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Friday, 06/11/21 Walt Podgurski 440-773-1108 E-Mail
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Sisolak signs bill making Nevada the second state to adopt a public health insurance option
Megan Messerly, Sean Golonka The NEVADA INDEPENDENT / / Read Article

Gov. Steve Sisolak signed several pieces of public health-related legislation into law in Las Vegas on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)
Nevada became the second state in the nation to enact a state-managed public health insurance option on Wednesday, with Gov. Steve Sisolak’s signature transforming a bill that hadn’t even been made public until six weeks ago into law.

Though Sisolak voiced his intent to sign the bill last week, his signature formally ends a more than four-year-long quest to establish a public option in Nevada, though, in many ways, work on the public option is just beginning.

Under the new law, Nevada’s public option plan won’t be available for purchase until 2026, giving state officials time to conduct an actuarial study of the proposal to determine whether it will accomplish proponents’ goals of increasing health care access and affordability and at what cost. It also provides time for state officials to transform the still relatively broad-strokes concept into a workable policy and return to the Legislature in 2023 with any changes that may need to be made to the law.



Healthcare insiders say there are 3 key challenges facing telehealth
Megan Hernbroth / / Read Article

During the pandemic, doctors' offices and clinics rapidly adopted technology that allowed them to conduct non-emergency patient visits over the phone or video conference. They signed contracts with companies like Teladoc and Amwell, which provide access to such software and saw their businesses each roughly double throughout 2020 compared to 2019.

Those contracts are mostly still in place, even as some clinics and offices eagerly welcome patients back for in-person visits. With so much money at stake in a market projected to reach over $71 billion by 2027, hospital administrators that spoke to Insider were largely in favor of adopting a hybrid model where patients see doctors through a combination of virtual and in-person appointments.

Hybrid models are not without challenges. Hospitals are trying out different approaches to best serve what they need. That can create confusion for patients and doctors, who in the early days of the pandemic could FaceTime with a patient to help them through urgent tasks like administering insulin.

Doctors don't always agree on where telemedicine fits in
Not all doctors want telemedicine
Reimbursement is still in limbo






Amazon has signed up multiple companies to its telehealth service, executive says
Annie Palmer / CNBC / / Read Article

Amazon has attracted multiple companies that are interested in using its telehealth service, known as Amazon Care, company executive Babak Parviz said Wednesday.

“We’ve had quite a bit of interest from other companies in using this service,” Parviz, a vice president working on Amazon Care, said at The Wall Street Journal’s Tech Health virtual event. Parviz added that Amazon plans to announce which companies have signed on to use the service later this summer.

Amazon announced in March that it would expand the virtual care part of the program nationally for its employees and other companies starting this summer. To start, the added in-person services will only be offered in Washington state and metro areas including Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

The company is working to make the full Amazon Care service available to other geographies, “as fast as we can,” Parviz said. Amazon is eyeing bringing the service to rural areas in the future, he added.



Secure Retirement Institute: While U.S. Single-Premium Pension Buy-Out Sales Drop in First Quarter 2021, Buy-In Sales Break All-Time Quarterly Record
LIMRA / / Read Article

Following strong fourth quarter 2020 sales results, U.S. single premium buy-out sales totaled $1 billion in the first quarter, down 77% from first quarter 2020, according to the Secure Retirement Institute® (SRI®) U.S. Group Annuity Risk Transfer Sales Survey.

“Pension risk transfer (PRT) activity slowed significantly in the first quarter, with just 42 single premium buy-out contracts reported, compared with 77 buy-out contracts recorded in first quarter 2020,” said Mark Paracer, assistant research director, SRI. “Despite the sluggish start, we expect volume to pick up as the year unfolds and are projecting PRT sales to be in the $25-$30 billion range.”

In the first quarter, there was one single premium buy-in contract for $2.8 billion. This was the largest buy-in transaction on record. In comparison, there were three buy-in contracts in 2020 totaling $1.8 billion.

The 43 single premium buy-out and buy-in contracts combined covered 50,624 pension participants.

The overall group annuity risk transfer sales were $4.0 billion for the quarter, 13% below first quarter 2020 results.

Total single premium buy-out assets increased 8% to $166.5 billion, and total buy-in assets were $6.2 billion, 124% higher than prior year. Collectively, the $172.7 billion in single premium assets, 10% higher over last year.

“As the PRT market continues to mature, we are likely to see more innovation from the insurers seeking to provide solutions to plan sponsors interested in mitigating their pension liability,” noted Paracer. “We anticipate seeing more use of reinsurance, buy-ins and use of separate accounts. We also expect to see more complex deals that include both the retirees and active participants.”

A group annuity risk transfer product, such as a pension buy-out product, allows an employer to transfer all or a portion of its pension liability to an insurer. In doing so, an employer can remove the liability from its balance sheet and reduce the volatility of the funded status.







Rising to the Occasion: Employers Finding Ways to Support Employees Amid COVID-19
New research examines the pandemic's impact on employers, their response, and timely opportunities
PRNewswire / / Read Article

Seventy percent of employers have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and more than half (54 percent) have implemented cost-cutting measures that affected their employees, according to Navigating the Pandemic:

A Survey of U.S. Employers, a report released today by nonprofit Transamerica Institute® and its Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies® (TCRS). The report is based on a survey of more than 1,900 employers conducted in late 2020 and contains an analysis by company size, including small (less than 100 employees), medium (100 to 499 employees), and large for-profit companies (500 or more employees).



Complimentary Pass to Aspirational Healthcare Conference
Dave Chase – Author, Relocalizing Health 1st degree connection / Archaeologist who discovered the Health Rosetta: Health plans delivering world-class health care at 50% the cost.  / / Read Article

The focal point of this virtual conference is the best healthcare system in the world -- the Nuka System of Care created by the Southcentral Foundation in Alaska. This is the only healthcare system that has twice won the U.S. President's Malcolm Baldrige Award which is sometimes called the Nobel Prize for business. The speakers are primarily Health Rosetta friends and community members as well as the leadership of The Southcentral Foundation that will share some of the how-to behind their model. To get a complimentary registration for their July 14 & 15 event, use the promotional code !ROSETTA$ at https://aspirationalhealthcare.com/.



BENEFITS POPULAR WITH BOTH EMPLOYERS & EMPLOYEES

Legal Clubs™ best-in-class benefits featuring Free and Discounted Legal Care, a FREE Annual Federal Tax Return as well as a comprehensive suite of ID Theft benefits are popular with both employers and employees.

Offering these products to your current group customers not only increases your revenue, it provides people with Meaningful Benefits for Everyday Life. Legal Club can handle all forms of enrollment from the most sophisticated online systems to paper, and we fit on all the carrier and HRIS systems. Fully electronic billing available.


Our programs provide benefits for employees and their dependents for one low monthly rate providing them with quick and easy solutions to life's™ challenges.

We can handle all forms of enrollment from the most sophisticated online systems to paper. We don't™ require wet signatures and fit on all the carrier and HRIS systems.

Legal Club offers electronic billing or paper as the client determines. Simple list bill format with easy additions and deletions. Six year rate guarantees provide rate stability.

To learn more contact:

Donald A. Rowe, RHU
Vice President, Employee Benefits
800-852-6829 ext. 103
drowe@legalclub.com




The benefits and policies employees want — or they’ll walk
By Amanda Schiavo / ebn / / Read Article

With the vaccine rolling out and COVID numbers shrinking in the U.S., more employees are returning to the physical workplace. But they’re not looking to return to business as usual.

Seventy-seven percent of employees say they are ready to return to work on a temporary basis, but they are looking for certain benefits and concessions from their employers regarding flexible schedules, childcare support and their overall well-being, according to a survey by Randstad, a global provider of flexible work and HR services.

One dynamic digital care program for multiple conditions
Healthy employees means healthy savings. Launch a benefit that reduces medical spend and engages employees with human support and digital tools.

Fifty-four percent of employees say they prefer a flexible work arrangement that allows them to work both on-site and remotely beyond the pandemic. Those employees are willing to make a career move to continue working from home. Twenty-three percent of employees changed jobs for the opportunity to work remotely.



The Process for Terminating Employee Benefits
Sean Peek / business.com Contributing Writer / business.com / / Read Article

If you have to let an employee go or they quit, you should provide them with a termination of benefits letter. Here's what to include in your letter and a sample template.

As a business leader, when you make the difficult decision to fire or lay off an employee – or if they decide to quit – you must end their employee benefits. While most benefits are immediately terminated, employees often have the right to continue with some benefits. Terminating employee benefits is a delicate process, and you want to make sure you follow all of the proper steps.



[Webinar] Protecting Your Employee Benefits Plan from Cybersecurity Threats | What Does the US Department of Labor’s Guidance Mean for Plan Fiduciaries? - June 15th, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT
Andrew Liazos, Todd McClelland / McDermott Will & Emery / JD Supra / / Read Article

June 15th, 2021, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EDT

McDermott Will & Emery invites you to a webinar for an in-depth discussion on the US Department of Labor’s initial cybersecurity guidance for retirement plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and what it means for plan fiduciaries and plan sponsors. On Tuesday, June 15, partners Andrew Liazos and Todd McClelland will discuss how this guidance is likely to impact benefit plan practices going forward and will address the following important questions:

What is the Department of Labor’s role when it comes to cybersecurity?
What types of cybersecurity claims are likely to survive a motion to dismiss in litigation?
Which laws other than ERISA are relevant and to what extent does ERISA preemption apply?
How are vendors likely to change their practices in response to the guidance?
Should plan sponsors have a cybersecurity policy for benefit plans?
How can we conduct a risk assessment for benefit plans?



Agency Revolution Named By WealthManagement.com As Top Insurance Technology Provider In 2021 Industry Awards
Insurtech Marketing Leader Recognized For Innovative AI-Powered Website Accessibility Technology
PRNewswire / / Read Article

Agency Revolution, an FMG Suite company and a leader in insurtech marketing solutions, today announced that it has been selected as a finalist in WealthManagement.com 2021 Industry Awards for its innovative Accessibility Lock™ technology.

Now in its seventh year, the WealthManagement.com Industry Awards honors individuals and business initiatives that help financial advisors better serve their clients. This year, there were more than 900 entries submitted and 221 different organizations were selected as finalists. View the full list of finalists.

Agency Revolution's Accessibility Lock™ technology is the only AI-powered, machine learning website accessibility solution for insurance agents. While Agency Revolution websites are built with accessibility features in place, activating Accessibility Lock™ adds another layer of protection that automatically scans every 24 hours to ensure full accessibility in compliance with ADA, WCAG 2.1, and other global requirements.



 
Photo Of The Day



 
 
Archives
 
Monday, 06/07/21 - - Voya Financial wins Eastbridge Consulting Group's 2020 Voluntary Sales Growth Leader in the Large-Carrier Category for the Second Year in a Row

Tuesday, 06/08/21 - -
Americans have lost more than $1 trillion — yes, trillion — to old, forgotten 401(k) plans

Wednesday, 06/09/21 - -
NFP's 2021 US Benefits Trend Report Now Available

Thursday, 06/10/21 - -  Where is the medical cost trend headed in 2022?

Friday, 06/04/21 - -
HERO SELLING WITH DAVID SALTZMAN / Eric Silverman / Voluntary Disruption

 
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Editorial Mission Statement: The goal of this publication is to provide readers a broad selection of what is being written about the insurance industry and related issues. Some articles may have a “tilt” towards a particular perspective one way or another. Inclusion in this newsletter is not an endorsement of any views or content; but report the various and differing views appearing in media.