Your Business Resolution — Time For a Fresh Approach

business resolutionsFor many, January is the perfect time for a new start. Resolutions to go on a diet, exercise more, pay off debt, get a new job, and otherwise improve our lifestyles are as popular as ever. But, there’s another area where a fresh start can make a big difference — Your business.

The fact is, you’re probably so involved in the day-to-day running of your organization that you don’t take a step back and get a better perspective. When you’re able to step away for just a little while and look at things objectively, the chances are you can find some good stuff to improve in your business. Here’s how to go about it.

Step 1 — Set aside the time

Get some time in the diary in early January to remove yourself from everyday operations and allow yourself to review how you could improve how your business functions, policies, and procedures. Encourage your leadership team, key managers, and a selection of employees to be involved.  Not only is their input critical, it will also remove some of the burden off your shoulders.

Step 2 — Get out of the workplace

You can’t do this with distractions. Go offsite and have an away day where you can minimize the chance of interruptions and actually get some initiatives in place, bring key members of your team along with you.  Make it engaging, fun and ensure you have white boards to capture your ideas.  Take pictures so you can save the details of your discussion.

Step 3 — Identify the main areas you want to improve

Have an honest and open discussion with your team. Let everyone bring up the main pain points in the business. What’s unnecessarily complicated or difficult to do? What policies, procedures, or functions could be improved? You’ll want to keep the discussion constructive, but don’t leave anything off the table.

Step 4 — Categorize the problems

You’ll want to split the various issues into categories, for example:

  • People related — More training needed, new team setup, staff handbook updates etc.
  • Policy related — New and amended policies to make your workplace easier to do business in.
  • Procedure related — Changes to business processes, ways of doing things, and functionality.
  • Technology related — Issues with technology, hardware, software, etc.
  • Other — Any other issues that don’t fit neatly into the previous categories.

Step 5 — Brainstorm fixes

Once you’ve got your categories, see if any of the problems are related. After you’ve done that, go through and generate ideas on how to fix the various issues, especially your policies and procedures. Don’t consider any idea to be too outlandish.

Step 6 — Prioritize

Once you’ve got your ideas, prioritize the fixes. Deliver on ideas that are easy to implement and will have a good impact. Follow that up with the harder implementations that will still make a big difference. After that, carry out the changes that will still have an impact, even if it’s minor.

Step 7 — Give people accountability

Once you have a list of ideas, get people in your business to take ownership of them. Get project management in place to deliver on the ideas and fix the broken parts of your business. Then, get regular updates throughout the year on how things are going. Give your project managers the resources and people they need to make a positive change.

This can be a great way to incentivize and fire up your people to change their working environment. Whether it’s removing bottlenecks in a process, rewriting a policy, enhancing training for team members, improving hiring methods, or replacing old technology, small changes can have a big impact.

Carry this out every January, deliver on your changes, and you’ll have a beautifully functioning, sleek, and efficient operation in less time than you think.

Matt Bauer
President
mbauer@srfm.com

Business Resolution

The Power of an Open Office Space: Good or Evil?

open office spaceForward thinking iconic Silicon Valley organizations like Google and Facebook started the wave that is known as the open office space. The open office space is an office layout that removes all of the physical barriers between employees-No walls, no cubicles, just desks and people.

Born from the spirit of collaboration (and a desire to maximize productivity per square foot) open office layouts have been adopted by businesses all over the country. But has it been an epic win or an epic fail?  It’s both. Let me explain.

If you type in a search engine query for “open office space”, it doesn’t look so good for the open floor plan. You’ll see results claiming that the open office space is oppressive an environment, a nightmare, and likens the trend to a viral outbreak decimating businesses all over the world (that’s taking it a little far, but that’s the gist of it).

Yet there are still some organizations that sing the praises of the open office space and talk about the tangible benefits they’ve seen in workforce and their profits as a result. It’s obviously a mixed bag and it’s tough to call this one, so let’s break it down.

Here are some pros and cons from both sides of the discussion.

Open Floor Plan Praise

  • It  fosters collaboration
  • Employees feel more comfortable in the space
  • By stripping down physical barriers, it promotes an openness in communication which sparks camaraderie and establishes a stronger sense of team
  • It allows management to have a more hands on “real world” view of the office dynamics
  • Increases productivity

Open Floor Plan Complaints

  • No privacy
  • Causes anxiety in employees due to the fact that everything an employee does is “under the microscope”
  • Hard to concentrate and focus
  • Employees can feel that the interaction with coworkers is “forced” and uncomfortable
  • It causes a divide between employees in the open space and managers in their offices
  • Decreases productivity

 There are valid arguments on both sides of the coin (and some conflicting ones). On one side, the big dot com organizations embrace the concept and are reporting an increase in morale and productivity with the open floor plan in place. In fact in 2015, Facebook moved to a new facility and created the largest open office floor plan in the world.

So, if it’s working for the big guys, Can it be that bad?

Will the Open Office Space work for my business?

From what Facebook says, employees can thrive in the environment and your business can reap the benefits of increased morale and productivity.

 However, employees are people, we’re all unique individuals and what works for one of us, may not work for another. Giving employees no choice but to be on display in front of all of their coworkers will ultimately present a problem for some individuals.

 Organizations like Facebook and Pixar attract employees with the personality for it. That is, professionals who apply for jobs at those organizations know going in that the open floor plan is part of the culture, and it’s something they’re content with. So if you’re a business looking to make a switch to an open office space, it’s not something employees signed up for, so it could meet with some resistance.

Balance is Key: The Hybrid Floor Plan

If you’re thinking about shifting to an open floor plan, consider a hybrid that combines elements of both traditional and open plans. This mix will encourage the collaboration, and create a level of comfort that an open office space is meant for, and at the same time will give the employees an option for more privacy. Sounds like it could be a winner.

Here are a couple simple things to try:

·         Create an open office space floor plan but include some privacy rooms where employees can break away and be on their own, make phone calls, and have some privacy.

·         If space is an issue, conversely you can keep the traditional floor plan in place and create some “open areas” in the office where employees can break out in small groups to collaborate.

The Verdict

The idea of the open office space is a good one, but taken to the extreme it can apparently be problematic and counter-productive. The goal is to create a comfortable space for employees – a “home away from home” helps employees to feel good about their day when they’re putting in long hours. You have to first know your employees and what makes them tick, then you can create an environment that strikes a balance and works for your unique team.

The professionals at Sinclair have a proven history of success in Human Resources. Our staff has the ability to become an integral part of your organization, understanding your products and services, your culture, and your processes. Feel free to get in touch with us anytime for a consultation.

Shannon Hudspeth
Human Resource Director
Why your business needs a wellness program

Helping Your Employees Get the Most Out of Their Benefits – Part 2

Helping Your Employees Get the Most Out of Their Benefits – Part 2Employers know that carefully crafted benefits packages are an integral way to attract and keep the best talent. Employees are looking for more than base compensation: they want vacation time, retirement account access, on-the-job perks, and, of course, company subsidized health insurance.

Benefits packages aren’t just bonuses. 41% of employers say their benefits are a key component of their employee retention strategy because benefits can actually improve company loyalty.

But offering quality benefits packages isn’t enough. You have to make sure your employees actually use those benefits so they can realize that side of their compensation.

Make setting up benefits easy

Enrolling in health insurance, setting up a 401k, and even scheduling vacation time can be a challenge at some companies. Many employees don’t bother using their benefits because getting to them is a pain. If your employees can’t use their benefits, they essentially don’t exist.

In fact, a study in Health Services Research found that a large portion of work-related illnesses and injuries are never billed to worker’s comp insurance because employees aren’t aware it’s an option.

Use a system that allows employees to self-sign-up without bothering an office manager or human resources desk. Provide digital guides that clearly explain each step. If you do need them to talk with someone to set up their benefits, make sure this person is available all the time, not just during arbitrary enrollment periods.

Summarize benefits packages clearly

Many employees offer extensive benefits packages that can be quite complex. In fact, 40% don’t even understand their options.

If your employees don’t understand their benefits, they can’t use them properly. Most of your employees aren’t going to dig through their insurance packets or retirement account booklets. They are likely ignorant to many benefits that apply to them.

Use an online web portal or cloud-based documents to simply and clearly list the benefits that apply your employees and notify them when something changes. Ensure that there is always someone at your company (usually in HR) that thoroughly understands the benefits you offer.

Personalize their benefits

The best benefits packages are the ones your employees truly love. If you can appeal to their needs, you’ll build compensation packages your employees can’t find anywhere else.

For every employee, you surely have a number that accounts for their benefits package. Be willing to adjust this package based on your employees’ preferences. Instead of laying out a package, ask them directly what would make them happy. A younger person may be happy with a reduced healthcare plan in exchange for more vacation, whereas a family man/woman may trade in vacation time for a better health package.

Speak openly about your employees’ compensation

No, you shouldn’t announce everyone’s pay in a memo. But you should make it clear through positive interaction that your employees should be taking advantage of their benefits package because it’s part of their compensation. Instead of keeping quiet about that monthly gym membership to save a few dollars, encourage your staff to go with you to sign up. If your benefits package is well-budgeted, you shouldn’t hide it.

If you help your employees take full advantage of their benefits packages, you’ll foster a happy, loyal and productive workforce. Check out part one of this series for more tips!

Lori Newsome
Account Executive, Group Benefits
lnewsome@srfm.com

Sinclair 7-22-15-9

 

 

Fundamentals of Retirement Planning

Fundamentals of Retirement PlanningIt would seem that high net worth individuals would need to worry and plan less for retirement than those with fewer assets.  However, properly planning for retirement is not specific to an income group and individuals at all levels face the same challenge, which is having enough income to meet their needs and desires and maintain their lifestyle for an undetermined number of years in the future. 

Only twenty-two percent of Americans are very confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement and those with higher assets can jeopardize their legacies and futures if they don’t have realistic and disciplined retirement plans that focus on their individual objectives while factoring in risks and fluctuating market conditions.  

As you plan for retirement, here are four key things to keep in mind:

  • What Are Your Goals?  Always start with this question when thinking about your retirement planning and try to identify your primary goal.  Do you want to travel the world or just live the rest of your life comfortably?  Do you want to leave a legacy for your grandchildren?  Would you like to transfer wealth to a charity?  Do you want to stay in your current home or downsize? Your financial plan needs to match your primary goal and timeline.
  • Chose Advisors Wisely – Ensure you’re working with a trustworthy and reputable advisor that discloses all fees and obligations up front and in writing.  Also, make sure that they specialize in your particular area of need.  For example, if you are a high net worth individual, work with an advisor who is experienced and well-versed in retirement planning for the wealthy and can help you identify the right asset-allocation plan to ensure your retirement goals and lifestyle are met.
  • Beware of Leverage – It doesn’t matter if you made millions of dollars and squirreled it away for retirement if it wasn’t saved and invested strategically.  For example, did you maximize every tax opportunity?  Remember – it’s not what you made, it’s what you kept.
  • The Portfolio Mix – While you may be wealthy when it comes to shares in your company’s stock, make sure you’re not overexposed in any particular area.  Some liken it to betting on every horse – work with your advisor to put money in different buckets (i.e. – traditional 401K plans, Roth IRAs, etc.) to make sure your portfolio is diversified and your assets are protected over the long term.

Make sure your advisor helps you to think through any retirement surprises you may not be thinking of, such as medical costs, social security, taxes and the risk posed by inflation.  With the right plan, you can take the worry out of retirement and focus instead on enjoying your time doing whatever you love.  At Sinclair Risk and Financial Management, we can sit down and discuss how your employer sponsored retirement plan can best meet the retirement goals of both the owners and their employees. Give us a call at (203)265-0966 today.

Robert Albretsen

RAlbretsen@srfm.com

Accredited Pension Administrator

Fundamentals of Retirement Planning

Saving for College: 5 Tips for Parents

Saving for College: 5 Tips for ParentsSkyrocketing college tuition costs and rising prices for higher education necessities like textbooks present a challenge for families who are trying to save enough money for their child’s college education. According to College Board’sTrends in College Pricing 2015,” the published tuition and fee price of a full-time year at a public four-year institution is 40% higher in 2016 than it was a decade ago (after adjusting for inflation), while public two-year schools came in 29% higher and private nonprofit four-year schools were 26% higher than 10 years ago. 

As a parent, you may be struggling to find the balance between appropriately saving for your child’s academic future and ensuring you’re saving enough for your own retirement.  

How can you make sure your child has the opportunity to pursue higher education when the time comes without being burdened with astronomical debt?

1.     Start Early – The most important factor in saving for college is time.  Begin saving as early as possible to allow time for your investments to grow. 

2.     Set a Goal and Timeline – Meet with your financial advisor to determine a college savings goal and timeline and to choose the best type of college savings account for you. 

3.     Automate Savings - Consider setting up monthly direct deposits into the account to put your saving on autopilot.  Automatic deposits make it easy and lessen the likelihood that you’ll skip or forget to make a contribution. 

4.     Look for Tax Breaks – When considering what type of savings plan to utilize for your child’s higher education, be sure you meet with your financial planner and tax advisor so you understand and pay attention to the tax implications.  For example, 529 education savings plans are college savings accounts that are exempt from federal taxes.  Similarly, when your child starts college, make sure you understand the qualifications for any tax credits, such as the American Opportunity Credit.

5.     Get Family (& Friends) Involved – Are Grandpa and Grandma always asking what your child would like for Christmas or do friends insist on bringing a birthday gift to the party?  Consider suggesting they skip the toys and instead contribute whatever money that would have spent on presents to your child’s college fund.  While this can be delicate and isn’t for everyone, there are plenty of creative resources that make it easy and a little less awkward.

With the proper planning, an early start and a schedule of consistent contributions, you can help set your child up for a bright future and ensure their hardest decision when it comes to higher education is what school they want to attend.

Robert Albretson

ralbretson@srfm.com

401K Plan Administrator

 

 

Giving Back: Charitable Giving Opportunities

Giving Back: Charitable Giving OpportunitiesAccomplished individuals often look for opportunities to express their values and give back through charitable giving.  In fact, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet started an initiative called the Giving Pledge, which encourages the world’s wealthiest people to give away much of their fortune to charity.  Over 100 notable contributors have made the commitment to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy, including Richard Branson, Michael Bloomberg, Diane von Furstenberg and Mark Zuckerberg.

In addition to benefitting the community or cause the giving is focused on, charitable giving can also provide benefits to the donor.  Whether you’re nearing the end of your career and looking to leave a legacy or you’re passionate about a cause or making an impact for future generations, establishing a charitable giving approach can have the added benefit of reducing your taxable income.

 So how can you incorporate charitable giving into your larger estate planning strategy?

  • Utilize Donor-Advised Funds – Donor funds are traditionally sponsored by public charities and provide a rather uncomplicated way to donate money.  Donations to a donor-advised fund are deductible in the year they are contributed but can be given to charities in other years.   Donors can enjoy a tax deduction of up to 50% of adjusted gross income for cash donations or 30% for appreciated assets.   Donor-advised funds are good for individuals who want to give back but don’t have the time to be more involved or hands on.  On the other hand, the donor does not have much control over the way the funds they donate are ultimately utilized.
  • Set Up a Foundation – Not for the faint of heart, starting a foundation is for individuals who really want to get involved, roll up their sleeves and have control over the process to benefit a cause.  Running a foundation is much like running a business, with a board of directors and trustees, and requires an extensive amount of time and focus.  Most non-profit foundations are tax exempt.
  • Start a Scholarship Fund – Not only has the cost of higher education surged by over 500% in the past 30 years, but college textbooks costs are also on the rise, having increased by 73% over the past 10 years.  A great way to give back and to personalize your giving is by starting a scholarship fund.  Whether your late father had a love of law or your mother was passionate about music, you also often have the ability to honor a loved one by setting up a fund in their name.  On the tax side, scholarship fund donations are usually treated the same as donor-advised funds.

Some other things to take into consideration when making charitable donations are the type of property being donated (which can have an impact on tax consequences) as well as how the contribution is made. 

It’s important to work with a trusted advisor who will help you to navigate the intricacies of charitable giving and to determine what is right for your goals, financial situation and desired level of involvement so that you can leave the legacy you desire.

Matt Bauer
President
mbauer@srfm.com

Giving Back: Charitable Giving Opportunities

First step of retirement planning? Figure out your goals

First step of retirement planning? Figure out your goalsAre you ready for retirement? There are a lot of calculators out there, from simple to complex, that claim to help you figure that out by crunching your numbers and spitting some back at you.

Knowing the numbers can be helpful to give you a basic idea of where you stand. (FYI, we like this calculator from Bankrate.) But numbers without context — especially those that require a healthy dose of assumptions and guesstimating — provide little insight.

Everyone’s situation is different. Some people are just focused on not outliving their money. Others are seeking to expand their range of experience as they age, and still others are most concerned about what they leave behind.

Do you want to travel the world? Do you plan to leave a financial legacy for your children, your friends, charitable organizations you’re passionate about? Dreaming of retiring to a relatively high cost area like Cape Cod or Hawaii?

Answers to these kind of questions will fuel the conversation about whether you are “on track” for a “secure” retirement.

Goals don’t have to be set in stone but they begin to form the equation of how much you need to save, what percentage of income you need to replace in retirement, and how much you can safely spend in the meantime.

As for tactics, some truisms apply to nearly everyone:

Only count on what you send ahead — Do not take Social Security for granted. Assume it First step of retirement planning? Figure out your goalswon’t be there and think of saving for retirement as sending supplies ahead before your journey begins.

Pay yourself first — Take advantage of employer sponsored retirement savings plans to put saving and investing on autopilot.

Don’t obsess over taxes — You can’t predict what tax rates you’ll be subject to in the future, especially if retirement is decades away. Sleep soundly and diversify your tax exposure by holding both tax-deferred and tax-free accounts.

Find room for a Roth IRA — We adore the Roth IRA for tax free growth, unlimited investing options, and the ability to serve as a backdoor emergency fund. (More on this in a future blog.) For nearly everyone eligible to contribute, a Roth should be retirement plan bedrock.

These are just some of the very basics. At Sinclair Risk & Financial, we analyze your specific situation and help design a retirement plan tailored just for you…once you have your goals in place. Spend some time early in the New Year thinking about your ideal future and give us a call to help make it happen.

Matt Bauer

President

mbauer@srfm.com

Why your business needs a wellness program

Why your business needs a wellness programHere’s a business ideal, not always easily achieved:  Doing tangible good for others while doing good for your bottom line. You don’t have to be a flashy biotech firm or offer a solution to an intractable problem an ocean away to be improving the health of your fellow men and women.

We all want our products and services to benefit the greater community, but like charity, doing good starts at home. In the case of promoting health and wellbeing, it should start with your workforce.

Wellness programs in the workplace promote healthy habits and long-term positive change. They help employees lose weight, quit smoking, take care of themselves mentally and physically, and live more active lifestyles.

That all adds up to fewer sick days and worker’s compensation claims, and most importantly from your business’s macro level, improved staff morale and less turnover.

The high cost of low morale — Morale in the workplace is not easily measured on a 1 to Why your business needs a wellness program10 scale, but it doesn’t take complex data sets to know that when staff attitudes are poor, you’ll feel it acutely in reduced productivity, increased absenteeism, and problematic customer/client interactions.

Poor health directly impacts morale by taking key employees away from their posts as they struggle to fill in the gaps left by employees who are dealing with acute and chronic health conditions and injuries. This can lead to depression and loss of motivation not only for the directly affected employee, but for those who are left behind to pick up the slack.

The high cost of staff turnover – The daily effects of eating poorly and not exercising take time to turn into chronic problems. Similarly, excessive absences don’t translate overnight into permanent loss of key staff, but give it enough time and you will be losing employees for extended periods or completely.

With that loss, you suffer a blow to institutional knowledge, and gain the high cost of training new employees. A Center for American Progress study found that costs for bringing on a new employee range from 16% of annual salary to replace a low-wage worker (under $30,000 salary) to a whopping 213% of annual salary for highly compensated key employees and executives.

Employers must consider direct costs like advertising, interviewing, screening, and onboarding a new hire, as well as indirect costs such as lower productivity (at least initially) and impact on other staff, who may be missing an esteemed colleague who is unable to return to work.

Quite simply, there’s too much at stake for you to be without a wellness program in your workplace. The team at Sinclair Risk & Financial can help you get started.

Shannon Hudspeth, SPHR

shudspeth@srfm.com

8 Reasons pre-screening employees is just smart business

Matthew-Bauer

I spend my workday helping Sinclair clients manage risk, avoid hidden pitfalls, and implement initiatives that give them the best chance to be prosperous and successful. I do this work happily, it gives me great joy! That’s why I am such a strong advocate of making sure organizations have a structured, consistent approach to pre-screening employees.  It floors me that more than half of organizations do not conduct any kind of background check.

Hard work and strategic planning can suffer mightily in the face of bad hiring decisions. Too often employers don’t take pre-screening seriously enough, only to deal with negative consequences after the fact.

Best practices in hiring include background and drug screening and a thorough dive into references, social media, and other online sources. This isn’t about nitpicking, playing “gotcha” with someone who inflates a title or educational achievement on a resume, this is about protecting your organization from the potential for serious disruption within.

Here are eight reasons why pre-screening potential employees is not only smart risk management, but smart business:

Reduce overall liability — If your organization is one of the more than half that don’t do even basic criminal background checks, you could easily be hiring somebody with a violent past, perhaps even with a track record of altercations in the workplace. Once that person is within your fold, your staff is at risk and you’ve created a huge liability for your company.

Reduce health care and absenteeism costs — Employees that bring substance abuse problems to the workplace cost their employers big time, to the tune of $81 billion annually. In no way should sober individuals who previously had a problem be disqualified from a position, but an active alcoholic/drug abuser is another matter entirely, and one easily corrected by pre-employment screening.

Customer relations — You’ve recruited a young person for a front-line, customer facing position. He seems pleasant enough, and impressed you with his enthusiasm for working with the public. Outside of management eyes though, he can be rude, unhelpful, and catty, alienating your customer base. Had you followed up on reference checks, you would have learned that’s why he was shown the door at his last job.

Avoid poisoning the office culture — She had the right education and experience and did well in interviews. You were in a rush to fill a critical position and didn’t worry about references who didn’t call back. Turns out your new hire is a Debbie Downer who is quick to bring her personal grievances into the workplace, adding tension and dysfunction that can easily spread and grow.

Keep management from getting distracted — Once taken root, a difficult employee becomes a handful to manage, consuming an outsized portion of attention from your senior staff. It’s amazing how quickly one or two problem employees can suddenly command so much energy.

Keep flexible — Difficult employees tend to be the least flexible, the least open to management initiatives and changes in strategic direction. They may go along with the program when the boss is within earshot, but as soon as she’s out of sight, the problem employee is quick to badmouth the strategy to others, gumming up the works, sowing doubt, and making it harder to get buy-in from staff.iStock_000019568102Small

Avoid getting stuck — Despite the fact that nearly all non-union workers are “at-will,” problem employees are hard to get rid of without incurring substantial litigation risk. Plus doing so can also disrupt staff dynamics. It’s better to do everything possible to avoid the situation in the first place.

Avoid negative publicity — When it comes to bad publicity, it used to be you only had to worry about the folks who bought ink by the barrel. Now you have to worry about everyone with an internet connection…which is everyone! Disgruntled ex-employees can trash you on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. They can leave negative reviews on sites like Glassdoor and a host of others that exist just for that purpose (and have very good SEO).

In short, your problem employee is not going to go quietly, so the best approach is to try as best you can to avoid hiring them in the first place.

Not sure how to implement a best-practice pre-screening program at your organization? Contact me today to see if Sinclair can help.

Matt Bauer                                                                                                                     President,Sinclair Risk & Financial Management                                                            mbauer@srfm.com

Senate Passes ACA Small Group Market Rule Repeal

Matthew-Bauer

On Oct. 1, 2015, the U.S. Senate passed legislation repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirement that the small group market in every state be expanded to include businesses with 51-100 employees.  

The Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees (PACE) Act was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier in the week. It has been reported that President Obama will sign the Act into law, although some sources previously indicated that he might veto it.

Small Group Market Expansion

Most states have historically defined “small employers” as those with 50 or fewer employees for purposes of defining their small group health insurance market.

Effective for 2016 plan years, the ACA expanded the definition of a “small employer” to include those that employed an average of between one and 100 employees.

The PACE Act eliminates the ACA’s new definition and gives states the option of expanding their small group markets to include businesses with up to 100 employees.

Impact on Employers

The expansion of the small group market was expected to have a significant effect on mid-size businesses. These businesses would have been required to buy coverage for employees in the small group market, which is more heavily regulated than the large group market.

This change was expected to increase premiums costs for employers and employees and reduce flexibility in plan design due to added small group market requirements.

Some states have already amended their state laws to adopt the expanded small group market definition. These states will have to take action to undo those changes.

Most states are taking already taking advantage of a transition rule provided by the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS). HHS has said it will not enforce small group market regulations for mid-size businesses if their policies are renewed by Oct. 1, 2016.

This means that many employers have already been able to delay moving from the large group to the small group market. The PACE Act will make this relief permanent.

Not sure how this affects your organization? Contact me today to see if Sinclair can help.

Matt Bauer
President
Sinclair Risk & Financial Management

mbauer@srfm.com