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Senate Votes to Debate ACA Bill Repeal

Posted by Tracy Leeth on July 26, 2017

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The Senate including the Vice President voted 51-50 yesterday to begin debate on The American Health Care Act (AHCA) which would repeal portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  During the debate process, amendments will be considered to finalize the bill.  Twenty hours of debate is required before a final vote may be held on the bill.

Cobbs Allen will continue to monitor progress on ACA repeal efforts and keep you apprised of advancements.


REMINDER! The EEO-1 Reporting Deadline Has Changed

Posted by Vanessa Lolli on July 26, 2017

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Based on changes that the EEOC announced in September 2016, eligible employers do not have to file the EEO-1 report for the 2017 reporting year until March 31, 2018. Additionally, there are new requirements for data collected during the 2017 reporting year. Employers are required to include summary pay and hours of work information in the EEO-1. Click here to find out more about the steps you must take to remain in compliance with the EEO-1 guidelines. 


Cobbs Allen Houston Celebrates 1st Anniversary

Posted by Angela Wolfe on July 20, 2017

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(Pictured left to right:  Annette Griggs, Tim Carroll, Bruce Denson, Sr., Bruce Denson, Jr., Mark Mullervy, Josh Kirklin, and Robert Plumb.)

Cobbs Allen is proud to celebrate the first anniversary of the Houston office. Josh, Mark, Robert and their team have met success introducing Cobbs Allen to the Houston energy market. Chairman of the Board Bruce Denson, Sr. and president and COO Bruce Denson, Jr. joined over 90 clients, friends, carrier partners and Cobbs Allen associates for the celebration last night at local hot spot King's BierHaus. Bruce Denson, Jr. commented, "Cobbs Allen-Houston has been an unbelievable success. Our team there is the best in the business and are great business partners. They are thoughtful and straight-forward and work incredibly hard for our clients. I think they will be our fastest growing office for years to come."


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Survey: Many Americans with Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance, Especially Millennials, Struggling with Rising Out-of-Pocket Costs

Less than half of employees are aware of supplemental group insurance benefits designed to help them manage the unexpected expenses of an injury or illness, survey finds

July 17, 2017 10:43 AM Eastern Daylight Time

ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With deductibles continuing to climb, many Americans who have health insurance through their employers, particularly younger workers, are struggling when it comes to out-of-pocket medical expenses.

According to a new survey from Securian Financial Group, a provider of supplemental group insurance products, nearly four in 10 workers on employer-sponsored health plans are personally experiencing or know someone who is having financial difficulty due to medical bills. Notably, more than half (52 percent) of Millennials on a health plan through their employer are personally struggling or know someone who is struggling to pay medical bills.

While solutions for combating unexpected medical expenses are available, most workers do not know about them. The survey found that fewer than half of Americans with health insurance through work (44 percent) are aware that many employers provide supplemental group insurance options to help employees pay for out-of-pocket expenses and other costs associated with an accidental injury, hospital stay or critical illness.

“The rising cost of health care has driven many employers to offer supplemental group insurance products, often in conjunction with a Health Savings Account,” said Elias Vogen, a director with Securian. “This combination can be cost-effective for both employer and employee, and our survey shows that when employees are aware that these benefits are available to them through work they opt in at a high rate—64 percent for accident insurance, 59 percent for hospital indemnity insurance and 47 percent for critical illness insurance.”

Access the full article and links here.


 

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On Thursday, June 22, 2017, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky released a 142-page healthcare “Discussion Draft” of legislation, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA), which is the Senate version of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) “repeal-and-replace” legislation American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last month.  An updated “Discussion Draft” of the BCRA was released on June 26, 2017 with the intention of calling for a vote on the bill before the Fourth of July recess. However, Senator McConnell had to delay that vote after it became clear that it would not get the 51 votes required under the Budget Reconciliation rules to pass.  A further updated Discussion Draft of the BCRA was released on July 13, 2017.  A summary of the updated July 13 draft of the BCRA by the U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget is available here and a section-by-section summary of the July 13 version is available here and here.  

Click here to review the full update.


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(Pictured left to right are Matthew Graham, Nikita Austin, and William Lathem.)

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(Pictured left to right are Ellis McConn and Jenna Daniels.)

Cobbs Allen is pleased to welcome Matthew Graham, Nikita Austin, and William Lathem to the Birmingham, AL office and Ellis McConn and Jenna Daniels to our Houston, TX office. 

Matthew joins us as the new Vice President of Loss Control and Senior Safety and Heath Consultant. He has over 15 years' loss control experience and comes to Cobbs Allen after success as a private consultant. He has extensive technical knowledge and leadership acumen within the environmental, health, and safety disciplines. He has a B.S. in Biology and General Science and an M.S. in Health Promotion, both from Mississippi State University.

Nikita is the first smiling face you will see when you visit our corporate office and serves as our receptionist. Nikita is an administrative specialist with over 15 years of office management, customer service, and sales experience. Her work experiences includes: local government, education, non-profit, and retail. Nikita has an A.D. in Administrative Office Management and a B.A. in Business Management, both from Virginia College.

William worked as a Cobbs Allen summer intern for the past two years and joins us full-time as a risk consultant. During his internship last summer, he obtained his Property & Casualty license. This fall, William will participate in the North American Relationship Development program with Miller Insurance Services, LLP in London. He graduated in May with a B.S. in Finance from Auburn University. 

Ellis joins the Houston energy team with over nine years of industry experience. His experience includes brokering joint venturing transactions in the Eagle Ford Shale group. He has a B.S. in Political Science with a minor in Global Business from the University of Houston and has obtained the designation of CLCS.

Jenna will support the Houston energy team as an Associate Account Executive. She has over 10 years' experience in servicing energy accounts. She will assist the team and clients with day-to-day operations, requests and special projects.


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 The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration today proposed a delay in the electronic reporting compliance date of the rule, Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, from July 1, 2017, to Dec. 1, 2017. The proposed delay will allow OSHA an opportunity to further review and consider the rule.

The agency published the final rule on May 12, 2016, and has determined that a further delay of the compliance date is appropriate for the purpose of additional review into questions of law and policy.  The delay will also allow OSHA to provide employers the same four-month window for submitting data that the original rule would have provided.

OSHA invites the public to comment on the proposed deadline extension. Comments may be submitted electronically at www.regulations.gov, the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal, or by mail or facsimile. See the Federal Register notice for details. The deadline for submitting comments is July 13, 2017.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.