Tuesday, 01/18/22
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Walt Podgurski, Editor
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Fidelity Investments® Adds $146 Billion in Assets to Workplace Benefits Platform In 2021
Significant Growth Demonstrates Plan Sponsor Demand for Integrated, Multiproduct Benefits Platform
BUSINESS WIRE / / Read Article

Fidelity Investments®, one of the country’s leading workplace benefits providersi, announced today significant growth across its integrated benefits platform. During 2021, Fidelity helped 1,900 businesses across the U.S. add more than 2,100 products to their benefits platform, representing $146 billion in assets. The new products include 401(k), 403(b), company stock and defined benefit plans, as well as health savings accounts (HSA), student debt repayment and workplace giving programs.ii New clients represent a broad variety of industries and markets across every geography in the country and vary in size from start-ups with several dozen employees to large-scale corporations with workforces in the tens of thousands.

“In today’s challenging economic environment, organizations are looking for an experienced, trusted benefits provider that has the strength, scale and expertise to design and deploy a benefits platform that delivers value to their workforce, as well as can help them attract and retain talent”

Fidelity’s growth, consistent throughout its history, has been 100% organic, driven by the company’s commitment to delivering an exceptional customer experience.
Additional factors that contributed to this year's growth include:

Fidelity’s experience in helping employers integrate workplace benefits that address critical employee health and financial needs, such as student debt repayment plans and HSAs, on a single, unified platform.

Growing demand among employers for a benefits provider that can deliver a high level of service and support in the extremely challenging business environment created by the pandemic.
Fidelity’s ability to provide products and solutions for employees at every life stage, ranging from retirement income solutions for pre-retirees to financial education for young employees who are just starting out.

Technology enhancements across Fidelity’s platform, specifically the enhanced use of cybersecurity, cloud computing, AI and predictive analytics, that help create a more efficient, accessible and secure experience for clients and their employees.



HealthComp Acquires Gilsbar’s TPA Division
BUSINESS WIRE / / Read Article

HealthComp Holding Company LLC (“HealthComp” or “the Company”), a New Mountain Capital company and a leading Third-Party Administrator (TPA) of healthcare benefits for self-funded employers, today announced that it has acquired Gilsbar’s TPA and Care Management (MedCom) divisions (Gilsbar, LLC). Together, the combined business will continue to deliver on two critical priorities for its clients: managing healthcare costs and delivering a best-in-class member experience.

“HealthComp has chosen to invest in Gilsbar’s TPA because of its exceptional reputation, its outstanding market performance, and its high caliber of talent,” said Jose Rivero, CEO of HealthComp. “By combining the strengths of both our organizations, we’ll be able to deliver unmatched expertise and innovation in the field of health benefit administration, particularly in regard to healthcare cost containment, member engagement, and care management. In addition, Gilsbar’s geographic location will give HealthComp the local presence to better serve clients and brokers in the South and Southeast.”



Insurance now covers at-home COVID testing kits. How to get free tests or reimbursement
Kelly Tyko / USA TODAY / / Read Article

Americans with health insurance can get up to eight at-home COVID-19 tests for free thanks to a new requirement.

Starting Saturday, private health plans are required to cover the over-the-counter tests at up to $12 per test. Consumers can either purchase the testing kits at no cost or submit receipts for reimbursement from the insurance company.

A family of five could be reimbursed for up to 40 tests per month under the plan. PCR tests and rapid tests ordered or administered by a health provider will continue to be fully covered by insurance with no limit.

President Joe Biden announced the federal requirement for insurance companies in December and officials said Monday that it would begin Jan. 15.

Health insurance industry groups have said insurers would carry out the administration’s order, but cautioned consumers that it won’t be as easy as flipping a switch.

The Biden administration will launch a website where Americans can order free COVID-19 tests Wednesday, Jan. 19.

The tests, part of the administration's purchase of 500 million tests last month to help tackle a record surge in infections, will be mailed to homes within seven to 12 days, according to an official who briefed reporters.

Biden announced earlier this week the administration would double its order with the purchase of an additional 500 million at-home COVID-19 tests amid a shortage of tests nationwide that's led to long lines at testing locations and overburdened hospitals.



Five trends that will shape the life insurance industry in 2022
Insurers will invest considerable resources in reimagining the consumer's journey across the lifecycle of a policy
Sumit Rai / Money Control / / Read Article

The preferred methods of insurance buying are also undergoing changed. Customers are not only comfortable buying digitally, but also interacting digitally with advisors on various platforms. As millennials continue to become a larger part of our economy, this trend is likely to become even stronger, prompting insurers to relook at the customer experience through various distribution channels.

As we move into 2022, life insurers will let customers take the wheel and guide transformation for the post-COVID era. Here are some key trends we expect to emerge in the new year.

Protection will remain a customer priority
Digital technologies
Investments in Data Science and Analytics will rise
Easing access to insurance
Strengthening of the insurance advisory approach



Some insurance brokers enroll people in ACA plans without consent
JULIE APPLEBY / Kaiser Health News / npr / / Read Article

Some insurance brokers are enrolling people into Affordable Care Act health plans without their consent, perhaps for the commissions, a move that could put consumers in danger of owing back the subsidies connected with the coverage. The damage could be hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

A consumer's first hint that something is wrong is a big one: a letter from the IRS or a delay in their tax refund.

Although the practice does not appear widespread, it has prompted the Department of Health and Human Services to seek changes to some oversight rules affecting brokers. They would start in 2023.

HHS wants the changes, according to its proposal, because it "has observed several instances in which agents, brokers, and web-brokers have provided inaccurate consumer household income projections" and that "this is problematic in situations when consumers are enrolled without their knowledge or consent."

The changes are part of a 400-page proposed rule governing the federal health insurance marketplace and a few states that use the federal platform for their own exchanges. The new broker provision aims to deter fraudulent sign-ups by clarifying that applicants must attest that the income projections listed are correct.



Warner Pacific Insurance Services Inc. Enters Into Partnership With Lovell Minnick Partners
BUSINESS WIRE / / Read Article

Warner Pacific (the “Company”), a leading employee benefits-focused General Agency with locations in California, Colorado and Texas, announced today they have entered into a partnership with Lovell Minnick Partners LLC, a private equity firm focused on investments in financial services, financial technology and related business services companies.

Founded in 1982, Warner Pacific provides sales assistance, back-office support and a full suite of benefit administration products and tech-enabled services to insurance agents, principally focused on the small group, large group and Medicare health insurance markets. This new investment will help fuel Warner Pacific’s organic growth and M&A strategies in new and existing geographies while providing the Company with support as it scales. M&A will be a key focus for Warner Pacific as it builds out its national General Agency platform, acquires other leading insurance technology players and expands into new insurance coverages and service offerings beyond its suite of proprietary technology solutions. John and David Nelson will continue to lead the Company as Co-CEOs with the same team of employees and leadership supporting Warner Pacific’s next phase of growth.

“Warner Pacific has built a strong reputation as a dependable, best-in-class benefits General Agency specializing in medical and ancillary benefits in California, Colorado and Texas,” said Trevor Rich, Partner at Lovell Minnick. “We believe that Warner Pacific has the scale, platform and management team to become a leading national General Agency under the leadership of John and Dave Nelson, and we are excited to help them execute on their M&A strategy.”



Acrisure insurance agency merges with employee benefits brokerage
Captive Insurance Times / / Read Article

Odell Studner Group, a provider of risk management and insurance services with a specialised focus on captive insurance, is set to merge with the Pennsylvania division of Doyle Alliance Group, an employee benefits brokerage and consulting firm.

Odell Studner’s insurance profit centre performs a company analysis, including valued claims history, expected future premium and a historical comparison, to determine how a group captive can be beneficial for a company compared to its traditional programme.

Doyle Alliance provides advisory solutions for employee benefits, such as strategic planning, financial analysis, cost containment, benefits compliance and pharmacy management.



Inszone Insurance Services Expands Into Illinois by Acquiring Lamb, Little & Co
Illinois Becomes the 8th State with a Physical Presence for Inszone Insurance
BUSINESS WIRE / / Read Article

Inszone Insurance Services: a rapidly growing, national provider of benefits, personal and commercial lines insurance, announced today the acquisition of Lamb, Little & Co. This acquisition will broaden Inszone’s U.S. presence to include Illinois and further develop its presence in the Midwest Region of the United States.


Inszone Insurance Services Acquires Pacific Redwood Insurance Agency in Pacifica, CA
BUSINESS WIRE / / Read Article
Inszone Insurance Services: a rapidly growing, national provider of benefits, personal and commercial lines insurance, announced today the acquisition of Pacific Redwood Insurance.


 



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

Tuesday, 01/11/22 - 'Huge, huge numbers:' insurance group sees death rates up 40 percent over pre-pandemic levels

Wednesday, 01/12/22 - Biden Requires Insurance Companies To Cover Free At-Home Covid Tests Starting This Weekend

Thursday, 01/13/22 - Washington State’s Celebrated Long Term Care Program Is Headed Towards Trouble

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.