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

Wednesday, 05/20/20 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.

Every Sun Life employee will work from home part of the time after pandemic
By: Heather Hegedus / BOSTON 25 NEWS

With more people than ever working from home right now, a study found that more than half of the workforce wants to continue working from home when this is all over.

According to an IBM study, 54% of Americans said they wanted to continue working from home after the coronavirus pandemic ends.

For Sun Life Financial, an insurance and employee benefits company based in Wellesley, what began out of necessity will now become the new normal for its roughly 1,300 employees. Right now, 98% of its employees are working remotely, and the company said that figure will increase once the pandemic is over.

Businesses Offering Voluntary Employee Benefits Are Reaping the Rewards - According to New Study by the HR Research Institute
Debbie McGrath, Chief Instigator and CEO of HR.com / PRWEB

At a time when many employees and employers are under financial stress, some organizations are assisting them via various types of voluntary benefits, as suggested by new research from HR.com. Voluntary benefits can potentially also help improve the overall employee experience and address the problematic issue of work/life balance.

The free research report, Voluntary Benefits in Today's Workplace, is now available for download. HR.com's HR Research Institute partnered with InfoArmor, the market leader in employee identity protection, to conduct the survey of HR professionals from a broad cross-section of organizations.

It's understandable amid today's uncertain work environment, that voluntary benefits could help improve employees' sense of security related to job, health, and finances, highlighting the importance right now of offerings like critical-illness insurance, financial counseling, and long-term care. The research reveals that the most common types of benefits offered include insurance plans for: life (83%), dental (77%), vision (76%), disability (75%), accident (58%), critical illness (51%), financial counseling (48%), and identity protection (39%).

Investment menus and performance are a big focus for 401(k) plan sponsors as they look to boost employees' retirement readiness, according to Fidelity Investments' Plan Sponsor Attitudes Survey /
Pensions & Investments

Nearly 3 in 4 plan sponsors (74%) made changes to their investment menus in the past two years, with 28% increasing the number of investment options and 23% replacing an underperforming fund.

Fidelity sees the role of plan advisers growing as plan sponsors look to improve participant outcomes. More than half of plan sponsors (56%) said performance of plan investments was one of the ways advisers can underscore their value.

"Plan sponsors are looking for guidance and reassurance during this difficult time, and we continue to see plan advisors playing an important role in helping companies identify ways to improve their retirement plans and help their employees strengthen their financial well-being," Ms. Pathe said.

Digital Health Startup Everlywell Gets FDA Green Light For COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit
Mary Ann Azevedo / Crunchbase Daily

On May 16, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted Everlywell emergency use authorization (EUA) for its COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit.

What is monumentous about this is that the test represents the first standalone at-home sample collection kit that can be used with certain authorized tests, according to the FDA. The kit will be available for individual purchase by month’s end, according to the company.

So what does all this mean actually? Well, for one, people will be able to test for COVID-19 from the comfort of their homes using the kit. According to a statement by Everlywell, its EUA is the first to be issued to a digital health company which connects people and organizations with laboratory testing and is not a laboratory or diagnostics manufacturer.

Benefitexpress Marketplace Provides More Benefit Choices for Employees and Saves Employers Money
Corestream Partnership Delivers Value-added Solutions During a Time of Unprecedented Change

benefitexpress™, a leading provider of cloud-based technology software and services for employee benefits administration, announced today a new lifestyle Benefits Marketplace powered by Corestream’s leading platform for connecting employees with personalized lifestyle benefits.

The Benefitexpress Marketplace comes at no cost to companies and enables employers to offer more lifestyle benefits without the administrative burden while increasing employee engagement. Seamlessly integrated with benefitexpress’ proprietary administration platform, My Benefit Express™, employees can elect from a wide selection of lifestyle products to create a unique set of benefits personalized for their needs. Types of products include employee loan programs for short term loans or student loan repayment, employee purchase programs, legal assistance, pet insurance, identity theft, home and auto insurance and a large array of employee discounts.

Corestream’s platform streamlines and automates benefit selection, payroll integration, contract negotiation and remediation, remittance of payments and reconciliation of premiums for individual employees, allowing employers to regularly add valuable employee benefits without taking on additional administrative work or costs. A program of planned year-round communications with targeted and personalized campaigns drive employee engagement.

Pinnacle Financial Services Joins Forces with AmeriLife® To Serve Booming Medicare Market
By AmeriLife;Pinnacle Financial Services, Inc./ PRNewswire

AmeriLife Group, LLC (AmeriLife), the national leader in marketing and distributing life, health and retirement solutions, has acquired an interest in Pinnacle Financial Services (Pinnacle), one of the largest full-service health, life, annuity and long-term care national marketing organizations providing financial products and services for individuals, businesses and their employees.

Pinnacle, founded in 2001, has locations in three states (Pennsylvania, Nebraska and Nevada) and more than 45 employees. Kevin Shields, Pinnacle's founder, President and CEO, and Angela Palo, Pinnacle's Executive Vice President, will continue to lead the organization from its Warminster, Pa. headquarters. Shields will also become a principal and member of the management team with AmeriLife's brokerage distribution channel. Shields and Palo will maintain an ongoing profit participation and a significant ownership interest in Pinnacle, which is expected to grow significantly through the strength of the partnership with AmeriLife.

Medicare Agency Announces More Telehealth and Virtual Care Service Expansions in Second Round of Federal Waivers and Rule Changes
Crowell Mooring

On April 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a second round of regulatory waivers and rule changes in an interim final rule with comment (IFC) that added significant flexibilities for the coverage of telehealth services during the COVID-19 public health emergency. These flexibilities are a combination of:

Additional authorities granted under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act,

Expansions of previously announced “blanket waivers” under Section 1135 of the Social Security Act, and

More regulatory changes to supplement those provided in a previous interim final rule with comment published on April 6, 2020.

Blue Cross waives more fees for Medicare Advantage customers
Minnesota insurer reaching out to about 100,000 to encourage preventive care amid pandemic.
By Evan Ramstad / Star Tribune

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota are waiving more fees for Medicare Advantage customers as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota said Monday it will waive fees on doctors' visits for its Medicare Advantage customers for the rest of the year, joining a growing number of health insurers to offer discounts in response to COVID-19.

Blue Cross said it will waive cost-sharing fees for in-network primary care, mental health and substance-use office visits.

The elderly are particularly at risk to the worst effects of COVID-19. Of the more than 700 deaths from the virus in Minnesota, about 80% have been residents of long-term care facilities, chiefly nursing homes and senior apartments.

UCare cuts Medicare Advantage premiums, joining industry trend
The health insurer is the latest to trim charges as people seek less health care
By Christopher Snowbeck / Star Tribune M

UCare is discounting premiums for about 100,000 seniors in its Medicare Advantage health plans as people use less health care with COVID-19.

The Minneapolis-based health plan said Tuesday it is discounting premiums by 20% for the months of July and August while eliminating copays for Medicare primary care and mental health clinic services during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Premium discounts at UCare also apply to about 40,000 people who buy individual health plans from the insurer.

Fluid is coming to Office.com and going open source
By Tom Warren

MicrosoftMicrosoft is creating a new kind of Office document. Instead of Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, the company has created Lego blocks of Office content that live on the web. The tables, graphs, and lists that you typically find in Office documents are transforming into living, collaborative modules that exist outside of traditional documents.

Microsoft calls its Lego blocks Fluid components, and they can be edited in real time by anyone in any app. The idea is that you could create things like a table without having to switch to multiple apps to get it done, and the table will persist on the web like a Lego block, free for anyone to use and edit.

Fortune 500: 40 healthcare companies make 2020 list
Ayla Ellison

Fortune released its 66th annual list of the 500 most profitable U.S. companies May 18, with 40 healthcare companies making the cut.

The 500 companies that made this year's list have $14.2 trillion in combined revenue, representing two-thirds of the U.S. economy, according to Fortune.

Here are the 40 healthcare companies that made the list in 2020, accompanied by their ranking and total revenue for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2019:

5. CVS Health: $256.8 billion
7. UnitedHealth Group: $242.2 billion
8. McKesson: $214.3 billion
10. AmerisourceBergen: $179.6 billion
13. Cigna: $153.6 billion
16. Cardinal Health: $145.5 billion
29. Anthem: $104.2 billion
35. Johnson & Johnson: $82.1 billion
42. Centene: $74.6 billion
52. Humana: $64.9 billion
64. Pfizer: $51.8 billion
65. HCA Healthcare: $51.3 billion
69 Merck: $46.8 billion
99. AbbVie: $33.3 billion
104. Abbott Laboratories: $31.9 billion
115. Bristol Myers Squibb: $26.1 billion
135. Amgen: $23.4 billion
140. Gilead Sciences: $22.4 billion
145. Eli Lilly: $22.3 billion
161. Danaher: $20.5 billion
174. Tenet Healthcare: $18.5 billion
187. Becton Dickinson: $17.3 billion
193. Molina Healthcare: $16.8 billion
214: Stryker: $14.9 billion
223. Biogen: $14.4 billion
230: DaVita: $14.1 billion
241: Community Health Systems: $13.2 billion
274. Laboratory Corp. of America: $11.6 billion
281: Universal Health Services: $11.4 billion
282: Baxter International: $11.4 billion
290: IQVIA Holdings: $11.1 billion
296: Boston Scientific: $10.7 billion
304: Henry Schein: $10.3 billion
332: Owens & Minor: $9.7 billion
399: Zimmer Biomet Holdings: $8 billion
405. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals: $7.9 billion
410: Quest Diagnostics: $7.7 billion
432. Magellan Health: $7.2 billion
472. Zoetis: $6.3 billion
498: Cerner: $5.7 billion


Monday - 05/18/20 - - Why Papa, Humana think it's crucial to 'make noise' about the impacts of loneliness amid COVID-19

Tuesday - 05/19/20 - - Tranzact to Hire 1,200 Health Insurance Agents

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

Thursday - 05/14-20 - Doctors are turning to GoFundMe to stay afloat during the pandemic

Friday - 05-15-20 - - Democratic senators — including Manchin — submit brief to US Supreme Court backing ‘Obamacare’

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