Benefits compliance amid volatile times for health care reform

Published August 31, 2017

Vice President-Financial Services and Benefits

If you're a business owner or administrator of an employee benefits program, no one needs to tell you how complicated rules and regulations have become, and how difficult it is to remain in compliance. That's why we feel it's important to attend our annual Sylvia Group benefits compliance seminar:

  • To update you on important legislative changes implemented or proposed during the past year.
  • To help you avoid the pitfalls that frequently trip up other benefits professionals.
  • To answer pressing questions you have about the future of health care.

You're invited to join us on Thursday, September 14, when we welcome back our featured presenter, Attorney Richard Szczebak, a noted health-care reform and compliance expert with the law firm of Parker Brown Macaulay & Sheerin, P.C. for this year's compliance seminar, "Health Care's Uncertain Future: What It Means to Employers."

While compliance is an issue benefits administrators face year-round, it's a particularly timely topic now, given the shifting landscape at the state and federal levels. 

Among the topics Attorney Szczebak will discuss: 

  • What's next for employers after the collapse of efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
  • Two new levels of employer assessment, including the Employer Medical Assistance Contribution (EMAC), will help MassHealth stay afloat. Which applies to you, and how will it affect your business?
  • A commonly overlooked compliance issue: imputed income when a divorced spouse or domestic partner is carried on your group health plan.
  • What is the status of the Massachusetts paid family and medical leave bill?

Our program begins with check-in and continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m., followed by Attorney Szczebak's presentation from 8:45-10:30. While the seminar is free, registration is required.

I look forward to seeing you on Sept. 14.


About Rosemarie Lopes and Sylvia Group

Rose Lopes_473_cropped.jpg

A Sylvia Group Vice President, co-owner and manager of the agency's Employee Benefits and Financial Planning divisions, Rosemarie Lopes has more than 14 years of industry experience working with businesses and individuals to design programs that fit their strategic plans and goals. Her designs for health, dental, disability, life, long-term care and travel insurance coverage help clients protect their investments and provide security for the people they care about most.

Before joining the insurance industry, Rose served six years in the U.S. Marine Corps, earning multiple commendations and medals. In addition to being a member of the SouthCoast Insurance Agents Association Board of Directors, she continues to serve her community as President of Veterans Transition House Board of Directors and as a member of the United Way of Greater New Bedford's Citizens Review Team.

Sylvia Group helps businesses and individuals protect their future by designing insurance, benefits and financial planning programs. We’re a locally owned agency known for our commitment to our clients and our community, as well for our industry expertise. Founded in New Bedford, MA, in 1950, headquartered in neighboring Dartmouth, and serving businesses and individuals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island and beyond, Sylvia Group is certified as a Woman Owned Business Enterprise with the Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office and has the distinction of being the first six-time recipient of the Five Star designation awarded by the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents (MAIA) for all-around agency excellence. 

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  • “When I needed assistance with my business insurance program, Jill White immediately responded – and, even more important, she listened. She understood the challenges I had with my former agent, and she and the Sylvia Group team designed a program specific to my restaurant’s needs. I’m confident that with Jill’s expertise and personal attention, Fay’s is in good hands. That gives me the peace of mind to focus on what my family and I do best: serve delicious food and provide great customer service while running a successful business.”

    – Evelyn Bettencourt, Owner, Fay's Restaurant and Knotty Pine Fine New England Catering

  • “Thanks to John Beauregard and the professionals at Sylvia Group, our MassMEDIC membership has paid immediate dividends. Through the BIO Business Solutions® program, Primo Medical received a significant premium reduction on our Professional Liability policy. In addition, utilizing Chubb as our insurance provider and Sylvia Group as our broker, we’re confident that we have business partners who truly understand our insurance needs, provide outstanding loss control services and continue to work with us to lower our total cost of risk.”

    – Christopher LaPlante, Chief Financial Officer, Primo Medical Group

  • “I just wanted to take the time to recognize what a remarkable job Danielle Andre is doing. I cannot thank her enough for her time, her kindness and her willingness to make sure I’m comfortable with all the necessary changes that occurred from an insurance standpoint. As a whole, every Sylvia Group staff member has been friendly and knowledgeable, but Danielle has certainly gone above and beyond for me.”

    – Shannon S., Personal Insurance client

  • “I love your staff. In the first three or four weeks after we moved over to Sylvia Group for our insurance, I have had more communication and attention from them than I had in the seven or eight years we were with our former agency! You have a great team.”

    – Pat Cassan, Ocean Explorium

  • “I want to thank you for this incredible resource, ThinkHR. We will be accessing it frequently and appreciate Sylvia Group making this available to Advanced Eye Centers.”

    - Paul C. Abrantes, Executive Director, Advanced Eye Centers

  • “I so appreciate Julie Jennings' help with Medicare planning. It is a relief to be able to consult with a knowledgeable professional on insurance issues. I have no idea how people do this without such help.”

    – Chris Black, Personal Insurance client

  • “Working with Sylvia Group over recent years has taken our insurance issues from 'groans and moans' to 'no problem.' Rose Lopes, our Account Manager, is one of the most responsive people I have ever worked with. She responds immediately to questions or special requests. It is such a pleasure to work with Rose, who does whatever it takes to find a solution to our needs. We are very pleased… She always has our interests in mind.”

    – Lynne Foley, Director of Human Resources, Five Star Companies, Inc.

  • "Sylvia Group is by far the best insurance agency I have ever dealt with, both personally and in my business. They provide customer support that is not found in other agencies. For example, they take a personal interest in their clients, calls are always taken or returned immediately, and during reviews suggestions are made to offer the most cost effective and comprehensive coverage. When claims occur, they have always been there to facilitate the process. It has truly been a pleasure to have them represent me in my insurance needs."

    - William N. Whelan, Chairman, Whelan Associates LLC