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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.
  Tuesday, 08/06/19 - https://DailyInsuranceReport.com 

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

Trump administration considers September unveiling of healthcare plan: WSJ
By Katanga Johnson / Reuters / wtvbam

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is considering unveiling, as early as September, his healthcare plan as part of his presidential re-election campaign strategy, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.

The plan would lay out an alternative to former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, which has been challenged by Republicans in court, and could include coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and a variety of insurance options, the Wall Street Journal said, citing unnamed sources.

Trump has not signed off on the tentative plan, the newspaper said, describing ongoing debate about the plan and the timing for the roll-out. Polling shows that healthcare is a top concern for voters leading up to the election.



Democratic 2020 Candidates Inch Away From Medicare for All
By Tyler Pager and Joshua Green / Bloomberg

In April, many of the top Democratic presidential candidates eagerly lined up to co-sponsor Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All bill -- a vast restructuring of the U.S. health-care system that would go far beyond Obamacare.

Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand, along with Representatives Tim Ryan and Tulsi Gabbard, all co-sponsored the bill with an eye toward the upcoming presidential primaries.

“It was a recognition that the center of gravity in the party has moved in a much more progressive direction,” said Jeff Weaver, a senior adviser to the Sanders campaign. “Many candidates wanted to position themselves with the vast majority of Democratic primary voters by supporting real Medicare for All.”

But as this week’s Democratic debates in Detroit illustrated, many of those initial co-sponsors, fearful of blowback from voters -- particularly those who have satisfactory private health insurance they’re reluctant to give up for something unknown, as they would have to under Sanders’s plan -- have begun backing away.

If you recently put an HDHP in place,
don’t wait for the HDHP/HSA issue!

To control benefit costs,
employers are turning to High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) and pairing them with HSAs to help fill the newly created coverage gaps. Clients and their employees are about to see if that combination will work—or whether it will have unintended ripple effects.

If you recently put an HDHP in place
or increased the deductible on an existing plan for any of your clients, it’s important to be prepared to handle issues that may soon come your way.

Don’t wait for the HDHP/HSA issue to erupt.
Download our infographic with the facts and solutions to create a game plan.

FinTech Financing Volume Exceeds $10 billion in Q2 2019 – New FT Partners Report
Steve McLaughlin

FT Partners Research is pleased to announce the publication of our 105-page Q2 2019 FinTech Insights Report, providing a comprehensive review of global FinTech deal activity with analysis across private company financings, IPOs, and M&A statistics.

Highlights of the Report:

Global FinTech financing volume in Q2 2019 reached $10.9 billion, making it the second most active quarter ever. When excluding Ant Financial's $14 billion financing round in Q2 2018, Q2 2019 was the most active quarter ever. 52% of the FinTech financing volume in 2019 year-to-date came from North America.

2019 is on track to be the second strongest year ever for Global FinTech Financing volume.

Q2 2019 included 24 financing rounds that were $100 million or more, a 20% increase over the 20 in Q2 2018.
Read more:


NXT Employee Benefits Investor Forum
Whether you are an investor seeking access to new deals, or founder and/or CEO of a new venture looking for funding, visibility and growth, this is a must-attend event.

NXT.Services is hosting seven one-day conferences in 2019 / 2020. Each event will feature the founders of 17 start-ups and SME's in the employee benefits space who are invited to present to 50+ venture capitalists, private equity firms, angel investors, and representatives from insurance carriers who have an internal venture fund and/or are seeking strategic relationships.

Hospital converts unused PTO into student loan benefit for workers
By Amanda Schiavo / ebn

Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital has teamed up with Tuition.io to offer the organization’s 1,500 employees a new student loan repayment benefit.

As part of the Hudson Valley, New York-based hospital system’s new benefit, employees will be able to convert their unused paid time off into employer contributions toward paying down their debt. MSLC will offer all non-union workers the opportunity to convert 30 to 75 hours of unused PTO into a payment against student debt, which will be distributed semi-annually with a maximum of $5,000 in yearly contributions.

“The nice part of this benefit is that the employer has already accrued this expense for the PTO,” says Scott Thompson, CEO of Tuition.io. “This is not a new expense that they’re generating on behalf of employees for this benefit.”

Telehealth use increasing most among non hospital-based providers

Dive Brief:

Providers not based in hospitals are rapidly adopting telehealth, reaching about 1% of all claims studied by nonprofit FAIR Health in a recent white paper. In 2018, non hospital-based providers accounted for 84% of all telehealth claims, up from 52% in 2014.

Those most likely to use telehealth services were people aged 31 to 40, accounting for 21% of claims. Women used telehealth more often than men, according to the report, which analyzed more than 29 billion private health claims records.

The conditions most associated with telehealth use were upper respiratory infection, mood disorders and anxiety or other nonpyschotic mental disorders, FAIR Health said.

Everybody's Missing the Biggest Story in Washington — Our Debt Nightmare
All signs are pointing to higher taxes in the future. The middle class, especially those diligently saving for retirement in their 401(k)s and IRAs, need to be ready for th
By MICHAEL ANDERSEN, INVESTMENT ADVISER | Andersen Wealth Management / Kiplinger

A lot of the noise coming out of Washington and the media really doesn’t matter. What does matter is the size of the mounting federal debt — over $22 trillion. And on top of that are the obligations to baby boomers for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – $60 trillion.

Nobody seems to care about it, but it’s a mathematical nightmare for our country over the next generation. We are borrowing at an ever-increasing rate, and at some point, the lenders will say, “No more.” And when you look at the developed economies — the countries that have money — you’ll see that they’re all in bad shape, too.

Fiduciary Responsibility . . .
You Mean that Stuff Applies to the Health Plan I Sponsor, Too?

by Brenna A. Davenport, Poyner Spruill LLP / mondaq

In the summer of 2016, over 100 of CIGNA’s self-insured health plan clients were sued with the complaint alleging breach of the defendants’ fiduciary duties under ERISA for engaging in widespread fraudulent behavior involving the use of plan funds. This case should serve as a wake-up call for employers sponsoring health plans nationwide – this will not be the last case of its kind to be filed.
The wake-up call has to do with fiduciary duties arising under ERISA. These duties include:

Acting solely in the interests of the participants and beneficiaries and avoiding conflicts of interest;
Administering the plan in accordance with plan terms (subject to ERISA);
Acting for the exclusive purpose of providing plan benefits or for defraying reasonable plan administration expenses; and
Acting prudently.

Much attention has been placed on these duties in the retirement context, inspired in part by the DOL’s release of regulations regarding fee disclosures and recent revamping of the fiduciary rule. However, historically, very little attention has been extended to the application of fiduciary responsibilities to welfare benefits plans.

Financial Wellness Leader FinFit Closes $7 Million Series B Round to Fuel Rapid Growth
New Financing Solidifies Company’s Growth Plan and Vision to Provide a Unique Financial Wellness Benefit Platform to Today’s Workforce

FinFit, a FinTech company that provides over 125,000 employers with a unique financial wellness benefit platform, today announced that the company has raised $7 million in Series B funding. The round was led by Galaxy Investment Partners LLC, the family office of Michael Novogratz, with participation from existing investors Bison Capital Asset Management, LLC and others. The capital will be used to solidify the company’s growth plan and sustain its vision to provide a unique financial wellness benefit platform to today’s workforce.

“This investment is a testament to FinFit’s growth and limitless potential. It enables us to refine our disruptive platform that is available to millions of employees, helping them improve their personal finances which is proven to create positive ROI for employers,” said David Kilby, President, FinFit and author of The New Productivity Engine: The compelling impact of financial wellness in the workplace. “We’re very excited to continue to help employers increase their profitability by helping to reduce their employees’ stress levels and guide them down the path to financial freedom.”


Monday, 08/05/19 - Views Zenefits’ founder is back: What does it mean for the billion-dollar HR tech market?

Tuesday, 07/23/19 - Research: Student loan assistance emerges as top new benefit option for open enrollment

Wednesday, 07/24/19 - Is forced telemedicine the future of healthcare?

Thursday, 07/25/19 - Industry Voices—How the future of healthcare will be shaped by the likes of Uber, CVS

Friday, 07-26-19 - Insurance Agency Mergers and Acquisitions in First Half of 2019 Shatter Record, OPTIS Partners Reports

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Walt Bernard Podgurski - - Editor