Daily Insurance Report

Thursday,  03/11//21

Walt Podgurski



Read Online


Media Kit

Press Releases

Medicare agency completes $100M round of funding
by: Wes Mills / Inside INdiana Business / / Read Article

Bloomington-based Advise Health Holdings, which helps senior citizens steer through the maze of Medicare offerings, has completed its first round of capital funding totaling $100 million.

The company says the investment will allow it to add approximately 550 employees over the next 12 months as it expands to more states, 150 of which will be in Indiana.

The Medicare-licensed agency says it is currently in 20 markets in 12 states, but the new capital will allow it to expand to about 100 markets across 40 states over the next two years.

“Our team advocates for patients in helping them find the right Medicare plan with the ability to continue seeing their preferred doctor,” said Sherman Rogers, chief executive officer and co-founder of Advise Health Holdings.

What 'historic' expansion of child tax credit in COVID relief bill could mean for you
It's one element of the COVID relief bill that would impact many families.
Michelle Stoddart / abc NEWS / / Read Article

Included in the 628 pages of the American Rescue Plan is a change that experts say will prove to be a "historic" step in reducing child poverty.

The proposal calls for a one-year expansion in both the value and scope of the child tax credit to American families, something some studies estimate could lift millions of children out of poverty.

The measure would increase the amount of the child tax credit to $3,600 per child under 6 and $3,000 per child between the ages of 6 and 18. That is up from a maximum benefit of $2,000 under the current policy. It also expands the ages of children eligible, which was previously capped at age 17.

The benefits begin to phase out for heads of household making more than $112,500 annually or couples earning more than $150,000 a year.

Industry Icon Copeland Insurance Group Joins Forces with Integrity in Historic Partnership
Legendary national IMO expands legacy and capabilities with partnership that brings innovative technology and exclusive platform resources to their 20,000 agents
PRNewswire / / Read Article

Integrity Marketing Group, LLC ("Integrity"), the nation's largest independent distributor of life and health insurance products, today announced it has acquired Copeland Insurance Group ("Copeland Group"). Headquartered in Longview, Texas, the Copeland Group is one of the largest and most admired independent marketing organizations (IMO) in the nation focused on serving the Senior Market. As part of the transaction, the Copeland Group's owners, Mel and Melissa Copeland, will become Managing Partners with Integrity. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

With nearly 60 years of industry success stemming from his deep commitment to service, Mel Copeland is a nationally recognized insurance leader and industry legend. Mel launched Copeland Insurance Group in 1962 and has expanded the company to more than 130 employees in 30 offices throughout the United States. The Copeland Group's 20,000 agents provide Medicare, life, health, commercial, home and auto insurance products with an emphasis on bringing the right products to the Senior Market. The Copeland Group places $200 million in paid premium and serves more than 120,000 Americans annually. With their unmatched track record of providing exceptional service to their agents and consistent growth for their insurance carrier partners, the Copeland Group is widely considered one of the most recognized and respected brands in the Medicare market.

Obamacare premiums go down under the COVID relief bill. Here’s who will benefit
By JENNIFER HABERKORN, STAFF WRITER / Los Angeles Times / / Read Article

The COVID-19 stimulus bill set to be approved by Congress this week will extend short-term economic relief to tens of millions of Americans through a two-year boost in Affordable Care Act subsidies, the first substantive expansion of the law since it was approved in 2010.

Democrats are eager to immediately get the subsidies into Americans’ pocketbooks to address the economic fallout of the pandemic. At the same time, they’re also addressing one of the top criticisms of the law — its high premiums — to lay the groundwork to enact a more permanent expansion of one of their signature legislative accomplishments.


Employees in Large Businesses Own More Voluntary Products than Employees in Smaller Firms But are Interested in Purchasing More, According to Eastbridge Consulting Group
Eastbridge Consulting Group / PRNewswire / / Read Article

Large employers (defined as those with 1,000+ employees) represent just over half of employees in the United States, or 61 million workers. Most of these employers (85%) offer voluntary products to their employees and the percentage that are planning to add a new voluntary benefit as a result of COVID-19 ranged from 25% for those with 1,000-2,499 employees to 34% for those with 10,000+ employees. And while there is opportunity for more employees to purchase voluntary (42% of those employed by a large business own a voluntary product), more than half of employees working for large businesses that own at least one voluntary product, own multiple products. What's more, around a third express interest in purchasing a variety of products like critical illness and identity theft.

Eastbridge's Voluntary Benefits and the Large Case Market Spotlight™ Report analyzes the opportunities and current results for selling voluntary benefits in the large case market and updates Eastbridge's previous report published in 2017. Specifically, the report looks at the size of the market, products offered, employer perspective on products and carriers, employee attitudes and products owned, key players in the market, and carrier practices.

Following are a few key findings from the report:

Larger employers are more likely to use multiple carriers for their voluntary benefits compared to employers overall; among the largest employers (10,000+ employees), almost half use four or more carriers.
Product bundling and discounting are growing trends amongst carriers in the large case market, with flexibility to offer on a case-by-case basis.
Close to 80% of large employers prefer all benefits to be enrolled on a single platform or as a part of their benefits administration platform, regardless of the number of carriers used.
Carriers serving the large case market face a variety of challenges such as increased competition as more carriers target large cases, increasing pressure to pay technology fees, reduce pricing and add services such as medical claims integration.


Lionrock is the only telehealth provider that works directly with employers, as well as their benefit brokers, to offer the robust level of care specifically required to effectively treat SUDs, formerly known as addiction.

By pairing their other telehealth benefits with Lionrock’s programs, employers can now address their employees’ substance use disorders, a serious mental health issue impacting every industry across the country.


The Adoption Of Digital Tools Helps Brands Appeal To Younger Life Insurance Consumers
SARAH CAVILL / Digital Media Solutions / / Read Article

Many life insurance policies are creating end-to-end digital experiences for the life insurance buying process, from filling out the application to finalizing plan details and signing on the digital dotted line. Lincoln Financial Group is an insurance provider that has actively integrated digital into its life insurance marketing and enrollment strategies and seen results. According to The Wall Street Journal, “Lincoln’s term life applications were up 25% year over year through September for buyers 40 and under.” Lincoln was ahead of the curve, creating an online application platform in 2016. And, the company has since introduced an online interview tool, which eliminated the need for a phone call and can be completed via a secure link. Last year, 40% of Millennial consumers surveyed by Lincoln said they would be more likely to buy life insurance if they could do so completely electronically.

Exploring what's behind the rising costs of prescription medicine
Due to the rising costs of prescription medication, families are being forced to choose between paying their bills or purchasing medicine they need.
By: Jennifer Ann Wilson / WXYZ Detroit / / Read Article

Due to the rising costs of prescription medication, families are being forced to choose between paying their bills or purchasing medicine they need.

Fifteen years ago, 6 percent of overall health care expense was spent on prescription drugs. Today it’s at over 22 percent.

In the midst of the pandemic, the AARP says big drug companies raised prices on hundreds of medications, including those commonly used in intensive care units and drugs being used to treat COVID-19.

Disrupting The Insurance Industry: BackNine
Mary Juetten, Contributor / Forbes / / Read Article

When Reid came on board, he (very astutely) pointed out a major market gap in the wholesale life insurance space. As you can imagine, it’s been incredibly antiquated for decades, and people were finally starting to realize that they needed better technology but nothing existed to fill the widening service gap. Both Brett and Reid saw how underserved the market was and set their sights on developing a holistic digital model by which insurance agents could manage and scale their entire sales funnel, 24/7.

Reid first created a CRM called BOSS (Back Office Support System), which has proven to be extremely successful. And now, we use BOSS in tandem with our newest venture, Quote & Apply, wherein property and casualty insurance agents, as well as financial advisors and wealth managers (and anyone selling life insurance, really) can sell policies fast; making what was previously an extremely cumbersome process into a one that’s seamless for both agents and their clients.

Juetten: Who are your customers and how do you find them?

Tattersall: We partner with individual life insurance policy sellers and major enterprise clients such as Redtail, a leading CRM in the financial services space, in helping to optimize and scale their sales cycles. We white label our software so they can utilize our e-application and quoting software on their preferred platforms, free of charge.

ManhattanLife Assurance Company of America Acquires Western Skies MGU
BUSINESS WIRE / Valdosta Daily Times / / Read Article

ManhattanLife Assurance Company of America announced today its acquisition of Western Skies MGU, expanding its presence into the self-funded medical stop loss market. Western Skies MGU is a national wholesaler and Program Manager of self-funded medical stop-loss health plans.

Stop-loss coverage is purchased by self-insured employers looking for coverage for catastrophic medical and pharmacy claims. Data available from S&P Global estimates the stop-loss market at $24 billion. In addition to providing its own Stop-loss reinsurance, ManhattanLife will continue wholesaling coverage through Western Skies MGU.

“The shift to self-insured health plans has been steadily growing over time and has been really pronounced since the inception of the Affordable Care Act,” said David W. Harris, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of ManhattanLife. “Bringing Western Skies experienced underwriting, sales and claims talent into the mix helps achieve our market expansion objectives.”

LeadingResponse Announces Strategic Partnership with American Financial Education Alliance (AFEA)
PRNewswire / / Read Article

LeadingResponse, the leader in consumer engagement for the financial, legal, and healthcare professions, announced today that it has entered into a long-term strategic collaboration with the American Financial Education Alliance (AFEA), one of the fastest growing nonprofit financial wellness programs in the United States.

The partnership has four elements:

(i) LeadingResponse will provide all AFEA Chapter Presidents and Instructors consumer marketing and promotion for their financial education workshops and webinars on an exclusive basis;
(ii) AFEA will support a new financial education program to be launched by LeadingResponse for its own financial services clients;
(iii) Matthew Kearney, CEO of LeadingResponse, will join the board of AFEA; and
(iv) Rick McClanahan, CEO of AFEA, will join the advisory board of LeadingResponse.


Photo Of The Day

Monday, 03/08/21 - - Health Insurance Hassles Aggravate Employees, Cost Employers Billions of Dollars

Tuesday, 03/09/21 - - Can we keep Medicare from being insolvent by 2024?

Wednesday, 03-10-21 - - Cyberattack cripples communications at Pan-American Life Insurance Group

Thursday, 03-04-21 - -  16 Employee Perks To Attract And Retain Top Virtual Talent

Friday, 03-05-21 - - Sign-ups for Biden's Obamacare special enrollment period nearly triple
The "Daily Insurance Report" is now subscribed to by 25,000 elite insurance industry influencers who receive it Monday - Friday and have a quick overview of what is appearing in the media regarding the insurance industry; with an emphasis on life, health, and employee benefits.
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.