Brown & Brown Metro
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Workers’ Compensation Under Attack?
The adoption of workers’ compensation insurance was a significant event in the United States. It represented the first instance of social insurance which set the stage for the adoption of government programs for unemployment, social security and health insurance. It came into existence as a compromise from the economic uncertainty employers faced from increasing workplace accidents. Workers’ Compensation legislation eliminated the high costs and mostly unsatisfactory results of litigation by eliminating the employees’ right to sue their employer in exchange for the employers’ agreement to pay for medical care and provide monetary support during the employees’ disability.
Now after 116 years this employer/employee agreement is in turmoil. Although rates for the last several years have remained stable and even decreased in many industries, employers contend rates are too high and lobbyists are threatening the states with the exodus of businesses if they do not address the situation. Because of this, many states are looking not only at reduced benefits for the injured workers but opt-out programs from the compulsory workers’ compensation state legislation. On the other hand labor representatives allege benefits have been slowly whittled away and the cost of insurance cannot be blamed solely on the injured employee. Many groups contend the benefit levels are at a point where the compensation to the employee is insufficient to sustain his/her living costs during the disability because of inflation or the use of medical guidelines that have taken away the availability of reasonable and necessary medical care.
The Federal government is now looking at the possibility of intervention with an oversight committee on the varying state systems. This is not a new concept. As far back as 1972 President Nixon had the US Department of Labor establish a committee to oversee the states. The current Federal climate seems to be leaning toward establishing more stringent Federal standards while leaving the individual state systems independent and subject only to state legislation. Many of the states are already addressing the battle between premiums and benefits and have instituted regulation which allows employers the ability to require back to work programs as well as utilization of mandatory pre-approved medical groups/hospitals.
Brown & Brown Metro will continue to monitor the workers’ compensation marketplace and will communicate any new regulations or changes to our clients. If you have any questions on your workers’ compensation program please contact your account representative.
Avoiding Common Tax Scams
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released its annual list of tax scams, titled the “Dirty Dozen“, with a warning to tax payers about aggressive telephone scams and email phishing schemes occurring across the country. The IRS urges taxpayers not to give out any personal financial information or money to people claiming to be from the IRS.
Taxpayers should remember that they are legally responsible for what is on their tax returns, even if it is prepared by someone else, and that illegal scams can lead to significant penalties and interest.
Common Tax Schemes
Aggressive phone scams from callers claiming to be from the IRS have been plaguing taxpayers lately. Victims are told they owe money to the IRS that must be paid immediately, or that they are entitled to a tax refund. If victims do not cooperate, they are threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a driver’s license. The IRS will never demand immediate payment, ask you to give credit or debit card information over the phone, or threaten you for not paying. These are all red flags and should be reported to the IRS immediately.
Where can I Find Additional Help?
Tax payers lose millions of dollars each year as a result of tax scams. To see a full list of the “Dirty Dozen” and what you can do to avoid them, visit the IRS’ website.
More information about tax scams is available on the IRS’ social media sites, including Youtube www.youtube.com/user/irsvideos and Tumbler http://internalreveneservice.tumblr.com: Just search “Scam” to find all the scam-related posts.
Coverage Subject to PCORI Fees
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes a fee on health insurance issuers and plan sponsors of self-insured health plans to help fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. The fee, called the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee, is calculated based on the average number of lives covered under the policy or plan.
The fee applies to policy or plan years ending on or after Oct. 1, 2012, and before Oct. 1, 2019. The PCORI fee is filed using IRS Form 720, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return. Although Form 720 is a quarterly return for PCORI fees, Form 720 must be filed annually only by July 31 of each year.
This ACA Overview includes a chart issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on the application of the PCORI fee to common types of health coverage or arrangements. Please contact Brown & Brown Metro, LLC for more information on the PCORI fee.
Links and Resources
Please see the following IRS resources for more information on the ACA’s PCORI fees:
• PCORI Fee Overview Page
• PCORI Fee: Questions and Answers
• IRS Form 720 and instructions
• PCORI Fee Due Dates and Applicable Rates
Say Hello to Generation Z!
In the next few years, members of Generation Z—those born between 1995 and 209—will begin entering the workforce. They are remarkably different than their millennial predecessors and their arrival should force businesses to change their marketing strategies and rethink recruitment and retainment techniques. The following article examines the typical characteristics of Generation Z and how they are expected to change the workforce.
Who is Generation Z?
Generation Z grew up during the recession, so they are thought to be more career-orientated than millennials. They grew up hearing about the struggles of millennials (high student debt, having to move back in with parents, etc.), and they are trying to avoid making the same mistakes. They are more realistic and resourceful and desire to have more control over their careers.
Generation Z members aspire to be entrepreneurs. According to a study from Universum, 55 percent of Generation Z members are interested in starting their own companies. Like the millennials before them, Generation Z shuns the traditional 9-to-5 office jobs and dreams of self-employment. Generation Z grew up witnessing the success of innovative startups like Facebook and Uber, as well as crowd-sourcing. They have ambitious goals of developing their own startups and being their own bosses.
Generation Z and Social Media
While millennials are undoubtedly digital, Generation Z grew up with the Internet and likely cannot remember a time without social media. They are more tech-savvy than their predecessors and are used to having information instantly available at their fingertips. Generation Z, however, tends to shy away from many of the social media sites that other generations have embraced. They are aware of their “personal brand,” and have seen first-hand the damage that can come from posting an incriminating photo. As a result, they are turning away from social media platforms like Facebook in favor of more anonymous apps like Whisper, Snapchat and Secret.
Generation Z tends to gravitate towards more visual content. They like to communicate using emojis and emoticons, and prefer live-streaming media like Twitch and Ustream. According to a study from Marketo, 52 percent of Generation Z members use YouTube or other social media sites for research—highlighting the importance fine-tuning your social media efforts.
Recruiting and Retaining Generation Z
Because Generation Z will be even more tech-savvy than previous generations, it is important to connect with these individuals on multiple social media platforms. Make sure your company’s website and hiring process (e.g., job posts and application) is mobile-friendly, and develop innovative recruitment videos that can be easily shared on sites like YouTube to attract new top talent.
The Care You Took To Select It.
Is The Care We’ll Take to Protect It.
You bought it because you loved it!
Whether it’s a precious piece of jewelry, a painting, sculpture, antiques, rare coins, or memorabilia, we can help protect the possessions you cherish the most. Homeowner policies have limitations for protection of valuable items. The limits on many standard homeowner policies for valuables like jewelry and silverware range from $1,000 to $5,000. Is that enough to cover the possessions you love? We’re here to help. Reach out to the Personal Lines Department today.
Brown & Brown Metro, LLC
56 Livingston Avenue Roseland, New Jersey 07068
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