Daily Insurance Report
Monday 04/26/21 Walt Podgurski 440-773-1108 E-Mail
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Accolade To Buy PlushCare For Up To $450 Mln In Cash And Stock
RTTNews / Nasdaq / / Read Article

Health benefits platform Accolade, Inc. (ACCD) today announced its decision to acquire PlushCare, virtual primary care and mental health treatment provider, in a cash-and-stock deal valued up to $450 million.

The acquisition is expected to help Accolade to provide primary care and mental health consultations to its members, the company said.

Steve Barnes, chief financial officer, Accolade, commented, "The addition of PlushCare will expand our addressable market nearly five-fold to more than $200 billion and create new opportunities for long term revenue growth. We plan to invest in integration between our companies to maximize the value of our combined offerings, extend PlushCare's offerings into Accolade's traditional enterprise customer base, and continue to grow PlushCare's core consumer membership."

Biden’s federal paid leave plan, explained in 600 words
By German Lopez / / Read Article

Among the many problems made even more acute by the Covid-19 pandemic is how difficult it can be to take time off work — even if you or a family member is sick with a deadly disease.

Federal law currently offers only unpaid family or medical leave, making the US the only developed nation to not provide any paid leave. Based on federal statistics, only 21 percent of US workers have access to paid family leave and 40 percent have access to paid medical leave.

This is part of the gap in “care infrastructure” that experts and activists argue the pandemic has revealed: Between taking care of kids with schools closed and working from home, more Americans have found that it’s not easy to juggle the responsibilities of a career, family, and personal health, especially for people working low-wage jobs with less generous benefits.

Those are the questions driving the next part of Biden’s “Build Back Better” proposals, which will reportedly be called the American Families Plan. The details are still in flux, but as it stands the proposal will include more than $200 billion over 10 years for government-subsidized paid family and medical leave nationwide. It will also include other parts of the care economy, such as child care and preschool education.

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17 senators ask Biden to push for Medicare expansion
By DAVID COHEN / POLITICO / / Read Article

A group of 17 senators sent a letter Sunday to President Joe Biden urging him to attempt to expand Medicare as part of his American Families Plan.

“We write to ask that, as part of the American Families Plan, you propose reducing the Medicare eligibility age, expanding Medicare benefits to include hearing, dental, and vision care, implementing a cap on out-of-pocket expenses under traditional Medicare, and negotiating lower drug prices,” the senators said.

How can public health compete with marketing of unhealthy products?

The most recent chapter in the ongoing quest to rein in the high cost of health care is happening right here in Colorado. Currently, the Colorado State Legislature continues to debate the “public option” which, per latest changes, would give private insurance companies three years to markedly reduce health-care costs or face a requirement to offer a public option.

The United States underfunds its public health efforts. Period. This leads to a burden of chronic disease that outpaces all other developed countries. And then, after we’ve allowed these epidemics of chronic disease, we care for these ailments with the most expensive equipment and medications in the most expensive buildings in our cities and towns.

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MIB to Provide Life Insurance Industry with Access to More than 54 Million Patient Records from Cerner
PRNewswire / / Read Article / / Read Article

MIB, the life insurance industry's most trusted and secure partner for data-driven risk management and digital services, and Cerner Corporation, a global healthcare technology company, announced an agreement to establish MIB as the exclusive collaborator to provide access to digital patient data from Cerner within the life insurance industry. Through the agreement, MIB will facilitate access to 54 million patient medical records from Cerner, as well as 5,400 distinct patient portals, with appropriate client consent.

The agreement provides MIB clients with broader access to patient records in a streamlined, cost-efficient, and organized manner. MIB's clients will gain access to medical records through Cerner's cloud-based technology and patient portals*, which will be offered alongside MIB's other EHR and HIE relationships and available through a single, consolidated and easy-to-use interface. With the addition of Cerner, MIB will be the only third-party provider in the life insurance market offering access to all of the top three EHR systems in the U.S.**

Behind Betterment’s partnership with Zenefits to give SMBs access to retirement planning

Behind Betterment’s partnership with Zenefits to give SMBs access to retirement planning
Last month Betterment’s retirement planning service Betterment 401(k) launched its partnership with HR and payroll firm Zenefits. Under the collaboration, Zenefit’s SMB customers have been given access to Betterment’s retirement plan in addition to a number of employee financial wellness products.

The offering is available through Zenefit’s marketplace. Betterment will provide Zenefits customers with personalized financial advice, managed accounts and goals-based investing portfolios including socially responsible options.

“Small businesses and startups make up the backbone of America, and have been faced with countless challenges during the ongoing pandemic,” said Kristen Carlisle, general manager of Betterment 401(k). “We firmly believe that supporting the financial well-being of their employees is vital to help them continue to grow and flourish, and want to make great benefits packages attainable and affordable for everyone.”

Payers, providers clash over telehealth reimbursement as Congress mulls changes
Top & Viral / / Read Article

As members of Congress determine the way to broaden entry to telehealth after the pandemic, one of many greatest questions has centered round how a lot Medicare suppliers ought to be paid for digital care.

Whereas the charges Medicare pays for telehealth and in-person providers are at the moment the identical, that association—together with a number of different CMS telehealth waivers—expires on the finish of the general public well being emergency absent Congressional motion.

Now suppliers are pressuring Congress and CMS to maintain cost parity—or one thing near it—after the pandemic ends, however some authorities officers and insurers fear the fee-for-service construction of the normal Medicare program will incentivize overutilization of telehealth visits. Payers view altering Medicare’s cost mannequin round telehealth as a possibility to push value-based care ahead within the healthcare trade, which they are saying will lead to decrease total healthcare prices and higher well being outcomes.

BenefitMall Launches Integration with Horizon Health Services Inc., New Jersey's largest health insurance provider
PRNewswire / / Read Article

BenefitMall, the leading provider of next-generation broker services, today announced the launch of a partnership with Horizon Health Services Inc. (Horizon), New Jersey's largest health insurance provider to integrate Horizon submissions through its Online Enrollment platform. BenefitMall has completed the first integration in New Jersey.

Through this Horizon integration, group applications, employee elections and documents can now be directly submitted online, which allows brokers to enroll businesses to the carrier in a more efficient manner.

"We are thrilled to introduce to our clients the integration of Horizon with our Online Enrollment platform," said Michelle Sheffield, CIO of BenefitMall. "Streamlining processes, reducing paperwork, and eliminating steps between our brokers and carriers is what we strive for every day. With more integrations like this one with Horizon, we can help our clients to better serve their customers and, ultimately, their workforces."

Insurify Partners with Toyota Insurance Management Solutions to Revolutionize Insurance Shopping for Toyota Consumers
BUSINESS WIRE / Herald Chronicle / / Read Article

Insurify, a leading AI-powered insurance comparison website, is partnering with Toyota Insurance Management Solutions (TIMS) to power its insurance platform with Insurify’s industry-leading online insurance shopping technology. This partnership will provide Toyota customers with a seamless way to compare and buy car insurance policies online, helping drivers get the best policy for the best price using Insurify’s data-driven recommendations and personalized purchase experience. Insurify’s white label TIMS product marks its first step into embedded insurance, an area the fast-growing company plans to firmly establish itself in—bringing its exceptional understanding of customer shopping behavior and award-winning interface to even more customers.
Photo Of The Day

Monday, 04/19/21 - - Report to Congress - Annual Report on Self-Insured Group Health Plans

Tuesday, 04/20/21 - -
Reimagining the Future Of Insuretech In 2021

Wednesday, 04-21-21 - - Humana Health Plan Overcharged Medicare by Nearly $200 Million, Federal Audit Finds - KHN / NPR

Thursday, 04-22-21 - -  Google launches new certification for U.S. health insurance advertisers

Friday, 04-23-21 - - Sen. Baldwin supports plan to allow ages 50-64 to ‘buy into’ Medicare

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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.