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An Intro to Word & Brown Compliance Services

July 22, 2022   |   by Alex Strautman
Compliance Services

Part of Word & Brown’s commitment to “Service of Unequalled Excellence” includes our devotion to making complicated issues seem simple – for you and your customers.

Our Insurance Compliance Services department can help you navigate the uncertainty of evolving state and federal regulations affecting you, your agency, your clients’ businesses, and their employees.

Insurance Compliance Services – Help When You Need It

We’re here to assist you with a wide range of compliance-related matters, including employer Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting, changing regulations, and much more.

Our Compliance Team is staffed by experts who want to simplify your life, and who are on-call to answer all of your questions.

Paul Roberts, Senior Director, Education and Market Development

(Nearly 16 years at Word & Brown, including six months in current role, Director of Education for two-plus years, and Manager of Compliance and Education for four years.)

-Leads the educational efforts of the Word & Brown General Agency – educating health insurance agents, employers, and employees how to better understand the consumption, transaction, and management of group insurance

-Engaging, energetic and entertaining public speaker on group benefits, compliance, business development, philosophy/ethics, and HR practices

-Nationally recognized Continuing Education course educator for benefits advisors

-SHRM- and HRCI-accredited educator

-Provides oversight to, and support of, the WBCompliance team – responsible for 175+/month unique compliance inquiries related to benefits plans

-Highly active in the National Association of Health Underwriters/National Association of Benefits and Insurance Professionals (NAHU/NABIP) – passionate about professional development, philanthropic endeavors, and improving chapter/state leadership

-Published author and frequent columnist on benefits and HR topics

-Possesses expert knowledge of Affordable Care Act (ACA), ERISA, COBRA, Account Based Plans (FSA, HRA, HSA, POP, etc.), HR management, technology, security, insurance code, ethics philosophy, marketing, and more

-Develops employer-facing and broker-facing references and resources to illustrate challenging concepts in the employee benefits space

Rene Gonzalez, Compliance Analyst Team Lead

(Nearly 16 years at The Word & Brown Companies, including six months in current role, Senior Compliance Analyst for 13 months, Compliance Analyst for 4.5+ years, and Broker Services Administrator for 4.75 years.)

-Communicates with brokers and employers on the various complexities across the health insurance compliance space, with a keen eye for quality and a strong care for resolution

-Services 175+/month unique compliance inquiries from health insurance agents, employers, and internal staff – with a one-business-day turnaround time and a commitment to excellence

-Champions the development, oversight, and maintenance of a comprehensive response library to facilitate a shared knowledge source for the compliance, sales, and account management teams

-Develops and innovates new educational courses for Department of Insurance CE Credit and HRCI and SHRM credit, to increase the knowledge of health insurance agents and their employer clients while also contributing to the education of internal staff members

-Maintains and supports the innovation, quality, storage, and support of new and existing compliance collateral to aid brokers, employers, and staff in their compliance abilities

-Passionately participates in educational efforts to understand new and changing legislation impacting the health insurance compliance space, including active participation in local Association of Health Underwriters’ chapters

-Acts a subject matter expert and product marketing expert in the development and enhancement of compliance content and exclusive resources in a comprehensive online suite

-Engages actively with health insurance brokers across a multi-state territory, discussing all things compliance: ACA, ERISA, COBRA, HIPAA, HITECH, Account-Based Plans, HR management, technology, social media, etc.

-Contributes to the formation of marketing initiatives to improve online resources, newsroom content, podcasts, and marketing campaigns

-Controls content in SharePoint of internal and external Compliance web systems

Jonathan Close, Senior Compliance & Carrier Analyst

(Nearly two years at Word & Brown, all under his current role as Senior Compliance & Carrier Analyst)

-Communicates with brokers and employers on the various complexities across the health insurance compliance space

-Services 175+/month unique compliance inquiries from health insurance agents, employers, and internal staff – with a one-business-day turnaround time and a commitment to excellence

-Oversees the expansive library of compliance resources listed on the Word & Brown GA website; communicates changes/updates to the team to provide the most relevant and up-to-date information for the sales, compliance, and account management teams as well as our external clients such as health insurance agents

-Assists in the development and maintenance of an expansive response library as new regulations enter the health insurance industry

-Champions the administrative process of implementing Continuing Education (CE) Courses with the Department of Insurance in California and Nevada; ensures CE Credits are applied properly to participating health insurance agents and human resource administrators at the conclusion of each course

-Coordinates initiatives with carrier partners to determine approach taken by each whenever new regulations are put in place

-Provides creative input in the development of CE Courses integral to ensuring courses deliver on intended purpose to educate and inform our broker and employer communities

-Takes ownership of administrative tasks integral to delivery of CE Courses and internal trainings with sales, compliance, and account management staff

-Ensures Salesforce data is accurate and current to maintain the integrity of monthly reports provided to upper management

ACA Guidance

Whether you have a client-specific, scenario-based ACA or Department of Labor (DOL) inquiry, you can count on our Compliance Team – working with your Word & Brown representative – to deliver the answers, resources, and support you and your clients want.

Employer Reporting Help: Our annual “Don’t Fear the Forms” webinar series helps employers stay on top of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reporting requirements regarding the annual offer of (or failure to offer) ACA-compliant health insurance to employees.

HR, Enrollment, and TPA Services: We have partnerships with multiple human resources, online enrollment, and benefits management providers. We also offer access to third-party services for the administration of Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), Premium Only Plans (POPs), and COBRA.

Integrated Provider Search: The WBQuote quoting technology offers the health insurance industry’s first integrated provider search – giving users the power to search, confirm, and build quotes that include your clients’ preferred hospitals and doctors.

Our provider search technology uses carriers’ latest data. That means you have access to the most up-to-date information when looking up doctors, medical groups, and hospitals available with each of the health plans your clients may be considering.

Our integrated solutions allow you to input a new provider or update a required provider. You will immediately see available provider plans offering access.

WBQuote also automatically identifies the lowest-cost package with the most contracted providers. That allows you to add it to your quote with a single click.

ERISA Aid: We offer access to third-party services to ensure clients’ program can pass the ERISA coverage test and protect benefits with a Wrap Plan that bundles health and welfare.

The only businesses exempt from ERISA are government employers and church groups. Your clients may be liable for serious financial and/or criminal penalties if they fail to create a Summary Plan Description or file the required Summary Annual Report Form 5500 to the Internal Revenue Service.

We can help you help your clients with annual reporting and related services like mandated employer letters, ERISA Wrap documents, Form 5500 preparation, and more.

COBRA Services: Employer compliance is mandatory and non-compliance fees can be substantial. We offer eligible groups COBRA administration, helping them save money and avoid fines.

ACA Calculators: We offer calculators to help you determine whether your clients are subject to the ACA’s “play or pay” mandates, and to determine potential non-compliance penalties.

ACA Forms and Resources: Our wealth of materials will help you stay up to date on changing ACA rules and regulations – and reinforce your role as a trusted advisor to your clients. You can visit the Insurance Forms Library to search the forms you need 24/7.

Premium Only Plan (POP): A POP delivers savings to your clients and their employees. It offers employers reduced payroll taxes and gives employees the ability to deduct insurance premiums or Health Savings Account contributions on a pre-tax basis.

Health Care Information: When you and your clients want to know more about ACA topics or health insurance in general, we offer valuable resources, including a series of Health Care Quick Flicks available for download on our website.

Training: If you’re a California broker, you will want to take advantage of our annual Week of Webinars and other online training. Our 2022 WOW course roster included several compliance-related topics and other courses offering Continuing Education (CE) Credits, which you need to maintain your California insurance license. We also offer training for Nevada brokers; however, CE Credits are not available. Visit our website for current course summaries.

Business Development and Retention: We will help you build – and retain – business by ensuring you and your clients stay ahead of trends and changes. We are an extension of your business, and our teams – across the organization – are here to back you up.

Stay Up to Date

Our industry is evolving, and rules and regulations are changing, but you can stay up to date on what’s new by following our compliance, carrier, product, and other updates in our Newsroom. Be sure to watch for Paul Roberts’s contributions to our monthly broker newsletter, too.

If you want to contact Paul, Rene, Jonathan, send an email to ComplianceSupport@wordandbrown.com. Emails are preferred because staff can do preliminary research before calling you.

 

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