Best Insurance Brokerage in San Diego!

Everyone at Barkley & Barkley is grateful to our clients and fans for voting us “Best Insurance Brokerage” in the San Diego Union-Tribune’s “San Diego’s Best” Readers Poll.  Thank you for all of your support!

We are honored to not only be the winner of the Union-Tribune poll, but also to be the first Group Health and Employee Benefits Brokerage ever to win the San Diego’s Best Award!

The Union-Tribune published the following article about us:

Barkley & Barkley Insurance Brokerage is a health insurance and employee benefits brokerage headquartered in San Diego. Sarah Barkley, the brokerage’s founder, told us, “Over 50 years ago my dear old Irish dad moved to San Diego with his wife and two young children from New York, without a job or even a prospect. He took a chance and opened an insurance office across from the DMV in Chula Vista. It still stands there today.”

Barkley & Barkley was conceived in a “lightbulb” moment when Sarah realized that she could combine her experience in insurance with her husband’s specialty in ACA compliance. Sarah’s husband, John, an ACA Attorney, had spent the past few years working with companies on navigating Healthcare Reform. “We realized that we could offer concierge-level insurance service with hands-on legal compliance included. Even the largest brokerage houses cannot offer the level of service our clients have come to expect. We love our clients and are so honored to be voted the best in San Diego.”

Sarah said she is extremely proud of the final product. “Many small businesses have been overwhelmed by the new Healthcare Law, and even more overwhelmed by the pricetag on these compliance services. We want to help these businesses grow without fear of compliance. Our clients get their own designated attorney to navigate the ACA at no cost. We pay all of the legal fees for our clients’ compliance services. We also include full use of our online enrollment system, HR management portal, and online training. Many software providers offer ACA compliance, but they come with no guarantee. It’s the difference between giving someone a compass and map then sending them sailing into stormy waters, versus actually providing an expert crew for your ship.” Barkley & Barkley: Insurance and ACA Compliance Simplified.

Check out the rest of the winners here: San Diego Union-Tribune San Diego’s Best 2016

Thank you San Diego!

Affordable Care Act Employer Compliance

I recently attended a professional CFO roundtable as a subject matter expert on Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) compliance issues for employers.  It was an excellent discussion included CFOs from firms ranging in size from less than 50, to more than 250 employees.

Coming out of the CFO roundtable, the biggest challenge centers around tracking employees with precision so as to ensure the employer avoids the excise taxes (penalties) under IRC § 4980H.  Several participants echoed this sentiment saying: “It’s not practical for us to even know how many employees we have at any given moment right now.  How am I supposed to make sure I’ve offered coverage to everyone I am supposed to?”

What’s clear is that working to comply with Obamacare’s Employer Shared Responsibility provisions, and the Notice and Reporting provisions, will require a significant change in how Applicable Large Employers’ HR, Finance, and Legal departments interact with one another.  Behind Obamacare’s requirements lie employers’ continuing responsibilities under ERISA, HIPAA and state labor laws. Organizations that don’t formulate their Obamacare compliance systems with those other rules in mind can build significant amounts of risk into their business.

Many businesses seemed to be still in the first stages of figuring out how to work Affordable Care Act compliance into their organizations.  Other organizations have already decided it’s impractical to work compliance in-house and plan to outsource the tasks to third-parties.

News reporters like to highlight those employers looking at “manipulating hours” (i.e. reducing or controlling hours to control employees’ entitlement to employer-sponsored health insurance).  However this strategy poses a lot of risks and must be executed almost flawlessly to obtain its benefits.  Employers manipulating hours run the risks of incurring overtime (for those employees picking up the slack), or worse yet, the risk of exempt employees becoming non-exempt under state wage & hour laws that could result in very expensive litigation and penalties.