BARBARA C. OBERMAN INSURANCE SERVICES, INC
Barbara C. Oberman Insurance Services is a full service insurance brokerage firm specializing in small to mid-size companies. We offer employee benefits packages tailored for your workforce and your budget as well as commercial insurance products to protect your business's financial future. All of this with personal service and customized solutions. We take the time to understand your business. Our focus is on you!
From startups to fast growth to established companies we have the products and services that you need. We make a complex process simple and work hand in hand to help your business flourish.
We are dedicated to understanding each business or organization. Our focus is meeting your unique needs!
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About a month ago, I received a call from a former client who was between jobs. She let her health insurance policy lapse and said “something” happened over the weekend and she needed to see a doctor right away. She wanted to purchase an individual policy and thought a short-term policy would be the answer. Here are some facts about short-term health insurance, sometimes called “junk” health insurance policies, and why we discouraged her from purchasing a short-term plan. Basically, short-term plans are exempt from many of the consumer protections of Obamacare. Among other things, the Affordable Care Act bans insurers from discriminating against applicants with preexisting conditions and requires policies to cover a comprehensive list of services. Short-term plans, in comparison, typically do not cover pre-existing conditions and may not offer coverage for important medical services such as diagnostic lab tests, prescriptions and maternity coverage. Our friend needed an MRI and blood work services many times not covered on short-term health plans. Additionally, any treatment would be considered to be for a pre-existing condition and not covered. Office visits and hospitalization are very limited – all the more reason that we typically suggest these plans only in very limited situations, and why SB 910 proposed by Senator Ed Hernandez (D-Azusa) wants to eliminate these plans entirely. On the national front, President Trump wants to make these plans more available, though not necessarily more useful for consumers, extending coverage from 90 days to 365 days because they are less expensive…Read More
As business owners and decision makers we mostly hear from employment attorneys about labor updates and tools to protect our businesses. At VICA’s May Labor and Employment Committee meeting we had the rare opportunity to hear from plaintiff attorney, Eric Kingsley, who presented his “Ten Top Tips for Employers”. Here are the takeaways . . . Really look at Pay stubs, really look! At year end, check minimum wage standards Don’t skimp on breaks! Piece rate is inadvisable Pay for cell phones! Hire competent counsel Consider severance pay Arbitration – Be careful what you wish for! If the Plaintiff attorney is experienced consider engaging early Don’t be petty! I give five stars to the committee chair, Sue Bendavid, Labor and Employment Department Chair at Lewitt Hackman, for stepping outside the box and providing another perspective on behalf of business.Read More
A.B. 2548 Commuter Benefit Policies? I was about to fall asleep at the VICA Transportation Committee meeting this week wondering why I was there until this topic came up for discussion. I had never really thought about it much before. Hmm, employer sponsored commuter benefit programs. I knew our larger clients offered employees a commuter benefit that allowed employees to use pre-tax dollars, up to $260 per month, excluded from gross income, to pay for transit commuting costs through a cafeteria plan. Currently employers with over 250 full-time employees at a worksite are required to establish commuter programs to meet designated emission standards set by the South Coast Air Quality Management District. A new ordinance, AB 2548 Commute Benefits Policy, would require employers with 50-250 employees at a work site in L.A. County to give employees the ability to set aside up to $260 per month of their paycheck pre-tax to cover the cost of ride sharing, van pools, and transit. It sounded like an excellent idea at first. Why shouldn’t smaller employers be able to offer employees the same tax-advantaged plans as larger employers? And given we have the worst congestion in the world in Los Angeles and the amount of time spent in traffic jams driving to work and back, giving employees a financial incentive to switch public transit sounds good until I understood that employers would be mandated to implement the program. Plus, small businesses already find it difficult to run their business and stay profitable in…Read More
Are you planning on making changes to your benefits and compensation package as a result of the new tax law? Willis Towers Watson surveyed 333 companies earlier this year and many companies are making changes. Let me know your thoughts . . . https://www.plansponsor.com/employers-considering-enhancing-benefits-due-tax-reform/Read More
Long-Term care Insurance has been on my mind a lot lately. It’s been a financial life saver for my mother so I want to share a bit of her story with you in the hope that it will help you. I am sure some of you Baby Boomers will relate. It all started more than four years ago. My Mom started falling on an almost a weekly basis. I could count on a phone call from the Kaiser emergency room on Saturday afternoons. She always thought there was something she could do differently to prevent falling. After years of balance classes at the YMCA it was hard for her to accept that her balance was so bad. She still has difficulty accepting it. After multiple falls, and injuries, she reluctantly agreed to have a care giver in her home. Despite excellent care, the falls continued. As a result, we had to move mom to a residential care facility for her safety, as well as to take care of her basic needs (referred to by Long-term care carriers as activities of daily living or ADLs) including bathing, dressing and managing her medication. After living a very active life filled with family, friends, travel, and hobbies, she could no longer care for herself. Being fiercely independent, she balked every step of the way, preferring to take care of herself. Sadly, she can no longer do even the most basic ADLs. After a year at a residential care facility she was diagnosed with…Read More
Many business owners feel powerless to reduce their workers’ compensation costs. There is no need to feel frustrated; there is something you can do about it! Listed below are six things a business owner can implement to reduce their claim activity. Here are some money saving tips from the California Department of Industrial Relations and the experts at the Comp Monitor: 1. Develop or renew your safety program Everyone wants to work in a safe work environment but we don’t always know how to do it. In California employers are required to have an Illness Injury & Prevention Program (IIPP). Creating an IIPP doesn’t have to be expensive. The Department of Industrial Relations has an e-tool to help you develop your program or you can ask your insurance carrier. To find the e-tool go to www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/etools/09-031/index.htm There are many benefits to an effective IIPP program including improved workplace safety and health, better morale, increased productivity, and reduced costs of doing business. For your IIPP to be effective you must fully put it into practice in your workplace. 2. Provide employee training Many workers’ compensation injuries come from employees using the machinery and equipment incorrectly. It’s your responsibility as the employer to train each employee on how to perform their job safely. The training should include what can happen if safeguards are not performed as outlined in the training and what the consequences are if the employee avoids using those safeguards. An example would be not using protective glasses…Read More
There is much confusion as to just what effect the President’s executive order on healthcare will have on business. Much is being said about the potential effects on individuals but the media isn’t saying much about the impact on business. Some of you may be cheering over the President’s order, and some of you may believe we are like Thelma and Louise driving over the cliff. Last Thursday morning the President signed an executive order that could remove requirements for basic benefits that are a part of the Affordable Care Act. He also proposes to give small businesses more health insurance options with the use of “association plans” to negotiate better deals for health insurance. Business groups hailed the move saying it will lower costs, increase competition and provide more options. Others believe it is potentially devastating. What does this mean for your business? Here’s the good news. Your insurance costs could go down if you decide to buy an association health plan. That sounds like a good financial decision, a great idea, it’s about time for lower health care costs, isn’t it? But are you ready for the skimpier plans with fewer benefits and higher deductibles that will accompany the lower costs? These plans may not have prescription coverage, maternity care or hospital care included. They could be offered by nationwide associations and be sold across state lines. While much depends on how the regulations are written the executive order potentially allows plans to skirt health care reform regulations…Read More