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HCSO Compliance Mistakes to Avoid: Tips from our Insurance Experts

Complying with San Francisco's Healthy San Francisco Ordinance (HCSO) can be a complex process that requires employers to navigate numerous legal and regulatory requirements. Unfortunately, many employers make mistakes that can result in costly fines and legal disputes. To help you avoid these mistakes, we've compiled a list of common HCSO compliance mistakes and tips from our insurance experts on how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Failing to Understand HCSO Compliance and Requirements

One of the most common mistakes employers make when it comes to HCSO compliance is failing to understand the ordinance's requirements fully. This can include failing to provide the minimum level of health care benefits required by the ordinance, failing to report employee health care benefits accurately, or failing to post notices informing employees of their HCSO rights and benefits.

Tip: Take the time to familiarize yourself with the HCSO's requirements and seek guidance from experts who can help you navigate the ordinance's complexities. This can include partnering with insurance providers who specialize in HCSO compliance.

Mistake #2: Misclassifying Employees

Another common mistake employers make is misclassifying employees as independent contractors to avoid providing health care benefits. This is a violation of the HCSO and can result in significant fines and legal disputes.

Tip: Be sure to correctly classify your employees and ensure that all eligible employees receive the health care benefits required by the HCSO. If you're unsure about employee classification, seek guidance from legal or insurance experts.

Mistake #3: Failing to Keep Accurate Records

Accurate record-keeping is critical to HCSO compliance. Employers who fail to keep detailed records of employee health care benefits and HCSO compliance activities risk fines and legal disputes.

Tip: Develop a comprehensive record-keeping system that tracks all HCSO compliance activities, including health care benefit provision, reporting, and notice posting. Regularly review and update your record-keeping system to ensure accuracy and compliance.

Mistake #4: Ignoring Changes to HCSO Regulations

The HCSO regulations can change frequently, and employers who fail to stay up-to-date risk non-compliance and legal disputes. For example, recent changes to the HCSO require employers to provide additional information on employee health care benefits and increase the minimum wage rate.

Tip: Stay informed about changes to the HCSO regulations by regularly reviewing government websites, attending compliance training sessions, and seeking guidance from insurance providers who specialize in HCSO compliance.

Mistake #5: Not Seeking Professional Guidance

Many employers make the mistake of trying to navigate HCSO compliance on their own. This can result in costly mistakes and legal disputes.

Tip: Seek guidance from legal and insurance experts who specialize in HCSO compliance. They can provide you with the knowledge and resources you need to meet HCSO compliance requirements effectively.


Complying with the HCSO can be a complex process that requires employers to navigate numerous legal and regulatory requirements. However, by avoiding common compliance mistakes and seeking guidance from insurance and legal experts, employers can meet HCSO compliance requirements effectively and avoid costly fines and legal disputes.

Learn More:

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Plan Features Include:

  • Matching the 2023 HCSO spend requirement of $2.27 and $3.40 per hour based on employer size

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  • Medical Plan uses First health PPO Network of over 6,800 doctors and 11 Hospitals within 20 miles of San Francisco, including Dental & RX Coverage

  • Employee Assistance Program and Telemedicine Services included, allowing members to speak to a doctor and obtain prescriptions on the phone 24 hours a day at no cost

  • Adhering to the 90-day waiting period and other HCSO guidelines

  • ​1 filing to the City of San Francisco’s annual report

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To learn more about Fundamental Care and SFHCSO Compliance or to receive a quote, please reach out to us HERE or contact Loran McBride and the team at 1Broker Insurance Services for information on the Alternative Solution to the San Francisco City Option.


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