in this issue:
talk to the president:
Jim Bendel
talk to sales:
Employee Benefits
John Deem
VP of Business Development
Business Insurance
Scott Marker
VP of Business Development
Property, Auto, Homeowners
Jackie Kociszewski
Personal Lines Manager
Medical, Dental, Disability, Life
Gregg Avedon
Consumer Products Manager
talk to client services:
Employee Benefits
Jenn Swistak
Vice President of Client Services
Business Insurance
Mary Jane Donaldson
Director of Client Services

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Health & Wellness Watch


At Potomac Basin Group, we understand the importance of Wellness Programs and educating
our employees on ways to live the healthiest lives they can. In this section you will find articles and updates on what's trending in the world of health & wellness.



 Diet & Nutrition 


Tasty Tips For Eating Smart at Work

What's In the Nutrition Label? 


Can Drinking Milk Prevent Alzheimer's Disease? *U.S. News & World Report


A Lot of Nutrition in a Little Brown Bag

Tasty Tips for Smarter Snacking




12 Easy Ways to Enjoy Activity

Physical Activity Pyramid

Everyday Stretches

7 Tips for Choosing and Keeping the Right Personal Trainer


Family Wellness

 **U.S. News & World Report


Pregnant Women- Get More  Omega-3's

Why Kids Are Hitting PubertyEarlier Than Ever

When Men Get the Baby Blues


Mental Wellness & Happiness
**U.S. News & World Report



How Mental Illness is Misrepresented in the Media

Coping with a Mental Health Crisis in the Family

3 Common Misconceptions About Medical Hypnosis











Potomac Basin Group's
Upcoming Webinars


Employee Benefits

5 Things for Employers to Know
About Form I-9

As an employer, one of your most important responsibilities when hiring a new employee is to properly complete Form I-9. It sounds simple, but it can be easy to make a mistake or get confused as to exactly what is required. Below are five basic points to remember:

1. All Employers Need to Use Form I-9
As a general rule, all U.S. employers must verify the employment eligibility and identity of each employee hired to work in the United States by completing Form I-9 for every employee, including U.S. citizens. Employers are not required to complete Forms I-9 for independent contractors. However, it is against the law to contract for the labor of an individual knowing that he or she is not authorized to work in the United States.
2. Newly Hired Employees Must Complete Form I-9 No Later Than First Day of Work
Employers may not begin the Form I-9 process until an individual accepts an offer of employment. Newly hired employees must complete and sign Section 1 of Form I-9 no later than the first day of work for pay.

Retaliation Tops List of Employment Discrimination Complaints
Retaliation, race discrimination, and {gender} discrimination were the most commonly filed complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) last year. Under the law, it is illegal to fire, demote, harass, or otherwise "retaliate" against an individual for complaining about or filing a charge of discrimination, or for participating in an employment discrimination proceeding (such as an investigation or lawsuit).
In total, the agency received 88,778 private sector workplace discrimination charges during fiscal year 2014 (which runs from October 1 to September 30). The number of charges filed decreased compared with recent fiscal years, due in part to the government shutdown during the reporting period.

New Hire Onboarding Checklist

New employee orientation (also called "onboarding") introduces new employees to the workplace and familiarizes them with some of the company's basic practices. Onboarding should be conducted as soon after an employee's start date as possible. Some of the topics you may wish to cover include:
1. Welcome. Give your new employee a brief tour of the workplace and introduce managers and co-workers. Be sure the employee's work station is neat and organized to make him or her feel welcome.
2. New Hire Paperwork. Orientation is a good time to collect and complete any necessary paperwork, such as Form I-9 (an employee must complete Section 1 of Form I-9 no later than the first day of work for pay), Form W-4, and any required state income tax withholding forms.
3. Compensation and Benefits. Provide details on pay periods, direct deposit, payroll deductions, health insurance, and any other benefits to which your new employee may be entitled. Prepare a benefits packet ahead of time to give to the employee and let him or her know who can answer questions.

Tips to Lower Your Risk of a Group
Health Plan Audit

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has been increasing audits of employee welfare benefit plans--including group health plans--sponsored by companies of every size. An audit can happen at any time, so it's important to stay on top of compliance. The checklist below can help you prevent and be prepared for a DOL audit.

  • Maintain all documents related to welfare benefit plans in one location.
  • Designate one person at the company to take charge of the welfare benefit plans.
  • Respond in a timely fashion to all participant and beneficiary questions.
  • Review and understand all plan documents.
  • Make sure all benefit plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) comply with relevant laws, such as Health Care Reform and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Rule Change Allows More Time to Provide Annual Disclosures to Employees in 401(k)-Type Retirement Plans

A new rule issued by the U.S. Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) changes the requirement that annual disclosures for participant-directed individual account plans (e.g., 401(k) plans) be made at least once in any 12-month period to at least once in any 14-month period.

The requirement that administrators of 401(k)-type plans disclose annually certain information about plan investment options to participants and beneficiaries (in addition to disclosing such information on or before the date they can first direct their investments) became effective in 2012. The information that is required to be disclosed, which helps workers make informed plan and investment decisions about their retirement savings, remains unchanged.
Business Insurance

Do I Need Professional Liability Insurance? 
Professionals that operate their own businesses need professional liability insurance in addition to an in-home business or business owners policy. This protects them against financial losses from lawsuits filed against them by their clients.
Professionals are expected to have extensive technical knowledge or training in their particular area of expertise. They are also expected to perform the services for which they were hired, according to the standards of conduct in their profession.

Wedding Event Coverage –
Why Do I Need It?

Well, if you’re like most couples, you have worked diligently for several months–perhaps even a year or more–to pull everything together for a special day you both will remember. But even with the best laid plans, unforeseen challenges can really put a wrench in your plans… and cost you big money.

Although you may be asking yourself what could really happen, consider the following scenarios.
Your wedding venue goes out of business weeks before your wedding, forcing you to book a new location at the last minute.
Personal Insurance
Helping Your Teen Become A
Responsible Driver
  • Be sure to enforce the curfews set by your local town.
  • Teach safe driving habits especially avoiding distractions such as text messaging and restrict the number of passengers that are allowed to be in the vehicle. 
  • Require seat belt usage at all times.
  • Limit nighttime driving.

Optional Coverages for Automobiles
(Check with your company to verify if available and
the premium for each.)
Repair or replacement auto coverage for new vehicles:
A covered vehicle that is totaled or not repairable will be replaced by a new vehicle of the same make, model and equipment. 
Increased transportation expense coverage:
You can increase the limit available for the cost of a rental vehicle.
Custom equipment:
Additional coverage may be purchased for custom parts, equipment and accessories.

Potomac Basin Group Associates, LLC
4740 Corridor Place Beltsville, Suite B
Maryland 20705