Daily Insurance Report  
Walt Bernard Podgurski,  Editor,  440-773-1108, 
Walt@DailyInsuranceReport.com

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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.
  Tuesday, 05/14/19 - https://DailyInsuranceReport.com 

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Washington State to Offer Public Health Insurance Plans, Regardless of Income, by 2021
TOM JAMES / AP / time.com

Washington is set to become the first state to enter the private health insurance market with a universally available public option.

A set of tiered public plans will cover standard services and are expected to be up to 10% cheaper than comparable private insurance, thanks in part to savings from a cap on rates paid to providers. But unlike existing government-managed plans, Washington’s public plans are set to be available to all residents regardless of income by 2021.

The Legislature approved the plan last month, and Gov. Jay Inslee is scheduled to sign it into law Monday.

The move thrusts Washington into the national debate over the government’s role in health care, with a hybrid model that puts the state to the left of market-only approaches but stops short of a completely public system.

Instead, the state will dictate the terms of the public option plans but hire private insurance companies to administer them, saving the state from having to create a new bureaucracy — and guaranteeing a role for the insurance industry in managing the new public option.

Lawmakers in at least eight other states including Colorado and New Mexico have proposed their own public option measures. But so far none have passed legislation implementing a public option.



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House Democrats pass bill to roll back Trump guidance related to Obamacare
Tami Luhby / CNN

(CNN)The House passed a bill Thursday afternoon aimed at shoring up protections for those with pre-existing health conditions, part of Democrats' plans for protecting the Affordable Care Act under the Trump administration.

The legislation was approved 230 to 183, mostly along party lines with four Republican members joining Democrats. While it's not expected to be picked up by the Republican-controlled Senate, the vote gives Democrats another messaging tool in the politically divisive fight over health care.

The bill would nullify a Trump administration guidance that would allow states to ask for waivers to make major changes to their Obamacare markets.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services laid out in November four examples of what states could request -- opening the door for people to use subsidies to buy coverage outside the Obamacare exchanges. This would include short-term health insurance plans that can reject people with pre-existing conditions or charge them higher premiums. The Trump administration last year made these policies more attractive by extending their terms to just under a year, instead of three months.



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CDC: 1.1 million more Americans lost health insurance coverage in 2018
Ken Alltucker / USA TODAY

The number of Americans without health insurance increased again in 2018, the second consecutive year that figure has risen after several years of declines under Obamacare, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey shows.

About 30.4 million Americans did not have health insurance in 2018, up from 29.3 million in 2017, according to the CDC's National Health Interview Survey. That means about 1.1 million more Americans lost insurance coverage last year.



FREEDOM-LOVING AMERICANS SHOULD DEMAND UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE
If you love freedom and choice, then you should love universal healthcare and hate the American system…
AISLING MCCREA / CURRENT AFFAIRS

Every other developed country has had a universal healthcare system in place for a long time, in some cases for well over a century. All countries’ systems are different, and all have encountered problems in finding the balance between cost and quality, but they are all cheaper than the U.S. system, and all comparable countries have better across-the-board outcomes. Universal healthcare is also popular across the political spectrum. Ask the average right-leaning person in Europe if they want a U.S.-style healthcare system, and they will look at you as though you are mad.



Fintech company adds student loan repayment benefit
Taylor Nicole Rogers / ebn

More in Student loan debt Student loans Financial stress Voluntary benefits Employee engagement Employee retention
One of Nashville’s largest employers has joined the ranks of companies looking to help tackle their employees’ student debt.

Fintech company Advance Financial will now repay up to $12,000 of each employee’s debt over six years. Its program, through provider Gradifi, also includes options for employees to refinance or consolidate their student debt and receive counseling on how to eliminate the rest of their debt.



Designing better leave programs for working moms
Amanda Schiavo / Employee Benefit Adviser

The responsibilities placed on today’s workforce has created a need for employers to address the toll these demands can have on a worker’s mental health and overall wellbeing. While there have been strides made to improve employee mental health there is one group whose needs still aren’t being fully met — working mothers.

Experts agree that women raising a family can have different needs than other members of the workforce. But despite some shift of the responsibility of family life to both parents, mothers can often still feel they shoulder most of the responsibility.

One way employers can tackle this problem is by making changes to their leave programs. Employers and benefits professionals often think about the steps to take for an employee going on leave but not how to successfully integrate them back into the workplace.

With that in mind, employers can design a leave program that eases a woman — or any employee that has been gone a while — back into their jobs.



Arent Fox Reaches Settlement Over Life Insurance Investor’s Malpractice Suit
Jack Newsham / New York Law Journal

Arent Fox has reached a settlement with a former client who sued the firm and one of its lawyers for allegedly bungling a life insurance policy financing deal, court records in the legal malpractice case show.

Windsor Securities sought more than $6 million for what it said were failures by Arent Fox and its partner Julius Rousseau to ensure that it had the ability to seize life insurance policies that it had lent funds to purchase. The case appeared headed for trial after U.S. District Judge George Daniels of the Southern District of New York ruled in March that key facts remained in dispute.

The settlement could bring three years of litigation to a close. Windsor, which was engaged in the premium financing business, lent money to trusts so they could purchase policies on certain elderly people. If the covered person died, the proceeds could pay down the loan; if the trust defaulted on the loan, Windsor was supposed to be able to seize the policy as collateral.




  Archives

Monday, 05/13/19 - A lawsuit alleges that more than 100 generic drugs were included in a price-fixing scheme

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, 05/09/19 - Health Giant Anthem Hires Former Whirlpool Executive to Oversee Marketing Efforts

Friday, 05/10/19 - Blackstone aims to become insurance powerhouse - WSJ


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Walt Bernard Podgurski - - Editor
440-773-1108
Walt@DailyInsuranceReport.com