Friday, 01/21/22
2022 Media Kit  /  Press Releases

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Walt Podgurski, Editor


UnitedHealth Group made $287B last year — and is aiming even higher in 2022
By Shaymus McLaughlin / / Read Article

UnitedHealth Group announced 2021 revenue of $287.6 billion Wednesday — while promising an even even larger windfall in 2022.

The Minnetonka-based health care giant said that figure was 11.8% higher than in 2020, when revenue hit $257.1 billion. The corporation's Optum business – a pharmacy benefits management company – represented a significant chunk of that total, with revenues of $155.6 billion last year.

Overall, UnitedHealth Group reported operating earnings of $24 billion.

The company, already the largest health insurance provider in the U.S., has its sights set even higher for 2022, reiterating it expects to have revenues of $317 billion to $320 billion in the year to come.

The 2021-2022 Aflac WorkForces Report: 5 Employee Benefits Trends
Your guide to navigating clients' employee benefits in 2022 - the 11th Annual Aflac WorkForces Report
Aflac Incorporated / Yahoo Finance / / Read Article

The 2021–2022 Aflac WorkForces Report is here! For this 11th annual study examining benefits trends and attitudes, we captured survey responses from 1,200 employers and 2,000 employees across various industries in the United States. The insights are significant—particularly these five takeaways and employee benefits trends.

  • The pandemic shifted how people view employee benefits
  • Hybrid benefits enrollment is the future
  • The employee benefits experience can help people feel cared for
  • Now is the time to double down on benefits for mental health and stress
  • The gap in employee benefits understanding
To learn more about the state of employee benefits today, download the 2021–2022 Aflac WorkForces Report.

56% of Americans can’t cover a $1,000 emergency expense with savings
Carmen Reinicke / CNBC / / Read Article

Most Americans are still struggling to build solid savings accounts nearly two years into the coronavirus pandemic.

Some 56% of Americans are unable to cover an unexpected $1,000 bill with savings, according to a telephone survey of more than 1,000 adults conducted in early January by Bankrate.

“Emergency savings and the $1,000 threshold are really an indication of how much people are struggling, that they are that close to the edge financially,” said Greg McBride, senior vice president and chief financial analyst at Bankrate.

Instead of drawing on their emergency savings funds, many Americans would have to go into debt to foot an unexpected $1,000 bill, either by asking family and friends for a loan, taking a personal loan from a bank or charging a credit card.

To be sure, the 44% of Americans who could cover a $1,000 emergency expense from their savings is the highest percentage in eight years, according to Bankrate.

Issues Arise as Health Plans Begin Covering At-Home COVID-19 Tests
Insurers say systems not yet ready to pay upfront costs
By Stephen Miller, CEBS / SHRM / / Read Article

As the Biden administration's requirement that health plans and insurers cover the cost of at-home COVID-19 tests, within certain limits, took effect on Jan. 15, initial stumbling blocks were evident. Some insurers said their data processing systems were not yet ready to pay the upfront costs of tests purchased by consumers at pharmacies. Employers with self-insured health plans, meanwhile, were trying to decide the best way to pay for the tests.

"Getting up and running was a little challenging given that the regulations were issued on Monday, Jan. 10, with plan sponsors and insurers expected to comply by the following Saturday," said John Coleman, a principal with HR consultancy Mercer's health and benefits practice in Morristown, N.J.

As long as employers control employees’ healthcare, life-saving technologies will go underutilized
By Joe Markland / ebn / / Read Article

New healthcare innovations using genetic testing and analysis can identify troubling healthcare conditions before they become serious. Precision medicine is using data to develop personal treatment plans to provide better outcomes for cancer patients. Blockchain technology can easily aggregate and manage healthcare data in a secure way. Artificial intelligence could be used to analyze that data against millions, if not billions, of other records to identify health problems before they show a physical presence. Mobile technology can track your data 24/7 and alert you when there’s cause for alarm. My doctor could concurrently receive an alert notifying him that I may need to see him.

This all sounds great — and it is possible, but it rarely happens. It is not easy for me to get my data. There is no system of artificial intelligence to analyze and act on my data. And my doctor does not have access to the technology or get compensated for embracing it because our healthcare financing has misplaced the incentives.

Our system is not built around my personal desires and incentives, but around those of an employer trying to provide health insurance and control costs for a larger group of people.

Unpack Whether Monthly Subscription Health Care Is Really Worth It
By SHELBY DEERING / Parade / / Read Article

That better way may just exist. Called direct primary care, several doctors are turning to this new form of healthcare that allows for longer appointments and, as the name suggests, more direct access to your doctor.

As of 2018, according to Optimum Direct Care, approximately 20,000 of the 465,000 primary care physicians in the United States have switched to a direct care model. Some examples of direct primary care models you may have heard of include Parsley Health, Forward, Carbon Health, and more.

Mantra Health Secures $22M Series A; Launches Program to Support Students with Long-Term Mental Healthcare Needs
Mantra Health / PRNewswire / / Read Article

Mantra Health, the preeminent digital mental health clinic focused on young adults, today announced a $22 million Series A investment, led by VMG Partners. T

Mantra Health introduced its Higher Education solution in the Fall of 2020 and was immediately embraced by campus counseling centers that focused on quality for its evidence-based, collaborative approach that helped students increase access to care and achieve positive clinical outcomes.

As of this month, Mantra's Sponsored Care Program is deployed on 52 campuses across the U.S., including Penn State, Miami Dade College, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ensuring more than 500,000 students can access timely psychiatry and therapy services over telehealth. As a result of positive student outcomes in the first year of deployment, 100% of Mantra's partner schools renewed and expanded their partnerships.

MarshBerry Secures Growth Capital from Atlas Merchant Capital
MarshBerry / PRNewswire / / Read Article

MarshBerry, a leading investment banking and consulting firm serving the Insurance Distribution and Wealth Management industries, is pleased to announce its partnership with Atlas Merchant Capital ("Atlas").

The new partnership will help MarshBerry accomplish its growth goals by improving and expanding services to create even better outcomes for clients. This partnership provides access to additional resources to help execute on strategic growth initiatives including expanded client solutions and acquisitions domestically and in Europe.

Higginbotham Enters Kentucky by Combining with The Underwriters Group, Inc.
Higginbotham / PRNewswire / / Read Article

Higginbotham, one of the largest independent insurance firms in the U.S., and The Underwriters Group, Inc., a U.S. Top 100 Broker in Louisville, KY, have joined forces. Both firms provide full-scale commercial and personal insurance, employee benefits and human resource solutions. The deal adds additional states to Higginbotham's expanding presence across the southeast region of the U.S.

High Street Insurance Partners Continues Growth in Michigan With Successful Acquisition of Hershey Insurance Agency.
High Street Insurance Partners / PRNewswire / / Read Article

High Street Insurance Partners ("HSIP") announced its December acquisition of Hershey Insurance Agency (HIA), a full-service insurance firm based in Troy, Michigan.

Insurance Agent Licensing Compliance moves to the Digital Age with ACCLAIM IQ
CEOCFO Magazine / / Read Article

CEOCFO Magazine, an independent business and investor publication that highlights important technologies and companies, today announced an interview with W. Brian Harrigan, Chairman of Acclaim IQ, LLC, a Shelton, Connecticut-based insurance agent licensing compliance management company.

“The compliance and regulatory teams inside of insurance companies have largely been ignored for digital transformation,” said Mr. Harrigan during the interview. When asked by CEOCFO’s Senior Editor Lynn Fosse what the focus is for Acclaim IQ, LLC, Mr. Harrigan said, “Acclaim IQ ( is focused on Insurance Agent Licensing Compliance Management which provides for the digital transformation of the agent appointment and licensing process for insurance Carriers and MGUs, (Managing General Underwriters). The process has traditionally been paper based and manual. We are taking the process from a manual approach to a complete digital platform saving our clients significant expenses as once they digitally enable their process, they can review the staffing that has typically been required to track agent licensing and appointments.”

Principal Financial nears insurance units sale to Talcott Resolution -sources
David French / Reuters / FINANCIAL POST / / Read Article

Insurer Principal Financial Group Inc is in advanced talks to sell two of its units, with capital reserves totaling $25 billion, to peer Talcott Resolution Life Insurance Co, according to people familiar with the matter.

The deal would be the culmination of a strategic review that Principal launched last year after coming under pressure from activist investment firm Elliott Management Corp to shed its low-growth and capital-intensive businesses. Principal has said it will use part of the proceeds to fund an increase in its share buyback program.


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Monday, 01/17/22 - 10 Highly Beneficial Services For Employee Wellness

Tuesday, 01/18/22 - Fidelity Investments® Adds $146 Billion in Assets to Workplace Benefits Platform In 2021

Wednesday, 01/19/22 -  Act Now To Avoid Higher Life Insurance Rates - - Forbes

Thursday, 01/20/22 - Obamacare enrollment hits record high after Biden makes post-Trump tweaks to health insurance program

Friday, 01/14/22 - Healthcare sharing ministry 'sham' faces suit for allegedly defrauding consumers in California

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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.