Daily Insurance Report - Walt Bernard Podgurski

Daily Insurance Report  
Walt Bernard Podgurski,  Editor,  440-773-1108, 

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

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.

CVS to open 1500 stores focused on healthcare

CVS is changing the look of about 1500 of its stores.

By the end of 2021 CVS will transfer those stores into "Health-Hubs"

Those stores will devote more than 20 percent of their floor space to healthcare services will like wellness and personalized care.

They may even have room for yoga classes!

CVS says it's looking to increase its commitment to healthcare services and depend less on selling retail goods.

The company is already reducing floor space for slow-selling items like greeting cards and adding space in some stores for the teeth straightening service, " Smile Direct Club."

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Era of soaring ACA rate hikes appears to be over
By DAN DIAMOND, with help from Paul Demko, Adam Cancryn and Victoria Colliver / POLITICO

— The era of soaring ACA rate hikes appears to be at an end, based on a review of early rate requests for 2020.

— The Senate Finance Committee is readying a bipartisan package to lower drug prices, the panel's chairman told reporters.

— A confidential CMS list of about 400 troubled nursing homes was obtained and released by a pair of senators as the industry faces scrutiny over patient safety.

OBAMACARE RATE HIKES GO FROM MASSIVE TO MODEST — Premium increases in the law’s marketplaces are on track to be relatively modest for the second straight year, POLITICO's Paul Demko reports.

— What we know from early data: Fewer than a dozen states have so far released initial proposed rate hikes for the enrollment season starting in November. They range from an average increase of 13 percent in Vermont to average reductions of 2.9 percent in Maryland.

— How to read the numbers: The first batch of rate filings for 2020 are an early indication that this year’s small rate hikes weren’t a fluke and that other Trump administration policies — including support for a lawsuit that could torch the Affordable Care Act — have proven less disruptive than some experts feared.

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Chris Pope of the Manhattan Institute makes the case of how so-called "short-term" insurance plans are not "junk insurance" and how expansion of access will not leave the federal government with a bigger bill to take care of the sick.

In this 19 page policy paper, fellow Chris Pope explains how renewable-term health insurance plans can be a long term solution to putting the health care insurance market back into the hands of consumers. Renewable plans, sometimes referred to as "short-term" plans are really the traditional health insurance plans consumers used to buy before Obamacare. Some politicians and the media deride them as "junk insurance" because they don't include all the extras in ACA compliant plans. Instead, the plans allow consumers more flexibility in choosing what they want at a price they are willing to pay.

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The 10 Best Online Life Insurance Companies

Like just about every other financial product you can buy, the life insurance industry has gone digital. It's now possible to apply for a policy and complete the entire process online, without ever speaking to a live individual.

As a former financial planner that sold life insurance the “old-fashioned way” I'm impressed and amazed how technology keeps pushing the envelope on efficiency. But as the industry makes its way online, there are variations in how the process works. For example, some companies are entirely online, while others are online with live assistance.

One of the major advantages to an online life insurance company is a simpler application process. You can complete the application online, without having to complete multi-page paper applications. This is huge! They also offer the opportunity to easily compare prices or obtain coverage with certain medical conditions, commonly referred to as high risk life insurance. Below is a list of what I believe to be the 10 best online life insurance companies. They're not in any specific order, because virtually each has its own specializations that make it stand out. And that's exactly why each is included on this list.

Haven Life
Voya Financial
Globe Life Insurance
Banner Life Insurance

Smart Benefits: How to Leverage Amazon’s Announcement to Boost HSA Use
Rob Calise, GoLocalWorcester

Health Savings Account (HSA) funds can be used to pay for a wide range of IRS-qualified medical expenses beyond just prescription drugs. Participants can also use their accounts for other items like certain over-the-counter medications like allergy treatments, first aid supplies, monitoring equipment, and contact lens solution – all of which are available on Amazon.

In March, Amazon announced it would start accepting HSA dollars. Participants can simply add their HSA card as a payment method and shop for eligible items. With HSA use made even easier through the online shopping giant, now is a good time for employers to remind employees about the benefits of HSAs to maximize their value:

Groups Ask DOL to Make 401(k) Electronic Delivery the Default
By Lee Barney / planadvisor

Eight organizations associated with defined contribution (DC) plans, including the Investment Company Institute (ICI) and the SPARK Institute, have submitted a letter to the Employee Benefits Security Administration of the Department of Labor (DOL) asking it to propose regulations that would permit plan sponsors to make electronic delivery the default method of delivery for retirement plan disclosures and notices. If employees did not want electronic delivery, they would have the ability to request paper copies.

The groups note that on August 31, 2018, President Trump signed an Executive Order on Strengthening Retirement Security in America, directing the DOL to review within a year how to make retirement plan disclosures more understandable and usable. One of the options the order noted was electronic delivery, which would also reduce the cost of making these disclosures.

8 Things to Know About Marijuana And Your Insurance
Callie McGill / ValuePenguin

Cannabis has become widely accepted, with two in three Americans supporting legalization, according to a recent Gallup poll. This trend is impacting many industries, spanning government to health and even insurance. With the increased number of users and more states considering legalization, how are insurance companies working to modernize their policies and what should users be aware of?

At present, only 11 states have legalized the use of marijuana recreationally, though a majority of states and Washington, D.C., have legalized the use of medical marijuana. California and Maine had the highest percent of medical marijuana patients in 2017, with over 3% of their respective populations having license to use medicinally, according to the Marijuana Policy Project.

In 12 states, it is still illegal to use marijuana in any form, both recreationally and medicinally.

One national study found that men were more likely than women to use both recreationally and medically and become dependent on cannabis. This has implications across different forms of insurance, like Auto and Life, as gender can play a role in rates.

While the exact legislation and levels of legalization vary state to state, new laws have left many with questions. Like, a once-simple yes-or-no question like, “Are you a smoker?” now has a gray area, as method, frequency and reason you consume could all impact an answer.

$2.2 Trillion Healthcare Insurance Market - Global Forecast to 2024

The global healthcare insurance market is predicted to attain a size of $2.2 trillion by 2024, progressing at a CAGR of 4.3% during the forecast period (2019-2024).

The main factors driving the growth of the market are increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, surging geriatric population, rising healthcare expenditure, and huge medical costs around the globe.

North America is leading the global healthcare insurance market and is projected to advance at a CAGR of 3.7% during the forecast period, owing to the well-structured insurance and healthcare system, compulsory provision of health insurance from employers, and increasing number of chronic disease cases in the continent.

Getsafe, the German insurance app, scores $17M Series A
Steve O'Hear / TechCrunch

Getsafe, the German insurance startup targeting millennials, has raised $17 million (€15m) in a Series A funding.

The round is led by Earlybird, with CommerzVentures and other existing investors also participating, while the capital will be used for European expansion. Notably, the company plans to launch in the U.K. by the end of the year.

Founded in May 2015 by Christian Wiens (CEO) and Marius Blaesing (CTO), Getsafe initially launched as a digital insurance broker but has since pivoted to a direct to digital consumer insurance offering of its own (its brokerage business was sold to Verivox).

The startup claims it is the market leader in the digital-first 20 to 35-year-old segment, with 60,000 customers, although competitors such as Wefox’s One may disagree.


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

Tuesday, 06/04/19 - 5 Workplace Benefits Today's Employees Want, but Don't Have

Wednesday, 06/05/19 - Pennsylvania Moves to Take Over Health Insurance Exchange

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