Helping to Support the Journey Home

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OneGroup supports Clear Path for Veterans.

Last month, our OneCommunity spotlight was Clear Path for Veterans. We had the pleasure of working with Clear Path on their mission to empower service members, Veterans, and their families.

On Wednesday, July 27th, a few members of our OneGroup team were able to volunteer at Clear Path for their Canteen located in Chittenango, NY. We were so happy to sponsor such a meaningful event!

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At this event, we were able to help feed approximately 400 people, have great conversations, and give back to the community. The canteen is a place for members to gather, socialize, and have a wonderful meal. We were able to connect with so many people and each person had a different story and journey to tell. Our time at the canteen was amazing!

Clear Path is responsible for supplying Veterans and families of Veterans with programs and services in a safe and respectful environment to ensure that they are supported in all of their physical and emotional needs. They offer a diverse set of programs to satisfy people of all ages and interests, aiming to provide a community where Veterans and their families feel welcomed, well, and whole.

Clear Path believes that one of the best ways to serve military members and their families is through collaboration and partnerships. There are opportunities for volunteers on a daily and weekly basis, which lets outside members learn and engage with this wonderful organization.

We’re thankful for the opportunity to learn about and connect with Clear Path’s mission. Clear Path requires support year-round to continue supporting veteran wellness in every way possible. Learn more about the work that Clear Path does in our communities here

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Update on 2022 Workers’ Compensation Rates

Taking Notes

NY Compensation Insurance Rating Board files Loss Cost Indication for 2022 Workers’ Compensation Rates

By Brett Findlay, ARM

UPDATE: This article has been updated since its original publish date of May 31, 2022.

There have been significant changes applicable to New York State workers’ compensation this year – including an aggregate rate decrease on the horizon, an increase to the maximum weekly payroll limitation, and changes to the experience modification rating (EMR) formula. New York State employers may benefit again from an aggregate rate decrease to their workers’ compensation programs over the coming year.

In a press release dated May 13, 2022, the New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board (NYCIRB) announced they’ve submitted their annual loss cost indication with the New York State Department of Financial Services. An approved and published filing for the expected decrease of 8.7% of the overall loss cost level was then announced on July 15, 2022.

The change in rates is effective on policies renewing on or after October 1, 2022. This is the seventh consecutive year with an overall workers’ compensation rate decrease in New York State.

The impact of the loss costs, or rates, will vary depending on each individual classification code. For an understanding of the potential impact to your business, please reach out to OneGroup. 

So, what does this mean for New York State contractors? It means that there is potential for better renewal options for your workers’ compensation programs. New York contractors have been subject to some of the highest workers’ compensation rates in the country. If the new loss cost filings are approved, there is potential for further relief for some employers.

Any potential rate changes will not go into effect on any individual policy until October 1, 2022. If your effective date is before then, you will have to wait until your policy renewal before any rate changes apply. Regardless of when your effective date is, you should know the exact rate changes to your classifications sooner rather than later. It’s important to not only forecast the future costs of your program, but also to develop a marketing plan for your upcoming renewal.

Additionally, the maximum weekly payroll limitation/cap for eligible classifications has risen significantly. Effective July 1, 2022, the new cap is $1,688.19. This is a 5.5% increase from the prior years’ cap of $1,594.57. There will be an impact on the cost associated with eligible employers’ workers’ compensation premium.

A new formula to determine Experience Modification Ratings, or EMR’s, will go into effect on October 1, 2022. This formula is significantly different than in years past. OneGroup has been monitoring the formula and will be hosting an educational seminar to discuss in greater detail. This is a very important item, as there will be significant impacts to a number of businesses.

This degree of rate fluctuation could cause volatility in the insurance marketplace. Insurance carriers may look to using higher loss cost multipliers, among other possibilities, in order to offset rate decreases. You should be prepared for this, as should your broker.

OneGroup has a team of specialists, dedicated to risk management and construction industry specific insurance issues. We’re able to serve as a resource to your organization for all of your construction specific questions and concerns.


For more information please contact Brett Findlay, Vice President Business Risk Specialist at (315) 280-6376 or [email protected]

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Building an Effective Job Site Safety Program

Workers Compensation

You have a program in place, but is it effective?

By Paul Coderre, CSP, ARM

If you’re a contractor, your job sites present the most consistent and, in most cases, the greatest potential for employee, subcontractor and visitor injuries. While your shop, yard and office can generate occasional accidents, most injuries occur on the job site. The reason isn’t mysterious – your job sites carry the greatest risks and hazards. For the most part, those risks and hazards are known and recognized by site superintendents, foremen, and workers.

So, why do we still have incidents and injuries if most of the hazards are known? It comes down to the level of risk that you, and in turn your supers and employees, are willing to accept in order to get the job done. Other than asteroid strikes, earthquakes and locust swarms, if we recognize something as a hazard, we can pretty much eliminate the risk of an injury. Now that you’ve rolled your eyes, let me say that I agree with you. If we want to get anything done whether it’s on a construction site, getting to work, or walking across the street, we must accept a certain level of risk. We can’t escape risk, it is inherent to life.

However, the level of risk we accept is not an all-or-nothing proposition. In construction, deciding the level of risk we will accept is a dynamic part of our decision making process. As business leaders, you make those decisions. If your job requires an excavation, there is risk associated with that part of the job. Your risk acceptance decision could range from high-risk (excavation without a trench box or cut-back) to low or moderate risk, in which you apply controls to minimize the potential for collapse or cave-in. The accident and injury results that your organization faces are an outcome of your risk mitigation decisions.

But, how do we keep people on our job sites from taking decision making into their own hands? We are all familiar with the employee who works on the roof without a harness and lanyard; or the one that operates a saw without the guard; or the one that uses the unsteady scaffold, on the brink of falling over. That’s where we come back to the fact that this is your company. You decide the level of risk that your company is going to accept. The trick is getting that message out and making sure your decisions are followed.

Easy job site safety fixes can be tempting – do some inspections, hold a couple tool-box talks and – badda bing – your job sites are safe. Unfortunately, job site safety is more involved than that. If you leave the decisions up to your employees without any guidance, then your job site and your results are uncontrolled. The level of risk being accepted is being left to the person you hired yesterday.

Here are the key elements of an Effective Job Site Safety Program:

  • Commitment
  • Understanding
  • Communication
  • Accountability

Consistently applying these elements of risk management to your organization will result a risk level that you have decided is acceptable.

Commitment

Do your site supervisors actually manage the risk on your site (to your expectations), or do they go through the motions? I often go into organizations as a safety consultant, and am handed three-ring binder, and am told, “This is our safety program.” It typically requires the supers to hold daily toolbox talks, document their safety inspections, hold workers accountable for everything from wearing hard hats to lifting with their legs, and more. The jobsite usually engages in some variant of the program described, but very rarely do they enforce every step of that program.

When you develop your safety program, make sure it is your program. We put together program templates for companies all the time. Each time we put together a program template for a company, we tell the owner to go through the program and make it their own; eliminate the things that don’t apply to their operations and even more importantly, eliminate or modify the things they do not intend to do. Once the program is built to accommodate an acceptable level of risk, commit to it. Make that program the rule by which you, your supervisors and your employees will live by. This is by far the most important aspect of keeping job sites safe.

Understanding

After building your safety program, you have to make sure that everyone in the organization (particularly your managers and supervisors) understand your expectations. They should know, and be able to apply, the protocols you established in the plan without having to reference it (because it’s at the office or in the trailer, not out on the job).

If you have certain requirements for inspections or training or PPE, the supervisors should know the requirements and why they are in place. They must also know your level of commitment to those requirements. Only then will they understand that they must maintain that acceptable level of risk on your site, because that level of risk will yield the results you are looking for. And only then will your supervisors understand the need for them to administer those protocols over the job.

With the understanding built among the supervisors, they will also extend that understanding to the employees. Again, if the employee group doesn’t understand the expectations, they can’t be expected to work within them. Building this understanding takes both continuous training (upon hire and periodically during the project) and constant reinforcement by the supervisors – which brings us to our next element.

Communication

Risk management is a very broad discipline, particularly in construction. Minimizing the possibility of an accident or injury can include everything from health exposures (i.e. silica), to mechanical (i.e. power tools), to electrical (i.e. arc flash), to falls (i.e. ladders and scaffold) and many other risks. We cannot expect employees to intuitively know or understand all of our expectations. Therefore, we must commit to continuous communication of those expectations as the demands arise. If a job involves work from elevations, then we have to build understanding in those risks. If it involves a chemical exposure, then that has to be trained (establish the expectation) and reinforced with continuous reminders.

Much the same as establishing the expectations for production results, your supervisors must continuously be present to build understanding of the safety protocols, and to provide appropriate reinforcement to workers based on observation. The term “reinforcement” brings us to our next element.

Accountability

The term accountability has developed a negative slant in recent years. Holding your staff accountable is really just making sure they are operating to your expectations; which isn’t a bad thing. Accountability, driven by the process of providing feedback and reinforcement to people, is the most important way to make sure they understand what you desire for your company and for their safety. Holding someone accountable could mean providing positive feedback or acknowledging that an individual (or group) executed their jobs successfully. On the other side, accountability can also mean providing feedback if the group did not perform as expected, requiring you to restate your expectations or provide additional education or training on an issue that was missed. If your expectations continuously go unmet, you can make risk-based decisions as you find appropriate.

However you look at it, holding people accountable and providing feedback is the best way to ensure that your expectations (safety program) are being followed. Don’t shy away from routinely providing feedback.

The Bottom Line

Job site safety isn’t rocket science (unless you’re building a launch pad). Effective job site safety is based on deciding what you are trying to get done and the level of risk that you are willing to accept to do it (commitment), teaching your employees about your expectations (understanding), continuously reinforcing those expectations (communication), and letting employees know whether or not they are meeting those expectations.

For those expecting a different discussion about building a job site safety program: get a safety program template, train your employees, conduct site inspections, do accident investigations, and maintain the appropriate documentation.

That’s a much shorter list of things to do, but you’ll notice that the title was also shortened by taking out the work “effective.”


For more information please contact Paul Coderre, Vice President of Risk Management Services at [email protected].

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Making a Wish Come True

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OneGroup supports Make-A-Wish Central New York.

This May, OneGroup was thrilled to be working with Make-A-Wish Central New York to support their mission to create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.

We granted a wish for Tyler, a local Central New York Make-A-Wish child.

In 2020, during the height of COVID-19, Tyler was diagnosed with ALL B Cell Leukemia. After 40 days in the ICU receiving treatment, Tyler made it back home with his family. He was 40 pounds lighter and had to learn to walk again, but was determined to competitively swim again – one of his deepest passions. 

MAW CNY

Tyler was granted a wish one week after being diagnosed with Leukemia, but he didn’t know what he wanted his wish to be. During his stay at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, his mother Krista would often play sounds of the ocean, and together they would pretend that they were at the beach. This was one of the ways that Tyler found peace in some of his most difficult moments. 

Keeping true to his time listening to sounds of the ocean at Upstate, Tyler used his wish to send himself and his family to Hawaii, the ultimate beach destination!

Our OneGroup team began the month of May by attending Tyler’s “Wish Reveal,” where he was told that he would be leaving for Hawaii in just three weeks. We also joined Tyler’s Wish Granters to see the family off on the day of their departure at the Syracuse Hancock International Airport. We were lucky to follow along with their trip as it was happening!

We’re thankful for the opportunity to learn about and connect with Make-A-Wish’s mission, and to witness their magic in real time. Make-A-Wish requires support year-round to continue providing children with life-changing wishes. Learn more about the work that Make-A-Wish does in our communities here

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OneGroup’s Day of Giving

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Stepping Up for Our Communities

Every year, OneGroup holds our Day of Giving, dedicated to giving back to all of our OneGroup communities. Each OneGroup office closes for a portion of a day, allowing employees to volunteer for an organization in their local community. On Thursday, June 9th, many of our offices celebrated this year’s Day of Giving in their communities.

From helping to pack bags of food for children in need and supporting our furry friends at local shelters to giving back to non-profit theater communities, supporting the zoo’s mission of connecting people to the natural world, and more, our OneGroup impact has been vast!

Thank you to all who have participated and made this year’s Day of Giving a success!

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The I-90 Corridor

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In Conversation with Winthrop Thurlow, Executive Director of MedTech

By Pierre Morrisseau

This article is comprised of excerpts from an interview that I conducted with Win Thurlow, Executive Director of MedTech, in which we discussed the development of a working community that spans the entirety of New York State and some of the concepts that surround this idea.

On developing the “I-90 Corridor” —

PIERRE: I’d love for you to talk about the concept of community in the metro area and developing the “I-90 Corridor.” Tell us about your take on the opportunity to grow the Corridor, and what it means to you?

WIN: Let me start by giving you some context… For the past few years, Brookings Institute has been studying the geography of the technology industry in the US and conceptualizing how to spread the tech economy more evenly around the country. Competitive advantage in the tech space is dependent upon proximity to other people in that same field, and historically, high achievers have landed in places like Silicon Valley, Boston, and the research triangle. These areas have succeeded because they’ve aggregated so many like-minded individuals, but placing this entire industry in so few places is unsustainable and will likely lead to burnout.

At that point, it is not only difficult for folks to get into the market itself, but the surrounding areas become less attractive for the next generation of workers to live in due to rising expenses. Why would you move to Boston, as awesome as Boston may be, and spend $2,500/month on a studio when you could live someplace else much easier and cheaper? 

Win Thurlow & Pierre Morrisseau
Pictured: Win Thurlow & Pierre Morrisseau

So Brookings says, here’s what we should do… We need to create some targeted locations around the country where we would encourage increased federal spending in terms of research and development dollars, perhaps look at regulatory relief in certain areas, in order to lower the barriers to entry in this field. The overarching idea is to encourage the growth of the tech economy

Over the last 50 years, when looking at economic development policy in other industries, particularly at the federal level, funding is typically allocated to a wide span of cities throughout the country. But Brookings says that this approach won’t work in tech because it will dilute the value. What they suggest, instead, is to pick ten metro regions in the country and only target these ten. If that works, eventually target ten more. They suggested picking locations based on such metrics as: proximity to academic research institutions, higher than average levels of education for the workforce, abundant natural resources, access to power, etc. Through this process of elimination, Brookings honed in on 35 metropolitan regions in the country and suggested that the program pick ten beneficiaries from that list.

Now, this is the part that excited me… Of the 35 cities that Brookings selected, New York State held four of them: Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo. It is highly unlikely that anyone would choose all of these locations as four of the ten, but this brings us back to the “I-90 Corridor” idea… Under that umbrella, these cities wouldn’t be marked as four metropolitan regions, but as ONE metropolitan region. And the reality is, you can drive from Albany to Buffalo in half a day. In many ways, that’s easier than getting from Montauk to Manhattan. 

“We should always imagine the world as a dynamic and changing place.
We can’t rely on things always being the same, and that mindset presents a great opportunity for regeneration and advancement.”

WIN THURLOW

So what do all of these places have in common? They are all along the Route 90 corridor, which, as you may know, follows the Erie Canal. And it was the Erie Canal that transformed this country from an agrarian east coast economy to the colossus that it became. We can, and should, harness that same energy today. And what I think about when I’m traveling up and down the thruway is how this corridor has access at various points to so many resources – from universities to manufacturing facilities to an array of diverse industries.

And when we consider the history of manufacturing in CNY, there is an embedded institutional memory of innovation in this space, as well as the capacity and facilities to rekindle this work. Whether its physical assets in Schenectady or materials in Rochester, we have access to so much. 

PIERRE: We need to establish a mindset around the concept of one continuous corridor, which will require a paradigm shift and a willingness to think long-term in order to utilize the infrastructure that already exists. Through that, these smaller cities will become more desirable places to live because they already have the resources to support a larger population. These changes can’t happen all at once, but over time they will. 

WIN: If each center grows their corridor capacity, the infrastructure that we are able to support will not only bring more people to CNY, but will inspire students to stay after college. And further, it behooves an institution like Syracuse University, for example, to strengthen the local workforce because that will increase the desirability of living in a place like Syracuse, thus strengthening the case for better talent to sign on as faculty at the university. 

PIERRE: I love that concept. There seems to be a lot of opportunity if we’re willing to think longer term and collaborate to make this happen. What are your thoughts on how we can move this forward?

WIN: By taking CNY’s history of manufacturing innovation and combining it with our concentration of academic research institutions, not to mention the ease of access to places like Boston and NYC, there’s no reason that we couldn’t be considered one large metro area, working together and doing great things.

On connection in an age of technology —

WIN: I am fascinated by the popularity of remote work, especially among younger generations. Maybe I’m showing my age, but it’s the loss of (and willingness to lose) in-person mentorship and professional development that is tough to understand.

PIERRE: You can emulate the concept of togetherness through technology, but connectedness gets lost over time when you don’t have access to the little moments; the drive-by conversations, getting to the office early for a chat before jumping into your day – there isn’t currently an easy way to do that virtually. On the flip side, I like to joke that people enjoyed my “digital containment” because suddenly they knew where to find me – and it also opened the doors to conversation with people all around the world. There are two obviously contrasting sides to this, but finding the balance is key.

On the consistency of change —

PIERRE: Let’s talk about Kodak and the importance of thinking long-term. Kodak, titan of the film photography industry, actually invented digital photography! But many people don’t know that because they never shifted from film to digital. At the time, Kodak was able to make money without doing anything different by licensing their digital technology to everyone else – never anticipating that the need for film and chemicals would run out. If they had looked ahead they could have remained at the top of their industry, but the day that film was deemed irrelevant was the day that Kodak filed for bankruptcy. If they had thought of digital photography as a means to putting cameras in more consumers’ hands, they might’ve let their chemical resources run out, taken the hit early on, and rebuilt their infrastructure around the digital technology that they had created.

WIN: Growing up in Cortland we used to look at Rochester and think, Rochester is bulletproof. Rochester has Eastman Kodak. We will always need film. Rochester has Xerox. We will always need paper copies. You could not have convinced me that the world would exist in any way other than that. But the reality is, the digital revolution came and we no longer needed film and we no longer needed paper copies. That could be a very depressing story, but it doesn’t have to be. It can serve as a reminder that we should always imagine the world as a dynamic and changing place. We can’t rely on things always being the same, and that mindset presents a great opportunity for regeneration and advancement.

Sisyphus New Yorker cartoon
Sisyphus Balances the Boulder at the Top
by Michael Crawford, The New Yorker

On leveraging the brainpower around us —

PIERRE: How can we bring people together and magnify the affect of their individual work?

WIN: My all time favorite New Yorker cartoon is of Sisyphus pushing the boulder up the hill, balancing it at the top, wiping his hands and saying “well, that’s done” …because we all know that the work is never done. There will always be a boulder to push and there will always be a workload to balance. What we need to do a better job of is understanding that we don’t have to push or balance the boulder by ourselves. From where we sit right now, there are so many resources and intelligent minds just up the road, but it’s on us to reach out and connect with them.

PIERRE: And in order to do that, the leaders need to take up this charge. If we take action, that will lead to more action, prompting a continuous, iterative system. The more we foster these relationships, the more others will follow suit.

WIN: That’s exactly right. To bring this full circle, everything that we’ve discussed here aligns with the development of the I-90 Corridor – if we can get other leaders in New York State on board with growing the opportunities around us, there is no end to the successes that we could achieve together.

Pierre Morrisseau
Chief Executive Officer
[email protected]

Follow Pierre on LinkedIn to keep up on his conversations with other local thought leaders!


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New OSHA Enforcement Initiative

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Heat-Related Illness

By Doris Habayeb Courgi, CSP, CPSI and Paula DeStefano, CPRoMgrSU

OSHA has a new enforcement initiative. Currently, there is no standard that address heat-related illness & injury hazards in the workplace. OSHA relies on the General Duty Clause Section 5(a)(1) of the Federal Register.

The current initiative has been established at developing a heat-related illness standard. Issued October 2021 is a Published Advanced Notice of Rulemaking named Heat Injury & Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings. The proposed rulemaking is geared towards obtaining information about the extent and nature of hazardous heat in the workplace and effective controls to prevent heat-related injury & illness.  

From the proposed rulemaking the National Emphasis Program (NEP) was placed into effect on April 8, 2022. NEP is an OSHA effort meant to gather information on addressing heat hazards in the workplace in the development of a heat hazards standard. Under the NEP, OSHA will prioritize on-site inspections. Employers will be responsible to comply with the requirements of the NEP – implement safety measures to prevent heat-related illness in the workplace/worksite.

OSHA on-site inspections can be triggered by any of the following:

  • When OSHA is conducting other, non-heat-related investigations, they can/will open a heat-related inspection into any hazardous heat conditions observed (plain view) or reported.
  • When heat index is expected to be 80 degrees Fahrenheit or more (heat priority days), OSHA will inquire about heat-related hazard prevention programs during these (unprogrammed) inspections.
  • When National Weather Service (NWS) has announced a heat warning or advisory for a local area, OSHA will use neutral, objective criteria to select employers for pre-planned inspections in high-risk industries in that area—including manufacturing, foundries, warehousing, farming, waste collection, residential & commercial construction, among many others.

What Employers Should Expect

  • NEP includes 70 high-risk industries (construction & non-construction)
    • List compiled from BLS reports
    • OSHA Severe Injury Reports from employer
    • General Duty Clause violations & hazard alert letters issued
    • Past industries subjected to heat inspections
  • Employer should be aware of high heat hazard work days – Heat Priority Days
    • Employer to evaluate worksite condition, take steps to decrease heat-related illness among workers
    • Be aware of workers required to engage in intense or continuous physical exertion, or who are exposed to high temperatures and humidity or direct sunlight, may be susceptible to heat-related illness
  • OSHA will request review of 300 & 300A logs for past 3 years and current year
  • OSHA to interview workers for heat illness symptoms: headache, dizziness, dehydration…
  • OSHA to review employer’s heat illness prevention program. 
    • Consider developing & implementing program if not already established
    • Consider if  the program addresses hydration, areas of rest/shade, scheduled breaks, employee acclimatization, training, other relevant policies & programs such as PPE, Ventilation, First Aid & Medical Services, Recordkeeping, Sanitation
    • Conduct a JHA to determine potential exposures to heat illness
  • Documentation of relevant weather & temperature conditions such as heat index, NWS issued heat alerts, types of heat source (direct sunlight, radiant heat sources…) level of and duration to exposure….
  • NEP Outreach – During heat priority days OSHA will increase compliance outreach
  • OSHA has resources to help employers and employees stay safe when working in high-temperature and high-humidity

Doris Habayeb Courgi is a senior risk management consultant at OneGroup. She can be reached at 315-413-4459 or [email protected].
Paula DeStefano is a risk management consultant at OneGroup. She can be reached at 315-413-4441 or [email protected].

Material provided for informational purposes only. If you are in need of compliance assistance related to heat-related injury or illness prevention and compliance programs feel free to reach out to OneGroup Risk Management Team at (315) 457-180 or 1-800-268-1830

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Health Savings Accounts

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Three Wealth Building Strategies

By Nathan Bradley, CEBS

A Health Savings Account (HSA) is one of the most versatile, tax-favored accounts under the IRS code. Many participants use their funds as they incur expenses, while others better utilize their savings potential and tax breaks.

Below are three ways to maximize the potential of your HSA:

Pay by other means and reimburse yourself later

Qualified medical expenses incurred after the account is open are eligible for reimbursement at any time. You can pay now, using cash or with a credit card (added bonus of points, travel miles, or cash back), let the funds grow over time, and reimburse yourself at any point in the future.  This strategy allows you to invest your HSA funds to grow tax-free for the future.

HSA as a retirement account

At age 65, HSA funds can be withdrawn for any purpose and taxed at your ordinary income rate, similar to a 401(k), with no penalty. Of course, you can still use your HSA for qualified medical expenses, including Medicare premiums, and the funds are tax-free. A strong argument can be made that the HSA is the most important account to max out, even before a 401(k), as long as you have contributed enough to earn your employer match. 

Jumpstart an HSA for your adult dependents

Your HSA funds can only be used for the qualified medical expenses of your tax dependents. However, adult dependents still on your plan (assuming it’s a qualified HDHP), and no longer considered tax dependents, can open their own HSA. Since these dependents are covered by a family plan, they can contribute up to the annual family amount. This provides the opportunity for over $7,000 per year of tax-favored funds into the account, with the possibility of 40 years of growth potential.

An HSA is your personal account. You are responsible for the usage and record keeping, not your employer. It is important to maintain a record of receipts, EOBs, and provider invoices to avoid potential penalty or tax consequences for misuse.

Contact us today with additional questions on how to better utilize your Health Savings Account.


Nathan Bradley is a senior consultant at OneGroup. He can be reached at 315-413-4496 or [email protected]

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice.

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Increase Your Cyber Insurability

CyberSecurity

Increasing your organization’s cyber insurability.

By Dennis Ast, CPCU, CCIC

The cyber insurance market continues to change. As the market has become more challenging, cyber insurers are more selective about who they choose to insure.

Some of the key changes that cyber insurance carriers are making include:

  • Lower coverage limits
  • Increased retentions
  • Higher premiums
  • Coinsurance on some coverages
  • New endorsements that further limit coverage

Insurers are requiring organizations to fill out full applications and ransomware supplementals, complete cyber assessments to search for vulnerabilities and add subjectivities to quotes to minimize their exposure to risk. These requirements are driven by an increase in number of cyber-attacks, which is resulting in higher claim payments being made by cyber carriers. Cyber insurers are looking for clients that have developed strong cyber hygiene and resiliency. If you or your company haven’t stayed current with your cyber security, obtaining cyber insurance may be a challenge.  

Cyber carriers want to offer their optimum terms to those who have best-in-class cyber security programs. There are steps that organizations can take to increase their insurability.

Below are the steps you can take to increase your insurability:

  • Start the renewal process four to six months prior to the renewal date
  • Obtain a cyber vulnerability assessment and resolve all vulnerabilities
  • Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) – especially on email and remote access
  • Secure Remote Desktop Protocols (RDP)
  • Implement Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)
  • Enable email security
  • Keep all Devices and Applications patched and up to date
  • Encrypt all sensitive data
  • Remove/replace end of life or end of support software
  • Have back-ups – regular, encrypted, air-gaped & tested
  • Develop and practice a cyber incident response plan

By increasing your cyber resiliency and hygiene, cyber carriers are more likely to offer better renewal terms to your organization. OneGroup can help you to build a strong cyber program that will increase your organization’s chances of obtaining cyber coverage.


Dennis Ast is a senior account executive and cyber risk specialist at OneGroup. He can be reached at 716-572-2410 or [email protected].

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National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Pinwheels Blue Overlay

OneGroup supports McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy Center during National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention month. Throughout the month, OneGroup supported the McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy Center, an organization that has been dedicated to ending child abuse in our Central New York community since 1999. They have assisted in the healing of countless children’s lives, and they see more than 1,000 victims of child abuse each year.

McMahon Ryan Logo

We kicked off the month by joining some remarkable community members at the Go Blue 4 Kids Breakfast. We were left in awe of the strength and perseverance shown by keynote speaker Michelle Knight, best-selling author and Cleveland Kidnapping survivor. Her story reminded us of the reason it is so important to support organizations that actively protect our community’s children.

OneGroup spread some positivity by planting 100 pinwheels on our front lawn. They spun through snow, wind, sun, and rain! Every day, these small symbols reminded us that all children deserve a happy and bright childhood. The pinwheels standing their ground throughout our unpredictable and harsh weather seemed to serve as a metaphor of strength.

On April 24th, the sun began to shine and some members of our OneGroup team laced up their sneakers and participated in the Step Up 4 Kids Run.

As the month comes to a close, we’re reminded that organizations such as McMahon Ryan require support year-round, not just during the month of April. Learn more about the work that McMahon Ryan does in our community here

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ONEGROUP EXPERTS ARE READY TO HELP

Fill out the form below and an expert from OneGroup will contact you.

For Immediate assistance call 1-800-268-1830

Coverage cannot be bound or altered and a claim cannot be reported without confirmation from a representative of OneGroup.