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Clarifying regulations to support your growth.

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Spotlight on: Compliance

The ultimate intent of regulation is to protect, but this can leave businesses confused and vulnerable as employee benefit plans are governed by an increasingly complex set of state and federal regulations. What’s more, the rules are constantly evolving.

We offer the year-round support you need to overcome these challenges and shield your plans from scrutiny.

The Higginbotham Difference: We Care

Our authentic and transparent approach to employee benefits is designed to put people at the center of everything we do. Our health and welfare insurance specialists take the time to get to know your unique needs so we present options that make sense for your group.

And we don’t stop there.

Once we help implement your plan, we deliver year-round value with our Day Two Services® that empower you with resources to educate your employees, administer your plans and maintain compliance. We’re more than your employee benefits broker, we’re an extension of our HR team. By taking care of your employees, you can rest easy knowing they’re doing the same for your organization.

Because when you lead with values, value leads.

To learn more about how our values-based approach creates value for your organization, click here.

Or visit our Insights page to learn more about employee benefit plans.

Understand Your Obligations

Employers often struggle to determine what laws govern their health care programs and what actions they must take to comply with them. We address these key areas:

Health Care Reform

Government policies affecting health care programs are constantly evolving, requiring you to pay careful attention to compliance developments.

Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)

Employers with more than 20 employees must offer temporary continuation of group health coverage to covered employees, their spouses and dependent children after being terminated due to qualifying events. Many states require employers with less than 20 employees to offer something similar to COBRA, often called “State Continuation.”

Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA)

The Act places strict guidelines on the administration of employee benefit and retirement plans to protect plan participants.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)

Individual health care plans must be accessible, portable and renewable. HIPAA also sets standards for safely storing and protecting the privacy of personal medical data.

Section 125

Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code has mandates for employers that allow employees to pay for qualified medical, dependent care and transportation expenses on a pre-tax basis through “cafeteria” plans.

Employee Materials

Employee handbooks, policies and procedures should be reviewed for proper language and compliance with applicable state and federal employment regulations to limit your exposure to employment-related litigation.

Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA)

Employees must be properly classified and paid according to federal minimum wage, overtime, child labor and recordkeeping requirements.

Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA)

The Act requires employers with more than 50 employees to provide them with job-protected and unpaid leave following the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child or serious family illness.

Mitigate Your Risk

Our staff attorneys evaluate your plans and procedures for compliance to develop tailor-made strategies that limit your liability.

Compliance Review

Our process begins with a review of your current status where we:

  • Check plan documents for compliance with government requirements
  • Evaluate plan operation compliance with plan documents, laws and regulations
  • Recommend best practices for plan policies and procedures

Monitoring and Support

Aside from reviewing federal regulations and case law, we subscribe to multiple HR and legal news sources that allow us to continuously monitor the ever-changing landscape of employee benefit compliance. We meet with you on a one-on-one basis to explain the impact of new rules, provide assistance to audit your documents and policies for vulnerabilities and develop specific strategies to maintain compliance.


We notify you in advance of upcoming deadlines and regulatory changes that may impact your benefit plans through email alerts, seminars and webinars.


We provide you with compliance and HR documents including self-audits, checklists and calendars to help you ensure complete, accurate and timely reporting and record-keeping.

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Ease your administrative burden.

Through in-house administration, we improve the accuracy and cost efficiency of your compliance initiatives to further control your risk.

COBRA and State Continuation Compliance

Because COBRA rules change frequently and regulations are time-sensitive, you face challenging administrative issues and noncompliance penalties. Our certified COBRA administrators:

Send required notifications to participants

Monitor eligibility to reduce utilization and the overall cost of claims

Collect and distribute premium payments to providers

Communicate eligibility and terminations to your insurance carrier

Generate HIPAA coverage certificates

Provide you with monthly reports of eligibility and premium

Accept responsibility for all work performed on your behalf and indemnify you for all direct, monetary and compensatory damages if we fail to provide the agreed compliance services

Form 5500 Preparation

Most employers subject to ERISA are required to file a Form 5500 annually. The data collected provides information to the DOL that is used to assess employee benefit, tax and economic trends and policies. It also assures that your benefit plan management meets the required standards. Using ERISA-approved software, we help you satisfy the electronic filing mandate for your Form 5500 with ease and accuracy.

We gather the necessary information to:

  • Prepare and electronically file your signature-ready Form 5500 and associated schedules
  • Draft the requisite Summary Annual Reports that must be distributed to plan participants
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Not sure where to start? Talk to someone who wants to listen.

Starting with listening and ending with custom solutions, our team of seasoned risk management professionals is here to answer your questions and educate you on your options.

Talk to a Compliance Specialist

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