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New Faces, New Places

Posted by Elizabeth Scull on June 5, 2018


Cobbs Allen is pleased to welcome three new associates to our Birmingham office – Hanna Kellar, Emily McNatt and Elizabeth Scull.

Hanna Kellar, a University of Alabama graduate, joins as a Junior Account Manager. Hanna will work in the mail room and serve as back up at the front desk as needed.

Emily McNatt, a recent Samford University graduate, joins as a Junior Account Executive in our P&C Division. Emily graduated Cum Laude in May with a dual bachelor’s degree in marketing and management. Prior to Cobbs Allen, Emily worked as a Marketing and Sales Intern at Big Lead Gen Inc. and served as a Sales Representative at Huddle Inc.

Elizabeth Scull, a senior at the University of Alabama, joins our Communications department as our summer intern. Elizabeth will assist the department with all communications-related functions, including writing content for our Insights page, editing and creating sales pieces and helping to organize and inventory our marketing materials.


May Client Spotlight: Firehouse Ministries

Posted by Caitlin Miley on May 31, 2018


Company Name: Firehouse Ministries

Executive Director: Anne Rygiel

Location: Birmingham, AL

Years in business: 35

Industry: Nonprofit



Firehouse Ministries serves the chronically homeless male population—men who traditionally have the most barriers and are the most expensive to serve, for both the nonprofit and the community at large.

The Firehouse offers emergency services (soup kitchen open to everyone, clothing closet, case management, emergency shelter) and many housing options including permanent housing (64 beds), transitional housing (59 beds), and Safe Haven, which is housing for men with mental illness (24 beds). The ultimate goal is to get the men into permanent supportive housing.

In 2017, The Firehouse Shelter served 5,817 individuals at thier emergency shelter. The Firehouse served over 100,000 meals in 2017 (approximately 2,552 meals per week), with this number including breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner and meals to Safe Haven. We distributed over 11,548 articles of clothing in the same year to over 2,000 men, women, and children on the streets or in housing.

“We wanted to do business with a firm that shares our values and is committed to the community,” said Firehouse’s Executive Director Anne Rygiel. “Cobbs Allen encourages their staff to volunteer with local nonprofits, and we knew that mentality and dedication to service would be reflected in our business partnership.”

IRS Announces HSA Limits for 2019

Posted by Megan Zimmerman on May 31, 2018


The IRS recently released the inflation-adjusted health savings accounts (HSA) and qualified high deductible health plan (HDHP) limits. These adjustments will take effect for plan years on or after January 1, 2019.  The limits are the following:

  • HSA Contribution Limit
    • Self-Only: $3,500
    • Family: $7,000
    • Catch-Up Contribution (age 55 or older): $1,000
  • HDHP Minimum Deductible
    • Self-Only: $1,350
    • Family: $2,700
  • HDHP Maximum Out-of-Pocket Expense Limit (deductibles, copays and other amounts)
    • Self Only: $6,750
    • Family: $13,500

 What Employers Should Know

Employers with plan years on or after January 1, 2019 should begin to review their plans to determine if plan design changes are necessary for the upcoming plan year as well as to update any open enrollment materials if the new limits are communicated.

Please click here for additional information.

Cobbs Allen Welcomes Holly Monson

Posted by Caitlin Miley on May 17, 2018


Cobbs Allen is pleased to welcome Holly Monson to our Kansas City team. Holly joins as an Account Executive in Employee Benefits. She has held roles at both Lockton and Holmes Murphy in Kansas City.

“We are thrilled to add Holly to our team,” said Brandon Scarborough, Vice President of Cobbs Allen Kansas City. “She possesses a high-level skill set that will be valuable to both current and future clients. We look forward to watching her career continue to grow at Cobbs Allen.”

Our employee benefits team is dedicated to providing innovative and transparent cost-containment solutions that dispel the myth that “healthcare costs cannot be controlled.” Holly comes to Cobbs Allen with a background in working on self-funded groups and cost-containment solutions and will only add to our team’s knowledge and expertise in these areas.


You may recall one of my posts last May detailing the importance of wedding insurance. Here I am again, one year later, still pinning lots of wedding inspiration, but no—still not engaged. 

However, my very best friend recently asked me to be her Maid of Honor, and I have fully embraced the role. I’m talking “the-wedding-isn’t-until-November-and-I-already-have-a-draft-started-for-my-rehearsal-speech” level of preparedness.

I believe it's my duty as best friend and MOH to be prepared in every situation so my bride-to-be bestie doesn't need to stress. You know the drill--bring tissues to the dress shopping, allow a cheat day for the cake tasting (yum!), plan a bachelorette party that suits her personality and be her go-to for mini-emergencies on the big day.

But there are things even a picture perfect MOH can't be prepared for. Liiiiike... (knock on wood, cross my fingers heaven forbid, throwing salt over my shoulder now) postponement because of severe weather, lost deposits due to a vendor going out of business or a photographer who's a no show.


(photo credit: Huge Galdones)

Long a southern staple and an Alabama treasure, Frank Stitt and his culinary team have created food that speaks to the both the pallet and the soul. His restaurant Highlands Bar and Grill has put southern cuisine on the map for years.

After 10 nominations, they have received the 2018 James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Restaurant. They also received a second honor with pastry chef Dolester Miles being awarded Outstanding Pastry Chef.

Cobbs Allen is proud of Highlands Bar and Grill and their continued dedication to introducing people to Birmingham as a food destination.


Earlier this year, the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act caused a recalculation of the 2018 H.S.A. (health savings account) maximum contribution limit for family coverage under a qualified high deductible health plan, decreasing the limit from $6,900 to $6,850.

Recently, the IRS reversed its decision recognizing that changing the limit would be costly to administer. The IRS has agreed to accept $6,900 as the family H.S.A. maximum contribution for 2018.

What Employers Should Know

Employers may want to reconfirm the 2018 H.S.A. maximum contribution limit for family qualified high deductible health plan coverage with its employees. Employers who updated their plan documents to reflect the reduced limit should consider changing their plan documents and enrollment materials to reflect the correct 2018 family maximum contribution limit.

Click here for additional information

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