Daily Insurance Report
Tuesday 04/27/21 Walt Podgurski 440-773-1108 E-Mail
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As U.S. capital gains tax hike looms, wealthy look for ways to soften the blow
By Elizabeth Dilts Marshall, Svea Herbst-Bayliss / Reuters / / Read Article

Wealth advisers are counseling clients to max out their retirement accounts, park gains in tax-deferred opportunity zone funds and even sell some assets to avoid being clobbered by a potential U.S. capital gains tax hike.

The White House will this week propose nearly doubling taxes on capital gains to 39.6% for people earning more than $1 million, Reuters and other media outlets reported, in what would be the highest tax rate on investment gains since the 1920s.

Any changes will be hard-fought in Congress, where Democrats hold a slim majority, and the final tax rate will likely be lower than the White House’s opening salvo. But if a deal can be reached, the new tax rate could come into effect this year.

Wealthy Americans have deluged their advisers and accountants with calls for advice on how to avoid being caught by the potential increase.



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AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT OF 2021 REQUIRES EMPLOYERS TO PAY EMPLOYEE COBRA PREMIUMS UNTIL SEPTEMBER 30, 2021
John E. Rich, Jr. / NEHRA News  / / Read Article

On April 7th, the United States Department of Labor issued detailed guidance and model notices to assist employers in implementing the COBRA premium assistance requirement under Section 9501 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the ARP).

The ARP requires employers to provide a 100 percent COBRA premium subsidy – between April 1, 2021 and Sept. 30, 2021 – for employees whose reduction in hours or involuntary termination of employment makes them eligible for COBRA continuation coverage during this period. An employer or plan to whom COBRA premiums are payable, advances the COBRA premium and is then entitled to a tax credit for the amount of the premium assistance provided.



Unemployed Americans struggle to get promised free health insurance in pandemic
Annie Nova / CNBC / / Read Article

Many jobless Americans are entitled to six months of free health insurance coverage through COBRA, or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act.

But CNBC has heard from around a dozen people who’ve tried and failed to access the relief.

The delays have left some in risky situations.



What You Need to Know About the Biden Paid Leave Tax Credit
HomeCare Magazine / / Read Article

On April 21, the Biden Administration announced, as part of its goal to get more Americans vaccinated, that it is calling on all employers to provide paid time off for employees to recover from any side effects of the vaccine. The administration also announced a tax credit to offset the costs of providing leave.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) advises that the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) allows small and midsize employers and certain governmental employers, to claim refundable tax credits that reimburse them for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave to their employees due to COVID-19, including leave taken by employees to receive or recover from COVID-19 vaccinations. The ARP tax credits are available to eligible employers that pay sick and family leave for leave from April 1, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2021.

Here are some basic facts from the IRS about the employers eligible for the tax credits and how these employers may claim the credit for leave paid to employees who take leave to receive or recover from COVID-19 vaccinations.



Biden Should Look Beyond Medicaid to Expand Long-Term Care
Howard Gleckman, Senior Contributor / Forbes / / Read Article

The Washington Post reports that business lobbyists are quietly trying to kill President Biden’s efforts to increase federal spending on Medicaid home and community-based (HCBS) long-term care services. The reason: The White House wants to fund the $400 billion increase—part of the president’s $2.2 trillion infrastructure spending program— by raising corporate taxes.



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Wells Terminates Three Brokers Over Past Insurance Sales
by Miriam Rozen / / Read Article

Wells Fargo Advisors has fired at least three brokers in California and Florida based on allegations of improper insurance sales practices that stretched as far back as 2011, according to Central Registration Depository records.

Wells Fargo filed the CRD termination records, known as U5s, over a week in January, and the wirehouse’s stated reason for the firings all center on sales credits that the brokers had wrongfully earned on insurance policies that were cancelled shortly after they were issued. The alleged violations took place between 2011 and 2015 while the brokers were working as personal bankers at Wells Fargo Bank before they shifted to become brokers at Wells Fargo Advisors, the company said.

A Wells Fargo spokeswoman declined to comment on the discharges, or address what sparked the investigations, which appear to reflect the ongoing clean-up almost five years after the company’s fake account scandal in 2016 and subsequent settlements.



Non-covered losses and steep rate increases: New report issues bleak outlook for provider insurance
Kimberly Marselas / McKnight's LONG-TERM CARE NEWS / / Read Article

The best positioned long-term and senior care providers can expect to see liability insurance rates climb by as much as 30% this year, while those with previous losses and poor venues will face even stiffer hikes, according to a marketplace update from Willis Towers Watson.

The international brokerage firm’s spring survey of insurers found rates and plan structures continue to be impacted by both the pandemic and an exodus by many insurers away from the long-term care marketplace.

“The coverage retrenchment trend continues — class action exclusions, punitive damages exclusions and reduction in sublimits are required by most carriers,” Willis Towers Watson reported in the senior living and long-term care segment of its Insurance Marketplace Realities update issued Wednesday. “Additionally, nearly all carriers are attaching COVID-19-related exclusions — typically referring to communicable diseases or pandemics.”



Insurtech: the driving force in M&A
Intelligent Insurer / / Read Article

Technology will become a key feature on the growth agenda in the coming year as re/insurers seek out insurtech providers that can deliver a competitive advantage. In turn, this will also drive M&A strategies and activities, say executives from Clyde & Co in a panel discussion.

Insurtech providers will increasingly take centre-stage in the way carriers consider acquisition, investment, and partnership—reshaping the insurance mergers and acquisitions (M&A) landscape in the process. As technology begins to drive a new dynamic in insurance growth, investment decisions could be based on far more than simply great product lines.



Form and Substance: Why the Form of a Transaction is so Critical to Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Strategy
JD Supra / / Read Article

Foley & Lardner LLPThe form of a corporate transaction sets the stage for the employee benefits and executive compensation (EBEC) strategy – in the scope of due diligence and purchase agreement negotiations and post-closing activity. The charts below provide a high-level analysis of some of the most critical EBEC issues that companies and their advisors should consider in corporate transactions.



A Connecticut nursing home operator who stole millions of dollars from his employee benefit plans is going to prison. His victims were left with unpaid medical bills and pension benefits.
By EDMUND H. MAHONY / HARTFORD COURANT  / / Read Article

The operator of a nursing home group based in Bridgeport and Waterbury was sentenced to two and one-half years in prison Tuesday for embezzling millions of dollars from his employee benefit plans, leaving employees without health coverage and retirees struggling with delays in pension pay outs.

Federal prosecutors said Chaim Stern, 72, of New York diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars to personal expenses. But they said Stern diverted far more to a faith-based charity he controlled in New York in an effort to maintain his position as a leader in his Hasidic community.

 
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Archives
 
Monday, 04/26/21 - - Accolade To Buy PlushCare For Up To $450 Mln In Cash And Stock

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.