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Walt Bernard Podgurski,  Editor,  440-773-1108, 

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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.
  Thursday, 04/11/19 - https://DailyInsuranceReport.com 

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Health-Care CEOs Made an Infuriating Amount of Money Last Year
The average CEO makes $18 million annually while one out of every five Americans is struggling with medical debt.

Last year, 62 CEOs of health-care companies made a combined total of $1.1 billion in compensation. That's according to a new report out from Axios, which coincidentally notes that CEO compensation eclipses what the Centers for Disease Control spent on chronic disease prevention by $157 million. That comparison might make the executive compensation seem galling, but a look at the bigger picture...doesn't make it better.

In 2018, each of those executives made an average of nearly $18 million, before taxes at least. Meanwhile, Americans are borrowing as much as $88 billion annually to pay for medical expenses, which goes a long way toward explaining why an estimated one out of every five Americans is reportedly struggling with either medical bills or debt. One study found that millennials alone made up the largest chunk of people in the U.S. with medical debt, and those numbers are likely to get even worse if the current lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act is upheld in the Supreme Court.

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Bernie Sanders on the role of insurance companies under "Medicare for All"

Bernie Sanders is leading the polls in the packed field of 2020 Democratic candidates and while it's more likely to see him out on the campaign trail these days, he's back in the halls of Congress Wednesday to unveil an updated version of one of his signature proposals, "Medicare for All."

Once dismissed as too radical by many Democrats, it's now central to how the party talks about health care and has become a common refrain of the Democratic presidential campaign. Four of his opponents in the race for president are co-sponsoring his universal health care plan in the Senate. But what is Medicare for All?

Sanders said Medicare for All would "get rid of insurance companies and drug companies making billions of dollars in profit every single year."

"And what if I have a private or employer-based insurance program right now and I like it?" O'Keefe asked.

"Well, you may be one of the millions of people who leaves your job this year, and you're going to leave your private insurance. You may be one of the many millions of people who finds that their employer has gone out and got another insurance company to cover you. You're going to have to change that, but essentially, under Medicare for All, all people will be covered by Medicare," Sanders said.

It's unclear what role insurance companies would play after a Medicare for All plan is implemented but, according to Sanders, their role would be dramatically reduced.

"Under Medicare for All, we cover all basic health care needs, so they're not going to be there to do that. I suppose if you want to make yourself look a bit more beautiful, you want to work on that nose, your ears. They can do that," he said.

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Health care is one of Apple's most lucrative opportunities: Morgan Stanley
Christina Farr / CNBC

Apple's opportunity in health care is so large with the Apple Watch that the company should soon generate tens of billions of dollars a year in annual revenue from wearables and health services, according to a new report from Morgan Stanley.

It's a nascent space for Apple and hard to predict how much money the company will make from health services as it potentially dives deeper into monitoring features such as blood glucose and blood pressure, the investment bank wrote on Monday.

Morgan Stanley's estimate is that health for Apple will top $15 billion in sales by 2021, based on the popularity of the Apple Watch and its health features, like monitoring heart rate and steps. The very high end of Morgan Stanley's estimate range is $313 billion by 2027, which is a particularly lofty figure since Apple's total revenue last year was $266 billion.

Another Sign of the Health Care Crisis: Spending on Medical Expenses Spikes When Americans Get Their Tax Refunds

Americans are using their tax refunds more and more for one expense they can’t afford to hold off on: Health care.

According to new research from financial think tank JPMorgan Chase Institute, people spend an average of 20% more on health care in the months after getting their refund and a staggering 60% more in the first week alone.

Most of it, the reports show, went towards “deferred care” or in-person payments at a doctor’s office — which means that people were delaying going to the doctor until they had their tax refunds in their bank accounts.

“What we saw was an immediate impulse response to the receipt of the tax refund. The day that the tax refund is received is on average the highest cash balance day of the year for the average family [and] the highest out-of-pocket expenditures on health care occur on that day,” said Amar Hamoudi, JPMorgan Senior Consumer Research Lead. “It testifies to the importance that cash flow is playing in health care expenditures.”

More Than Half of Americans Want to Live to 100 but Worry about Affording Longer Lifespans
AIG survey finds 53 percent want to live to 100—yet 51 percent are uncertain their savings will last
Nearly six in 10 (59 percent) fear running out of money more than death
AIG Life & Retirement kicks off Plan for 100 to educate Americans to prepare for increased longevity

As more people are living into their 80s and 90s, more than one out of every two Americans has their sights set on even greater longevity. According to a survey1 released today by AIG Life & Retirement, a surprising 53 percent say their goal is to live to 100 years. Thirty-nine percent identify deeper family relationships as the main benefit of such a long life, 32 percent name seeing the world change and 17 percent want to remain productive.

“While no one can know if they will live to 100, they can plan for it. Our goal is to help educate Americans about the need to prepare for longer lives so they can achieve financial and retirement security.”

This optimism for aging—fueled in part by medical advances and healthier lifestyles—is tempered by the financial challenges individuals may face in a retirement that could stretch 40 years or more:

More than half (51 percent) of respondents are uncertain their current retirement savings plan would financially provide for a 100-year lifespan
Less than one in 10 (9 percent) are extremely confident they will have enough income throughout their retirement
Nearly six in 10 (59 percent) fear running out of money more than they fear death

“Living longer should be a cause for celebration, but for many, longevity can bring anxiety and financial uncertainty,” said Kevin Hogan, Chief Executive Officer, AIG Life & Retirement. “While no one can know if they will live to 100, they can plan for it. Our goal is to help educate Americans about the need to prepare for longer lives so they can achieve financial and retirement security.” https://www.planfor100.com/ 

Alexa, can you spell HIPAA? What Amazon’s health tech update means for employers
Caroline Hroncich / Employee Benefit Adviser

Amazon’s Alexa is now able to answer employees’ healthcare questions — a move that has the potential to lower the cost of care by improving employee education and compliance, experts say.

And that may only be the beginning. Top company executives and benefits experts say Alexa’s evolving capabilities could lead to more tailored benefit guidance for employees and even greater efficiencies for HSA and FSA accounts down the road.

Arthur J. Gallagher Expands in Canada With Keyser Benefits
Zacks Equity Research, Zacks.com

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. AJG has acquired Keyser Benefits Corp. that will not only improve its employee benefits consulting and brokerage operations, but also strengthen its Canadian footprint. However, financial details of the transaction have been kept under wraps.

Over the past 45 years, Calgary, Alberta-based Keyser Benefits has been operating as a full-service benefits brokerage firm, providing life, disability, health and dental, critical illness, retirement and other services. The company caters to small to mid-sized businesses and individuals throughout Western Canada.


Monday, 04/08/19 - Trump Is Being Vague About What He Wants to Replace Obamacare. But There Are Clues.

Tuesday, 04/09/19 - 'Medicare X': Bill to expand public health care introduced in Congress

Wednesday, 04/10/19 - How 60 of the nation’s biggest employers are uniting to fight the benefits status quo

Thursday, 04/04/19 -
Americans Borrowed $88 Billion to Pay for Health Care Last Year, Survey Finds

Friday, 04/05/19 - OneDigital Health and Benefits Acquires Northwestern Benefit in Biggest Acquisition in Company History

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Walt Bernard Podgurski - - Editor