Articles

IRS Provides Clarification for DCAPs in 2021 and 2022

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2021-26 clarifying what amounts may be reimbursed under a dependent care assistance program (DCAP) on a tax-favored basis in 2021 and 2022. The additional flexibility in recent legislation to allow carryovers and extended grace periods, as well as the increased contribution limit of $10,500 for the 2021 calendar […]

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An Escape Artist Lives in Your Home

Water damage is one of the most common claims in the insurance industry, yet one of the least discussed. Until this year’s Texas freeze, we rarely saw a story making headlines about a pipe bursting in the home. Yet year over year, water losses are the leading cause of avoidable homeowner claims in the U.S.

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Blue Cross Blue Shield Antitrust Settlement

In October 2020, the BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) Association, of which both Regence Blue Shield and Premera Blue Cross are a part, reached a settlement in a lawsuit related to licensing agreements within the BCBS system. From the settlement, funds have been allocated to compensate both employers and employees who were covered by a BCBS plan during the settlement period.

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Finding Success During a Pandemic

It’s been a year since the COVID-19 pandemic struck and shutdown orders forced the majority of Parker, Smith & Feek’s workforce to remote environments.

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The Ever Given’s Impact on the Marine Insurance Market

On March 23rd, the 400-meter cargo ship Ever Given owned by Evergreen ran aground in the Suez Canal after encountering high winds, grinding vessel traffic on the central shipping route between Europe and Asia to a complete standstill for almost a week straight.

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How the Hard Insurance Market is Impacting Personal Lines Insurance

Starting in September of 2019, the commercial insurance marketplace began to show signs of firming. Since then, most insurance markets in the property and casualty industry have entered a full-blown hard market cycle…

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Qualifying Medical Expenses Include COVID-Related PPE

In IRS Announcement 2021-07, the IRS clarified that amounts paid for personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes may be treated as qualifying medical expenses and thereby qualify for tax-favored reimbursement if it is purchased for the primary purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

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Department of Labor Releases COBRA Subsidy Website and Model Notices

The Department of Labor (DOL) has released model notices and a COBRA subsidy information website related to the COBRA subsidy that was passed as part of the American Rescue Plan Act or 2021 (ARPA). The website will be the central location that the DOL uses to inform individuals of their potential right to take advantage of the subsidy, and to assist employers with fulfilling their compliance obligations.

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Coverage Solutions For Vacant Properties

With an increase in the vacancy rate of commercial properties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, owners are at greater risk of suffering uninsured losses.

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Small Businesses Can Lower Healthcare Spend with Association Health Plans

In Alaska, there are new group association plan options that can benefit small businesses. Association health plans can help lower healthcare costs for smaller companies by providing access to savings associated with large group medical coverage.

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Medical Professional Insurance Faces Challenges in 2021

2020 was quite a year. The pandemic bared down on healthcare organizations, and many are still squarely in the midst of it.

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Significant Employee Benefit Changes Contained in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

Congress passed the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). The bill includes significant employee benefits related provisions including a federal subsidy that will cover 100% of the cost of COBRA continuation coverage for up to 6 months for individuals who have had an involuntary termination of employment or reduction in hours. The bill also includes an increase in the amount an employee can elect to contribute tax-free to a §129 Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP).

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