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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.
  Friday, 08/30/19 - https://DailyInsuranceReport.com 

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Health Savings Accounts Hold Over $61 Billion For Future Medical Expenses
Devenir HSA Survey Research

Devenir, a national leader in providing investment solutions for health savings accounts (HSAs), released today the results of its 18th semi-annual health savings account survey and resulting research report. Devenir found that the number of HSAs has grown to now exceed 26 million, holding an estimated $61.7 billion in assets halfway through 2019.

The survey data was collected in July of 2019 and primarily consisted of top 100 HSA providers in the health savings account market, with all data being collected for the period ending on June 30th, 2019.

Key findings from the Devenir 2019 Midyear HSA Survey and resulting research report:

HSA assets surpass $60 billion. There are now over 26 million health savings accounts, holding $61.7 billion in assets, a year-over-year increase of 12% for accounts and 20% for HSA assets for the period ending June 30th, 2019.
HSA investment asset growth rebounds. Strong market tailwinds propelled HSA investment assets to an estimated $13.3 billion at the end of June, up 35% year-over-year. On average, investment account holders hold a $15,982 total balance (deposit and investment account).
Over one million HSAs investing. There are now over one million accounts that are investing a portion of their HSA dollars, representing a little over 4% of all accounts.
HSA contributions continue to rise. Account holders contributed over $22 billion to their accounts in the first six months of 2019, up 12% from the year prior.
“Health savings account holders are increasingly aware of their healthcare costs in retirement. To help meet those future healthcare expenses, over one million accounts are now investing their HSA dollars,” said Jon Robb, SVP of research and technology at Devenir.

Devenir projects that, by the end of 2021, the HSA market will approach $88 billion in HSA assets held by over 30 million accounts. Click here to view the Executive Summary: https://www.devenir.com/research/2019-midyear-devenir-hsa-research-report/

CVS moving to change healthcare: A timeline since the Aetna acquisition

Since buying health insurer Aetna in November, CVS Health has emphasized holistic healthcare rather than just selling medicine. The company said it hopes its strategic shift will lead to healthier communities and lower healthcare costs.

Below is a timeline of health-related moves from CVS reported by Becker's Hospital Review since it finalized its deal with Aetna. The timeline doesn't include the CVS acquisitions of other retail pharmacies.

NXT  NXT Employee Benefits Investor Forum
Founders & Chief Executive Officers
  • Deliver your strategic investment and / or strategic partnership message to an audience of venture capitalists, private equity companies, angel investors, and the venture funds of banks and insurance companies.

  • Presenters bring a diverse spectrum of (employee benefits) technology expertise!

  • In addition to fintech and insurtech, presenting organizations include innovative and rapid growth product and service opportunities in the employee benefits marketplace.


Long-term care insurance costs are skyrocketing
State Sen. Saud Anwar / ctmirror

As Connecticut’s population gets older – more than 575,000 residents, or 16 percent of the population, were over age 65 in 2016, with more aging into that group every year since – a ticking time bomb awaits them. Long-term care insurance was a good investment in years past, but the cost of that insurance is now skyrocketing. That leaves seniors in a dangerous situation.

Beginning in the 1980s, long-term care insurance policies went on sale. In theory, these policies are sensible investments. As we age, we require additional help and more intensive health care. Long-term care is designed as a safety valve, protecting policy holders from the precipitous cost of nursing homes, elder care assistance and other health care services necessary at older ages.

But recent years have seen the costs of these plans swell much faster than overall health care costs rise. When I talk to residents of my district, they tell me their insurance premiums are growing well out of their control, with some increases spiking as high as 300 percent. This is not sustainable. In some cases, these increases have led to voluntary lapses in coverage by consumers who paid into their long-term care plans for years or decades.

The Reality of Student Debt in America

Student debt is the fastest growing form of consumer debt in the U.S. Recent graduates who enter the workforce face the financial challenge of making monthly student loan payments on top of rent, transportation, and other living costs, especially when career opportunities are often found in locations with a high cost of living. Exactly how much does this debt impact the lives of working professionals in America? A recent Oliver Wyman survey commissioned by Gradifi gives us a clearer picture of the far-reaching effects student loans have on Americans’ financial wellness.

To view the complete report, you can download it here.

Health insurance startup Alan launches four new verticals
Romain Dillet / TechCrunch

French startup Alan announced new products, international expansion plans and a brand refresh at a press conference this morning. The company also announced plans to overhaul some of its tech stack to improve the overall user experience.

Alan is a software-as-a-service startup that offers health insurance in France. The company wants to create a well-designed insurance product with transparent pricing and policies to make healthcare more accessible. The startup has obtained an official health insurance license and raised around $86 million over the years.

Until today, Alan offered insurance products to companies and freelancers. The startup is greatly expanding its potential user base by addressing new markets.

Cybersecurity Market To Reach USD 27.10 Billion By 2026

Based on current analysis, the global healthcare cybersecurity market was valued at USD 7.66 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach USD 27.10 billion by 2026, at a CAGR 16.8% Healthcare cybersecurity is a growing concern. The health care industry progressively depends on the technology that’s connected to the internet from patient records and lab results to radiology equipment and hospital elevators. It has proved to be lucrative for the patient care, as predominantly it facilitates data integration, patient engagement, and clinical support. On the other hand, those technologies are often vulnerable to cyberattacks, which can siphon off patient data, hijack drug infusion devices to mine cryptocurrency, or shut down an entire hospital until a ransom is paid. Significantly cybersecurity in healthcare situations is not easy and will require cooperation from everyone including doctors to nurses, to IT professionals and manufacturers. Cybersecurity fissures include stealing health information and ransomware attacks on hospitals and could also include attacks on implanted medical devices.

WatchTower Adds New Insurance Offerings to Its Cloud-Based Platform
InsurTech company now supports Dental, Vision and Worksite insurance

WatchTower, a cloud-based platform that simplifies the employer-sponsored insurance distribution process, announced today that it has expanded its offerings to support Dental, Vision, and Worksite insurance, doubling its product portfolio. The expansion now allows brokers to run an entire non-medical RFP through the company's platform, which already supports Life and Disability insurance.

"This milestone deepens our commitment to helping brokers and employers offer the best possible benefits," said Richard Perrott, Chief Operating Officer of WatchTower. "By expanding our offerings, we increase the industry's access to information that no single broker, carrier or employer has on their own. We can help these stakeholders make data-driven decisions about benefit packages and achieve better outcomes overall."

WatchTower is purpose-built for the employee benefit insurance industry's mid-to-large market. Its technology removes manual, error-prone workflows and substantially reduces administrative burden so that brokers can help employers provide the highest-quality benefits to their employees.

Insurance brokers use WatchTower's platform to obtain favorable pricing for employers by comparing bids from multiple insurance companies at once. Through the access of de-identified purchase transaction data, a broker can verify that an employer is offered equitable coverage at cost-effective rates compared to employers of similar size or industry.

Kin raises $47 million and launches homeowner insurance carrier in disaster-prone areas

Kin, a Chicago-based startup that aims to match customers in disaster-prone regions with home insurance policies, today announced that it’s raised $47 million in funding from August Capital, with participation from Hudson Structured Capital Management (HSCM Bermuda), Avanta, and UChicago Startup Investment Program. The fresh funds bring the company’s total raised to over $60 million as it gears up for the launch of an insurance carrier in Florida, the Kin Interinsurance Network.

“We wanted to be able to control all aspects of the customer experience, and the best way to do that was to launch a carrier,” said Kin cofounder and CEO Sean Harper. “We have a team of the best insurance minds in the business guiding our path, and we believe in what we’re doing: taking the difficulty and high cost out of home insurance and focusing on what really matters — taking care of the homeowner.”

Kin was founded in 2016 by Harper, Lucas Ward, Jason Heidkamp, and Sebastian Villarreal, who hail from such startups and tech giants as Groupon, Rippleshot, Bright Policy, and Avant. The bulk of its efforts focus on addressing pain points in the home insurance application pipeline, including (but not limited to) pricing, customer care, and underwriting.


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, 08/28/19 - Healthcare Promises: What 2020 Presidential Candidates Aren’t Telling You

Thursday, 08/29/19 - Life Insurance Startup Ethos Valued At More Than $400 Million After Series C Raise

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