Daily Insurance Report

Tuesday,  01/19/21

Walt Podgurski



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Press Releases

Shark Tank's Mark Cuban Dives into Generic Drug Market

By Alex Keown / BioSpace / / Read Article

Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban, best known as the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and an investor on the ABC business reality series “Shark Tank,” is diving into generic drugs with a new startup, dubbed Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company.

The new company is dedicated to producing low-cost versions of high-cost generic drugs. On its website, the new company promises to provide “radical transparency” in how it prices the medications it sells.

“We will let everyone know what it costs to manufacture, distribute, and market our drugs to pharmacies. We add a flat 15% margin to get our wholesale prices. This makes sure we remain viable and profitable. There are no hidden costs, no middlemen, no rebates only available to insurance companies. Everybody gets the same low price for every drug we make,” the company said on its website.

How Biden’s Proposed Paid Leave Would Work
By Claire Cain Miller / The New York Times / / Read Article

More Americans may soon be able to take more than three months of paid leave from work for sickness or to care for children and family members during the pandemic, if Congress approves a plan proposed by President-elect Biden.

Last spring, the first coronavirus relief package included paid leave. But a limited group of workers was eligible, and it expired in December. Now, as part of a wide-ranging plan to respond to the pandemic, the incoming administration has proposed reinstating and significantly expanding it.

What kind of reasons can it be used for? Mr. Biden proposed offering paid leave to people who are:

Sick with Covid-19 symptoms

Quarantining because of Covid-19 exposure

Needing time off to get the vaccine

Carering for family members who are sick with Covid-19 symptoms

Caring for children whose school or day care center is closed because of the pandemic

Caring for older relatives or adult dependents whose long-term care facility is closed because of the pandemic


Employee benefits tech firm Accolade buys telemedicine startup for $460M
Jackie Drees / BECKER'S HOSPITAL REVIEW / / Read Article

Accolade, a healthcare technology and benefits firm, will acquire telemedicine startup 2nd.MD to increase its ability to give users virtual access to second opinions, CNBC reports.

Accolade is close to closing the $460 million deal, people with knowledge of the situation told CNBC. Half of the transaction will be in cash and the rest in Accolade shares, a portion of which depends on revenue targets.

Founded in 2011, the telemedicine startup automates the process of getting second opinions so they can happen within days over video or phone instead of weeks for in person.

Dates for 2021 National Medicare Supplement Conference Reset
AAMSI / /  Read Article

"The postponed (2020) Medigap industry Summit will take place September 8-10, 2021," announced Jesse Slome, AAMSI's director and organizer of the industry conference. The site remains the Schaumburg, IL Convention Center located a few miles from O'Hare International Airport.

"We are optimistic that people will be traveling by September and they'll be looking forward again to face-to-face exchanges," Slome notes. "Chicago is both large and easy to get to. People will have had their fill of Zoom calls and want the old fashioned way of bumping elbows and networking with their peers."

The industry conference brings together over a thousand Medicare insurance professionals. As part of the event, the Association offers a completely free day that consists of sales sessions and no-cost access to the industry's exhibit hall.

5 Medicare benefits that may surprise you
By Jan Dubauskas / FOXBusiness / / Read Article

Yes! Medicare modernization is working to advance its approvals of innovative therapies and technologies, recognizing that Medicare needs to move more quickly to keep up with the speed of innovation. And while Medicare continues to work toward that goal, it does have a few surprises up its sleeve – they have worked to provide a more robust program that addresses the real needs of Medicare beneficiaries, while also maintaining a modern view as to what benefits consumers are seeking.

Here are five benefits you should know about:

1. Opioid Use Disorder
2. The Give Back Benefit
3. Weight Loss Counseling & Nutrition Therapy
4. Second Medical Opinion
5. Acupuncture

RxSpark launches Ignitor – its disruptive affiliate program that is highly relevant for the insurance industry.
PRNewswire / / Read Article

The innovative prescription savings company, RxSpark today announced the launch of its Ignitor Partner Program to the insurance industry. At a time of economic difficulty, the RxSpark platform is ideally positioned to help consumers afford their medications, and give Insurance Brokers a commission-based recurring revenue stream. The affiliate program allows Insurance Brokers to become Ignitor Partners, providing them the opportunity to harness their networks and earn commission by promoting RxSpark’s next generation pharmacy savings program.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused massive disruption, with millions of people now unemployed and uninsured. Many have lost their company sponsored health and pharmacy benefits as companies are forced to cut costs. Amid this turmoil, Insurance Brokers are also feeling the effects as their customers struggle.

RxSpark has created the Ignitor Partner Program, which is FREE to all Insurance Brokers. The program is ideally positioned for this difficult time, helping both Brokers and consumers. RxSpark users can save up to 80% off their meds; and for the Brokers, it is a great way to develop and monetize their networks, which could earn them $40,000 plus a year, every year.

The 38 FinTech funding rounds raised last week highlight the success of payments companies through the pandemic
FINTECH GLOBL / / Read Article

While the payments industry has reason to celebrate, last week also proved a boon for 38 FinTech companies closing investment rounds.

The FinTech industry returned from the holidays with a bang last week. In total, 38 companies completed funding rounds in the past seven days and nine out of those raised cash injections north of $100m.

Companies innovating in the payments space and the FinTech ecosystem proved to be among the big winners last week.

Home Service Software Brand Porch Group Announces Acquisitions; Expansion into Insurtech
By Samantha Hurst / CROWDFUND INSIDER / / Read Article

Porch Group, a U.S.-based vertical software company focused on the home services industry, recently announced it has acquired four companies and has begun to expand into insurtech. Founded in 2012 as an online home improvement network, Porch claims it has grown into the industry-leading partner for the home by connecting homeowners with qualified professionals.

The companies acquired by Porch Group are the following:

Homeowners of America (HOA): an insurance carrier hybrid with “high margins and a capital-efficient” reinsurance strategy, which limits retained risk. The company currently operates in six states
V12: A fully scaled software-as-a-service (SaaS) marketing and data platform for brands to connect with and engage consumers at key purchasing decisions points
PalmTech: A software company for home inspectors targeted to smaller home inspectors
iRoofing: Provides an all-in-one SaaS application for roofing contractors bundled in a monthly or annual subscription.

It’s Past Time For Employers To Take Financial Wellness Seriously
Scarlett Sieber, Contributor / Forbes / / Read Article

Financial wellness has long been a topic of conversation at financial institutions and fintechs alike. While the definition varies depending on who you talk to, 2020 has pushed financial wellness front and center. We know there is a direct correlation between financial health and mental and physical health, and as such, all parts of the ecosystem need to start prioritizing the financial side of it.

While unemployment rates increased in response to the pandemic, employers who want to retain their talent and attract the best talent moving forward, should think about how to care for their employees’ holistic financial health. Luckily, employers aren’t alone, there are a myriad of fintech startups and the like focused on the space.

Focus on mental wellness in 2021 with these five meditation apps

It's often a useful method, whether you're working on a broader strategy or just need tools to take a break throughout the day. Yet finding time to meditate and effective guidance to do so can be a challenge. These five apps can help you make a change by putting mindfulness tools in your pocket and fitting your practice into your schedule.

Welzen meditation app (lifetime subscription, $29.99, 80% off)
Relax Melodies meditation app (lifetime subscription, $79.99, 68% off)
Unplug Meditation (one-year subscription, $39.99, 43% off)
Rootd Anxiety & Meditation (one year subscription, $25.99, 56% off)
Omvana Meditation (one-year subscription, $39.99, 33% off)

Like Lemonade? Here Are 3 Small Insurance Tech Stocks to Add to Your Watchlist
New tech-enhanced insurance companies have been popping up fast and furious over the last year.
Nicholas Rossolillo / The Motley fool / / Read Article

2020 was a record-setting year for IPOs, and among the new stocks were several high-flying tech-enhanced insurance companies. Lemonade is perhaps the best-known, and it was one of last year's hottest new stocks. But a number of other insurance outfits making their public debuts are also worth exploring. Three to put on your watchlist are Clover Health Investments (NASDAQ:CLOV), GoHealth (NASDAQ:GOCO), and Root (NASDAQ:ROOT).

Clover Health: A SPAC goes the way of Medicare

GoHealth: An online marketplace for shopping health plans

Root: Auto insurance gets a mobile upgrade

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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.