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Sue Swanson

(720) 858-6288


Mike Edwards

 Dir. of Financial Services (720) 858-6289


Andrea Levine

 Senior Account Executive

(720) 858-6287


Mitch Laycock

 Account Executive

(720) 858-6297

Cary Lamb
Account Executive
(720) 858-6282

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Introducing a New Addition to Our Team! COPIC Financial has partnered with Aflac to offer short-term
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In This Issue - May 2014
Clarifying the Affordable Care Act and Open Enrollment
Disability Income Insurance for Student Loans
Keep More of What You Earn with Tax Harvesting
Are You Properly Insuring Your Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) Exposures?
Determining a Health Plan's "Plan Year"
Clarifying the Affordable Care Act and Open Enrollment
There has been a great deal of confusion about the open enrollment process under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with regard to what types of insurance can be purchased and when. The open enrollment period applies to plans offered both inside and outside an Exchange.
Individuals are able to purchase a new policy if they have a "qualifying event," which entitles them to a special enrollment period generally lasting 60 days following the event. Qualifying events include a move to a new state, marriage, divorce, changes in family size, or certain changes in income.
It should be noted that there is no open enrollment period for small or large group insurance coverage. Businesses may purchase policies at any time.
Contact Andrea Levine at (720) 858-6287 with any questions you have about how the ACA may affect you or your practice.
Disability Income Insurance for Student Loans
Dollar-signThe average physician graduates medical school with more than $169,000 of debt1, which may take years to pay off. Incurring student loan debt is a normal occurrence for most physicians and dentists, but what would happen if you became injured or too ill to work before those loans are paid off? Having sizeable student loan payments on top of other expenses would make a difficult financial position even more formidable. Consider protecting your ability to meet student loan obligations in the event of total disability with optional Student Loan Protection available through a ProVider Plus Disability Insurance policy. Benefits include:
  • Additional coverage---- up to $2,000/month above what you might otherwise qualify for based on your income.
  • Tailor coverage to your loan obligations---- reimbursement of $500-$2,000 per month towards student loan payments in the event of total disability.
Read about product details, or for more information, contact Cary Lamb at (720) 858-6282.
1Association of American Medical Colleges, October 2013 Debt Fact Card
Keep More of What You Earn with Tax Harvesting
Do you know how much of your investment returns go to Uncle Sam? When the market is on the rise, you may not be as concerned with---- or even aware of---- the bite that taxes take out of your returns every year. But when the market is volatile or trending downward, the effect of capital gains taxes on the performance of your investments may be more apparent and painful. Consider that short-term capital gains are taxed at your ordinary federal income tax rate up to 39.6%, and long-term capital gains are taxed at a federal rate of 0%-- 20%, depending on your tax bracket.
The good news is that there is a way you could reduce your tax burden and keep more of your hard-earned dollars in your taxable portfolio working for you. It's called tax harvesting and the potential benefits of tax harvesting will depend on your personal tax situation. This article from Curian Capital gives further explanation about tax harvesting and how it may be a valuable tax-saving technique.
Contact Mike Edwards at (720) 858-6289 to answer your specific questions or further discuss investment and tax strategy.
Are you Properly Insuring your Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) Exposures?
If you offer a retirement plan to your employees, the fiduciaries (anyone with discretionary control over the retirement plan's assets) have enormous responsibility for the management of the plan and also have their personal assets on the line. Fiduciary Liability Insurance and an ERISA Bond are key components in the protection of your practice's financial position and the personal assets of your fiduciaries. While an ERISA Bond protects the plan's funds from theft and is required by law, Fiduciary Liability is not a requirement and protects the fiduciaries from plan-mismanagement allegations brought by retirement plan participants.
An ERISA Bond is typically written on a three-year policy and has an "inflation guard" feature which allows your bond limit to grow and maintain the 10%-of-asset-size requirement throughout the three-year term, up to the maximum $500,000 limit requirement. ERISA Bond premiums begin under $300 total premium for the entire three-year policy.
Fiduciary Liability policies, on the other hand, are typically written on one-year policies and premiums begin under $1,000.
For more information, read this Q&A from Travelers about Fiduciary Liability, or this article documenting the 40th anniversary of ERISA. Read this past Financial Focus article to learn the difference between Fiduciary Liability and ERISA Bonds.
COPIC Financial can provide immediate indications on the low costs associated with an ERISA Bond and Fiduciary Liability. For a quote, simply provide us a Form 5500 (the financials of the retirement plan). We are here to provide you with the solutions for your insurance needs and to answer any of your liability questions, whether business or personal insurance related. Contact Mitch Laycock at (720) 858-6297 for more information.
Determining a Health Plan's "Plan Year"
Employer-sponsored health plans are subject to a variety of compliance requirements, including those in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). For example:
  • The ACA's prohibition on pre-existing condition exclusions for all enrollees is effective for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2014.
  • Health plan sponsors that provide prescription drug coverage to Medicare Part D eligible individuals must provide a disclosure notice to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on an annual basis, within 60 days after the beginning of the plan year.
  • If a health plan is required to file a Form 5500, the deadline (without extensions) is the last day of the seventh month following the end of the plan year.
Many of these requirements are linked to a health plan's "plan year." It is important for an employer to identify its health plan's "plan year" for purposes of monitoring its compliance obligations under the ACA and other federal laws.

To determine a health plan's plan year, an employer should first review the documents governing the plan. If the plan documents do not designate a plan year or if there is no plan document, federal regulations issued under HIPAA (and amended pursuant to the ACA) provide guidance on determining the plan year:
  • The plan year is the deductible or limit year used under the plan;
  • If the plan does not impose deductibles or limits on a yearly basis, the plan year is the policy year;
  • If the plan does not impose deductibles or limits on a yearly basis, and either the plan is not insured or the insurance policy is not renewed on an annual basis, the plan year is the employer's taxable year;
  • In any other case, the plan year is the calendar year.
Plan sponsors should take care to appropriately document their plans and their plan years to avoid any questions regarding compliance with plan year requirements.

Read more information and examples of select compliance requirements that are linked to a health plan's plan year, and contact Andrea Levine at (720) 858-6287 with any questions about your specific situation.
Even if you're not currently in the market for insurance
products, we're always available to help make sure you're
getting the best coverages at the best prices. Call us at
(720) 858-6280!
President, COPIC Financial Service Group
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Copyright 2014 by the COPIC Trust. All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be produced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the publisher.

  COPIC Financial Service Group, Ltd. is an insurance brokerage firm representing a variety of insurance carriers. Products offered by COPIC Financial are not issued by COPIC Insurance Company.