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, 06/04/19 - https://DailyInsuranceReport.com 

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The "Daily Insurance Report" publishes the life insurance, health insurance, and employee benefits news that matters.


5 Workplace Benefits Today's Employees Want, but Don't Have
Maurie Backman / Motley Fool

There are various factors that drive employees to stay at a job rather than leave. Salary is no doubt a big one, but workplace benefits are often an equally important part of the picture.

As an employer, it pays to know what benefits workers feel they're lacking, because if you manage to become one of the few companies in your area to offer them, you might attract talent you otherwise wouldn't manage to entice -- while retaining the employees you've worked hard to train. These five benefits are ones that employees really want but currently don't have, according to office-supply company Zoro.

1. Unlimited paid time off
2. Four-day workweeks
3. Company-paid vision insurance
4. Company-paid dental insurance
5. Company-paid medical insurance




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Your most valuable workplace benefit may be the most overlooked
Sharon Epperson / CNBC

One in 4 adults will become disabled at some point before reaching retirement age, according to the Social Security Administration. Yet few people prepare for the possibility that any one ailment could cause them to miss work for an extended period of time.

A total of 20.1 million adults of employment age report a work disability, according to research published by the National Institutes of Health.

There are two basic kinds of insurance that can protect you financially if you are unable to work: Policies for short-term disability, which maternity leave is typically covered under, generally replace 60% to 70% of your base salary. Long-term disability, which ordinarily kicks in after three to six months, typically replaces 40% to 60% of your income.

“Understanding both short- and long-term disability coverage options is one of the most important ways individuals can protect themselves, their families and their finances,” said Bill Smith, the president of Cigna Group Insurance.

Most workers have no disability coverage

About three-quarters, or 78%, of employers offer short-term benefits to their employees, according to a survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. Sixty-three percent also offer long-term disability benefits to their workers. However, only 38% of all workers take advantage of short-term disability insurance and just 33% opt for long-term insurance.




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Access to Healthcare Challenge for a Quarter of Rural Patients
Cost, appointment scheduling, and geographic barriers hindered access to healthcare for individuals living in rural America.
rural access to healthcare
Sara Heath / Patient Engagement Hit

Access to healthcare is a problem for individuals living in rural areas, with a quarter forgoing treatment even when they are experiencing pressing symptoms, according to survey data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

The survey, the second in a two-part series about rural America, looked at the experiences rural dwellers have accessing their healthcare.

A total of 26 percent of adults living in rural areas did not access healthcare even when they believed they needed to within the past few years. Of those respondents, 45 percent said they could not afford to visit a healthcare professional.

Nineteen percent said they could not find a clinician who accepted their health insurance, while 22 percent said they struggled to find an appointment time that would fit their personal schedules.

Geographic barriers were an issue for 23 percent of respondents.

These results suggest that the healthcare industry in rural America is still struggling, despite celebrated improvements nationwide, Robert J. Blendon, one of the co-directors of the survey, said in a statement.



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Brokers would have to reveal fees, incentives under new legislation
By Amanda Schiavo / Employee Benefit Adviser
Published May 31 2019, 2:39am EDT
More in Benefit compliance Benefit plan design Brokers Health insurance Healthcare reform Healthcare industry Healthcare costs
A provision as part of new bipartisan healthcare legislation would require benefits brokers to reveal fees and other incentives they receive from the insurance industry — a move that could have widespread implications for both brokers and the employers they serve.

“This is going to have a huge impact on the brokers that are not being totally transparent with their clients as far as how much they’re being paid from the carriers,” says Marcy Heath, president of benefits consulting agency InoVentive Solutions.

The legislation was proposed by Sen. Patty Murray, D.-Wash., and Sen. Lamar Alexander, R.-Tenn., and looks to take on issues that include surprise medical bills and high drug prices. The broker provision followed an investigation by ProPublica in February that found the insurance industry often uses money and gifts, which they do not disclose, to influence which plans brokers favor.



Amid 'mass confusion' on popular CBD products' legal status, Feds hold hearing
Associated Press / USA TODAY

CBD products have surged in popularity despite confusion around their legal status. Now U.S. regulators are exploring ways the hemp ingredient might officially be allowed in food, drinks and dietary supplements.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration held a hearing Friday to collect information about cannabis compounds such as CBD, which is already available in candy, syrups, oils, drinks, skin patches and dog food.

No decisions are expected immediately, but the hearing is seen as an important step toward clarifying regulations around the ingredient.

"There is mass confusion in the marketplace," said Peter Matz of the Food Marketing Institute, one of dozens of speakers who addressed the FDA panel.

Other speakers including academic researchers, businesses and consumer advocates urged the FDA to move quickly, noting that the industry is growing rapidly with little oversight. That is raising concerns about the accuracy of product labels and people not realizing how much they may be consuming through various products.



6 points to consider when purchasing disability insurance
Nitin Goyal, MD; Daniel D. Bohl, MD, MPH; and Kamran S. Hamid, MD, MPH / Healio

Orthopedic surgical education is highly focused on the technical aspects of clinical care. However, it gives residents and fellows little guidance in the aspects of career management. One area that is often neglected during training is disability insurance, which is an issue that may be intimidating and can be fraught with misinformation and word-of-mouth advice.

The purpose of disability insurance is to protect one’s income in the event that he or she is unable to work, thereby reducing the negative impact of an unforeseen disability. Although a disability policy should be tailored to an individual’s needs, we provide overall recommendations to trainees and orthopedic surgeons in practice for navigating the process of purchasing disability insurance.

Purchase from an independent agent
Define disability as “own occupation”
Residual disability benefits provision
Non-cancellable, guaranteed renewable policy
Pay premiums with after-tax dollars
Purchase individual insurance in training and future purchase option rider



Employer-Owned Life Insurance Policies: Tax Treatment & Reporting Requirements
aaronson LLC

In the past, money received through a life insurance contract, paid by reason of the death of the insured, were generally not includable in gross income for federal tax purposes. However, The Pension Protection Act of 2006 enacted important statutory changes to the general rule for employer-owned life insurance contracts, stating that death benefits received in excess of premiums paid are now generally taxable based on the provisions of IRC Sec. 101(j).

Nonetheless, several broad exceptions allowing tax-free treatment are provided, including life insurance policies owned by an employer in which:

The insured was an employee at any time during the 12-month period prior to death
The insured was a director or highly compensated employee at issuance of the policy
The death benefits are paid to a member of the family, an individual beneficiary, or the trust or estate of the insured
The death benefits are used to purchase an ownership or profits interest in the employer-policyholder



Sears retirees fight life insurance termination as heirs get zip
Josh Saul / Bloomberg News / ebn
Published May 31 2019, 9:32am EDT
More in Retirement benefits Life insurance Retirement planning
A group of retired Sears workers have asked for the creation of a committee to protect their interests as a retiree died shortly after his life insurance was canceled.

Lawyers for the retired workers say the bankrupt retailer has wrongly terminated the life insurance policies for tens of thousands of former employees. They believe the spouses of some Sears retirees who recently died have been deprived of the life insurance payment earned from years of work at the iconic department store, according to a court filing. In one instance, the life insurance policy of a Sears retiree who died May 6 won’t be paid because his death was 21 days after the Sears estate terminated his benefits, according to the Tuesday court filing.

“Sears has stated its clear intention to ignore its obligations to the retirees,” states the motion to form a committee. “The retirees request that the court direct the appointment of a committee to advocate for the thousands of retirees unjustly and illegally losing their benefits.”WEDNESDAY



Archives

Monday, 06/03/19 - JPMorgan Chase to pay $5 million settlement in parental leave case

Tuesday, 05/28/19 - Senators Call for Disclosure of Perks and Fees Paid to Health Benefits Brokers

Wednesday, 05/29/19 - Report: Trump to Issue Executive Order Forcing Healthcare Prices Disclosure

Thursday, 05/30/19 - Trump campaign views healthcare as a 2020 campaign weapon

Friday, 05/31/19 - This is the Number 1 benefit new college grads seek at work — and it’s not debt repayment
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Walt Bernard Podgurski - - Editor
440-773-1108
Walt@DailyInsuranceReport.com