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

Monday, 05/11/20
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The "Daily Insurance Report" is now subscribed to by 25,000 elite insurance industry influencers who receive it Monday - Friday and have a quick overview of what is appearing in the media regarding the insurance industry; with an emphasis on life, health, and employee benefits. The "Daily Insurance Report" publishes the life insurance, health insurance, and employee benefits news that matters.

Will a Wave of Workplace Lawsuits Follow the Return to Work?
By Kevin LaCroix / The D&O Diary

As local coronavirus pandemic-related stay-at-home orders expire or are withdrawn over the coming weeks, employees will be returning to the workplace. According to a recent blog post, a “wave of workplace class actions” could follow in connection with the return to work.

In an April 26, 2020 blog post on the Workplace Class Action Blog entitled “The Coming Surge of Workplace Class Actions in the Wake of COVID-19” (here), Gerald Maatman and Jennifer Riley of the Seyfarth Shaw law firm predict a surge of workplace lawsuits “in several key areas such as discrimination and workplace bias, wage & hour, as well as on the health & safety front.” Continue ReadingWill a Wave of Workplace Lawsuits Follow the Return to Work?

UnitedHealth commits $1.5 billion for premium rebates and new cost-sharing waivers
Bertha Coombs / CNBC

UnitedHealth Group said it will provide $1.5 billion in premium rebates for fully insured members, and waive co-pays on doctor visits for Medicare Advantage members through September.

Members will receive a 5% to 20% premium credit on their June billing statements. As of March 31, United’s fully insured enrollment was just over 8.2 million members.

Health insurers have seen an overall drop in medical costs due to Covid-19, which could result in record premium rebates for 2020, under the Affordable Care Act.

1.4 million healthcare jobs lost in April
Kelly Gooch - Friday, May 8th, 2020 Print | Email

Healthcare lost 1.4 million jobs in April amid the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily in ambulatory healthcare services, according to the latest jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The April count compares to 43,000 healthcare jobs lost in March.

Within ambulatory healthcare services, April job losses included offices of dentists (503,300), offices of physicians (243,300), and offices of other healthcare practitioners (205,100).

Hospitals lost 134,900 jobs last month, compared to the 200 positions they added to the U.S. economy in March.

Wake Up Call For Group Medical

Health Benefit Resources, Inc. - George V. Duczak, President

The national coronavirus crisis underscores the need for dramatic rethinking of the purpose and sustainability of employer-sponsored health coverage. A forecast for significant renewal increases will not be managed by the solutions of the past.

Rather than force employees to navigate high deductibles, pre-approval requirements and complicated networks, Employers need to focus on delivering primary care in a manner that is convenient and affordable! Primary care (not complicated cost-shifting tactics) are the key to controlling the long-term cost curve

There Is A Better Way – Employer-Sponsored Direct Primary Care Coupled With Smarter Major Medical Purchasing

A Look at 401(k) Participant Behavior During the COVID-19 Pandemic

While only 5.6% of plan participants changed their portfolio allocations during the first quarter, new research finds that there is significant variation based on how those participants were invested.

Of participants who were self-directing their portfolios, nearly 11% changed their allocations during the first quarter of 2020, versus just 2.4% of participants using a target-date fund (1.8% of opt-in managed accounts users and 1.3% of default managed accounts users), according to Morningstar’s “Keep Your Distance: 401(k) Participant Investment Behaviors (So Far) During the COVID-19 Crisis.” (https://www.morningstar.com/lp/keep-your-distance)

“The recent market volatility, and its subsequent impact on balances, has left many investors wondering what they should be doing with their portfolios. For most people, the likely answer is, ‘Not too much,’” writes David Blanchett, head of retirement research at Morningstar. For participants in a risk-appropriate, well-diversified portfolio, he notes that the best approach is “probably to hang tight,” but adds that many participants still choose to go their own path and build their own portfolios.

With that backdrop, the paper explores the allocation decisions of 401(k) participants during the first quarter, looking at potential allocation changes for 635,116 participants and the enrollment decisions of 15,985 participants.

Tech experts: Widespread adoption of telemedicine, remote monitoring 'here to stay'
by Heather Landi / FierceHelthcare

Health systems across the country rapidly stood up virtual care programs to monitor COVID-19 patients from home and it proved to be a crucial tool during the pandemic.

As the country begins to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, these virtual tools, including telehealth, remote monitoring technologies, and wearables, will become a way of life for patients and will likely replace some in-person care, health technology experts say.

"I think we have hit a turning point. Here at Stanford Medicine, we used to see 1,000 patients a week with telehealth and now we're seeing 3,000 a day," said Michael Snyder, professor and chair of genetics at Stanford School of Medicine during a webinar hosted by FierceHealthcare.

While the current health crisis has boosted the need for virtual care as most states have stay-at-home orders, it's also been a proving ground for remote care as part of the healthcare system.

Trump vows complete end of Obamacare law despite coronavirus pandemic
by Devlin Barrett / Washington Post / Philadelphia Inquirer

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he will continue trying to toss out all of the Affordable Care Act, even as some in his administration, including Attorney General William Barr, have privately argued that parts of the law should be preserved amid a pandemic.

"We want to terminate health care under Obamacare," Trump told reporters Wednesday, the last day for his administration to change its position in a Supreme Court case challenging the law. "Obamacare, we run it really well. . . . But running it great, it's still lousy health care."

While the president has said he will preserve some of the Affordable Care Act's most popular provisions, including guaranteed coverage for preexisting medical conditions, he has not offered a plan to do so, and his administration's legal position seeks to end all parts of the law, including those provisions.

Democrats, who view the fight over Obamacare as a winning election issue for them, denounced the president's decision.

Trump’s indefensible refusal to defend Obamacare
By Neal Katyal / Washington Post

President Trump’s decision to argue that the Supreme Court should scrap the Affordable Care Act in its entirety is not just terrible policy in the midst of a pandemic — it is legally indefensible and a gross violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws are faithfully executed.

On Wednesday, apparently overriding the concerns of Attorney General William P. Barr, the administration said it will argue that the entire law must fall because one small piece of it is unconstitutional — in legal language, that the problematic part of the law cannot be severed from the rest of it.

Everything about this position is legally wrong. Twice before, the Justice Department has defended the Affordable Care Act against legal attack. Both times, the Supreme Court upheld the act. In the latest challenge to the law, a case involving a challenge brought by Texas and other Republican-led states, the argument is even weaker.

The administration’s claim in the case, which is to be argued this fall, is this: Congress in 2017 modified the Affordable Care Act by eliminating the required payment from those who do not purchase health insurance, the so-called individual mandate. Because the penalty is no longer in place, the administration contends, the justification for the individual mandate — that it is a valid exercise of Congress’s taxing power — has been eroded.

Even if that were correct — it isn’t — it is ludicrous to claim that this supposed defect somehow dooms the entirety of the law. When courts find problems in particular provisions of a law, they leave the rest of the law in place unless it is evident that Congress would not have proceeded without the invalid portions.


Monday - 05/04/20 - - University of Michigan is planning to offer Tuition Insurance for Ann Arbor students beginning fall semester, 2020

Tuesday - 05/05/20 - - Salesforce releases a set of new tools to help businesses and public agencies reopen safely

Wednesday - 05/06/20 - -  First Dollar raises $5 million for a consumer-friendly healthcare savings accountts eligibility requirements

Thursday - 05/07-20 - Britain’s Billion Dollar Babylon Health App Set To Launch For ‘Millions’ Of New Yorkers

Friday - 05-08-20 - - The Future of Voluntary Benefits

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.
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Walt Bernard Podgurski - - Editor