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Friday, 06/04/21 Walt Podgurski 440-773-1108 E-Mail
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Eric Silverman / Voluntary Disruption, a division of Silverman Benefits Group / / Read Article

This episode of the #RockstarsRocking podcast features my rockstar friend and podcast mentor from afar, David Saltzman, Host of the ShiftShapers Podcast and Chief Transformation Strategist at ShiftShapers Strategies, out of Knoxville, TN.

Episode Highlights:

How recognizing the need for getting information out to insurance agencies was the catalyst that helped launch his ShiftShapers podcast

Learning to let his guests do the talking and using his mistakes as a growing experience

You can’t sell to someone by making yourself the main character, you must tell the prospect their story

Becoming a certified ‘StoryBrand’ guide using Donald Miller’s best-selling book, “Building a StoryBrand”

Using StoryBrand as his ultimate guide to teach salespeople how to make their prospects the “hero of the story”

These are the decisions to watch for during the Supreme Court's final month
By Ariane de Vogue / CNN Supreme Court Reporter / KCCI DES MOINES / / Read Article

Obamacare (again)

Republican-led states — aided by the former Trump administration — are trying to get the court to invalidate the entire Affordable Care Act, former President Barack Obama's most significant legislative achievement.

The case marks the third time the court heard a significant challenge to the 2010 law, although the stakes are heightened given the implications of COVID-19, the catastrophic deaths and the current burdens facing the health care industry.

As things stand, Texas and other Republican-led states are challenging the law and California and other Democratic-led states, the House of Representatives and the Biden administration support the law.

In one of his first acts as president, Biden informed the court that his government was reversing the position taken by the Trump administration. The Department of Justice now argues that even if the individual mandate is constitutional and that even if the court finds otherwise, it should sever the mandate and allow every other provision to stand.

Got Talent Insurance?

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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

Employers Adding Voluntary Worker Benefit Options
CPA Practice Advisor / / Read Article

The pandemic is driving more employers to offer voluntary benefits, with nearly all employers (94%) expecting these employee-pay-all or unsubsidized benefits to hold great importance in their organizations during the next three years, according to a survey by Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW), a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company.

The Emerging Trends in Health Care Survey found that employer interest in offering voluntary benefits has been burgeoning, with 94% of employers finding voluntary benefits to be important to their employee value proposition and Total Rewards strategy three years from now, compared with just 36% of employers deeming them to be important in 2018.

“Employers view voluntary benefits as a cost-effective way to offer employees a wide range of benefit options that best meet their needs,” said Lydia Jilek, senior director, Voluntary Benefits Solutions, Willis Towers Watson. “The pandemic has given rise to an increase in benefits that protect employees against big hospital bills and loss of income, and provide personal protection.”

The top five fastest growing benefits

Identify theft
Hospital indemnity
Pet insurance
Critical illness
Group legal

Most folks should plan for long-term care. Is new WA program or a private policy best?

Washington is the first state to approve a payroll tax that will raise money to cover long-term care costs for some of its residents. On average, seven out of 10 people will experience some form of costly long-term care in their lifetime. Many people are surprised to learn that Medicare does not cover most assisted living or nursing home costs.

The Washington Cares Act will provide qualifying residents with as much as $36,500 of inflation-adjusted future benefits to pay for long-term care (LTC) costs.

Starting Jan. 1, 2022, a tax of 0.58 percent will apply to earned income (W2 reported) with no cap on the amount of income that is taxed. There is an alternative to opt out of the tax by owning a privately purchased LTC insurance policy before Nov. 1, 2021.

Generally, high-income earners (greater than $200,000 annually, particularly males and typically under age 55) should consider whether it is better to purchase private long-term care insurance for a better mix of cost and benefits than the state program could provide.

iLife Lands $4M For Life Insurance Sales
SOCALTECH LLC / / Read Article

Playa Vista-based iLife, a startup which is developing tools to help life insurance agents set up their own, branded "digital insurance agency", has raised $4M in a seed funding round, according to the company. iLife said the funding was led by Foundation Capital, and also include AME Cloud Ventures and Cherubic Ventures. iLife was founded and is led by CEO Nelson Lee. According to the company, the funding will go to grow its team, especially in its customer service department, as well as expand product features. The company says it has reduced the thousands of dollars typically required to start an insurance agency, to only $99.

Secure Retirement Institute Forecasts Rebound for Most Annuity Products by 2021
LIMRA / / Read Article

The Secure Retirement Institute® (SRI®) is forecasting all individual annuity product lines except traditional variable annuities and fixed-rate deferred annuities to rebound in 2021. Overall individual annuity sales could see a slight increase in 2021, as the U.S. and the insurance industry slowly transition from the global pandemic. Longer term, SRI expects the total annuity market to benefit from improving economic conditions, shifts in demographic, as well as technology implementations. By 2025, SRI is forecasting the annuity market to grow as much as 30%.

There are several factors that will likely drive the annuity market:

While economic conditions are forecasted to improve, historic low interest rates will continue to be a headwind.

Products with protection features will continue to be in high demand.

Demand for guaranteed income is expected to grow.

ALEXANDRA WILSON PECCI / HealthLeaders / / Read Article

Many major payers have lifted their cost-sharing waivers for COVID-19 bills, which means people who are hospitalized with COVID-19 this year could be hit with thousands of dollars in medical bills.

That's the conclusion of a new analysis from the University of Michigan, which was published as a preprint and is being submitted for peer review.

Most health insurance companies voluntarily waived co-pays, deductibles, and other cost-sharing for hospitalized COVID-19 patients in 2020, but many lifted those waivers in early 2021.

Using data from real patients hospitalized for COVID-19 last year, the researchers discovered that the lack of waivers could mean bills of about $3,800 for people with job-related or self-purchased insurance, and $1,500 for people with Medicare Advantage plans.

Legislation in Pennsylvania would expand provisions of family leave for ailing relatives
By Natalie Kapustik / THE PROGRESS / / Read Article

Legislation sponsored by Pennsylvania state Sen. Christine Tartaglione to extend family and medical leave benefits for employees caring for an ailing relative was unanimously approved by the Pennsylvania Senate Labor & Industry Committee.

If made a law, Senate Bill 617, also known as the Pennsylvania Family and Medical Leave Act, would require employers to provide up to six weeks of unpaid leave for an employee to care for a sibling, grandparent, or grandchild suffering with a certified terminal illness if the relative does not have a living spouse, son or daughter over age 17, or parent under age 65.

Current federal law provides the same employee benefits only if the ailing relative is the spouse, son, daughter, or parent of the employee.

Tensions Flare About $400 Million Paid Family Leave Surplus In Bowser’s Budget
Martin Austermuhle / DCist / / Read Article

When D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser unveiled her budget proposal last week, she had good news to share: officials had found a $400 million surplus in the city’s two-year-old paid family leave program.

But her plan to spend a portion of that money on tax relief for businesses is drawing opposition from advocates and some lawmakers, pointing to a first possible flashpoint as lawmakers start making changes to Bowser’s budget proposal.

Expanding Health Coverage Is Top Priority For New Head Of Medicare/Medicaid
By JULIE ROVNER / WKAR Public Media from Michigan State University / / Read Article

The new head of the federal agency that oversees health benefits for nearly 150 million Americans and $1 trillion in federal spending said in one of her first interviews that her top priorities will be broadening insurance coverage and ensuring health equity.

"We've seen through the pandemic what happens when people don't have health insurance and how important it is," said Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, who was confirmed by the Senate to lead the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on May 25 and sworn in on May 27. "Our focus is going to be on making sure regulations and policies are going to be focused on improving coverage."

That approach is an abrupt switch from the Trump administration, which pushed the agency to do what it could to help repeal the Affordable Care Act and scale back the Medicaid program, the federal-state program for people with low incomes.

Photo Of The Day

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

Tuesday, 06/01/21 - -
8 Types of Employee Benefits - U.S. News & World Report

Wednesday, 06/02/21 - -
How Amazon, JPMorgan, and Berkshire Hathaway took on America’s health care system—and lost

Thursday, 06/03/21 - -  (Nevada Governor) Sisolak pledges to sign public option health care bill

Friday, 05/28/21 - -
Pay down your student loans or wait for forgiveness? A financial planner weighs in on the best next step

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