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November Client Spotlight: Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Alabama

Posted by Caitlin Miley on November 29, 2018



Company Name: Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Alabama

Location: Birmingham, AL

Time in Business: 117 years

Industry: Youth Development



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


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


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


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.

October Client Spotlight: Wild Things

Posted by Caitlin Miley on October 18, 2018


Company Name: Wild Things

Owner: Carolyn Harbert

Location: Homewood, AL

Time in Business: 1 year

Industry: Flowers & Curiosities



Wild Things Flowers & Curiosities—the name covers it all!

The first time I walked into the shop—tucked quietly away in SoHo—I felt like I was walking into a new world where everything was happy and peaceful and beautiful. From coffee table books to bath bombs and sweet- smelling candles to vases and flowers galore—I was in heaven.

Owner Carolyn Harbert and her team aim for their clients to come in curious and leave inspired. In addition to the storefront in Homewood, they share their passion for floral design and knack for creativity with clients in a multitude of ways: flower delivery, event design, styling and even hands-on workshops!

When Carolyn opened this dreamy store a year ago, she knew there was no better choice than to call Cobbs Allen for her small business insurance needs.

“They’ve helped with my personal insurance, so I knew I had to call them when it came to protecting my business,” Carolyn said. “Cobbs Allen has done such a great job making sure we are risk free. From the delivery van to our employees to everything in the store—I have peace of mind and know I can reach out to my risk consultants with any questions or concerns that come up.”

Cobbs Allen Welcomes Personal Lines Vice President of Gulf Coast Region

Posted by Caitlin Miley on September 17, 2018


Cobbs Allen is pleased to announce the addition of Brian Munger to our Personal Lines team. Brian joins us as Vice President of Personal Lines, Gulf Coast Region.

Brian has more than 19 years of experience in the personal lines industry prior to joining Cobbs Allen. He is a founding member of the Private Risk Management Association (PRMA) and attended AIG Private Client University to obtain training specific to working on accounts for successful individuals and families.

Brian has spoken many times to the Gulf Coast Estate Planning Council regarding personal lines insurance often being the missing piece of the estate planning process.

Outside of his career, Brian serves as a current board member for the Jaguar Athletic Fund—the fundraising arm for the University of South Alabama Athletic Department—as well as the sponsorship coordinator for Bo Bikes Bama—an event hosted by Bo Jackson that raises funds to build storm shelters in Alabama.

In 2011, he was honored as one of the Bay Areas Finest by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and in 2016 was named to the Top 40 Under 40 by Mobile Bay Monthly.

We are very excited to welcome Brian to our team!


Employers who sponsor group health plans must notify Medicare-eligible plan participants whether a plan's prescription drug coverage is creditable, i.e., pays on average as much as standard Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. This disclosure is due annually before October 15th as well as other times throughout the year.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS) provides two model notices for employers to customize and distribute - one for plans with creditable coverage and the other for plans with non-creditable coverage.  The purpose of this notice is to help individuals make informed decisions on when to elect Medicare Part D coverage to avoid late enrollment penalties.  There is no penalty on the employer for providing non-creditable coverage.

What Employers Need to Know

Employers should contact their insurers, third-party administrators (TPA) or pharmacy benefit managers (PBM) for information regarding creditable coverage status. A simplified determination method may also be used, where the simplified determination method is not applicable an actuarial determination should be made.

As a general recommendation and since it can be difficult for employers to identify all Medicare eligible individuals and beneficiaries, the notice(s) should be provided to all plan participants. There is flexibility in form and manner of disclosure notices. The disclosure notices can be provided with enrollment/renewal materials. Disclosure may also be provided electronically in accordance with Department of Labor electronic delivery requirements.

Click here for additional information in regards to meeting the deadline as well was weblinks to the model notices. 

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