Daily Insurance Report
Wednesday, 05/26/21 Walt Podgurski 440-773-1108 E-Mail
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Dude, what you're doing is changing lives.
Andy Neary - Keynote Speaker • Performance Coach
Helping insurance advisers win business by shining on the screen, on stage, and on social media.

Do you understanding the impact you're having on this world?

When you downplay what you do, the universe will always make sure your results play down to you.

In the health insurance industry, there is this stigma that what you do isn't very important.

"Oh, you're a health insurance broker" is a comment many are met with as the individual they were talking to slowly backs away from the conversation.

You're damn right you're a health insurance adviser!

Do you realize how important your job is??

Your guidance can help a company keep its fricken' doors open.

Your guidance can help a family avoid bankruptcy.

Your guidance can help an individual avoid the costly mistakes that are so prevalent in our healthcare system and save their life!!!

Damn right your job is important.

So, start acting liking it.

Quit downplaying what you do.

Everyone is seeing the impact you're making. Now, I just need you to do the same.

What you do, the guidance you give, has a HUGE ripple effect on this country.

It's time for you to step up and start thinking at the same level as the impact you're creating.

When you realize you're changing the world, everything will change for you.

#majorleaguemindset ( https://www.linkedin.com/in/andyneary/ )

New Benefits' 2021 Benefit Innovation Report Covers Trending Employee Solutions in Face of Pandemic and Its Recovery
By New Benefits / PRNewswire-PRWeb / / Read Article

New Benefits, the leading non-insured benefits provider, recently released a report on the crucial elements for an innovative employee benefit program, including the top trending benefits of the year. The 2021 Benefit Innovation Report is available for download on https://www.newbenefits.com.

"Benefits have become a lifesource for a lot of employees in the last year, so employers can't afford to not take an innovative approach to their benefits," said Dulce Bozeman, President of New Benefits. "New Benefits has been staying ahead of the benefit trend curve for over 30 years. This report shares our insights on top benefit choices in the face of a global pandemic, as well as how to communicate and deliver these important solutions."

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3. Your clients gain access to our entire network of certified coaches who are trained to help employees with 40 development topics. It's professional development on-demand and made easy.

Best of all, Talent Insurance can be implemented year-round! The social proof, low cost, and impactful results are generating a high level of both organizational and employee interest.

Personalized professional development and employee well-being are what every HR Leader is currently discussing— be the first to bring them an effective solution with LeggUP Talent Insurance.

Tom Finn,
Co-Founder & CEO, LeggUP
20+ in years employee benefits

Obamacare Benchmark Premium Falls for Third Straight Year
Competition, reinsurance, Medicaid expansion fuel declines
It’s unclear how Covid-19 affected rates
Tony Pugh / Bloomberg Law / / Read Article

The national average benchmark premium for Affordable Care Act marketplace health coverage has fallen for the third straight year, according to new research from the Urban Institute.

Increased insurer competition, state reinsurance policies, and expanded Medicaid coverage appear to be fueling the declines, even as premiums for job-based coverage have risen. Average premiums fell in 43 states, while only one state saw an increase higher than 6%, the report found.

“It’s unclear what effect the pandemic and ensuing economic disruption have had on the Marketplace, but neither enrollment nor premiums have increased significantly as a result,” the report said.

Five strategies to help employers bundle health benefits
By Tom Wiffler / GRAND RAPIDS Business Journal / / Read Article

With COVID-19 making wellness a renewed priority for many people, employers may consider using the pandemic as an opportunity to reevaluate how they approach health benefits.

Developing and implementing a strategic, data-driven approach to health benefits is crucial, given medical care ranks as the second-largest expense (behind salaries) for employers. Plus, encouraging a healthier workforce is vital to reducing absenteeism and presenteeism, both of which sap productivity and may make an employer less competitive.

That’s why more employers are opting for an integrated approach to health benefits, seeking to connect the dots among medical, pharmacy, vision, hearing, dental and disability care. Combining medical and specialty plans may improve health outcomes and affordability, driven by improved identification and management of chronic conditions, increased engagement in clinical care programs and the use of data to create a simpler experience.

While employees are now using their 2021 benefits, employers in Michigan are making health benefit decisions for 2022. Here are five strategies to consider related to integration:

Support whole-person health:
Leverage big data and clinical insights:
Make the most of medications:
Focus on behavioral health:
Adopting an integrated approach to medical and specialty benefits:

Transform Your Benefits Administration Experience!

4 benefits that will help workers improve their financial health
COVID-19 accelerated the importance of providing tailored financial benefits for employees.
By: Nick Otto / Human Resource Executive / / Read Article

From healthcare costs to emergency savings, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted HR’s challenge in finding cost-effective ways to help employees with the financial hardships they are facing.

Low-interest installment loans: These help employees avoid payday loans and high-interest credit cards.

Medical deductible financing: Especially attractive given the increasing popularity of high-deductible healthcare plans, these low-interest programs can help cover deductibles and can be repaid through payroll deductions.

Employee purchasing programs: These give employees access to products and services through payroll deductions.

Student loan repayment programs: With these programs, employers can contribute to help pay down loans or can help employees find ways to refinance that debt.

Eastbridge recognizes Assurity as the 2020 Voluntary Sales Growth Leader in the Small Carrier Category for the Third Year in a Row
PRNewswire / / Read Article

Voluntary sales totaled close to $7.5 billion in 2020, down 15.5% compared to the previous year's results, according to Eastbridge Consulting Group's annual U.S. Voluntary/Worksite Sales Report.

"This year in the small category ($10 million to $49.9 million in sales), Assurity was the fastest growing company for the third year in a row based on voluntary sales," says Nick Rockwell, president of Eastbridge. This is the ninth year of growth (after four consecutive years of double-digit growth) for Assurity's voluntary business. Voluntary sales for 2020, 2019, and 2018 increased by 5%, 66%, and 54%, respectively, over the prior year. "Few small-size companies were able to achieve growth in a pandemic year and we acknowledge Equitable, Symetra, MassMutual, and 5Star Life in the small carrier category for achieving year over year sales growth. Uniquely, Assurity was the only carrier able to achieve positive growth in 2020 and outpace the industry growth rate for the prior two consecutive years. Eastbridge congratulates Assurity on their sustained growth," adds Rockwell.

Medicare created a $30 billion market overnight – now we must get it right
RPM (Remote Patient Monitoring) is here to stay but if we do this wrong, the unintended consequence could be a lack of adoption, despite readiness by our government to pay for these services.
By FAWAD BUTT / MedCity News / / Read Article

We’re facing a healthcare challenge we’ve never seen before: a growing senior population, explosive Medicare spending, and the sickest generation in the history of the U.S. It’s the pandemic inside the pandemic. Longstanding chronic conditions like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease all contribute to the death toll the coronavirus has taken on older Americans.

At the same time, the pandemic has accelerated already recognized trends that offer solutions, like telemedicine and remote patient monitoring (RPM). I’d argue that the latter will more profoundly change healthcare. Telemedicine is an excellent evolution of an existing tool, physician face time. Most telemedicine calls serve as a primary care solution to treat acute conditions, like a sore throat or fever.

On the other hand, RPM is a completely new tool addressing more complex and more expensive chronic conditions. It provides physicians access to previously untapped data – in real time – giving them the ability to intervene immediately and avoid an expensive emergency care visit or alter care paths to improve outcomes. And Medicare is recognizing this potential by reimbursing RPM, making it a potentially $30 billion market.

TD Wealth: The two biggest threats to estate planning in 2021
Report highlights how the last year has changed priorities for families and shifted perceived threats from pre-pandemic
Steve Randall / WP (wealthprofessionals.ca) / / Read Article

TD Wealth recently conducted a survey among estate planning professionals in the US and found a shift in the main areas of risk since before the pandemic.

Specifically, family conflict is no longer the greatest threat to estate planning, having been surpassed by the increase in healthcare costs and prolonged life expectancy.

This was named as the number one threat by almost a quarter of respondents, three times the percentage of 2019; while family conflict dropped from 25% to 10% in the last year.

Managers are getting personal when it comes to mental health
By Alyssa Place / ebn / / Read Article

Employees aren’t the only ones struggling with their mental health — their bosses are feeling the strain, too.

More than half of managers say they feel overworked and 84% feel responsible for the high levels of burnout among their employees, according to Limeade, an employee experience platform.

But while employees have been encouraged to share their mental health challenges and utilize employee benefits, managers often feel more cautious about the ramifications around sharing that they’re struggling too, says Gail Golden, an organizational psychologist and author of Curating Your Life.

Benefitfocus Launches Series of Workshops Focused on "State of Employee Benefits"
By Benefitfocus, Inc./ PRNewswire / KPVI / / Read Article

Benefitfocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: BNFT), an industry-leading benefits technology platform that simplifies benefits administration for employers, health plans and brokers, has launched its series of One Place Local events, with five regional sessions in late May and early June. Each event will feature "State of Employee Benefits 2021: Trends & Insights Following a Year of Disruption," a workshop featuring data generated by Benefitfocus to show how the unprecedented events of 2020 impacted employee benefits adoption.

The one-hour virtual events are accredited by HRCI and SHRM. In addition to gaining insight into plan design and enrollment trends leading up to and following the onset of COVID-19, attendees will be able to build their network and hear directly from peers about navigating evolving employee needs and expectations through innovative benefit strategies and more. Benefitfocus data scientists will join the events to provide deeper insights into plan design and enrollment trends.

Closing The Life Insurance And Annuity Sales Fintech Frontier
CHRISTOPHER ROBBINS / FA (Financial Advisor) / / Read Article

The end of 2020 was a mixed bag for insurance and annuity sales.

Individual permanent life insurance sales fell at the end of 2020 to about $1.7 billion in the fourth quarter, well below the $2.5 billion in sales recorded in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to insurance industry analyst Wink. At the same time, individual annuity sales bounced back from a prolonged slump, rising to $56.3 billion for all deferred annuities in the fourth quarter of 2020, a 6% increase from 2019.

However, for much of the last decade insurance and annuity sales have been stuck in the doldrums, or on a decline, said Matt Essick, chief marketing officer at Ensight.

“The biggest problem for life insurance has been flat or declining sales, and there’s a number of factors that go into that,” said Essick. “One is that life and annuities is still a paper-based sector with very little adoption of advanced data analytics to help business owners understand what’s happening in the sales funnel and where the fallout is occurring.”

Ensight, an insurance fintech, or insuretech, that supports quotes, presentations, sales and data analytics across a cloud-based platform, has set out to solve that problem in complex insurance products like permanent life insurance, long-term-care insurance and annuities.

SIA (Staffing Industry Analysis) / / Read Article

Wheel, a healthcare startup based in Austin, Texas, secured $50 million in a series B funding round.

The funding round was led by Lightspeed Ventures with existing investors CRV, Silverton Partners, Tusk Venture Partners and J.P. Morgan also participating. Wheel has now raised a total of $66 million, including a $13.9 million series A round in January 2020.

Before the pandemic, Wheel had developed a software platform that would vet, train and credential virtual care clinicians and match them with patients in real-time for other companies’ virtual care programs. The company grew 300% year over year amid the pandemic and expanded its clinician network by 450%. Wheel delivered nearly half a million patient visits in the last year; it also launched a white-labeled virtual care platform and expanded into behavioral health.

Photo Of The Day

Monday, 05/24/21 - - Dozens of longtime employees are suing Farmers Insurance for age discrimination

Tuesday, 05/25/21 - -
How nonprofit hospitals get away with the biggest rip off in America

Wednesday, 05-19-21 - -
Amazon to roll out health, wellness program to all US employees by 2022

Thursday, 05-20-21 - -  Brokers have seen mixed impacts to their voluntary business as a result of COVID-19, according to Eastbridge Consulting Group

Friday, 05-21-21 - -
Amazon Introduces New Mental Health Benefit for All U.S. Employees and Their Family Members

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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.