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Drop Dead Deadline

It is common for the Human Resources person at a workplace to pass out new forms every year during open enrollment, requiring every employee to indicate their personal information and that of their spouse and children, as well as the health plan they are choosing, the primary care physician, etc. It seems that there is always a question that cannot be answered immediately so these forms are set aside to complete later. Sometimes, later is after the deadline

Only a 95 Dollar Fee

One component of the recently enacted Affordable Healthcare Act, is the penalty on those who chose not to buy health insurance. These penalties have been referenced frequently of late, usually in the following way; “It’s only a $95 fee, right?” It seems that this is what the popular media would have everyone to believe; however there is a little more it than that. These are the rates for the next three years, which will continue to rise in years ahead:

Guideline Requirement for all Employers by October 1

As your trusted insurance advisor, The Merriam Agency is committed to keeping you up-to-date with the latest health care reform information. Per the U.S. Department of Labor, Exchange Notices must be given to all employees by October 1, 2013. This requirement applies both to employers offering group health insurance and those that do not. All employers must provide their employees with a notice of coverage options available through the Exchanges which open October 1, 2013. This is regardless

Loss prevention

I usually avoid the use of clichés, but this one is just too obvious to ignore: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Ben Franklin was certainly right, though I doubt he imagined he would ever be quoted in Rescue Magazine 250 years later! However, when it comes to preventing losses before they happen, he was extremely sage. The amount of money that is lost on insured claims may be huge. Additionally, they are typically a time waster, exacerbated by the work and energy that must be expended to even file a claim. Such possible expenses to the ministry include

Admitted v NonAdmitted

When receiving a carrier’s quote, inevitably the question is asked “is it admitted or non-admitted?” We always ask it, but do we really understand what the differences are between admitted and non-admitted carriers? And do we know what happens when admitted v. non-admitted carriers go into liquidation? And most importantly, what should the client know? The designation of an insurance company by a state’s Insurance Commissioner as “admitted” may seem to give the company a stamp of authority, however, this designation is

A Country Divided

In the 30 years of my professional career in risk management and insurance, I have never come across an issue as divisive as the debate over National health insurance. I will admit, right up front, that I am an opponent to the idea. Categorically, I am one of those conservatives who are prone to side with Thomas Jefferson who was quoted as saying, “The role of government is to do for society what society cannot do for itself.” Likewise, I am apt to quote what was printed in the monthly periodical

Prevent Mortgage Fraud and Other Claims

Preventing Mortgage Fraud – and the Subsequent Claims In our Professional Liability department, we have seen the lasting impact the continued weakness of the real estate market has had on our many Title Industry Errors and Omissions clients. While there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel (finally!), the long term impact on the underwriting of these policies will be felt for a long time. Many of our insured attorneys engaged in real estate law practice have also been impacted by the real estate “bubble” and subsequent “correction”. In recent years we have seen mortgage fraud

Fire in the Wild West

A few years ago, I was the director of a small non-profit ranch near Colorado Springs. While one of my employees was hauling horses from Kansas, the truck began losing power and occasionally blowing brake light fuses. At midnight, I received a panicked phone call from Cory, who was just 5 miles from home after an 1100 mile journey. The truck was on fire.

IIABA Best Practices Awarded 4 Years Running

The MERRIAM INSURANCE AGENCY is part of an elite group of independent insurance agencies around the United States participating in the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) “Best Practices” Study Group. Each year since 1993, IIABA and Reagan Consulting, an Atlanta-based management consulting firm, join forces to study the country’s leading agencies in six revenue categories.

We Are Ready

For the past 3 years, the health insurance industry has been working to meet the requirements of the Patient Protective Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The intricacies of the over 2,000 page document can be staggering. Part of our job is to assist both employers and individuals in your navigation through this new health care reality, as well as with the decision-making process that lies ahead. Even prior to the implementation of the PPACA, the Merriam Agency has had access