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Friday 05/14/21 Walt Podgurski 440-773-1108 E-Mail
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8 low-cost apps to help employees manage their mental health
By Alyssa Place / ebn / / Read Article

Access to mental health care resources shouldn’t add more strain to already-stressed employees.

With mental health top of mind for so many employers, these low-cost options can be a gateway to seeking further care and help employees manage their day-to-day stress.

Calm
Talkspace
Headspace
Happify
10 Percent Happier
Ginger
Circles by Modern Health
NeuroFlow



U.S. Insurtech Ethos Raises $200 Million Through Series D Investment Round; Boosts Valuation to $2 Billion
Samantha Hurst / CROWDFUND INSIDER / / Read Article

Insurtech company Ethos announced on Tuesday it secured $200 million through its Series D funding round, which was led by General Catalyst, with participation from Sequoia Capital, Accel, GV (formerly Google Ventures), Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, and Glade Brook Capital Partners. Ethos reported that the investment round brings its total funding to $300 million and its valuation has exceeded $2 billion.

As previously reported, Ethos describes itself as a “new kind” of life insurance that is built for people who do not have time for fine print, extra doctor appointments, or hidden fees. The company is licensed in 49 states and has already processed thousands of applicants for life insurance coverage.

“Ethos uses the power of technology and predictive analytics to modernize the life insurance process and align products with what families want and need during critical times in their lives. An application is fast and easy, turning a process that used to take weeks into a ten-minute experience for most customers.”



The $400 problem: Improving employee financial wellness
By: Nick Otto / Human Resource Executive / / Read Article

A lack of mobility is often referred to as the “$400 problem,” where an individual doesn’t have enough saved to cover an emergency expense like a car failure or sudden healthcare problem.

While employers might be inclined to think this is only a problem for people who are unemployed, research says otherwise, Gopnik warned. “These are very likely to be people working for you.”

And these financial challenges aren’t something employees leave at home when they go to work. Rather, financial insecurities impact the day-to-day productivity of employees, Gopnik said, pointing to recent Mercer research that found as much as 5% of payroll could be accounted as unproductive time.

We all know that employees who are financially insecure can’t be as productive, she said. When you’re worrying about putting food on the table or about the health of a loved one, you just can’t be as focused at work.

“Imagine if you could use employee benefits [to] reduce that lost productivity,” she said.







With Employees Receptive to Financial Wellness, Strike While the Iron Is Hot
Employees are looking to get their financial lives in order
Joanne Sammer / SHRM / / Read Article

Has financial wellness reached its moment?

Following more than a year of lockdowns and financial uncertainty, employees now may be more receptive to financial wellness programs than they have ever been.

In a Lincoln Financial Group survey with responses from 437 full-time employed adults, 79 percent said COVID-19 had changed the way they think about planning for their financial future, and 90 percent indicated that they would like to take action to improve their finances during the next three months. Nearly two-thirds said it's important for employers to offer financial wellness programs.

Employees seem ready, and employers can make the most of the moment to help employees better manage their financial lives.



A millennial CEO still paying off his own student debt has dedicated his career to solving the student-loan crisis
Ayelet Sheffey / BUSINESS INSIDER / / Read Article

In 2011, Greg Poulin was a 22-year-old undergraduate at Dartmouth when his father unexpectedly died. He had to take out $80,000 in student loans to complete his education, and he's still working to pay off his debt 10 years later, which now stands at $57,345.86, according to documents reviewed by Insider.

He founded his software startup Goodly in 2018 to enable employers to offer student-loan-repayment as an employee benefit. He told Insider the software could help the average employee pay off their student loans about 31% faster than otherwise.

"The case for employer-sponsored student loan repayment programs is simple," Poulin said. "Six out of 10 jobs now require postsecondary education beyond high school; yet, due to the soaring cost of higher education, a college degree remains tantalizingly out of reach for millions of Americans without the help of student loans."

In December, Poulin worked with Congress to pass the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which allows employers to make tax-free contributions of up to $5,250 a year to their employees' student debt, without the payments being included in the employees' taxable income. Poulin called it a "watershed moment" for student loan repayment.



If employers want to enhance the experience of their employees, new research finds that payroll should be a strategic priority
CNW / Yahoo Finance / / Read Article

For years, employers have tried in vain to crack the code for attracting and retaining Generation Z and Millennial employees. The answer, as it turns out, lies in a business function that is too often overlooked — payroll.

While employers have frequently turned to 'perks' such as free lunches, casual dress, gym memberships and pet-friendly offices to try to connect with the next generation, the newly released Canadian Payroll Association Essential Benefits Survey, conducted among members of the online Angus Reid Forum, shows that younger workers are not as different from their older peers as originally thought. The foremost concern for Generation Z and Millennial employees when it comes to employment benefits is the same as previous generations: accurate and timely pay.

Nearly four out of five respondents reported consistent and accurate pay to be an essential benefit of employment that they would not work without. This result was consistent across all age demographics, with 78 per cent of Generation Z, 83 per cent of Millennials, 79 per cent of Generation X and 74 per cent of Baby Boomers identifying pay as essential. By comparison, health and dental benefits (61%), RRSP programs and pension plans (43%), flexible working arrangements (38%), training and development opportunities (35%), additional vacation time (30%) and work perks (12%) were all deemed to be essential by significantly fewer respondents.








Number of Texans buying health coverage through Obamacare soars
MARY DIMITROV / FortWorth Star-Telegram / / Read Article

Nearly 180,000 Texans have purchased health insurance through the federal government’s healthcare.gov during a special enrollment period that runs through Aug. 15.

More Texans have enrolled through the Affordable Care Act than during the same periods in 2020 and 2019 combined.

The Texas numbers mirror a nationwide trend. The Biden administration is seeing “a large number” of people purchasing health insurance through healthcare.gov — also known as Obamacare — especially from states that have had historically high uninsured rates, the White House told McClatchy on Tuesday.

“These places that have historically had high uninsured rates are really seeing a large number of families come in, take a look at their options and find a plan that works for them and their budget,” said Christen Young, deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council for Health Care at the White House.




KFin Technologies Acquires 17% Stake In Insurtech Startup Artivatic.ai
Harshit Rakheja / Inc42 / / Read Article

With the acquisition, KFintech, which provides registry services to mutual funds, corporate, pensions and other asset classes, will diversify into the insurtech space

KFintech claims to be the largest registrar and a market leader, servicing over 90 Mn investor accounts spread over 1300 issuers including banks, PSUs and mutual funds

Artivatic.ai will use the funds to broaden its product portfolio, explore new business horizons and expand its footprint across India and other global markets




Ex-Salesforce execs raise an additional $20 million for insurtech startup Planck
Meir Orbach / CALCALIST / / Read Article

Insurtech company Planck announced on Wednesday that it has raised an additional round of $20 million, led by new investors 3L Capital and Greenfield Partners and with participation by the company’s existing investors which include Team8, Viola Fintech, Arbor Ventures, and Eight Roads. The new round, which takes

Planck's total funding to $48 million, is earmarked to build out a U.S. team and for global expansion to EMEA, APAC, and the UK. Planck was founded in 2016 by CEO Elad Tsur, Amir Cohen, and David Schapiro, three tech and insurance sector veterans. Tsur and Cohen previously co-founded data-mining startup BlueTail Ltd., sold to Salesforce.com Inc. in 2012. Schapiro is the former CEO of customer analytics software developer Earnix Ltd.


 
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Archives

 
Monday, 05/10/21 - - Manchin Opposes Progressives’ Plan to Lower Eligible Age For Medicare

Tuesday, 05/11/21 - -
What you need to know about the cost and accessibility of mental health care in America

Wednesday, 05-12-21 - -
New Washington Payroll Tax to Pay for ‘Free’ Long-Term Care Benefits from the State

Thursday, 05-13-21 - -  Amazon confirms nationwide expansion of telehealth services

Friday, 05-07-21 - -
Amazon just became another company's healthcare provider

 
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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.