Daily Insurance Report - Walt Bernard Podgurski

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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, 06/13/19 - https://DailyInsuranceReport.com 

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I Sold Aetna To Fix A Broken Healthcare System. Here’s Why.
By Mark Bertolini / Chief Executive
Excerpted from Mission-Driven Leadership: My Journey as a Radical Capitalist, by Mark Bertolini, 2019, Currency, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House.

In this excerpt from the book, he lays out the healthcare system’s flaws—flaws that are not only spiraling costs, but resulting in our dying younger and killing ourselves more often. And he tells us how to fix it.

Aetna’s mission is to “build a healthier world,” and it starts at home. I view our healthcare system through a unique prism. I’ve been a worker, a manager or an executive in the industry for more than four decades. I saw it up close, in its glory and its failings, with Eric. And I continue to experience it firsthand, intensely, gratefully and inadequately, with my own injuries.

Consider how our health system works. You buy insurance and you get a card. You pull out that card when you get sick or sustain an injury, and you go to a clinic or a hospital, and then the system throws you back into your life. That’s how we take care of people—no sustained engagement in you as an individual, no effort to understand what your needs might be. Our system is mainly reactive: it responds to illness or injury but is otherwise detached from the daily lives of most Americans. That approach may have been adequate at one time, but our country’s social and economic ruptures have exposed its unsuitability to our current needs.

That’s why I believe if we’re going to solve the big economic and social problems in our country, we have to start with healthcare. Toward that end, we need to rethink what our healthcare system should do and even redefine what health is.

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Walgreens' CMO on the retailer's expanding healthcare role, Microsoft partnership
by Heather Landi / FierceHealthcare!

Pharmacy and retail giant Walgreens has been aggressively working to establish itself as a force in the growing market for digital healthcare and web-driven patient care as it looks to outmaneuver rivals like CVS Health and Amazon.

Not to be outdone, Walgreens has made several strategic moves just in the past year to build out its digital healthcare services. In January, Walgreens announced it was teaming up with Microsoft to develop new healthcare delivery models by combining Microsoft Azure—the tech giant's cloud and artificial intelligence platform—with Walgreens' outpatient healthcare and retail footprint. Working with Microsoft, Walgreens plans to pilot up to 12 store-in-store "digital health corners" to sell certain healthcare-related hardware and devices.

The healthcare sector remains in flux as policy, regulation, technology and trends shape the market. FierceHealthcare subscribers rely on our suite of newsletters as their must-read source for the latest news, analysis and data impacting their world. Sign up today to get healthcare news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

The retail pharmacy company also is working with Verily, Alphabet’s life sciences research arm, to use technology to help patients with diabetes and medication management.

This is the voluntary benefit clients are clamoring for
By Caroline Hroncich / Employee Benefit Adviser

Ask Corporate Synergies benefit consultant Nicholas Park what voluntary benefit clients are most interested in and he has a rapid response.

Student loan repayment programs top the list as the most requested benefit addition for employers, Park said, speaking Tuesday at Spark HR, an HR and finance forum in New York. That’s due to employers’ increasing focus on helping their employees improve their financial well-being.

There is a fear that the nearly $1.5 trillion in student debt will have long-term implications for workers and their employers, he added.

“It’s a balloon,” Park said. “It’s almost like the housing market in 2007; there’s an underlying implication that this could potentially blow up.”

A number of student loan benefit providers have emerged over the past few years to help tackle the problem, Park said. Many provide high-tech platforms, direct student loan repayment through payroll deductions and a new IRS allowable match swap. Tuition.io, Commonbond, Gradible, Peanut Butter and Vault are just a few of the vendors that provide repayment benefits, he said.

These Companies Have the Best 401(k) Plans, According to an Analysis of 14 Major Industries
By Alix Langone / Money

All 401(k)s are not created equal. Retirement plans vary, and the design of your particular plan can have a big impact on your future financial security.

Here at MONEY, we wanted to find the 401(k) superstars, those companies that are offering their workers top-rated plans. So we gathered the best plans across various industries, including some of the fastest-growing categories as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. We used data from investment research firm BrightScope that focused on bigger plans with $100 million or more in assets.

What makes a high-quality plan? Low fees, of course. And a good company match. While BrightScope doesn’t break out fees or the company match (the percentage of your income that your employer contributes to your account, provided you contribute the same), it’s likely their top-rated companies are competitive in these areas. The average employer match is 4.7%, according to Fidelity.
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Pennsylvania law requires multiple record keepers for 403(b), 457 plans
Advisers think the law, which goes into effect July 1, will result in higher costs for investors
By Greg Iacurci / InvestmentNews

A new law in Pennsylvania will require school districts sponsoring certain retirement plans to use at least four service providers, which advisers say runs counter to best practices and will perpetuate an environment of higher record-keeping and investment-management fees.

Beginning July 1, school districts will need to have a minimum of four "financial institutions or pension management organizations" (i.e., record keepers) for 403(b) and 457 plans, which are defined-contribution plans for nonprofit and public-sector entities.

Joshua Schwartz, president of Retirement Plan Advisors, said the requirement effectively precludes school districts from consolidating retirement assets with a single provider to gain more favorable pricing due to economies of scale.

Walmart Expands Employee Tuition Benefits

Walmart this week announced that it is expanding a debt-free college tuition benefit for the retail giant's roughly 1.4 million U.S. employees. The company is adding 14 degrees and certificates in technology fields such as cybersecurity, computer science and network security to the Live Better U program, which had featured degrees in business and supply chain management. The company said it would add more credentials in coming months.

Walmart employees are expected to pay $365 a year to participate, the equivalent of $1 per day. Walmart also offers high school completion to its employees, as well as discounts on master's degrees and other higher education programs.

The company works with Guild Education to administer the program. Guild, an intermediary and technology platform, has partnered with several nonprofit, regionally accredited universities to offer online credentials to employees of participating companies. Walmart's university partners, operating through Guild, include Southern New Hampshire University, Purdue University Global, the University of Florida, Brandman University, Wilmington University and Bellevue University.

So far, more than 7,500 Walmart employees from all 50 states have enrolled in at least one of the programs, Walmart said.


Monday, 06/10/19 - Regulators must scrutinize advice by insurance agents


Wednesday, 06/12/19 - Colonial Life leads voluntary benefits industry in sales growth – again

Thursday, 06/06/19 - CVS to open 1500 stores focused on healthcare

Friday, 06-07-09 - Younger Workers Put Student Loan Aid Near Top of Desired Benefits
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Walt Bernard Podgurski - - Editor