Daily Insurance Report  
Walt Bernard Podgurski,  Editor,  440-773-1108, 
Walt@DailyInsuranceReport.com

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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.
  Friday 11/15/19 - https://DailyInsuranceReport.com 

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Google will offer consumer checking accounts next year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
David Beasley, Contributor / Forbes

It's the latest example of Big Tech companies venturing into finance, including Apple Inc.'s credit card and Facebook's work on a digital currency. Amazon Inc. has held discussions with banks about offering checking accounts. It's seen as a way to get closer to customers - and gather more of their data, the Journal said.

Google's checking account project is code-named Cache. Citigroup and a credit union at Stanford University will manage the accounts, the Journal said. Customers would access their checking accounts through Google Pay, which is projected to have 100 million users by 2020.



A detective for better benefits
Consultants and brokerages offer cost-effective solutions
By: Martin Daks / NJBIZ

Businesses of all sizes are struggling with rising health care costs, but some consulting firms say they can help. Although increases have stayed moderate — with low single-digit percentage gains for eight straight years — health benefit costs will still top $13,000 per employee this year, according to the annual National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans 2019, released in October by consulting firm Mercer. The average total health benefit cost per employee grew 3 percent in 2019, reaching $13,046, on top of a 3.6 percent rise in 2018. “Cost increases continue to outpace overall inflation, and health benefit cost management remains an imperative for most organizations,” according to report.

The moderated increases in recent years is a result of greater enrollment in High Deductible Health Plans and promotion by employers, according to John Coleman, a principal at Mercer. “In 2011, 11 percent of employees were enrolled in HDHPs, today that figure has risen to 36 percent,” he said. Still, in New Jersey, the total health benefit cost for active employees at large companies increased 4.2 percent in 2019, to an average of $16,318 per individual. “This compares to $13,046 for all employers nationwide, meaning coverage for large employers in New Jersey is 25 percent more expensive.”



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Five reasons healthcare data security is at Ebola crisis levels
by Veronica Combs / TechRepublic

Lots of PHI, low security, and multiple entry points make hospitals the perfect target for hackers and ransomware attacks are up 45% in Q3.

For doctors, X-rays and the machines that produce them are powerful tools for diagnosing an injury or an illness.

For thieves, X-rays can be the starting point for identity theft. An X-ray includes a patient's name, date of birth, the hospital name, and sometimes an account number. A cybercriminal can guess the city of residence based on this information, and from there can look up property tax and voting records.

In a new report on the state of healthcare data security, Malwarebytes reports that cyber criminals can use patient data to create "synthetic identities—which are new, unique identities built from amalgamations of data taken from various individual records." They can use this new identity to buy medical equipment, prescription drugs, get medical services, or even "combine a patient number with a made-up name of a health provider to file medical insurance claims."



Is it 1970 or 2019? Nine in 10 in healthcare industry still using fax machines, survey finds
by Joanne Finnegan / Fierce Healthcare

When it comes to communication, it looks like the healthcare industry got stuck in a time warp.

A new survey finds that healthcare organizations are still heavily reliant on 1970s technology, with 89% using fax machines and 39% using pagers. And despite living in a mobile-reliant society, healthcare organizations rely heavily on landline phones to communicate, according to a new report by TigerConnect, a healthcare communication platform.

“Adoption of modern communication solutions has occurred in every other industry but healthcare,” said Brad Brooks, CEO and co-founder of TigerConnect, in a statement.



Fabric Launches Free App: Life Insurance, Wills And Family Finance Tools Empowering Parents To Protect Their Families
New Type of Personal Finance App Is One-Stop Shop for Families' Long-Term Financial Well-Being
Company Seeing 4X Growth in Accelerated Term Life Policies in 2019
PRNewswire

Fabric, an innovator in helping parents protect their family's financial future, today announced the launch of a free mobile app. Unlike budgeting apps for managing daily finances, Fabric's new app aims to fill a clear need that parents have when planning for their family's long-term financial well-being.

Available today on the Apple App Store and coming soon to Android, the app allows parents to apply for term life insurance straight from their phone, create a free will in about five minutes and collaborate with their spouse or partner to build a shared list of financial accounts and important documents, stored all in one place. Parents can also easily coordinate with beneficiaries, children's guardians and more – right from the app.

"Money can be especially stressful when you're trying to build a family and a career," said Adam Erlebacher, CEO and co-founder of Fabric. In one survey by Everyday Health, 52% of respondents said financial issues regularly stress them out, and people between the ages of 38 to 53 were the most stressed out financially.



The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America Names Andrew McMahon President
PR Newswire

The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America announced today that Andrew McMahon, an industry veteran and head of the company's largest business, has been elected President by its Board of Directors.

Mr. McMahon's appointment is part of Guardian's regular succession planning process and is effective January 1, 2020. He will continue to report to Guardian Chief Executive Officer Deanna Mulligan as he directly oversees Guardian's lines of business.

Mr. McMahon, who joined Guardian in 2017, moves from his role as executive vice president of Individual Markets, Enterprise Strategy and Customer Development. There, he oversaw Guardian's life insurance, disability, annuities and wealth management products and services. He was also responsible for enterprise strategy, corporate development, GIS Strategic Ventures LLC, mergers and acquisitions, and the company's digital consumer experience, including Guardian Direct.

Mr. McMahon has a history of innovation and leadership in the industry, having launched and strategically advised several InsurTech companies. He is also a former executive with AXA, General Electric and McKinsey.



Bank of America supports U.S. military veteran entrepreneurs
$20 million Veteran Entrepreneur Lending Program increases access to affordable loans for veteran-owned businesses.
Bank Of America

Bank of America launched a $20 million Veteran Entrepreneur Lending Program in 2018 to connect U.S. military veteran business owners with affordable capital to help kick-start and grow their businesses. Since its inception, more than 170 veterans have been connected to $14 million in affordable loans.

“Helping our veterans translate their skills and become entrepreneurs driving the U.S. economy is one of the ways Bank of America is thanking them for their service,” said Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan.

Loans are administered through participating community development financial institutions (CDFIs) – nonprofit institutions with expertise in lending to small businesses and an understanding of local circumstances, including economic development and job creation opportunities. Participating CDFIs and Learning Providers also receive grants from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation for resources to operate this specialized work.





  Archives

Monday - 11-11-19 - - This Is Why Your 401(k) May Soon Be With Your Local Chamber Of Commerce

Tuesday - 11-12-19 - - 137 million Americans are struggling with medical debt. Here’s what to know if you need some relief

Wednesday - 11-13-19 - - Google signs healthcare data and cloud computing deal with Ascension

Thursday - 11-14-19 - - Imagine a world where new moms can expect two years of paid leave after the birth of a child.

Friday - 11-08-19 - - America’s Largest Health Insurer Is Giving Apartments to Homeless People


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Walt Bernard Podgurski - - Editor
440-773-1108
Walt@DailyInsuranceReport.com