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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, 05/09/19 - https://DailyInsuranceReport.com 

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The "Daily Insurance Report" publishes the life insurance, health insurance, and employee benefits news that matters.

Health Giant Anthem Hires Former Whirlpool Executive to Oversee Marketing Efforts
Bill Beck was an Adweek Brand Genius in 2017
Patrick Coffee

Anthem Health, the nation’s second-largest insurance provider by both membership and revenue, has a new chief marketing officer.

A company spokesperson confirmed on Monday night that the Indianapolis, Indiana-based company recently hired Bill Beck to fill the position. She declined to comment or make Mr. Beck available for interview.

The marketing chief succeeds Patrick Blair, a former Deloitte executive who joined Anthem in 2013 and held the roles of chief marketing and consumer officer and svp, commercial business segments and enterprise CMO. Blair clarified that he had previously overseen both marketing and “a number of our commercial business segments” but would now focus on the latter with Beck on board.

The new appointment marks an unconventional transition, as Beck was formerly vp and general manager of the North American Kitchen business and vp of brand marketing at Whirlpool. While there, his surprising moves into VR and work on the Care Counts child charity campaign earned him a spot on Adweek’s 2017 Brand Genius roster.

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Bernie Sanders spooks health-care stocks as Trump teaches investors to expect the unexpected
Berkeley Lovelace Jr. / CNBC

Wall Street sees the chances of the U.S. shifting to a government-run health-care system as incredibly slim.
Investors are still spooked.
Investors have been blindsided by other events once thought improbable, such as Trump’s election and Britain’s split from the EU.

Wall Street sees the chances of the U.S. shifting to a government-run health-care system as incredibly slim. But unpredictable politics over the last three years has investors worried and punishing health-care stocks all the same.

Health care is the worst-performing sector in the S&P 500 this year as Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and other Democratic presidential hopefuls push “Medicare for All,” a plan to replace private health insurance with public coverage, as part of their 2020 campaigns.

While it’s a long shot, President Donald Trump’s unexpected election and the U.K.’s surprise support for Brexit in 2016 make investors worry that Sanders could actually win and some sort of universal health-care plan could pass, say market analysts, including Ross Munken at Evercore ISI.


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Employee benefits that help attract and retain top talent
Jodie Darlington / CEO Magazine

While perks like these definitely appeal to many people, large companies are going one step further by providing their employees with some seriously amazing incentives. Here are some of the most impressive employee benefits being offered:

A matter of time
A recently released MetLife study, which surveyed 2,600 full-time workers in the US, found the most desired benefit is unlimited annual leave. According to the survey, 72% of respondents would prefer unlimited paid time off over any other benefit.

A fare go
If there’s one employee benefit that’s on par with unlimited annual leave, it would have to be a paid holiday.

Bringing up baby
An increasing number of large companies are making life easier for new parents by offering extended paid parental leave as an employee benefit.

Striking a balance
According to a 2015 global EY study, one-third of full-time workers report that managing their work–life balance has become more difficult. Meanwhile, the 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey found having a good work–life balance was more important to millennials than career progression.

Fit for duty
In a 2017 study, researchers at the University of California, Riverside, UCLA and Washington University found participation in a basic wellness program increased worker productivity by at least 5% – equivalent to a day’s worth of work a month – and in some cases by as much as 11%.

Life after death
It’s no secret that Google employees are entitled to a huge list of perks, but one of the most generous employee benefits comes after they die. If a Googler passes away while employed by the tech giant, their spouse or partner will receive 50% of their salary every year for the next decade.

Should companies begin offering student-loan help to employees?
Tom Dennis / Prairie Business Magazine

Editor's note: Prairie Business asked several HR representatives in our region this question: "Your organization offers student-loan assistance to employees. What would you say to an organization that asks, 'Should we begin offering those benefits?'"

Here are their answers.

Yes! Student loan debt is one of the most difficult financial issues facing new grads. Rising costs of tuition/education can make it hard for new grads to get a start in life – whether it be buying their first home, purchasing a new vehicle or affording other key items or investments.

Many of those spending decisions have to wait until the debt is paid down. So, helping employees with this debt is not only an excellent benefit, it’s an excellent recruitment tool.

When an employee can see this benefit in terms of a per-hour breakdown, it makes their standard hourly rate look that much more attractive.

And when employees know that their employer is helping them get ahead in life, it makes those employees appreciate their employer that much more.

10 Important Ages For Retirement Planning
Keep these ages in mind to boost your retirement benefits and avoid penalties.
Emily Brandon / U.S. News & World Report

EACH TYPE OF RETIREMENT benefit has a different eligibility age. Your age plays a big role in how much you can expect to receive from Social Security and what you need to do to avoid retirement account penalties. Remember to factor these important ages into your retirement plan.

Age 49 and Under
Workers who begin to save for retirement early in their career are best able to take advantage of compounding investment returns.
Age 50
Beginning at age 50 you can ramp up your retirement account contributions.
Age 55
If you leave your job in the year you turn age 55 or older, you can take penalty-free 401(k) withdrawals from the account associated with your most recent job.
Age 59 1/2
The 10 percent early withdrawal penalty on IRA withdrawals ends at age 59 1/2.
Age 62
You can begin collecting your Social Security payments at age 62. However, your monthly payments will be reduced if you begin payments at this age.
Age 65
Medicare eligibility begins at age 65.
Age 66
Baby boomers born between 1943 and 1954 qualify for their full Social Security benefit at age 66.
Age 67
The Social Security full retirement age is 67 for workers born in 1960 or later. Millennials and younger generations need to wait until age 67 to qualify for their full Social Security benefit.
Age 70
You can boost your Social Security payments if you delay claiming your benefit between your full retirement age and age 70. Social Security payments increase by 8 percent for each year you wait to start your payments.
Age 70 1/2
People age 70 1/2 and older are no longer eligible to get a tax deduction for contributing to a traditional IRA.

Brightway Insurance expands into new markets in five states through Independent Agent program
PR Newswire / Yahoo Finance

More consumers now have the opportunity to enjoy a better way to shop for insurance as eight people are on the path to the American dream of business ownership through the Independent Agent program.

"In January, we announced the Independent Agent program and are pleased to welcome our newest group of Independent Agents to Brightway," said Brightway President, Talman Howard. "The program gives experienced Agents the opportunity to begin selling in the Brightway system while qualifying for franchise ownership and no up-front costs or risks."

rightway Independent Agents enjoy the same after-the-sale service as franchise owners as they qualify for a fully financed, lower-cost entry fee into the company's new franchise model in which a Brightway location can operate out of a professional office space.

Brightway got its start in 2008 and has since grown to more than 800 people in 182 offices across 21 states serving customers in all 50 states.
Brightway Insurance is a national property/casualty insurance distribution company with more than $584 million in annualized written premium, making it one of the largest Personal Lines agencies in the U.S.

United States Attorney Announces $17 Million Healthcare Fraud Settlement
U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of West Virginia, Department of Justice

United States Attorney Mike Stuart, along with Special Agent in Charge Maureen R. Dixon, United States Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Acting Assistant Special Agent in Charge Justin Schoeman, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Cabinet Secretary Bill J. Crouch, West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, and Director Mike Malone, West Virginia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU), announced that his office has settled healthcare fraud claims against Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. (“Acadia”). Pursuant to the settlement agreement, Acadia will pay $17 million to resolve allegations of a billing scheme that defrauded Medicaid of $8.5 million. The settlement represents the largest healthcare fraud settlement in the history of West Virginia and is twice the actual loss from the scheme. Of the $17 million settlement, nearly $2.2 million will be paid directly to the State of West Virginia.

This is a strong message and a massive penalty. The message is clear – if you are cheating the system and we find you, you’ll not only pay for the damage done but far more. This is a message of deterrence to other would-be fraudsters.”


Monday, 05/06/19 - Two Men Charged in Insurance Investment Fraud Scheme that Caused Hundreds of Millions in Victim Losses

Tuesday, 05/07/19 - Health insurance deductibles soar, leaving Americans with unaffordable bills

Wednesday, 05/08/19 - Medicare-for-all’ sponsor says plan would gut 1 million private insurance jobs

Thursday, 05/02/19 - Does It Makes Sense to Buy Hybrid Long-Term Care Insurance?

Friday, 05/3/19 - Trump Administration Files Formal Request to Strike Down All of Obamacare

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Walt Bernard Podgurski - - Editor