Archive for the ‘Industry News’ Category

Webinar: Health Savings Accounts – What You Need to Know

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are unique accounts that reside in employee benefits. These accounts exist merely because of health care coverage that’s offered by an employer. Employers can contribute to them, but they’re ultimately owned by the individual and are not sponsored by the overall health plan. Because of these, strange results and quirks can occur.

This 20-minute webinar, presented by Hays Companies Research and Compliance Department, covers Health Savings Accounts: What You Need to Know and will focus on FSAs, HRAs and HSAs.

Other topics this webinar will address include:

  • Who is eligible to contribute to an HSA?
  • What is a permissible and impermissible coverage?
  • How much can be contributed and when?
  • What are permissible expenses for distribution?
  • And more…

You can watch the webinar here.

If you’re interested in accessing a PDF version of the presentation, please complete the form here to download.

Please contact your Hays Companies representative for further information. 

Compliance Webinar: Wellness Plans – What You Need to Know

Healthcare costs are on the rise and with the evolving structure of wellness programs, along with the complicated wellness final regulations, it becomes a challenging task to ensure compliance. Recent legal decisions have also put the future of these final wellness regulations into question. Because of this, employers are now considering new and innovative ways to lower healthcare costs by motivating their employees to be more health-conscious.

This 45-minute webinar, presented by the Hays Benefits Research and Compliance Department, covers the most important compliance concerns for an employer sponsoring a wellness program.

Other topics this webinar will address include:

  • What is the applicable incentive limit for a given program and how is it calculated?
  • How does a wellness program appropriately incent employees, spouses and dependents?
  • Does a program need to provide a “Reasonable Alternative Standard” and what does that mean?
  • How can wellness plans be structured to ensure compliance in 2019?
  • And more…

You can watch the webinar here.

If you’re interested in accessing a PDF version of the presentation, please complete the form here to download.

Please contact your Hays Companies representative for further information.

Andrew Williamson Joins Hays Companies of Wisconsin Benefits Practice

Hays Companies of Wisconsin is pleased to announce that Andrew Williamson has joined the Benefits Practice, where he will focus on employers with under 200 employees.  Williamson brings 15+ years of consulting and brokerage experience with similarly-sized employer groups.

“Our unique tools and industry-leading talent have led to expansive growth in our core business segment that focuses on larger employers,”  said Dan Robinson, Executive Vice President of Hays Companies.  “We are excited to share the tools and resources with middle market employers with under 200 employees.  With Andrew’s leadership, we expect to positively redefine the value that employers of this size in Wisconsin can expect from a benefits advisory partner.”

Hays Companies is one of the fastest growing, privately-held risk management, insurance and employee benefits advisors in the country. Our philosophy of delivering the highest-quality, customer-focused service has led to significant growth for 20 years. Today the company includes 700+ experienced professionals in more than 35 locations throughout the United States. Andrew’s addition to Hays’ Wisconsin office follows the eighth consecutive year Hays Companies has been recognized as one of Wisconsin’s Top 100 Workplaces.

Education:

Andrew received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Andrew maintains a Wisconsin Resident Intermediary License for Accident and Health plans and Life plans.

 

Contact Information:

Andrew Williamson

Middle Market Practice Leader

Phone: 414-290-3609

Email: awilliamson@hayscompanies.com 

Webinar: M&A Impacts on Benefit Compliance

Corporate transitions like mergers and acquisitions are continuing at a rapid pace. When considering how these transactions and changes will impact employee benefit compliance, time is often limited.

This 3o-minute webinar, presented by the Hays Benefits Research and Compliance Department, addresses the M&A impacts on Benefits Compliance. It covers common issues that companies need to be aware of if they’re in the merger and acquisition field.

Other topics this webinar will address:

  • Integration of similar benefit offerings
  • COBRA implications
  • FSA implications
  • Employer mandate considerations
  • And more

You can watch the webinar here. 

If you’re interested in accessing a PDF version of the presentation, please complete the form here to download.

Please contact your Hays Companies representative for more information.

 



Cyber Insurance Webinar

Hays Companies VP and National Cyber Liability Practice Leader Dave Wasson was invited by Lathrop Gage to discuss uncommon approaches to cyber threats. This 60-minute webinar addresses the increased threat to companies being targets of data breach, insurance policies and coverage for losses and how this area has evolved in the past 10 years.

 

Throughout the 60-minute webinar, these cyber insurance and legal professionals covered:

·         Current risks that companies face and those predicted in the near future

·         The State of Law surrounding cyber incidents & insurance coverage around those incidents.

·         Types of policies and products that are currently available to businesses

·         Common pitfalls to avoid obtaining cyber liability insurance

 

Watch the webinar here – https://vimeo.com/260789216

If you have any further questions, please contact your Hays representative.

Five Essential Personal Insurance Tips

At Hays, our Private Client Group works to insure protection for every lifestyle. Whether it’s Home and Auto, Directors and Officers liability, Life Insurance, Disability or Long Term Care or unique areas of risk, such as kidnap and ransom, aviation, equine, or valuable articles, we’re here to help.

With expertise in the industry spanning 35 years, we have gathered five essential tips you need to know to protect your home and other assets:

1. Your Advisor Should Help Organize your Insurance Program.

With numerous assets acquired over time, it’s common to insure them with many different programs, often leaving your assets unorganized and expensive to manage. This can lead to gaps in coverage that will only be revealed when a claim is unexpectedly denied.

2. Be Presented With Options.

The benefit of retaining an independent insurance agent or broker is that they are working in your best interest. You should be frequently presented with options to organize your coverage.

3. Have Enough Personal Liability Insurance.

If a lawsuit puts your assets at risk, the last thing you want to worry about are insufficient limits. Make sure your liability coverage limits exceed your net worth. The Hays team can help you determine this value.

4. Be Certain of Your Insurer’s Financial Strength.

Always look for financial stability when choosing your insurer. It’s important your provider is strongly capitalized and will be able to pay your claims. Look for insurance companies rated “A” or “Excellent” by A.M. Best.

5. Work With High Net Worth Insurance Specialists.

Complex insurance situations require specialists. If you have a net worth of $2 million or more, most insurance carriers are not equipped to address your complex personal risk management needs.

Hays Private Client Group thrives at being problem-solvers in complex insurance situations. To contact us or to discover how we can keep your valuable assets protected, visit us here. Come experience The Hays Difference.

Brian Whinnery named a “2017 Young Gun”

Brian Whinnery, director of Hays Financial Group at Hays Companies, has been named a “2017 Young Gun” by the National American Retirement Association (NAPA). The award recipients are recognized as the future leaders of the retirement plan advisor industry. Congratulations, Brian!

To read the full article, please click here.

Centered on fiduciary governance for employer groups and the individual financial goals of their employees, Brian provides customized solutions in the qualified retirement plan space. Brian was formerly a financial advisor at RBC Wealth Management for over 5 years prior to joining Hays Companies. He has over 12 years of corporate retirement plan experience and was previously named by the Financial Times as one of the top retirement plan advisors in the country in 2015.

If you have any questions, please contact Brian Whinnery at bwhinnery@hayscompanies.com

Hays Companies Ranked in Top 25 in The 100 Largest Brokers of U.S. Business List

Hays Companies was listed again as one of the top 100 largest insurance brokers in the United States by Business Insurance, a leading commercial publication to the insurance industry. The list was based on 2015 brokerage revenues of U.S based clients. Hays Companies ranked 21st this year and achieved over a nine percent revenue increase from 2015, holding a position in the top 40 brokers for more than a decade.

With over 20 years in the business, Hays Companies is based in Minneapolis, MN, with 30 locations nationwide and over 700 expert professionals. Hays Companies has continued to grow while maintaining independence and an industry leading 94 percent client retention rate.

“Our customers are at the center of everything we do,” explained Jim Hays, CEO of Hays Companies. “Each year, we are growing organically and extending our reach to better meet the needs of our clients. We will continue to be an industry leading company by going above and beyond to ensure we are the broker of choice for our customers.”

Click here for the full list. A subscription may be required.

How Comfortable Are We Getting With Disrupters?

Most Disrupters aren’t all that disruptive anymore. Everyone, including our children, have become quite comfortable with Disrupters and the positive impact they have on business and our everyday lives. A true Disrupter turns a product or service upside-down and inside-out.

Consider one of the biggest Disrupters in recent history — the personal computer. Think of life without Google…  More recently, consider smartphones, drones, smart watches, FitBit, Netflix, Nest, Uber, and Airbnb. Since their introduction, life has not been the same. Many of these companies have been incredibly successful. Today, we’re comfortably accepting these Disrupters with open arms and we’re hungry for more.

 

The Disrupter mentality and Silicon Valley.

Silicon Valley is home to some of the world’s most successful Disrupters. This continues to be true as many of the most visible Disrupters are technology-oriented.

In the first three months of 2015, venture capital (VC) funds invested $13.4 billion, much of it in the tech sector. Not since the dot-com era has there been such a run in VC funding and technology. Many young start-ups seeking funds are turning to crowdfunding and smaller investors, which is disrupting the very ground VC’s used to look to fund — Disrupters.

 

Two of the most successful Disrupters and their business strategy.

Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Records, Virgin Airlines and Virgin Mobile, and Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder and CEO, have a similar business philosophy: Constantly strive to improve the  customer experience. In fact, they have structured their companies to encourage disruptive thinking and innovation. Bezos has upended the book and publishing industry and nearly displaced electronics retailers. He continues to disrupt and reinvent online shopping and delivery by responding to changing technology.

“We innovate by starting with the customers and working backwards,” says Bezos. “That becomes the touchstone for how we invent. For Amazon, customer focus is a cultural issue.”

 

The “improve the experience credo” has sparked a revolution in business thinking that fuels most new Disrupter companies.

One of the biggest Disrupters of today is the smartphone. By its very nature, its features are designed to disrupt whatever we’re doing. As a mobile device they are indispensable and frustrating because we can’t seem to put them down. They have changed the way we communicate, live and do business.

Smartphones are also having a dramatic impact on many other businesses, both positively and negatively. Yet smartphones have also created a dynamic new business category — app design. They help promote shopping, banking, health and fitness, news, entertainment, restaurants and better communication between businesses and consumers, just to name a few.

 

Understanding how Disrupters are affecting insurance and employee benefits begins with big data.

The biggest Disrupter to date is big data and most agree that big data benefits customers by offering them tailored insurance and employee benefits programs for their specific experience, location and risk profile. Collecting this information is no easy feat: it means gathering financial, claims, risk, customer preference and sales data from multiple sources, then scrubbing and analyzing it, all while complying with protective regulations designed to safeguard the data and data-driven decisions.

IBM’s Big Data @ Work survey reported that big data’s influence in the insurance realm is strong: some 47 percent of insurers want to use it to develop customer-centric programs and another 66 percent are conducting or planning big data activities.*

Today, the use of these devices is ubiquitous. We’ve become so accustomed to formerly “disruptive” technology that it doesn’t faze us anymore.

 

At the heart of the trend is effectively aggregating the data … and we are doing that at Hays. 

We are on the edge of the big data trend, developing innovative programs and opportunities that will benefit our customers. At Hays, we have a proprietary technology platform that pulls together data. This allows us to audit the data, provide consistency of data extracts, show continuity of data across multiple vendors, simplify access to data through one portal, and reduce fees by eliminating ad hoc reports.

We help eliminate the “silos” that come from bucketing cost centers to give our customers a data-focused assessment of the true cost of employment.

 

The dark side of data.

When it comes to customer and employee privacy, however, we should never be complacent about the dark side of Disrupters.

Cyber terrorism and data breaches have shadowy technical roots in the so-called Deep Web and Dark Web, which most people don’t even know exist. Your company’s data is vulnerable through email links, apps, a compromised network, or a web download. But, the threats are not always through a coding attack. Hackers are increasingly using social engineering techniques to trick people into breaking normal security procedures because they think the phone or email contact is a trusted source.

That’s just the start. The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) means personal data could be hacked or collected by cybercriminals in a way never before possible.

Does your wellness program encourage employees to use wearable fitness trackers or apps? Sure, they can improve employee health but there’s also a risk to private information: the FitBit cloud holding this personal health data has already been hacked, raising fears about their vulnerability. And that’s not even addressing their lack of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance.

With so many ways to hack into your company and your employees’ lives, it’s a top priority to have the best cyber security as well as the best insurance and employee benefits programs that protect your company’s people, property, data, reputation, and — ultimately — your bottom line, no matter what new Disrupter comes down the pike.

Technology is expanding at an unprecedented rate; there are new Disrupters in development that offer improvements and increased risks. Hays is at the forefront, watching the development and the impact on your business. We’ve always believed in providing the best resources available for our clients, so our representatives are prepared to provide guidance in managing the evolving  risks. We hope you call on us if you have any questions.

 

This issue is an excerpt from our quarterly FOCUS publication. If you would like to read more, you can request the full issue below.