Daily Insurance Report
Monday 05/03/21 Walt Podgurski 440-773-1108 E-Mail
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CONNECT for Health Act reintroduced, would expand telehealth access
The legislation, sponsored by 50 senators, would permanently remove geographic restrictions on telehealth sites and expand originating sites, among other provisions.
Kat Jercich / Healthcare IT News / / Read Article

A bipartisan group comprising half of U.S. senators has reintroduced the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act of 2021.

The act would expand coverage of Medicare telehealth services and make some COVID-19 telehealth flexibilities permanent, among other provisions.

Questions about the future of telehealth regulations have endured ever since the federal government opted to relax some of them during the COVID-19 pandemic.




Tom Finn, Co-founder and CEO of LeggUP®, a professional coaching and employee wellbeing platform created for enterprises of all sizes, possesses a wealth of experience in employee benefits, insurance market trends, business development and revenue strategies, central to the company’s unique positioning as the first professional development platform packaged as an employee benefit.

Driven by Tom’s vision of making career development and mental wellbeing programs easy and scalable, LeggUP seamlessly integrates world-class coaches and therapists, proprietary science-backed assessments, and ROI dashboards into one easy-to-use platform. Tom is the thought leader/brain trust behind Talent Insurance™ providing professional coaching for a fraction of the price to small group employers across the US.

Since launching in late 2017, LeggUP has helped organizations unlock employee potential and supported the expanded role of HR leaders turning their attention back towards people and culture development.

Register for this online event to see how Talent InsuranceTM can help your employer clients unlock their employee potential.

Thursday, May 6th, 2021, 2:00 p.m. EDT



White House proposes $1.8 trillion package that would dramatically expand education, safety net programs
Washington Post /  / / Read Article

They specifically aim to lower the eligibility age for Medicare to either 55 or 60, expand the range of health services the entitlement covers and grant the government new powers to negotiate prescription drug prices. Party lawmakers say their approach could offer new, improved or cheaper coverage to millions of older Americans nationwide.



Senate bill would allow 401(k) match for student loan payments
The proposal would enable Americans to build retirement savings while repaying their student debt even if they can't afford to make their own contributions to a 401(k) plan.
By Bloomberg News / InvestmentNews  / / Read Article

Student loan payments would be entitled to earn “matching” 401k retirement contributions from employers under a bill introduced Thursday by Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden.

The proposal would allow Americans to build retirement savings while repaying their student debt even if they cannot afford to make their own contributions to a 401(k) plan. Employers could offer the benefit voluntarily, and it would only apply to higher-education expenses.





Democrats seek to push Medicare expansion as part of Biden’s $1.8 trillion families plan, defying White House
Tony Romm and Seung Min Kim / Washington Post / / Read Article

Congressional Democrats are planning to pursue a massive expansion of Medicare as part of President Biden’s new $1.8 trillion economic relief package, defying the White House after it opted against including a major health overhaul as part of its plan.

The early pledges from some party lawmakers, led by prominent members of its liberal wing, threaten to create even more political tension around a package that is already facing no shortage of it. The expansion push comes as Biden on Wednesday stressed in his first address to Congress that he is still committed to making health care more affordable.

White House proposes $1.8 trillion package that would dramatically expand education, safety net programs

They specifically aim to lower the eligibility age for Medicare to either 55 or 60, expand the range of health services the entitlement covers and grant the government new powers to negotiate prescription drug prices. Party lawmakers say their approach could offer new, improved or cheaper coverage to millions of older Americans nationwide.



VERIFY: Yes, the Blue Cross Blue Shield settlement is real
Jay Wallis / WFAA / / Read Article

This settlement stemmed from an Alabama class-action antitrust lawsuit titled In re: Blue Cross Blue Shield Antitrust Litigation MDL 2406.

Blue Cross reached the settlement on Oct. 16, 2020 with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (“BCBSA”) and Settling Individual Blue Plans.

In the class-action suit, plaintiffs alleged that Blue Cross “violated antitrust laws by entering into an agreement not to compete with each other and to limit competition among themselves in selling health insurance and administrative services for health insurance.” The plaintiffs argued that Blue Cross was able to charge higher rates for plans through the practice of limiting competition.

Blue Cross denied the allegations saying the insurance provider’s practices reduced healthcare costs and gave customers more access to care.

If given final approval, the settlement will create a $2.67 billion settlement funds and would become one of the largest health care settlements in U.S. history.

According to the terms of the settlement, about $1.9 billion will go to eligible subscribers who file claims. The remaining $700 million will go to the case’s attorneys.



COVID-19–Related Lost Work Time Could Cost Employers Upwards of $50 Billion
Matthew Gavidia / AJMC  / / Read Article
IBI had performed a similar analysis this time last year in which researchers projected a $23 billion cost burden for employers based on a high-range scenario of 15 million COVID-19 cases. With resulting cases achieving levels more than double than that figure, projected cost markedly rose by 117%–amounting to $50.5 billion in estimated absent employee benefit spending for employers due to the pandemic.

Several factors contributed to the total cost burden:

$10.7 billion in disability wage payments
$1.6 billion in state disability insurance (specific to California and New York)
$15.5 billion in sick leave wages
$22.7 billion in employee benefits



ACS Benefit Services Introduces National Green Imaging Program
 / / Read Article

Winston-Salem, NC – ACS Benefit Services has announced a new partnership with Green Imaging, a national, full-service virtual medical imaging network that is owned and operated by a group of board-certified radiologists.
This innovative direct imaging service makes diagnostic testing easy and affordable by giving members convenient, centralized access to over 1,400 free-standing, high-value imaging centers across the country that provide high-quality
care at a pre-determined low cost. Additionally, the cash-pay price provided is the final price paid. There are no hidden fees and no extra charge for the radiologist fee.

“We at Green Imaging are excited to partner with ACS, a company that shares our core values and passion for innovating to provide excellent medical care at a more affordable price,” said Cristin Dickerson, MD, founder of Green Imaging.

“ACS uses big data to identify high-performing providers, and I’m honored to collaborate with Green Imaging in offering state-of-the-art solutions and making an impact where it matters most – in the lives of our members,” said ACS CEO Kari L. Niblack, Esq. “Driving change and customer satisfaction across the country is the ACS difference.”


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

Tuesday, 04/27/21 - -
As U.S. capital gains tax hike looms, wealthy look for ways to soften the blow

Wednesday, 04-28-21 - -
House Democrats push Biden to lower Medicare eligibility age

Thursday, 04-29-21 - -  Wheels begin turning in $2.7B Blue Cross Blue Shield antitrust settlement process

Friday, 04-30-21 - - Fact Sheet: The American Families Plan
 
 
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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.