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Insights

Cobbs Allen Continues to Grow

Posted by Caitlin Miley on December 21, 2018

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Cobbs Allen has welcomed several new associates over the past few months – we are excited to have each one of them on our team and look forward to all they will achieve. Please join us in welcoming Jack Meikle, Jim Cooley, Melanie Hunter, Hunt Guyton, and Ben Campbell

Jack Meikle joined our Houston office as Risk Consultant. Jack comes with two years’ experience in the insurance industry and three years’ experience working Offshore North Sea. He currently serves as the Finance Director for the Young Risk Professionals of Houston. Jack graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance with a specialty in Global Energy Management.

Our Loss Control team welcomed Jim Cooley as Senior Loss Control Consultant. Jim has more than 18 years’ experience in the safety field – most recently serving as Compliance Assistance Specialist with OSHA. He is also retired from the U.S. Army with 21 years of active duty. Jim graduated from Columbia Southern University with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety and Health.

We welcomed Melanie Hunter to our Property & Casualty service team as a Junior Account Manager. Melanie has 10 years’ experience in insurance, beginning her career as a Senior Account Representative at State Farm; she most recently spent five years in the underwriting department at ProAssurance. Melanie is working to earn additional insurance designations including the RPLU and AINS.

Previous Loss Control Intern, Hunt Guyton, joined full-time as a Loss Control Consultant. Hunt has been interning with us for the last six months, and we are thrilled to have him on board permanently! He is a graduate from Jacksonville State University, where he studied Occupational Health and Safety Management.

The newest addition to our team, Ben Campbell, joins our Birmingham office as a Risk Consultant. Ben comes to Cobbs Allen after working in sales for AmerisourceBergen for more than 17 years, serving in B2B sales as an Account Manager, Sales Executive, and Regional Sales Manager. Outside of his career, he currently serves as the President and Chairman of the Board for Wise Guys Ministries. Ben graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in Health Promotion.


Furnishing Deadline Delayed for 2018 ACA Reporting

Posted by Megan Zimmerman on December 12, 2018

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Employer Furnishing Deadlines

The IRS has delayed the 2018 furnishing deadline for ACA reporting, under Section 6055 and Section 6056. As a result, health insurers, self-insuring employers, other health coverage providers and applicable large employers now have until March 4, 2019 (the original deadline was January 31, 2019) to provide Forms 1095-B or 1095-C to employees or covered individuals. This is an automatic extension for all reporting entities; therefore, the IRS will not grant any additional extensions of time to furnish the required forms 1095-B or 1095-C to employees or covered individuals.

IRS Filing Deadlines

However, the due dates for filing returns (Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C or 1095-C) with the IRS for 2018 have not been extended. The due dates to file returns with the IRS are below:

  • February 28, 2019 if filing paper forms
  • April 1, 2019 if filing electronically (since March 31, 2019 is a Sunday) electronic filing is required if filing more than 250 Forms 1095-C for 2018

Because the due dates for filing forms with the IRS are unchanged, extensions for filing these returns are still available under the traditional rules by submitting a Form 8809, including the rules for hardship conditions.

Employers who fail to meet the deadlines for furnishing and filing the forms are subject to penalties; however, even if employers or other providers miss the deadline efforts should continue to be made to furnish and file the forms to potentially mitigate penalties.

Good Faith Transition Relief

In addition, the IRS extended transition relief from penalties for entities that can prove a good faith effort was made to comply with 2018 reporting requirements despite incorrect or incomplete information. For example, relief exists for incorrect taxpayer identification numbers and dates of birth as well as other required information. There is no relief for not making a good faith effort to comply with reporting requirements or failing to furnish or file forms in a timely manner.

What Individuals Should Know

Individuals may not receive Forms 1095-B or 1095-C in time to file 2018 tax returns. If the forms are available, individuals should include the forms in their 2018 tax filing but should not wait for the forms to file 2018 tax returns. The forms should be kept with other tax records.

What Employers Should Know

Employers should continue with their efforts to furnish required forms to individuals as soon as they are available as well as to file the required forms with the IRS within the stated deadlines in order to avoid penalties.   

Click here  for additional information.


Cobbs Allen Welcomes Phil Lukefahr

Posted by Caitlin Miley on December 10, 2018

We are pleased to welcome Phil Lukefahr to our Energy Practice Group team in Houston.

Phil comes to Cobbs Allen with more than 10 years’ experience in the energy insurance industry—most recently serving as Senior Vice President and E&P Sales Leader at Aon in Houston. Throughout his career, he has represented clients in the upstream, midstream, and oilfield services sectors, with clientele spanning from small- and middle-market all the way to publicly traded oil and gas companies.

This addition is validation that our privately-held, exclusively client-driven model is the preferred home of the new generation of risk consultants—especially during this unprecedented period of cyclical broker consolidation.

Welcome, Phil!


November Client Spotlight: Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Alabama

Posted by Caitlin Miley on November 29, 2018

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Company Name: Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Alabama

Location: Birmingham, AL

Time in Business: 117 years

Industry: Youth Development

Website: www.bgcca.org

 

For more than 117 years, the Boys & Girls Clubs have made a positive impact on the youth of central Alabama. The organization focuses on building character, citizenship, academic success and healthy lifestyles among its club members. They achieve this through various programming and activities throughout the year.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Alabama chose to partner with Cobbs Allen on their risk management needs for three reasons: excellent customer service, affordability and industry reputation.

“Cobbs Allen stepped up in a major way when one of our Clubs’ vans was stolen,” said Bertram Young, Resource Development Director at BGCCA. “Our team at Cobbs Allen did everything in their power to ensure that the process was handled as quickly and smoothly as possible.”

Cobbs Allen is proud to assist non-profit organizations like Boys & Girls Club of Central Alabama with their risk management needs. We strive to provide excellent service always, but especially for those who are providing excellent services in our community.


Health FSA Limit will Increase for 2019

Posted by Megan Zimmerman on November 26, 2018

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For taxable years beginning in 2019, the IRS dollar limit for employee health Flexible Spending Account (FSA) contributions is increased to $2,700. The health FSA dollar limit is on an employee basis; therefore, each employee may only elect up to $2,700 regardless of any additional family members who may benefit from the use of health FSA funds. Eligible family members may open their own FSA with a separate $2,700 limit. For example, a husband and wife who each have their own health FSA may each make contributions of up to $2,700. 

As a reminder, the IRS employee contribution limit for dependent care accounts will continue to be $5,000 ($2,500 if married and filing taxes separately). 

What Employers Need to Know

Employers may impose their own dollar limit on employees' contributions to health FSAs so long as it does not exceed the IRS limit for the taxable year.  However, employers who plan to allow employees to contribute up to the IRS dollar limit ($2,700) should communicate the new limit to employees for 2019 as part of the open enrollment process. Employers should also consult with their broker/carrier to make sure that plan documents specify the health FSA dollar limit that will be used for 2019. 

Click here  for additional information.


Marc Escalona: Young Guns 2018

Posted by Caitlin Miley on November 20, 2018

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We're proud to share that Marc Escalona, Cobbs Allen Vice President of Captive Practice, was named to Insurance Business America's Young Guns 2018. Each year IBA puts together this list of insurance professionals, all of whom are 35-years-old or younger, who are contributing to the industry in big ways.

"Recruiting, engaging, training and retaining young talent in the insurance industry has long been a concern," the magazine states, "yet the 54 individuals featured on IBA's annual Young Guns list paint a much brighter picture of the industry's future."

In his more than six years at Cobbs Allen, Marc has grown to oversee our alternative risk and captive strategies practice group, which has seen constant growth under his leadership. 

Read more about the Young Guns of 2018, including more on Marc, on IBA's website


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Cobbs Allen congratulates Risk Consultant Daniel Kusmin on being named to the 2018 class of Ingram’s 20 in their Twenties.

Ingram’s has been spotlighting young executives and business owners in the Kansas City area for 10 years now—recognizing those who have demonstrated that they possess the qualities to be considered future leaders in the business community.

Daniel joined Cobbs Allen in June of 2017 in order to pursue his desire of being in sales. He attributes his success to the great people surrounding him at Cobbs Allen and their investment in his professional development.

“Daniel has been an outstanding addition to our Kansas City team, our Education Practice Group and our company as a whole,” said Bruce Denson Jr., Cobbs Allen President. “He is bright and engaging but also an extremely hard worker and he cares deeply about our clients.  I’m happy he is being recognized and expect many more accolades will follow.”

Daniel has a bachelor’s degrees in finance with a minor in economics from the University of Kansas, and holds the ARM designation.

Read more about Daniel and the 2018 class of 20 in their Twenties on Ingram’s website.


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