Brian Urso

About Brian Urso

Libertate Insurance, LLC | (407)613-5475 | burso@libertateins.com

North Carolina Approves 17.2% Rate Decrease for Workers’ Comp

What State will be next?

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The North Carolina Rate Bureau’s 17.2 percent rate decrease filing for workers’ compensation insurance has been approved by North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey, according to a statement from the North Carolina Department Insurance.

“This rate decrease should serve as an economic boon to the state’s small businesses,” said Causey. “I am pleased to approve the North Carolina Rate Bureau’s request for lower rates because it will ultimately put more money in the pockets of business owners and our consumers.”

NCRB, which files requests on behalf of the state’s insurance industry to the N.C. Department of Insurance, submitted the rate decrease filing on Aug. 29. The new rates will become effective April 1, 2019.

The NCRB proposed an average 15.8 percent rate decrease to manufacturing industry groups, an average 6.5 percent decrease to contracting industry groups, and an average 19.3 percent decrease to both office and clerical and goods and services industries. The filing proposed an average 14.7 percent decrease to other, miscellaneous industry groups.

According to the NCRB, the filed decrease is the result of insurance carriers having and paying out fewer workers’ compensation claims. North Carolina workers’ comp rates have decreased steadily over the last few years – a 12.5 percent decrease proposed by NCRB was approved in 2017 and an 8.5 percent decrease was approved in 2016.

NCRB said for the federal classifications, the approved overall rate level decrease is 4.3 percent relative to the current overall rate level. Within each industry group, the change will vary from the average by classification depending upon the volume and character of the particular classification experience. The rates, rating values and miscellaneous values that have been approved are available on the NCRB website.

The N.C. Workers’ Compensation Act is administered by the North Carolina Industrial Commission, which is housed under the North Carolina Department of Insurance.

Source: North Carolina Department of Insurance, North Carolina Rate Bureau
– https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2018/10/25/505565.htm

For those wondering rates per class code, they are within the North Carolina Rate Bureau letter here: C-18-25 Workers Compensation Residual Market Rates Effective 4-1-19

NAPEO Alerted to Fraud Scheme Targeting PEOs

NAPEO recently sent out an email alerting their members of a scheme targeting PEOs and we wanted to make sure this was sent out to as many readers as possible to prevent anyone from becoming a victim.

NAPEO’s fraud alert stated the following:

“We have heard from a number of our members in the Midwest about an increase in fraud attempts on PEOs, where a purported legitimate client signs on and runs a pay card payroll. This new client provides a FEIN and in at least one case passed a credit check, but the ACH on the first payroll came back as “insufficient funds” and the client was nowhere to be found. Please be on alert that this is occurring, and let your local/state law enforcement agencies know if you have experienced payroll fraud. We have no reason to believe that this fraudulent scheme is limited to companies in the Midwest, but that is where we have been made aware that the recent activity has taken place.

NAPEO is creating best practices for its members to help guide the client vetting process. If you have any questions or have had this occur to your PEO, please do not hesitate to reach out to Farrah Fielder at ffielder@napeo.org.”

Hope all is well —

Brian

 

 

 

New Florida Workers’ Comp Rates Effective 6/1/2018

As you all know by now,

OIR approved another rate decrease of 1.8% effective 6/1/2018. I thought it would be beneficial to share these new rates by class code, instead of an average.

Previous Article: https://peocompass.com/florida-workers-compensation-rate-reduction-1-8-effective-6-1/

Click Here for 6:1:2018 Florida Workers’ Comp Rates

 

Hope all is well and have a great weekend.

 

Brian

Georgia-Office of Insurance Adopts Insurance Rules Affecting PEOs

From NAPEO:

The Georgia Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner recently adopted rules that could affect the PEO industry. The new rules will become effective on February 14, 2018. NAPEO recommends PEOs doing business in Georgia discuss the rules with legal counsel to determine the impact on your PEO. To view a copy of the rules, please click here.

Here are the highlights:

  • The rules would require a person who performs activities that fall within the definition of “sell,” “solicit,” or “negotiate,” to become licensed as an insurance agent, subagent, or counselor. Additionally, the newly adopted rules would require a business entity to be licensed as an insurance agency if it employs an individual who is required to be licensed as an agent pursuant to Georgia law;
  • An agent, subagent, or counselor license is not needed to serve as the master policyholder of group insurance in administering the details of such plan or “to engage in the administration or operation of a program of employee benefits …”
  • The Office has defined “serving the master policyholder of group insurance” to include the following activities:
    • Creating or implementing a record keeping system to track contribution and benefit payments, to maintain participant information, and to accurately comply with government reporting requirements;
    • Acquiring evidence of coverage and plan member information booklets or materials from insurers to distribute to employees;
    • Collecting employee information to enroll employees in the group plan as necessary and transmitting such information to the insurer;
    • Deducting premiums from an employee’s wages as necessary;
    • Remitting premiums from employees to the insurer;
    • Collecting and reporting to the insurer changes regarding an employee’s family status; and
    • Administering or facilitating the termination of benefits or the extension of COBRA coverage.

Background:

The Office originally proposed a similar rule in 2017 that would have required a representative of a PEO to become licensed as an insurance agent if that person offered advice or rendered opinions as to the substantive benefits, terms, conditions or value, effect, advantages or disadvantages under any contract of insurance. At the time, NAPEO challenged the legality of the proposal as we believed it directly conflicted with Georgia Code, which allows PEOs to discuss employee benefits with prospective co-employers and their employees. NAPEO has always had concerns that the Office’s interpretation of the words “selling, soliciting, or negotiating” could lead to a negative impact on PEOs who simply discuss insurance benefits with client or potential clients. The Office subsequently proposed the current version of the rule in late 2017 and held a public hearing on the new proposal earlier this year. During the hearing, NAPEO testified and submitted written comment in opposition to the rules. To view a copy of NAPEO’s comment letter, please click here. NAPEO has made clear throughout this regulatory process that PEOs in Georgia have the legal right to discuss benefit plans with potential clients.

NAPEO introduced legislation (House Bill 333) based on its Model Act during the 2017 legislative session. That bill remains active and currently sits in the House Insurance Committee. We will continue to work to enact our legislation and educate policymakers about the PEO industry.

Contact Daniel Harris (dharris@napeo.org) for more information. 

 

Guarantee Insurance Company (GIC) In State Receivership

On November 17th, 2017 Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier asked Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis to initiate delinquency proceedings against the workers compensation insurance provider, GIC.

“After a financial audit found the company overstated its level of capitalization in 2016, the Office of Insurance Regulation in August entered into a consent order with Guarantee barring it from writing new business while implementing a plan of reorganization.

According to a spokeswoman for the Office of Insurance Regulation, the reorganization plan was to have included Guarantee’s affiliates, including Patriot National, an insurance industry services provider that counts Guarantee as its largest client.”

Notable information from Altmaier’s letter:

Both companies are controlled by Steve Mariano, which Altmaier’s letter identified as recipient of $15.7 million in transfers from Guarantee in 2016 and the first half of 2017 “with no documented business purpose and no discernible benefit to [Guarantee], adding the “Office has deemed them detrimental” to Guarantee.

“While Mr. Mariano benefited individually from these transactions by receiving cash from GIC, this indebtedness diverted funds that otherwise could be used to increase the surplus of GIC and otherwise be available for the payment of policyholder claims.”

By transferring the funds to Mariano, Guarantee violated state law prohibiting ”direct or indirect notes or other evidence of indebtedness of any director, officer, or controlling stockholder of the insurer, except as to [authorized] policy loans,” Altmaier’s letter states.

“Further, the Office has identified other transactions involving parties with known association to Mr. Mariano that have been harmful to GIC,” the letter states.

Lastly, Altmaier’s letter also states the company’s insolvency “renders its further transaction of insurance hazardous to its policyholders, subscribers, claimants, creditors, and the citizens of the state of Florida.”

These are all big statement’s that all GIC policyholders should be aware of and be proactive on.

Please contact Brian Urso, if you have any questions or if I can be of any assistance for those being impacted by this news.

Hope all is well –

Brian Urso
burso@libertateins.com
(407)613-5494

*More details can be found here:

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2017/11/21/471913.htm

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/fl-bz-guarantee-insurance-receivership-20171117-story.html

CoAdvantage Acquires California-based Total HR Management

Just after the recent merger with “PEMCO”, a PEO located in Sarasota, FL, CoAdvantage Corporation (“CoAdvantage”) announced today that it has also acquired California based Total HR Management (“Total HR”).

This acquisition is different then the rest as this means CoAdvantage is jumping into the California market. Total HR is a comprehensive human resources administration firm located in Los Angeles, CA that provides outsourced HR services, benefits and payroll to a white-collar client base.

“The acquisition of Total HR provides CoAdvantage with a strategic entry-point to the California market through a strong regional provider with a history of success and service excellence,” said Mike Maseda, President and CEO of CoAdvantage.  “We look forward to coupling our scale with Total HR’s relationship-based service model to further expand our presence in providing high-quality HR support to California’s thriving small business community.”

“CoAdvantage’s scale and resources bring added value to our customers and the California market,” said James Harwood, Founder and CEO of Total HR.  “I am excited to join the CoAdvantage family and look forward to working with the broader CoAdvantage team as we grow our presence in California.” Total HR will form part of CoAdvantage’s West Region and James Harwood will continue with the combined Company as Vice President of California.

With these two recent acquisitions, CoAdvantage now serves approximately 90,000 work site employees in all 50 states, offering the resources of a national provider with a local focus to business owners around the country.

 

You can find our article on the PEMCO acquisition here:

CoAdvantage Acquires Progressive Employer Management Company (PEMCO)

Source:

https://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/prnewswire/press_releases/Florida/2017/10/25/FL24864

CoAdvantage Acquires Progressive Employer Management Company (PEMCO)

CoAdvantage Corporation (“CoAdvantage”) is a leading provider of strategic human resource solutions for small to mid-sized companies whom announced Tuesday that they have acquired Progressive Employer Management Company (“PEMCO”) – one of the country’s largest private PEOs.

Both companies are Professional Employer Organizations, providing HR services, payroll, benefits and risk management. CoAdvantage President and CEO, Mike Maseda said “This is one of those businesses where scale really matters. There are advantages to being one of the bigger players. PEMCO is a large, growing, and skillfully managed Professional Employer Organization (PEO) that has experienced rapid transformation into one of the country’s quality providers.”

Clint Burgess, who was CEO of PEMCO, will become Chief Operating Officer at CoAdvantage, and Peter Grabowski, will continue his role as CFO with CoAdvantage.”Merging with CoAdvantage solidifies our leading presence in Florida, and continues our mission of providing high quality outsourced HR solutions,” said Burgess. Burgess and Maseda maintained a good relationship over the years and both worked for CoAdvantage up until 2014, when Burgess left to run PEMCO.

A report from Tampa Bay Biz Journal back in July of this year listed the largest PEO’s, which shows CoAdvantage at No. 6 with 50,000 leased employees and PEMCO at No. 8. This acquisition will leave CoAdvantage with roughly 4,000 clients and 85,000 employees, according to Maseda. CoAdvantage will have dual headquarters, both in Tampa and Sarasota with about 500 total internal employees.

 

More information can be found here:

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/coadvantage-acquires-progressive-employer-management-company-pemco-300533929.html

https://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2017/10/10/tampa-human-resources-company-buys-competitor.html

 

 

U.S. DHS M-274 Handbook NAPEO Update

Compass Readers,

Quickly after Michael Miller’s memo went out yesterday about the M-274 handbook, Farrah Fielder (General Counsel, NAPEO) sent out an email with NAPEO’s updates and plan for tackling this head on.

Farrah expressed the following points on the M-274 change and NAPEO’s federal governmental affairs plan:

  • NAPEO has been aware of this change since February, when several NAPEO members mentioned to NAPEO that the PEO content had been removed from the M-274 handbook.
  • Contact with ICE by NAPEO member companies at that time yielded no information on the changes.
  • There was no political leadership at ICE when these changes occurred.
  • NAPEO has seen no changes in enforcement from ICE towards the PEO industry since the Trump Administration took office.
  • No NAPEO member, to our knowledge, has changed its policies on the I-9 form based on the removal of the PEO content from the M-274 handbook.
  • And, as far as we are aware, ICE has not rejected/refused/prohibited PEOs from filing I-9s on behalf of clients or filing client I-9s as agents since the changes to the M-274 handbook.

Farrah continued, “NAPEO, as part of its federal legislative and regulatory agenda, has immigration reform as an agenda item.”

The following is the associations plan of action:

  • Ask the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to clarify the responsibilities of a PEO under E-Verify, addressing the following issues:
    • PEO and client compliance responsibilities under E-Verify
    • Compliance with E-Verify for individuals and clients that are already in a PEO relationship
    • Creating an E-Verify compliance safe harbor for PEOs
  • NAPEO also plans to form a working group to implement these items once there is political leadership at ICE.

To understand more on this topic, please refer to this previous article that was published yesterday: https://peocompass.com/u-s-department-homeland-security-m-274-handbook/

If you have any questions feel free to contact Farrah Fielder (ffielder@napeo.org) or Thom Stohler (tstohler@napeo.org – VP, Federal Government Affairs NAPEO) directly.

We will continue to update as more information comes in.

Regards,

Brian Urso
Risk Consultant
burso@libertateins.com
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