Image used under Creative Commons from Frankie Roberto ( 30, 2014--A recent study by Beazley P.L.C., that some in the industry media have picked up on, states that cyber breaches are most commonly caused by non-technical issues rather than sophisticated hacking schemes using malware or spyware.
How to avoid the COBRA bite - Explain all options to departing employees
Ensuring complete and adequate health insurance details including COBRA and other options to departing employees is more important than ever now, due to complexities arising from the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Image used under Creative Commons from Michael Allen Smith ( 25, 2014--Although COBRA is still around, it’s important for employers and employees alike to understand how the COBRA landscape has changed post-Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Disaster Preparedness Update
An up to date business disaster plan can make the difference between business survival and failure following a natural disaster.  Image used under Creative Commons from Rich Hoeg ( 24, 2015--Business owners have become aware of the need for disaster planning. It seems that “100-year-events” are becoming more frequent, and whether it be tornadoes, flooding, or other natural disasters, no one wants to be caught unprepared.
IRA Issues Draft ACA Reporting Form Instructions
September 3, 2014 -- IRS Issues Draft ACA Reporting Form Instructions
2014 Charity Challenge
August 21, 2014--MMA’s annual Charity Challenge recently surpassed the $1 million mark in donations, as the five-year campaign is surging to a strong finish.
Unwitting Victims - Target data breach shows smaller companies are at risk
Small and medium sized businesses can learn form the Target data breach.August 1, 2014--In December 2013, consumers were rocked by the news that Target, one of the nation’s largest retailers, had suffered a massive data breach. So why should small- and medium-size businesses be concerned?
IRS Issues Draft ACA Reporting Forms
ACA Reporting RequirementsJuly 30, 2014 - The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) release draft forms that applicable large employers and health insurance issuers will use to report information regarding health coverage.
Property & Casualty Update - July 2014
July 20, 2014--The Property & Casualty insurance marketplace has been quiet lately. Insurers have been seeing good profits, rates have been relatively stable, and there’s not a lot of risk in the market overall.
Workplace Ergonomics Fit the Job to the Worker
Workplace ErgonomicsJuly 7, 2014--The need for good ergonomics in the workplace may not be a new message, but with workers’ compensation claims on the rise for a number of reasons, there is a new urgency to the issue.
Hobby Lobby Case
MINNEAPOLIS, July 3, 2014--In a 5-4 decision announced June 30, 2014 in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., the United States Supreme Court (the “Court”) ruled that the federal government erred in requiring for-profit, faith-based employers to pay for certain forms of birth control that contradicted their religious beliefs.
MNSure COBRA Special Enrollment Period
On June 24, by broker bulletin, MNsure announced a special enrollment period (SEP) for COBRA participants lasting until July 15, 2014.
Final Rule on Orientation Periods
June 20, 2014 -- The Federal regulatory agencies in charge of health care reform guidance (the Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services) released final regulations (“Final Regulations”) clarifying the relationship between a group health plan’s eligibility criteria and the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) 90‐day limit on waiting periods.
Six Key Workers’ Compensation Developments to Watch
Workers' compensation has been going through changes at the state and national levels.June 19, 2014--Recently workers' compensation insurance coverage has been going through significant changes. These are occurring at the state and national levels, and are changing how it’s priced, what it covers and more.
Top 10 Questions About the Experience Modification Rating Answered
Frequently Asked Questions about the work comp experience modification rating.June 19, 2014--Get the answers to frequently-asked questions about the workers' comp experience modification rating.
News Release - Star Tribune Names Marsh & McLennan Agency’s Twin Cities Office A 2014 Top Workplace
Marsh & McLennan Agency was named one of the Top 100 Workplaces in Minnesota by the Star Tribune.MINNEAPOLIS, June 16, 2014—Marsh & McLennan Agency’s Minneapolis operations were named one of the Top 100 Workplaces in Minnesota by the Star Tribune.
Employee Choice SHOP Delay
June 12, 2014 -- One of the promises of the Small Business Health Option Program (SHOP) marketplaces was to allow employees the ability to choose between tiered health plans from multiple carriers.
Manage Claims to Lower Your Workers Compensation Premium
Besides avoiding claims completely, managing claims is the most effective way to rein in workers compensation insurance costs.June 9, 2014--The best way to control your experience mod and workers' compensation insurance premiums is to analyze your safety measures, then address losses as they occur and after they occur using solid and proven claim management procedures.
How to Ensure Your Experience Modification Worksheet is Accurate
Ensuring your experience modification worksheet is accurate is key to ensuring you're not paying more than necessary on your workers' compensation insurance premiums.June 8, 2014--The experience modification worksheet is a tool used by rating bureaus when calculating your workers compensation premiums. Errors on this document, while rare, do occur and can add costs to your workers’ compensation premium.
Understanding the Experience Modification Rating
To keep your workers' compensation insurance premiums as low as possible, understanding how the rates are calculated and the importance of the experience modification rating is critical.June 8, 2014--The experience modification rating (EMR) is the single aspect of the calculation used to determine your workers’ compensation insurance premium over which you have control. It can have an impact on the cost of work comp coverage.
News Release - Marsh & McLennan Agency Acquires Senn Dunn Insurance
Senn Dunn Insurance was acquired by Marsh & McLennan AgencyJune 2, 2014 – Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), a subsidiary of insurance broker Marsh LLC, today announced that it has acquired Senn Dunn Insurance, the largest independent insurance agency in North Carolina. t
IRS Rules Employer Payment Plan EPP Arrangements Violate ACA Requirements on Annual Limits
The IRS ruled that employer payment plans violate certain Affordable Care Act requirements, so they cannot operate on a pre-tax basis.May 23, 2014--Referencing Notice 2013-54, issued last September, the IRS stated that EPP arrangements are considered employer group plans, which violate Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements such as the prohibition on annual limits.
News Release - Seven Marsh & McLennan Agency Employees Earn New Affordable Care Act Certification
Seven Marsh & McLennan Agency Employees Earn New Affordable Care Act Certification from the National Association of Health UnderwritersMay 20, 2014--To better help employers navigate the ACA, seven members of MMA’s Twin Cities employee benefits group became certified through the National Association of Health Underwriters’ (NAHU) new Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act course.
The Women’s Economic Security Act--WESA
A new Minnesota legislative act, the Women's Economic Security Act (WESA), makes sweeping changes to current employment law in an effort to promote wage equity and address other issues of concern to women workers.May 15, 2014--Businesses in Minnesota should take a careful look at The Women’s Economic Security Act (WESA) law (actually a package of nine laws) and update their employee manuals and policies accordingly.
The State of Manufacturing® Results Optimistic
Marsh & McLennan Agency is a founding sponsor of The State of Manufacturing, which released is most recent findings on Minnesota manufacturing on Thursday, May 8.May 9, 2014--The results of Enterprise Minnesota's The State of Manufacturing survey project are intriguing. Most notable, however, is that confidence among Minnesota manufacturers is at its highest point in five years.
Health Care Ricochet: New Solutions Called For as the ACA Threatens to Boost Workers' Compensation Costs
The ACA may have an an impact on workers’ compensation insurance claims, but there are things employers can do to protect themselves.May 9, 2014--Among the least-understood and seldom discussed consequences for employers is the possible relationship between the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and workers’ compensation claims.
NLRB’s Ruling on First Transit Could Affect Employers’ Social Media Policies
Read about the NLRB's ruling on social media in the First Transit Inc. case. (Image used under Creative Commons from Brantley Davidson - 6, 2014--The NLRB ruled that handbook language prohibiting discourteous conduct or inappropriate attitudes is over-broad. The ruling was widely seen as having an impact on how employers can set workplace policies, including social media use.
The New “Ban the Box” Law—What It Means For Employers
On January 1, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed a law, commonly referred to as the "Ban the Box" law, that prohibits private employers from asking on a job application whether an individual has a criminal record.May 5, 2014--The new “Ban the Box” law applies to all Minnesota employers. Pre-existing laws prohibiting the hiring of convicted criminals under certain circumstances for specific jobs or require a background check are not superseded by this law.
Updated CHIP Notice Available
May 5, 2014--The U.S. Department of Labor released an updated Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) notice. The updated form now includes information on the new public exchanges (Marketplaces) and the potential for premium assistance.
COBRA Exchange Special Enrollment
May 5, 2014--The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a bulletin creating a special enrollment period (SEP) of 60 days for COBRA participants to choose an exchange plan even though open enrollment has ended.
Vacation and PTO What do employers owe departing employees?
Employers may set conditions and limitations on what vacation and PTO wages an employee may collect upon leaving a company but there are certain things that must be clearly communicated to employees.May 2, 2014--This article discusses an employer’s obligation for paying unused vacation time when an employee leaves.
IRS Releases 2015 HSA Account and Plan Limits
Limits for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) along with out-of-pockey maximums under the Affordable Care Act. April 30, 2014--The IRS has released the 2015 limits affecting Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs).
Health Plan Identifier Overview
April 23, 2014--Final regulations were issued requiring health plans to obtain an HPID beginning in 2014 with use being mandated starting November 7, 2016. This will affect most self-funded groups and does not affect fully insured plans. The regulations introduce two new terms to help groups determine which entities must obtain an HPID and how many HPIDs they will need.
Small Group Deductible Limits Repealed
The ACA's small group deductible limits have been repealed.April 15, 2014--The Affordable Care Act's small group deductible limits rule has been repealed. This could mean more benefit plan options for small employers. Read more about the impact of deductible limits.
Employee Benefits in 2014 - Where are we now and where are we going?
The Affordable Care Act is forcing significant changes on the employee benefits and health care marketplace. April 14, 2014--When it comes to the benefits marketplace in 2014, the Affordable Care Act might be described as the whale in the room. The future of the health benefit market remains murky as the ramifications of the health care law are taking form.
Changes to Minnesota’s Anti-Indemnification Impacts You and Your Construction Contracts
The new anti-indemnification law in Minnesota affects many construction contracts. Be sure you are aware of your responsibilities under the new law.April 1, 2014--On August 1, 2013, Minnesota’s legislature enacted a significant amendment to the statute governing indemnification and risk-shifting in construction contracts. Learn the details about it and the actions you should take.
Non-Calendar Year Transition Relief
Health Care Reform transition relief for non-calendar year plans.March 31, 2014--The IRS and Treasury Department published Final Rules regarding the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Relief has been granted to non-calendar year plans subject to the employer mandate. The rules will allow them to comply with the mandate when their plan renews mid-year rather than on January 1, 2015. To take advantage of the transition relief, employers will have to meet certain criteria.
Overtime Expansion
March 27, 2014--President Obama has instructed the Department of Labor to update the Fair Labor Standards Act. The FLSA currently regulates overtime eligibility. The president is specifically calling for an increase in the salary-basis test currently set at $455 per week.
ACA Employer Reporting
Health Care Reform employer reporting mandate. March 25, 2014--The IRS has provided final rules regarding the employer reporting requirements of the Individual Mandate and Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions of the Affordable Care Act. This reporting requirement will begin in 2016 for 2015 coverage information and applies to employers, plan sponsors, and insurance companies.
Employee Benefits Strategy for 2015 - Penalties Mandates & Reporting Requirements Under the ACA
Learn about the penalties mandates and other reporting requirements required under the health care reform law.March 21, 2014--This article will dig deeper into the health care reform changes by looking at things such as play-or-pay penalties, how to count eligible employees, and IRS reporting requirements.
MMA Launches Customer Thermometer
Marsh & McLennan Agency launched a new customer satisfaction initiative called the Customer Thermometer.March 14, 2014--To help Marsh & McLennan Agency ensure our customers are being served appropriately, we’ve recently begun a new survey program: the Customer Thermometer.
90-Day Waiting Period Rules and Eligibility Requirements
March 3, 2014--Final rules have been released regarding the ACA prohibition on waiting periods exceeding 90 calendar days. The final rules formally adopt the proposed regulations in regard to waiting periods provided in March 2013, and, in a new development, provide proposed rules recognizing a one-month orientation period to be allowed before the start of the waiting period.  
Minnesota Business Presents Community Impact Award to Marsh & McLennan Agency – Upper Midwest
Feb. 28, 2014--On Thursday, Feb. 27, Minnesota Business magazine announced that Marsh & McLennan Agency’s upper Midwest regional headquarters in the Twin Cities was the midsize winner of its Best in Class 2014 Community Impact Award.
Employee Benefits Strategy for 2015 - Understanding Plan Design Options Under the ACA
With all the changes coming from Health Care Reform it is more important than ever to understand the details of your plan design options when developing your employee benefits strategy.Feb. 20, 2014--We’ll look at four categories of plan design: fully-insured, self-insured, defined contribution, and no coverage. Within the four options, there are several considerations, including financial, administrative, and compliance issues.
Final Rules on the ACA Employer Mandate
The final rules on the employer mandate has been released by the IRS. These regulations offer small and mid-sized employers some flexibility regarding the ACA.February 11, 2014--IRS has released long anticipated final guidance regarding the employer mandate. The regulations are wide ranging and will require further analysis. Read the initial highlights.
News Release - Marsh & McLennan Agency Acquires Barney & Barney
White Plains, New York, February 3, 2014 – In its largest acquisition to date, Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), a subsidiary of insurance broker Marsh LLC., today announced it has acquired San Diego, California-based Barney & Barney, LLC.
News Release - Marsh & McLennan Agency Acquires Great Lakes Employee Benefit Services
Great Lakes Employee Benefits Services is now part of Marsh & McLennan Agency.White Plains, New York, Feb. 3, 2014 – Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), a subsidiary of Marsh LLC, today announced that it has acquired Great Lakes Employee Benefit Services, an employee group benefits consulting and brokerage firm.
The Disability and Medical Leave Minefield
January 15, 2014--Many employers are not currently in compliance with The Americans with Disabilities Act and the changes made by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Acts. Part of the reason disability and leave management are often overlooked is because the laws regulating these areas are complicated, overlapping, and often unclear about the employer’s obligations.
2015 is Right Around the Corner
January 13, 2014--As 2014 begins, we see the impact of many Affordable Care Act (ACA) rules becoming effective. The 90 day waiting period, prohibition of lifetime and annual maximums, and the insurer fee are just a few examples. While these were significant rules that have changed how employers and carriers provide benefits to employees, the greatest change is the employer mandate which will begin January 1, 2015.
W-2 Health Insurance Reporting Review
Under the Affordable Care Act, employers are required to report the “aggregate cost” of certain types of employer-provided health coverage on an employee’s W-2. The IRS has delayed the requirement for employers that filed fewer than 250 in the last tax year. Jan. 7, 2014--The ACA requires large employers to report the “aggregate cost” of certain types of employer provided health coverage on an employee’s W-2.
What to Know About the New OFCCP Regulations Regarding Affirmative Action for Veterans and the Disabled
Jan. 2, 2014--Changes to the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act will likely affect businesses that are contractors and subcontractors of the U.S. Government.
Proposed Rules Regarding Excepted Benefits
Dec. 30, 2014--The Departments of Treasury, Labor, and HHS released proposed rules that would amend regulations regarding excepted benefits. The proposed rules address the requirements necessary for dental and vision plans, and EAPs, to be treated as excepted benefits.
New Ruling On Criminal History Questions in Minnesota
A new ruling makes it illegal in Minnesota for employers to ask applicants to disclose their criminal record or criminal history before selecting them for an interview or making a conditional offer of employment.Dec. 24, 2013--Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, Minnesota employers are no longer allowed to ask applicants to disclose their criminal record or criminal history before either selecting them for an interview or making a conditional offer of employment.
Employee Benefits - 2013 Year in Review
Dec. 23, 2013--The world of Employee Benefits saw many changes this year. Take a look back to make sure you are aware of all the issues that could impact your organization.
News Release - Marsh & McLennan Agency's Minneapolis Office Named a Finalist in 2014 Community Impact Awards
MMA was named a finalist for the 2014 Minnesota Business magazine Community Impact Award.Dec. 20, 2013–-Minnesota Business magazine named Marsh & McLennan Agency’s Minneapolis office as a finalist for its 2014 Community Impact Awards. It is one of three contenders for the Best in Class: Midsize award.
Small Employer Premium Tax Credit for WI
December 19, 2013--The IRS has released Notice 2014-6 providing small employer premium tax credit transition relief to small employers in certain counties of Wisconsin and Washington state.
Same Sex Spousal Cafeteria Plan
December 18, 2013--The IRS addressed how same sex spousal cafeteria plan and other tax favored arrangements would be treated in 2013 due to the Windsor decision. Plans should take immediate note of the pretax requirement as well the treatment of FSA expenses.
Mitigating Risk Through Effective People Strategies
December 6, 2013--Learn how an effective people strategy can help mitigate risk and improve overall employer operations in this interview with HR Consultant Krysta Mitchell.
Start Planning for ACA Mandates for 2015 Now
Dec. 4, 2013--The Administration delayed the employer mandate which generally requires employers with more than 50 full time employees to offer health insurance to their employees. While the mandate is still over a year away from taking effect, employers may need to start planning now for how to handle their variable hour and seasonal employees.
Marketplace Subsidies for Adult Children
Dec. 3, 2013--Individuals, such as adult children through age 26, who do not also qualify as the employee’s dependent, may be eligible for ACA subsidies when purchasing individual coverage, even if they are eligible to participate in an affordable employer-sponsored plan.
News Release - Marsh & McLennan Agency Acquires Cambridge Property & Casualty
Cambridge Property & Casualty White Plains, N.Y., Dec. 3--Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), a subsidiary of insurance broker Marsh Inc., today announced the acquisition of Cambridge Property & Casualty, one of the largest property/casualty insurance agencies in Michigan.
Final Rule for ACA Medicare Tax Rule Issued
Dec. 2, 2013--The IRS has issued final regulations regarding the 0.9% Additional Medicare Tax that was included in the Affordable Care Act.
SHOP Enrollment Delay
Nov. 27, 2013--The Department of Health and Human Services has announced a one year delay of online enrollment for small businesses purchasing group health coverage through the Federal SHOP Marketplace (Exchange).
Regulatory Changes for Commercial Drivers
Commercial drivers should be aware of new regulations governing commercial drivers licenses (CDLs) and medical examinations.(Image used under Creative Commons from Erik Aldrich 26, 2013--Commercial drivers throughout the United States should be aware of upcoming changes to medical certification and commercial drivers license (CDL) requirements issued by the federal government. These changes go into full effect in 2014.
Public vs Private Exchanges
November 6, 2013--Recently, there has been a lot of news regarding the rollout of the new Affordable Care Act (ACA) public exchanges. While getting these exchanges up and running has been a public relations problem for the government, the concept of an online marketplace to purchase health insurance is not new.
Updated CHIP Notice for Use Until 2016
November 6, 2013--The Department of Labor has released an updated CHIP notice that employers can use until October 2016.
FSA Use It Or Lose It Modification
November 1, 2013--The IRS announced a modification to the “use it or lose it” rule regarding health flexible spending accounts (FSA). FSA owners will now be able to carryover a portion of their unused balance into the next plan year.
Health Insurance Deadline Delay or Extension
The White House today announced information regarding the deadline under the ACA for requiring individuals to have health insurance. Oct. 24, 2013--The White House today announced information regarding the deadline under the Affordable Care Act for requiring individuals to have health insurance. 
What Companies Should Know About Cyber Liability
October 21, 2013--In this article, Dan Hanson, Director of Management Liability, provides some insights into what companies should know about cyber liability, and why cyber liability insurance should be part of a company’s portfolio of policies.
News Release - Marsh & McLennan Agency Adds Two Attorneys to Help Employers Navigate Affordable Care Act
MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 4, 2013–Marsh & McLennan Agency’s (MMA) Minneapolis office announced today the hiring of two attorneys to provide strategic and practical guidance to employers around compliance concerns, including those related to the ACA.
Federal Government Shut Down Implications for HR
 particularly in human resource-related areas. Image used under Creative Commons from KAZVorpal ( 3, 2013--The operating status of the government remains unpredictable. It appears that there are no prospects that the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House will reach an agreement to fund the federal government for the 2014 fiscal year. The government shutdown, that started October 1, has several implications on human resources activities.
Internship Programs Under the Fair Labor Standards Act
October 1, 2013--The Department of Labor issued a fact sheet in April 2010 regarding internship programs and compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act. The fact sheet provides general information to help determine whether interns must be paid the minimum wage and overtime for the services that they provide to “for-profit” private sector employers.
IRS Issues Proposed Employer Reporting Rules
October 1, 2013--The IRS has released proposed rules related to Affordable Care Act employer and insurance carrier reporting requirements.
HRAS FSAS and Premium Reimbursement Plans
October 1, 2013--The Department of Labor recently issued Technical Release 2013-03 which answers a question that has been unclear since the Affordable Care Act was passed. Can employers pay for the purchase of individual health insurance plans for employees on a tax free basis?
News Release - 2013 Charity Challenge Individual Monetary Donations Up 49 Percent
MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 1, 2013–With the completion of its fifth-annual Charity Challenge, the Minneapolis office of Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA) raised and donated more than $250,000 to two local nonprofits.
Why Private Companies Need D&O Insurance
Sept. 26, 2013--Privately held organizations can fall victim to lawsuits that can impact the company and its officers and board, making it imperative that they, too, seek the protection provided by Directors & Officers Liability (D&O) insurance.
Understanding the Value of Integrated Risk Prevention
Sept. 10, 2013--Developing a results-oriented risk reduction plan and supporting it with a well-structured insurance program can help companies reduce overall risk costs. But that can be easier said than done.
Tax Treatment of Benefits Provided to Same-Sex Married Couples
September 3, 2013--The IRS has issued guidance clarifying the tax treatment of employee benefits provided to same-sex married couples. Due to the Court's ruling, health and welfare benefits provided to legally married same-sex spouses will now be subject to the same federal tax treatment as any other married couple.
Out of Pocket Maximum Limits
August 13, 2013--Beginning in 2014 the Affordable Care Act requires that all health plans limit participant out-of-pocket maximums.
Blog Overview
Information, knowledge, insights and updates on risk and insurance from MMA and Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC.
Employer Shared Responsibility Rules Delayed until 2015
July 3, 2013--In a significant announcement on July 2, the Treasury Department announced that the employer shared responsibility rules (often called the “play or pay rules”) have been delayed until 2015.
Impact of DOMA Ruling on Health and Welfare Plans
July 2, 2013--The Court’s ruling regarding DOMA has changed the federal tax treatment of certain employee benefits provided to same-sex couples. There are also a many other administrative and benefit plan issues that employers must address.
News Release - RJF to Operate as Marsh & McLennan Agency
July 1, 2013 – Effective Monday, July 1, MMA., the premier insurance and risk prevention agency in Wisconsin and Minnesota, will be known as Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC.
Hours of Service
July 1, 2013--Hours of service are used in determining full-time employee status for purposes of the employer shared responsibility rules. Regulations have been provided for employers to use as guidance in determining benefit eligibility.
The Affordable Care Act’s Penalties and Fees What Employers Need to Know
 large and smallJuly 1, 2013--The impact of healthcare reform will soon be felt by all employers, large and small, making it essential that they understand the associated penalties and risks they may be facing.
The Health Care Reform Penalty and Fee Risks for Large Employers
When it comes to applying the Affordable Care Act’s risks and penalties, not all employers are affected the same, with applicable large employers facing specific risks unique to their situation.July 1, 2013--When it comes to applying the Affordable Care Act’s risks and penalties, not all employers are affected the same, with applicable large employers facing specific risks and penalties unique to their situation.
Final Rules for Wellness Plans
June 7, 2013-- Final wellness program regulations have been issued. These regulations are based on the existing HIPAA wellness rules and the requirements contained in proposed rules issued in November 2012.
Additional FAQs on SBC Requirements
May 31, 2013--Additional FAQs have been released regarding the summary of benefits and coverage requirements contained in the Affordable Care Act.
May 24, 2013--Certain employers may be responsible for paying a PCORI (Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute) fee as soon as July 31, 2013. This usually would be for plan years that ended on October 31, 2012, November 30, 2012, or December 31, 2012.
Minimum Value and Affordability
May 15, 2013--The IRS has released a proposed rule on the minimum value and affordability rules under the ACA. The proposed rule provides guidance on determining whether health coverage under an employer-sponsored plan is affordable and provides minimum value for determining employer “pay or play” penalties.
Coach to Values Not Behavior
May 14, 2013--Leading a group of human beings is very complex. How a person approaches problems, people, the pace of the environment and procedures demonstrate a person’s preferred behavioral styles.
Model Notice of Exchange
May 13, 2013--The Department of Labor has released guidance and model notice language for employers to use to meet the Affordable Care Act employee exchange notice requirement.
News Release - RJFMarsh & McLennan Agency Earns Highest Honors From The Hanover Insurance Group
WORCESTER, Mass. (May 13, 2013) – The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. (NYSE: THG), a leading provider of property and casualty insurance products and services nationwide, recently honored Marsh & McLennan Agency with its Top Franchise Partner Award
Briefly From Bill - Cyber Security Issues Affect Small and Midsize Companies Too
May 10, 2013--Cyber-crime, network security, denial of service attacks, data breach. These terms had little relevance to anyone other than a handful of IT dudes scattered in basements somewhere in Silicon Valley until relatively recently.
News Release - Small and Midsize Employers in Minnesota Largely Uninsured Against Cyber Crime
MINNEAPOLIS, May 8, 2013—More than 83% of small and midsize employers are without insurance policies designed to provide financial support and protection in the event of an IT breach, according to a survey report released today by MMA.
Cyber Liability: The Cost of a Data Breach
May 7, 2013--One of the most common questions we receive is: ”What is the cost to my organization if I fail to protect the confidential information of others?”
Cyber Liability: Determining What Information is Confidential
May 7, 2013--Clearly, for an organization to understand their risk to a confidential information breach, it first has to understand what type of information may be considered confidential.
HSA Limits for 2014
May 7, 2013--The IRS has released the 2014 limits affecting Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and High Deductible Health Plans.
The Millennial Workforce Millennials and the Recruitment-Retention Process
May 6, 2013--Not surprisingly, this generation that grew up in a highly techno-driven society, Millennials use a variety of online resources when job-hunting, and may even prescreen potential employers based on how e-literate they are.
The Millennial Workforce: What Management Should Know
Many employers will face a generation gap as Baby Boomers retire and Millennials join the workforce in greater numbers. (Image used under Creative Commons from xdmag 6, 2013--In the coming years, companies and management have to adapt to the unique mindset of the incoming Millennial (or Generation Y) employees but also face the loss of the retiring Boomers, who take with them decades of knowledge.
Cyber Liability: Understanding Third-Party Exposure Risks
May 6, 2013--Failing to protect the confidential information of others creates many exposures to your business. At a high level these exposures can be broken down into third-party exposures and first-party costs to your business.
Cyber & Data Security Risk Survey Report
 with one in seven (14%) never discussing it at all.Marsh & McLennan Agency conducted a survey to find out how and what small and mid-sized employers are thinking about cyber and data security risk and the insurance protection available to them.
90-Day Waiting Period Limits
April 30, 2013--Proposed regulations addressing the Affordable Care Act’s prohibition on waiting periods exceeding 90 days were recently released. The proposed regulations are substantially similar to the August 2012 temporary guidance, but with some additional clarification.
News Release - Excellence in Risk Management
Marsh & RIMA: Excellence if Risk Management ReportNew York, April 22, 2013 – Senior executives and risk professionals are more aligned than ever on their views of the role that risk management should play in strategic planning.
Preventing Talent Voids
April 18, 2013--The workforce is aging, more people are retiring or approaching retirement than are joining the workforce, and education systems seem to lag behind the needs of business. Getting ahead of this trend can help you prepare your organization and position it for the future.
News Release - Jill Lowder Elected to the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors Board of Governors
Jill Lowder is the chief operating officer of Marsh & McLennan AgencyMINNEAPOLIS, April 16, 2013—The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research’s Society of Certified Insurance Counselors recently elected Jill Lowder to its Board of Governors.
What Employers Need To Know About MNsure
 2013April 5, 2013--The signing of the health insurance exchange bill in March authorizing the creation of a state-run health insurance exchange known as MNsure has been a game-changer for the health insurance arena in Minnesota.
Small Employer Choice Option Delayed on Federal SHOP Exchange
April 3, 2013-- The Department of Health and Human Services has announced that one of the options planned for small group insurance purchased through federally-operated exchanges will be delayed until 2015.
News Release - Commercial Flood Insurance Rates Jump Availability Declines as Upper Midwest Flood Danger Looms
MINNEAPOLIS, March 28, 2013—Commercial flood insurance prices are rising as underwriters attempt to recoup significant flood losses sustained by Superstorm Sandy.
Common Controlled Group Basics
March 28, 2013--The Affordable Care Act placed new emphasis on the need to determine when related organizations must be treated as a single employer. Setting up different companies under separate tax ID numbers does not relieve related employers from being treated as a single employer under controlled group rules.
Strengthening Employee Engagement…and Abs
Employees participate in stretching exercises designed to improve improve wellbeing through greater movement.March 14, 2013--MMA is building on its effort to improve employee wellbeing by increasing movement during the workday. Despite spending time in front of computers and in meetings, this doesn't mean employees must sit for eight hours a day.
News Release - Amy Diedrich joins RJF-Marsh & McLennan Agency as employee benefits consultant
MINNEAPOLIS, March 12, 2013 – Marsh & McLennan Agency, recently expanded it employee benefits department with the addition of Amy Diedrich, an experienced employee benefit expert in public school districts.
Methods for Determining Employer Plan Minimum Value
March 7, 2013--The IRS and HHS have released an employer plan minimum value calculator designed to assist employers in determining if their health plan meets the minimum value requirements of the ACA.
HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices Update
March 6, 2013--Final rules were published in January 2013 that resulted in changes to the HIPAA Privacy Rule, Security Rules, Breach Notification Rule and enforcement.
Section 105h Nondiscrimination Rules
WHITE PAPER: Section 105(h) nondiscrimination rules are complex; however, a quick review of an employer's benefit, contribution and eligibility strategies will help determine whether or not they need to perform the detailed nondiscrimination tests.
What to know about cyber liability policies
Feb. 13, 2013--In this interview with Dan Hanson, management liability director, you'll learn what types of coverage are provided by cyber liability insurance policies, how companies can analyze their actual risks from these “virtual attacks.”
Family Medical Leave Act Updates
Feb. 12, 2013--The US Department of Labor recently made updates to the Family Medical Leave Act. They removed certification and notice forms from FMLA regulations and made changes to the military sections of the rules.
Tax Credits and Individual Tax Liability
Feb. 5, 2013--The IRS has issued an amendment to final regulations regarding qualification for a premium tax credit when purchasing individual health insurance through a public exchange. In a separate set of guidance, the IRS clarified exemptions from the “individual mandate” tax beginning in 2014.
HIPAA HITECH Omnibus Final Rule
Feb. 5, 2013--The final omnibus Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act rule, makes a long list of significant changes to existing regulations.
Beyond OSHA compliance--How an increased safety focus can benefit employers
Risk & Safety Consultant David RumseyJan. 30, 2013--Risk & Safety Consultant David Rumsey discusses OSHA compliance and overall workplace safety, and how they can work together to positively impact a company’s bottom line.
OSHA Seminar Video Promo
Risk & Safety Consultant David Rumsey discusses why you should attend the upcoming seminar: OSHA Audits and How to Defend Against a Citation.Jan. 29, 2013--Risk & Safety Consultant David Rumsey discusses why you ought to attend the upcoming seminar, OSHA Audits & How to Defend Against Them.
Notice of Exchange Delays
Jan. 24, 2013--The Department of Labor has officially stated the delay of the employer requirement to send a “Notice of Exchange” to employees.
Helping the New Workforce to Interdependence
Jan. 23, 2013--How do you manage those who feel entitled and view themselves as being “above the law?” Those in HR and many managers struggle with how to understand and work with any person who displays those kinds of attitudes.
Adjustment for Transit and Parking Benefits
Jan. 22, 2013--The Internal Revenue Service released inflation-adjusted amounts for transit and parking benefits on January 11, 2013.
IRS Releases Guidance on Employer Shared Responsibility Rules
Jan. 14, 2013--The IRS has released additional guidance related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) employer shared responsibility rules. The guidance includes proposed regulations and a series of questions and answers published on the IRS Web site.
Trends in Employment Law Claims — Looking Ahead
What to expect in employment law claims in 2013.Heather Roiger, MMA HR Consultant, and Dan Hanson, MMA Director of Management Liability, explore what employers can expect in 2013 employment claims and what factors will influence the potential for employment liability issues.
IRS Releases Guidance on Employer Shared Responsibility Rules
Jan. 9, 2013--The Internal Revenue Service has released proposed regulations on the employer shared responsibility rules contained in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and a series of questions and answers.
Parity for Mass Transit Plans
Jan. 9, 2013-- The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 that addressed tax increases and automatic spending cuts, also included an extension for Qualified Transportation Plans.
Employee Benefits Year In Review 2012
Jan. 7, 2013--Review the changes that happened in 2012 in the world of Employee Benefits.
News Release - MMA Acquires McGraw Wentworth
McGraw Wentworth is an employee benefits firm based outside Detroit, MichiganWhite Plains, New York, January 7, 2013 – Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), a subsidiary of Marsh Inc., today announced that it has acquired McGraw Wentworth, Inc., an employee group benefits consulting and brokerage firm based in Troy, Mich.
EB 2012 Review - 2014 Employer Shared Responsibility Rules
Jan. 4, 2013--The ACA requires that employers with 50 or more full-time employees must offer "minimum essential coverage" to all full-time employees. If an employer's plan does not meet certain requirements, they may be subject to penalties. 
EB 2012 Review - Summary of Benefits & Coverage Requirements
Jan. 4, 2013--The ACA requires health plans and health insurance issuers to provide a summary of benefits and coverage to applicants and enrollees. Review the notification requirements.
EB 2012 Review - Grandfathered Plan Status
Jan. 4, 2013--Employers need to determine the "grandfathered status" of their benefits plan and what changes go beyond the permitted guidelines.
EB 2012 Review - Timeline of Events
Jan. 4, 2013--Reivew a timeline of compliance requirements by year.
EB 2012 Review - Health Care Reform
Jan. 4, 2013--The Supreme Court's decision to uphold PPACA and the outcome of the 2012 elections have prompted employers to start making plans and taking action regarding compliance with the PPACA.
MMA Acquires Liscomb Hood Mason
White Plains, New York, January 4, 2013 – Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), a subsidiary of insurance broker Marsh Inc., today announced the acquisition of agency, Liscomb Hood Mason Co., based in Duluth, Minnesota.
EB 2012 Compliance - HSA Plan Limits
Jan. 4, 2013--If an employer offers a high deductible health plan (HDHP) to employees that is compatible with a health savings account, the HDHP must comply with minimum deductible and out-of-pocket maximum limits for 2013. 
EB 2012 Compliance - Transportation Fringe Benefit Limits
Jan. 4, 2013--The IRS issued final regulations on “qualified transportation fringe benefits” under Code Section 132. Read about what these benefits include.
EB 2012 Compliance - Adoption Assistance
Jan. 4, 2013--For employer-sponsored adoption assistance programs, the maximum amount excludible from an employee’s income in 2013 for the adoption of a child will be $12,650. Read more about at what income level this benefit begins to phase out.
EB 2012 Compliance - Dependent Care Regulations
Jan. 4, 2013--Sponsors of dependent care assistance plans are required to notify plan participants of the total tax-free benefit they received through the plan during the calendar year by January 31, 2013. 
EB 2012 Compliance - Annual Reporting Requirements
Jan. 4, 2013--Welfare benefit plans that have 100 or more participants enrolled on the first day of the plan year are required to file Form 5500 each year. Filing must be completed by the last day of the seventh month after the end of the plan year.
EB 2012 Compliance - Section 105H Nondiscrimination Requirements
Jan. 4, 2013--Self-funded, or self-insured, health plans are also subject to certain nondiscrimination requirements in terms of benefits, eligibility and contributions. There are two “tests” that a plan must pass.
EB 2012 Compliance - Cafeteria Plan Nondiscrimination Requirements
Jan. 4, 2013--Cafeteria plans must meet certain nondiscrimination requirements to ensure highly compensated key employees do not receive a disproportionate amount of tax-advantaged benefit.
EB 2012 Compliance - Disability Benefit Taxation
Jan. 4, 2013--Employees who receive disability benefits (long term or short term) may be taxed on these benefits based on how the premiums are paid.
EB 2012 Compliance - Medicare Prescription Drug Improvements & Modernization Act
Jan. 4, 2013--Employers must continue to fulfill annual requirements related to Medicare Part D with both their employees and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
EB 2012 Compliance - Group Term Life Insurance Imputed Income
Jan. 4, 2013--Internal Revenue Code Section 79 permits an employee to receive up to $50,000 of group term basic life insurance on a tax-free basis. The value of an amount over $50,000 must be added to the individual’s taxable income. In addition, imputed income rules also may apply to voluntary or optional life insurance depending on the benefit plan structure.
EB 2012 Compliance - Annual Notice Requirements & Reminders
Jan. 4, 2013--Group health plan sponsors should ensure compliance with the following notice requirements.
RJF Becoming MMA
December 31, 2012--We are taking steps to adopt the Marsh & McLennan Agency name and logo. You’ll see it happening over the coming months, with the expectation that in July, the RJF name and logo will no longer be used.
Trends in Employment Law Claims — Looking Back
Dec. 19, 2012--The increase in both employment law claims and award amounts has generated significant concern among all employers, both large and small. Here we provide a thumbnail analysis of recent years’ employment claims.
News Release - MMA Acquires Brower
White Plains, New York, December 5, 2012 – Continuing its strategy to build a national platform, Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), a subsidiary of insurance broker Marsh Inc., today announced the acquisition of Brower Insurance Agency.
Increased Medicare Tax
Dec. 4, 2012-- The Affordable Care Act imposes an increased Medicare tax on higher income individuals. There are a couple of things employers need to consider when applying the higher tax rate.
Wellness Program Guidance
Dec. 4, 2012--Long-awaited guidance on several key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, including requirements on essential health benefits, preventing pre-existing condition discrimination & employment-based wellness programs has been released.
Addressing Employee Needs Following Disaster
Disasters to your business are possible. Remember to consider your employees as you plan your recovery efforts.Nov. 30, 2012--Employers need to recognize that, while their employees want to support the rebuilding and recovery process following a disaster, they are also struggling with personal priorities and issues.
Small Group Insurance Regulations
Nov. 21, 2012--The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released two sets of proposed regulations related to provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that are important to individual and fully-insured small group health plans.
MN Workers Comp Insurance Payroll
Nov. 21, 2012--The Minnesota Dept. of Commerce is changing the formula used to calculate workers’ compensation premiums. This change increases the individual weekly remuneration for officers and owners.
Impact of the Election on the ACA
Nov. 12, 2012--With the re-election of President Obama and very little change in the make-up of Congress, the path to full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) now seems clear. Now it is time to move forward to implement what is necessary for each particular employer.
Compliance Year-End Reminders
Nov. 7, 2012--As the close of 2012 draws near, we wanted to provide employers with some year-end reminders about compliance deadlines that are coming up soon.
News Release - MMA Acquires Protector Group
White Plains, New York, November 5, 2012 – Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), a subsidiary of insurance broker Marsh Inc., today announced that it has acquired Howalt+McDowell Insurance, Inc., the largest independent agency in South Dakota.
News Release - MMA Acquires Howalt McDowell
Howalt+McDowell Insurnace joins Marsh & McLennan Agency.White Plains, New York, November 5, 2012 – Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), a subsidiary of insurance broker Marsh Inc., today announced that it has acquired Howalt+McDowell Insurance, Inc., the largest independent agency in South Dakota.
Disaster-related Information for Employers
How your business prepares for natural disasters can make disaster recovery efforts much smoother and increase the damage to your business.This is an aggregate of multiple resources related to helping employers prepare for and recover from a disaster.
Tip Sheet - Resources for Employees following disaster
Nov. 6, 2012--Following a disaster, employees need support too. We've aggregated various agencies and programs that would be of most use to employees and their families post-disaster.
Compliance Calendars
This Compliance Calendar will help you determine your plan's filing obligations.
Tip Sheet - Documenting Damages & Losses
Nov. 1, 2012--During the claims process, you will need to provide evidence of the damage and the loss, both in terms of property damage and business interruption. Here's a checklist of the information business owners will need to provide.
Post-Disaster - Mitigate The Impact
Oct. 31, 2012--Following a disaster event — fire, flood, blizzard or tornado, for example — business owners are faced with a daunting aftermath. The following is an overview how to mitigate damage and increase your chances of reopening your business.
ACA Impact on Small Businesses
Oct. 2, 2012--The ACA has a significant impact on the health plans that employers offer to their employees. This summary provides an overview of many of the significant elements of the Act that are of particular importance to small employers.
RJF Hires Brian Szczech
September 28, 2012—Brian Szczech recently joined Marsh & McLennan Agency, as its newest employee benefits consultant.
Are You Emod Savvy?
Sept. 26, 2012--First, a short primer. Your workers’ compensation e-mod (aka Experience Modification Rating, EMR or mod) is a multiplier used by your work comp insurance company to help determine the amount of your premium.
Why Sales Managers Fail
Sept. 20, 2012--The Sales Manager position is one of the most difficult in a company. The success or failure directly impacts the profitability of the company. The purpose of this article is not to discuss all the contributing factors to failure of those in the position of Sales Manager, but rather to address some of the hidden reasons for lack of success.
Disaster Preparedness And Recovery — Useful Resources
Sept. 11, 2012-- Preparing for what to do during and aftera disaster is a key to mitigating the impact on your business. Here's a list of Websites with useful information to help prepare for and recover from disasters and weather-related events.
News Release - MMA Acquires Rosenfeld Einstein
September 10, 2012--Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), a subsidiary of insurance broker Marsh Inc., today announced that it has acquired Rosenfeld Einstein, a $9 million property/casualty and employee benefits agency based in Greenville, S.C.
News Release - MMA Acquires Eidson Insurance
September 6, 2012 – Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), a subsidiary of insurance broker Marsh Inc., today announced it has acquired Eidson Insurance, a $3.4 million revenue property/casualty and employee benefits agency based in Orlando, Florida.
Definition of Full-time Employee
September 5, 2012--The IRS released Notice 2012-58 which includes guidance related to the definition of full-time employee.
Updated CHIP Notice
August 24, 2012--The DOL has updated the model notice that employers may use to satisfy the CHIP notice requirement.
SCOTUS Decision & the Impact on Employers
August 7, 2012--The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the individual mandate under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is constitutional. The Act's coverage mandates remain in effect and the implementation and administration of its various mandates will need to continue.
Flood Prep & Response
July 12, 2012--Angela Wheeler, MMA claims consultant and specialist on property damage, provides some recommendations on how to safeguard your company from flood damage and what to do after a flood occurs, as well as some general flood safety tips.
News Release - MMA Acquires Security Insurance Services
July 9, 2012--Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), a subsidiary of insurance broker Marsh Inc., announced the acquisition of Security Insurance Services Inc., one of the largest insurance agencies in Wisconsin.
RJF on the Security Insurance Services Acquisition
July 9, 2012--Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC recently acquired Security Insurance Services, based in Milwaukee.
NFIP Extended for Five Years
July 6, 2012--On Friday, June 29, Congress extended the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) until September 31, 2017, and vowed to make it more financially sound.
June 28, 2012--In what may be the most anticipated decision in at least a generation, the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the so called “individual mandate” contained in the Affordable Care Act.
Distracted Driving
June 14, 2012--Distracted driving is defined as any activity that could direct a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. The three main types of distractions include visual, manual and cognitive.
Facts About Emod Changes
June 14, 2012--The NCCI and MWCIA are making changes to how experience modifiers (emods) are calculated. Outlined here are some of the basic facts explaining how employers may be affected by this change to workers' compensation insurance premiums.
News Release - MMA Acquires Progressive Benefit Solutions
White Plains, New York, June 8, 2012 – Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), a subsidiary of broker Marsh Inc., today announced that it has acquired Progressive Benefit Solutions (PBS), a $5 million revenue employee benefits agency based in Raleigh, Nor
Covering Your Bases - Insuring Against Disasters
June 8, 2012--Business owners need to understand how their insurance will respond after a disaster and what their role is. After a disaster, policyholders should be prepared to secure the loss site, notify the insurer, and prepare to rebuild.
Medical Loss Ratio Rebates
June 4, 2012--Beginning in 2012, insurers must report their prior year MLR data to the Department of Health and Human Services by June 1 and if the minimum standards described above are not satisfied, premium rebates must be provided to policyholders no later than August 1.
FSA Limit
June 4, 2012--The IRS issued Notice 2012-40, which provides guidance regarding the effective date of the $2,500 limit on salary reduction contributions for Section 125 cafeteria plan health care flexible spending arrangements and the deadline for amending plans to comply with the limit.
HSA Limits for 2013
June 4, 2012--The Internal Revenue Service has issued maximum contribution, deductible and out-of-pocket maximum limits for Health Savings Accounts and HSA-compatible high deductible health plans for the 2013 calendar year.
Briefly From Bill - Three Upcoming Risks for Employers
May 31, 2012--Three prominent risks facing employers include the upcoming health care reform ruling by the United States Supreme Court, a changing property and casualty insurance marketplace, and the pending storm season.
Wage Continuation Reporting
May 24, 2012--The practice of wage continuation has been deemed inappropriate when the carrier is not notified of the lost time resulting in inaccurate reporting to the state bureau for unit statistical purposes regarding a company’s experience modif
The Changing Commercial Insurance Marketplace
May 24, 2012--RJF's Laura Moore's piece for Finance and Commerce discusses reasons why the commercial insurance marketplace is changing, ushering in premium increases and less-favorable terms.
False Claims Act
May 18, 2012--The False Claims Act is intended to discourage people and businesses from defrauding the government. If a false claims is made, individuals and companies may be subject to large penalties.
Stillwater Fire Department Receives Grant For Fire Rescue Boat
May 14, 2012--Thanks to a $12,989 donation from Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company and Marsh & McLennan Agency, Stillwater Fire Department is retrofitting a 24-foot surplus Coast Guard fire boat they recently acquired.
What to Expect from Your Carrier Post-Disaster
May 15, 2012--An MMA claims consultant and specialist on property damage explains what businesses can and should expect from their carrier in the event of a weather-related catastrophe.
Cobra Audit Guidelines Revised by IRS
May 2, 2012--The IRS may be stepping up their efforts to ensure that employers are complying with COBRA when it recently updated its COBRA audit procedures on its Website last month.
DOL Begins Enforcing Affordable Care Act
May 2, 2012--Written audit requests to health and welfare plans from the DOL have included inquiries related to various mandates under the Affordable Care Act. This marks the first appearance of ACA-related topics in DOL auditing practices.
Comparative Effectiveness Fees
May 1, 2012--The IRS has issued proposed rules addressing the comparative effectiveness research fees imposed by the Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) on health insurance carriers and plan sponsors of self-insured health plans.
Group Disability Insurance
May 1, 2012--Studies show that working-age adults are more likely to suffer from a disability in a given year than they are to die. Unless it is offered through their employer, most adults have little, if any, disability insurance coverage.
Hiring Considerations- Arrests & Conviction Records
April 27, 2012--The EEOC voted and approved revisions to the use of arrest and conviction records in the hiring process. The approval addresses which factors an employer should consider when utilizing criminal conviction history.
Health Care Reform Employer Penalties
April 2, 2012--Sunday’s Star Tribune featured a health care reform Q&A with RJF’s Mary Setter. Based on how the article was edited, there may be some confusion about how health care reform penalties work and are applied to employers.
HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices
March 27, 2012--HIPAA requires that plan participants of employer-sponsored health plans receive a Notice of Privacy Practices. The requirement applies to several different types of health plans.
Final Rule for Health Insurance Exchanges
March 27, 2012--The Department of Health and Human Services published the final rule on Affordable Health Insurance Exchanges to provide states with a framework for establishing their exchanges while preserving flexibility. 
FAQ SBC Requirements
March 27, 2012--The recently released FAQ's regarding the implementation of the SBC provisions contains 24 questions received by the DOL, HHS and the Treasury. 
News Release - MMA Acquires KSPH
March 13, 2012, New York--Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), a subsidiary of insurance broker Marsh Inc., today announced that it has acquired KSPH LLC, a $5 million revenue employee benefits agency based in Glen Allen, Virginia.
Payroll Tax Cut Extended
March 5, 2012--The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 will extend the two percentage point payroll tax cut that has been in effect since the beginning of 2011.
Affordable Care Act Technical Release
March 5, 2012--The Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued a technical release providing  responses to questions from employers and other stakeholders regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions governing automatic enrollment, employer shared responsibility (sometimes referred to as “play or pay”), and waiting periods.
Healthy Culture Great Company
WHITE PAPER--Developing a process to change your company culture is not only an effective way to engage your workforce, it is the only way to make lasting changes to overall productivity, employee satisfaction and, consequently, the bottom line.
Four Pillars of Organic Growth

Feb. 17, 2012--Strong organic growth depends on the successful execution of four disciplines. These four disciplines function as pillars that form the structural integrity of your talent development plan.

Defining the Employment Status of Interns
Feb. 17, 2012--Applying the term “intern” to a position does not exempt the employer from federal and state minimum wage and overtime laws. The positions must meet certain criteria, or they are subject to the same laws as employees.
Good Coach - Bad Coach
Feb. 17, 2012--Leading employees to personal and professional growth can be challenging. It is often easier to just give them the answer when they have a question. The good coach would instead ask them a question in return.
Regulations on Summary of Benefit & Coverages
Feb. 15, 2012--The IRS, Department of Labor and Health and Human Services released final regulations regarding the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) requirement contained in the Affordable Care Act.
Transportation Fringe Benefit Limits
Feb. 8, 2012--The IRS issued final regulations on “qualified transportation fringe benefits” under Code Section 132.
Cafeteria Plan Nondescrimination Requirements
Feb. 8, 2012--Cafeteria plans must meet certain nondiscrimination requirements to ensure highly compensated key employees do not receive a disproportionate amount of tax-advantaged benefit.
Statutory Disability 2012
Feb. 7, 2012--Certain states mandate short term disability (STD) coverage for employees who work in those states. States have varying eligibility requirements that determine if an individual is eligible for disability insurance.
Feb. 12, 2012--The Affordable Care Act established a uniform standard effective January 1, 2011 that applies to all tax-favored arrangements, such as flexible spending arrangements (FSAs), health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs)
Taxation of Domestic Partner Coverage
Feb. 7, 2012--Many employers provide health plan coverage to their employees’ domestic partners. This coverage may be taxable on a federal level to the employee depending on several factors.
RJF Wellness to Wellbeing
Jan. 31, 2012--Working in the employee benefits business, we’re often asked how we approach wellness with our own employees. Over time we have embraced a more well-rounded approach and are now focusing on our employees' overall wellbeing.
Posting OSHA's Form 300A
Jan. 20, 2012--Employers required to maintain records of occupational injuries and illnesses are reminded to do the following by February 1 to comply with OSHA's record-keeping requirement:
W2 Reporting Requirement Guidance
Jan. 10, 2012--The IRS recently released IRS Notice 2012-9 that provides employers additional guidance on the Form W-2 reporting requirement created under the Affordable Care Act.
NLRB Posting Requirement Delayed
Jan. 4, 2012--The National Labor Relations Board announced that it was delaying the implementation of its rule requiring covered employers to post notice of employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act.
CMV Drivers Banned From Cell Phones

Jan. 4, 2012--The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a new rule, effective, Jan. 3, 2012, prohibiting interstate commercial motor vehicle drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving.

Benefits Buzz Newsletters
Benefits and HR tips updated on a monthly basis.
Live Well Work Well Newsletters
A newsletter bringing readers information about healthy living.
Health Savings Account Plan Limits
Dec. 29, 2011--The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released the 2012 cost-of-living-adjusted HSA limits.
MN DEED Survey
Dec. 28, 2011--Most Minnesota manufacturers are predicting 2012 to be as good or better than 2011, according to a Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) report.
2014 Pay or Play Mandate
The Play or Pay law requires that employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees must provide a minimum level of medical insurance for their employees. If organizations do not meet the government requirements, they must pay a penalty.
HHS Issues Definition of Essential Health Benefits
Dec. 21, 2011--The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a bulletin outlining proposed policies that will give states flexibility to define the “essential health benefits” required by the Affordable Care Act.
Adoption Assistance Programs
Dec. 18, 2013--For employer-sponsored adoption assistance programs, the maximum amount excludible from an employee’s income in 2012 for the adoption of a child (both for regular and special needs adoptions) will be $12,650 (decreased from $13,360 in 2011)
Medicare Prescription Drug Act
Group health plans must provide notice to Medicare-eligible participants advising whether prescription drug coverage provided under the plan is “creditable” or “non-creditable”.
Final Regulations on Medical Loss Ratio
Dec. 12, 2011--The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced final regulations on the medical loss ratio (MLR) requirements under the Affordable Care Act1.
Dependent Care Regulations
Sponsors of dependent care assistance plans are required to notify plan participants of the total tax-free benefit they received through the plan during the calendar year by January 31, 2012.
Grandfathering of Group Health Plans
Dec. 8, 2011--As employers make changes to their plan’s benefits and contributions, the number of “grandfathered” plans has significantly decreased over the last year. Plans that lose that status must comply with additional provisions of the law.
2018 Excise Tax
The government has imposed an excise tax or “Cadillac Tax” if a plan’s value is above the required maximum.
Jeatran--MMA Acquisition of Seitlin
Nov. 22, 2011--Last week, Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA) announced its latest acquisition, Seitlin Insurance. Based in Florida this firm is about the same size as RJF, and was the largest independent agency in Florida.
Annual Reporting Requirements
Welfare benefit plans that have 100 or more participants enrolled on the first day of the plan year are required to file a Form 5500s (and attachments) each year.
Health Savings Accounts in Wisconsin
Wisconsin tax law was changed to treat Health Savings Account (HSA) contributions and earnings as tax-free for state income tax purposes.
News Release - MMA Acquires Seitlin
Nov. 17, 2011--Continuing its strategy to build a national platform, Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), a subsidiary of insurance broker Marsh Inc., announced today the acquisition of Seitlin Insurance.
HIPAA Audit Program
Nov. 14, 2011--The Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is piloting a program to perform up to 150 audits of covered entities to assess privacy and security compliance related to HIPAA requirements.
Insurance Market Changes - November 2011
Nov. 14, 2011--At RJF, we're seeing effect from this hardening market, including less available coverage, less favorable terms for policy holders like higher deductibles and lower limits, tighter underwriting scrutiny, and higher insurance premiums.
WI Tax Law-Health Insurance for Adult Children
Nov. 11, 2011--Wisconsin employers no longer need to add the fair market value for health insurance benefits to an employee's income as long as a child has not turned 27 by the end of the tax year.
State of Manufacturing 2012
Nov. 4, 2011--MMA is again sponsoring the State of Manufacturing™ research project, led by Enterprise Minnesota.
News Release - MMA Acquires Gallagher
Nov. 3, 2011--Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), a subsidiary of insurance broker Marsh Inc., today announced the acquisition of Gallagher & Associates Inc., a $1 million property and casualty insurance agency specializing in public school districts.
Wisconsin Changes Definition of Dependent
Oct. 31, 2011--The state of Wisconsin has passed legislation that would largely change the state’s definition of dependent for insurance coverage purposes to more closely follow the new federal definition created by the Affordable Care Act.
CLASS Act Suspended
Oct. 31, 2011--On Oct. 14 Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius released a report regarding the analysis and viability of the CLASS Act and announced that the Administration had decided to not move forward with its implementation.
Essential Health Benefit Recommendations
Oct. 20, 2011--Beginning in 2014, all individual health plans and small employer fully-insured health plans must include coverage for essential health benefits.
NLRB Posting Delayed
Oct. 15, 2011--The National Labor Relations Board extended the implementation deadline for its notice posting rule from November 14 to January 31, 2012.
American Jobs Act- Legislation Update
Oct. 1, 2011--President Obama presented the American Jobs Act, including the Fair Employment Opportunity Act of 2011. Based on this proposal, the Act will prohibit employers and employment agencies from discriminating against uunemployed job-seekers.
Preventing Harm to your Fiduciaries
Sept. 30, 2011--Any company that sponsors a 401(k) or profit-sharing plan, or welfare plan needs Fiduciary Liability coverage to protect against errors in plan administration and breaches of fiduciary duty under ERISA.
Concealed Carry in Wisconsin
Sept. 30, 2011--Wisconsin has passed legislation that permits licensed and trained individuals to carry a concealed weapon. The bill, which will take effect Nov. 1, 2011, also allows people to carry loaded, uncased guns in their vehicles.
Wellness Program Band-Aid
Sept. 30, 2011--Focusing on behaviors is like putting a Band-Aid on a tumor. To impact the causes of poor wellbeing, companies need to focus on how people think about their choices and strengthening judgment.
Briefly From Bill - RJF Rebrand
Sept. 30, 2011--Over the past two years we worked closely with a local branding company to help us convey our true corporate identity. In mid-July we made our official internal brand launch and we have been “taking it to the streets” ever since.
Medical Care Related Travel Expenses
Sept. 30, 2011--Employees with a Health Flexible Savings Account (FSA), Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) are able to claim medical care-related mileage for reimbursement at a slightly higher rate.
Medicare Part D
Sept. 16, 2011 -- Employers that provide prescription drug coverage must disclose to plan participants who are eligible for Medicare Part D whether the prescription drug coverage provided under the group health plan is creditable or non-creditable.
Partner with Claims Adjusters
Sept. 30, 2011--The outcome of claims depends on an attentive adjuster with good communication skills. Here are some tips business professionals working with claims can follow to maintain a positive relationship with the adjuster.
Fleming and Jeatran Entrepreneurs of the Year
Sept. 8, 2011--Tim Fleming, president of Marsh & McLennan Agency, and Bill Jeatran, RJF’s CEO, were jointly selected as St. John’s University’s inaugural Entrepreneurs of the Year.
Communication Strategies

Sept. 30, 2011--When people are not responding correctly, it’s time to stop and assess before you respond. You might first ask: How are we as leaders contributing to the problem? Have we failed to understand the needs and personalities of our people

Jeatran to SJU Board of Regents
Sept. 1, 2011--St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., recently named Bill Jeatran, chief executive officer of Marsh & McLennan Agency, to its Board of Regents. The three-year board term began July 1.
NLRA Rights Notice
Aug. 31, 2011--The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issues final regulation requiring employers to post National Labor Right Act (NLRA) Rights Notice.
Minnesota E-Verify
Aug. 31, 2011--E-Verify required for Minnesota business that provide $50,000 worth of services to the State of Minnesota.
RJF Hires Heather Roiger
Human Resource Consultant Heather RoigerAug. 30, 2011--Marsh & McLennan Agency, recently hired Heather Roiger as its newest human resources consultant.
Proposed SBC Requirements
Aug. 24, 2011 -- The Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor, and Health and Human Services have released proposed regulations for the Summary of Benefits and Coverage requirement (SBC) contained in the Affordable Care Act.
MN Taxation of Adult Children Coverage
Aug. 23, 2011 -- The Affordable Care Act extended coverage for eligible dependents up to age 26. The value of coverage for adult children can be excluded from the employee’s federal taxable income if the dependent will not reach age 27 during the calendar year.
Group Term Life Insurance
Internal Revenue Code Section 79 permits an employee to receive up to $50,000 of group term basic life insurance on a tax-free basis. The value amount over $50,000 must be added to the individual’s taxable income.
COBRA Subsidy Ending
Aug. 8, 2011 -- The COBRA subsidy provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) will soon come to an end.
Preventive Services for Women
Aug. 8, 2011 -- On August 1, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) adopted guidelines that require non-grandfathered health plans to provide women’s preventive services free of charge to participants.
Health Care Reform Fees
August 3, 2011--The IRS' Notice 2011-25 requests comments regarding the implementation of health plan fees which will help fund comparative clinical effectiveness research relating to patient-centered outcomes.
Same Sex Benefits
On July 2, 2011, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee signed legislation that allows same-sex couples to form civil unions effective as of July 1, 2011. The law comes just days after New York passed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage.