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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.
  Wednesday, 08/28/19 - https://DailyInsuranceReport.com 

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Healthcare Promises: What 2020 Presidential Candidates Aren’t Telling You
Robert Pearl, M.D. Contributor / Forbes

Healthcare remains the nation’s top voting issue ahead of the 2020 elections, just as it was during the 2018 midterms. Surveys show voters remain frustrated with high drug prices, growing out-of-pocket expenses and skimpy health-insurance benefits.

The leading candidates have publicly promised to fix these problems but all are omitting certain details about their healthcare plans. To help voters make informed decisions next November, this article looks at what politicians on all sides – left, middle and right – are not telling you about their healthcare promises.

The Left’s ‘Medicare For All’ Plan Has A Numbers Problem

Here are the two most important things these candidates are omitting from their healthcare promises:
1. The math doesn’t add up
2. It’s not happening

Here’s what they’re not telling you:
1. ‘Medicare for Some’ is Medicare for All in slow motion
2. If you like your doctor, you might not like this plan
3. It will take more than minor tweaks to ObamaCare to rein-in spending

The Right Remains Mum On Healthcare Specifics

Here’s what the Trump administration isn’t saying about its healthcare ambitions and achievements:
1. The cheapest insurance plans don’t cover much
2. Promises don’t mean much

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Here’s why your workplace health insurance is so expensive
Darla Mercado / CNBC

Average total health spending for a family of four with workplace coverage hit $7,726 in 2018, a 67% increase from 10 years ago, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Expenses have also gone up for employers, who spent an average of $15,159 in premiums to cover a family of four.

Medical coverage costs have outpaced wage growth: Families’ costs are up 67% compared to a decade ago, while wages have increased 26%, according to the foundation.

Even if your employer offers you health insurance at work, chances are you’re shelling out more money for medical care.

Last year, employers spent an average of $15,159 in premiums to cover a family of four, according to an analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation. In all, that’s an increase of 51% from a decade ago.

Things haven’t become any more affordable for workers, either.

The average family of four paid a total of $7,726 in 2018, according to the foundation. That’s an increase of 67% from 10 years ago.

Of that amount, families paid $4,706 in premium contributions for coverage at work, plus $3,020 in cost-sharing — that is, deductibles, coinsurance and copayments.

High Anxiety: Americans Confronted by a Looming Retirement Income Shortfall
Brian Anderson / 401 K Specialist

Eight in 10 non-retired Americans express anxiety that their savings may not last them through retirement

You might remember that the World Economic Forum recently estimated that 65-year-old Americans could outlive their retirement savings within nine years—leaving the average American man with a savings gap of 8.3 years (10.9 years for women).

If this is true, it’s no wonder 80% of non-retired Americans express anxiety that their savings will not provide them with enough income to live in retirement, just as the U.S. is only five years away from having the most 65-year-olds in its history according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

A survey of 3,119 U.S. adults released at the end of July by the Alliance for Lifetime Income found eight in 10 non-retired Americans indeed have retirement anxiety, fearing their savings may not provide enough to live on for the rest of their lives.

The study found 63% of Americans have no source of protected lifetime income—such as pensions or annuities—other than Social Security. Eighteen percent of Americans indicated that they are “extremely” anxious, and 26% and 36%, respectively, are “moderately” and “somewhat” anxious about their financial preparedness.

Court Orders Fiduciaries to Restore $6.5 Million to ESOP
By Rebecca Moore / PLANSPONSOR

A federal court judge has ordered the former CEO of a Virginia packaging equipment company and the bank that acted as a transactional fiduciary of the company’s employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) to restore $6,502,500 to the plan.

An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) found that Adam Vinoskey, former CEO of Sentry Equipment Erectors Inc., and Evolve Bank and Trust violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The breach occurred in December 2010 when Vinoskey and Evolve approved the ESOP’s purchase of Vinoskey’s stock at an inflated price. Specifically, the ESOP paid $406 per share for Vinoskey’s 51,000 shares, which was an overpayment given the stock’s fair market value. In 2009, the stock was appraised at $285 per share.

Despite Senior U.S. District Judge Norman K. Moon’s previous decision throwing out part of a DOL expert’s testimony, he found that Evolve caused a prohibited transaction under ERISA by failing to ensure that the ESOP paid no more than adequate consideration for Vinoskey’s stock. He also concluded that Evolve violated its duties of prudence and loyalty and that Vinoskey is jointly liable for Evolve’s breaches as a knowing participant in a prohibited transaction and as a co-fiduciary. “As a result of these breaches, the Sentry ESOP overpaid for Adam Vinoskey’s stock by $6,502,500.00, an amount for which Evolve, Adam Vinoskey, and the Adam Vinoskey Trust are jointly and severally liable,” Moon wrote in his opinion.

The Advantages of Filing Separate Tax Returns for Healthcare Reasons

We generally assume that it is advantageous for a married couple to file jointly (MFJ) - it may almost feel natural to file a married filing separate tax return (MFS). That’s because filing joint returns comes with many well-known benefits, including a lower tax bracket at both the federal and state level, a larger standard deduction and the opportunity to qualify for multiple tax credits.

However, there are particular instances when a minority of married couples should consider filing separately. Married taxpayers may be aware of certain “red flag” situations, for example when one spouse has significant debt, past unpaid tax liabilities, shady tax history, or income-based student loans. Healthcare may be a lesser-known reason, but it can also lead a married couple to choose to file separately. In this article, I will show you what you should consider with regards to healthcare, when filing your tax returns as a married couple.

Analog Devices Recognized for Employee Benefits, Work Culture, and Business Growth
Business Wire / YAHOO FINANCE

Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) was recently recognized by Forbes magazine and the Silicon Valley Business Journal for providing industry-leading benefits and a work culture that has led to strong employee satisfaction and pride. The global semiconductor provider employs more than 15,000 individuals who work to solve the world’s biggest technology challenges – from electric and autonomous transportation, to 5G wireless communications, to Industry 4.0, to digital healthcare, and much more. ADI also recently joined the prestigious 2019 Fortune 500, jumping more than 45 spots from its 2018 Fortune 1,000 ranking, due to achieving annual revenues of $6.2 billion in fiscal 2018.
Forbes included ADI on its America’s Best Employers 2019 list, https://www.forbes.com/best-large-employers/#186661e6fb3e ranking the company at #49. 

What Is an Employee Persona? Definition, Benefits, and 4 Steps to Effective Persona Creation
Chiradeep BasuMallick, Freelance Contributor, / HR Technologist

To improve employee experience quality, organizations must find new ways to personalize workplaces in line with individual employee goals. Employee personas segment your workforce into similar “micro-groups,” helping to create targeted experiences for employees. In this article, we look at:

The definition of employee persona
Three benefits of using this technique
Four steps to effective employee persona creation

Workplaces around the world are now increasing their efforts to improve employee experience quality. According to Deloitte, this is a key priority for 84% of organizations, with better employee experience named among “the top three urgent issues in 2019” for 28%.

And this is directly linked to productivity – organizations who can provide exceptional experiences at the workplace can achieve twice the innovation, two times the customer satisfaction, and 25% higher profits, says the report.

But how do you personalize experiences for a vast, often distributed workforce?

Is it possible to factor in every unique employee requirement without incurring high expenses and fragmentation?

To answer these questions, organizations are taking a leaf out of their marketing playbook and applying a technique called “employee persona development.” This can help improve experiences at every stage of the employee journey, from recruitment through their tenure to offboarding.


Monday, 08/26/19 - Surprise out-of-network bills are hurting workers’ wallets and employers’ bottom lines

Tuesday, 08/27/19 - Democratic voters prefer Obamacare tweaks to Medicare for All

Wednesday, 08/21/19 - PTO Exchange Secures $3 Million in Funding to Transform Employee Benefits for the Future of Work

Thursday, 08/22/19 - Cigna seeks sale of group benefits insurance business, valued as high as $6 billion

Friday, 08-23-19 - Could next year be the beginning of the end of traditional employer-sponsored health insurance?

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Walt Bernard Podgurski - - Editor