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

Thursday, 05/14/20 https://DailyInsuranceReport.com  

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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.

Doctors are turning to GoFundMe to stay afloat during the pandemic
Small primary care practices now depend on crowdfunding and government loans to avoid bankruptcy. Their instability signals another healthcare crisis waiting in the wings.

That COVID-19 is putting small medical practices, which are more financially vulnerable than consolidated practices and those at big hospitals, in such a precarious position doesn’t bode well for the future of healthcare in the United States. “I think the use of GoFundMe to pay for medical care is obscene and signifies how deeply broken our medical system is,” said Stephanie Woolhandler, a distinguished professor in public health and health policy at City University of New York, Hunter College. “It’s broken if patients have to use it, and it’s broken if doctors have to use it.”

Many more small practices are struggling behind the scenes. And these small practices—already on the ropes thanks to economic pressures that predate the pandemic—play a key role in our healthcare system. They are often in the neighborhoods that they serve, which means they are easier to access on a day-to-day basis. They typically provide primary care—they are the first doctors we see when we are sick and the doctors who monitor us on a regular basis to make sure we stay healthy. Small practices also provide a level of personal interaction that so often feels missing in modern medicine—and in modern life in general.

A Dangerous Intersection: Health Savings Accounts and Health FSAs
William G. (Bill) Stuart / LinkedIn Pulse

It's not unusual that spouses have different anniversary dates for their employee benefits. Usually that's not an issue. But spouses must know the rules and communicate when one is funding a Health Savings Account.

July 1 is the second most popular anniversary date for employee benefits, surpassed by only Jan. 1. Thus, statistically, it's most likely that for most couples with different anniversary dates, July 1 is an opportunity for one spouse to elect new benefits.

If one of you is making or receiving contributions to a Health Savings Account, beware. Actions by one spouse may be disqualifying for the other.

The Eligibility Issue

The most common situation is when the other spouse's employer offers a general Health FSA - the account that provides first-dollar reimbursement for medical, dental, and vision services, plus over-the-counter drugs, medicine, equipment, and supplies. These plans have been popular with employees for decades because they reduce taxable income, allow participants to spend their entire elections immediately, are available to all benefits-eligible employees (even those who waive the company medical coverage), and don't require enrollment in a specific medical plan.

CEO of Berkshire-Amazon-JPMorgan's Haven steps down
By: Liz Kiesche, SA News Editor / SEEKING ALPHA

Haven — the health care organization formed by Amazon (AMZN -0.1%), Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B -1.7%), JPMorgan Chase (JPM -3.2%) — confirms it is looking for a new CEO, following reports from May 9.

Atul Gawande is stepping down as CEO and will serve as chairman of Haven's board.

He made the move to devote more time "to policy and activities addressing the immediate and long-term threats to health and health systems from COVID-19," he said in a statement.

In the interim, Chief Operating Officer Mitch Betses will manage Haven's day-to-day operations.

Plaintiff in failed 401(k) suit files new case against ADP
McCaffree Financial, which unsuccessfully sued Principal Life, recently brought an unrelated case against ADP
By Emile Hallez / InvestmentNews

ADP is facing a class action lawsuit over its TotalSource MEP, brought by a plaintiff with a recent history of 401(k) litigation.

Overland Park, Kan.-based McCaffree Financial Corp. alleges the fees on the multiple-employer plan were several times higher than those on other, similarly sized plans.

The new case, filed May 4 in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, centers on the ADP TotalSource Retirement Savings Plan, which ADP maintains and of which it is the lead sponsor. That MEP represented more than $4.4 billion in assets among about 114,000 participants as of the end of 2018, according to the lawsuit. Also named as a defendant is the plan’s investment adviser, NFP Retirement.

Between 2014 and 2019, the ADP TotalSource Retirement Savings Plan had total plan costs ranging from 65 basis points to 78 bps, not including the fees of the five largest collective investment trusts on the plan menu, according to the lawsuit. By comparison, the average total cost of a plan of more than $1 billion as of 2016 was 28 bps, according to BrightScope and Investment Company Institute data cited in the claim.

“This difference resulted in a [total plan cost] that was over 300% higher than the ADP defendants should have reasonably accepted or negotiated for under any circumstances and caused the plan to incur annual overpayments of fees of at least $16.4 million to $22.2 million,” the plaintiffs wrote in the complaint.

UnitedHealthcare adds new state to ACA exchange footprint

Dive Brief:

UnitedHealthcare, the nation's largest private insurer, will sell Affordable Care Act exchange plans in Maryland next year, Gov. Larry Hogan said Tuesday.
The move brings a total of three insurers to the state's exchange, Maryland Health Connection, which attracted 159,000 enrollees during open enrollment for this year.

UnitedHealthcare declined to confirm which states it plans on entering in 2021. Currently, it offers plans in just three regions: New York, Nevada and Massachusets.

South Bend Financial Firm Divests Employee Benefits Unit
By Wes Mills, Content Manager / INSIDE INDIANA BUSINESS

A South Bend-based financial advisory firm has made some operational changes. The Healy Group says it has sold its employee benefits division to HUB International Limited, an insurance brokerage firm based in Chicago.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Healy said the acquisition was a mutually agreed-upon decision by all the Healy Group owners.

“Our decision was based on what was best for our employees and clients,” said Rich Preuss, Healy Group president and owner.

Preuss says the former Healy employees will remain in the building as HUB International workers.

The South Bend company said its other divisions, Healy Financial, Healy Insurance, Healy Mortgage, and Healy Tax will continue to operate under the Healy Group umbrella and the staff will remain.

Since the beginning of March, HUB has acquired no fewer than eight other firms or their benefits units.


Monday - 05/11/20 - - Will a Wave of Workplace Lawsuits Follow the Return to Work?

Tuesday - 05/12/20 - - Life Insurers Halt Sales As Hopes for Profit Dim — WSJ

Wednesday - 05/13/20 - -  Benefit Plan Deadlines Extended – COBRA, Special Enrollment, Plan Disclosures And More

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