Daily Insurance Report  
Walt Bernard Podgurski,  Editor,  440-773-1108, 
Walt@DailyInsuranceReport.com

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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, 09/05/19 - https://DailyInsuranceReport.com 

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



HAFA Announces Strategic Partnership with Community Doctors
Baton Rouge, LA

HAFA Announces its partnership with Community Doctors, an innovator in network and ancillary product healthcare programs.

Community Doctors will expand our member’s product line by giving them competitive advantages that the market needs. The markets include individual consumers, employer groups and Associations. Community Doctors was created to serve the millions of Americans in need of direct and affordable access to basic healthcare services.

“Our healthcare system is going through a transformational period that’s led to many drastic changes. Now more than ever, people are becoming aware that there are tools to help them take more control of their healthcare needs. Community Doctors is leading the way by empowering our members saving them time and money by providing an affordable pathway to good health.” – Mark Gebhardt – Founder, Community Doctors

Small businesses welcome the Community Doctors platform to help keep their workforce healthy. Affordable, easy to install and administrate. Community Doctors opens doors to new business relationships for those who find providing traditional insurance benefits for their employees, unaffordable.



Suing Over Savings: 401(k) Lawsuits Increase
Corey Olson / iHeartMedia's

A growing number of companies are facing lawsuits from their own employees over 401(k) retirement plans. That according to a new report from the Center for Retirement Research (CRR) at Boston College. The research shows the number of 401(k) lawsuits reached a high of 107 in 2008, at the onset of the Great Recession. After steadily declining to as few as just two lawsuits in 2013, the number grew again to 56 in 2016 and 51 in 2017.

The increase in these mostly class-action lawsuits comes as more Americans are participating in retirement savings programs like 401(k)s. "These lawsuits typically focus on a few different things," says Geoffrey Sanzenbacher, associate director of the CRR. "One is that the investment options offered in the 401(k) had a return rate that was lower than expected, and the company should have known would be lower than expected."

"Employers can also be sued because the plan was simply too expensive, or for 'self-dealing,' which is basically that the plan is acting in its own interests, and not the employees' interests," says Sanzenbacher.



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Jerry Schlichter, who has won $450 million for employees claiming retirement plan mismanagement, has Fidelity Investments Inc. scrambling over the possibility that he may call its chairman and CEO to testify in a case involving the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
By Greg Edwards – Reporter / St. Louis Business Journal

The plaintiffs, who are four participants in the school’s 401(k) plan, sued MIT in 2016, claiming it spent millions of dollars in excessive and unreasonable fees within Fidelity-administered accounts and offered imprudent investment lineups.

Schlichter, of St. Louis-based firm Schlichter Bogard & Denton, has included Fidelity Chairman and CEO Abigail Johnson on a preliminary list of witnesses he wants to call at trial, contending that she has direct knowledge of a quid-pro-quo arrangement between MIT and Fidelity involving donations to the university.



 
NXT  NXT Employee Benefits Investor Forum
NXT offers a boutique service for the “Founders and CEO’s” of “Start-Up,  Early Stage, & SME” companies in the “Employee Benefits” marketplace.

We create the opportunity for innovative entrepreneurs to “pitch” their company to Venture Capitalists, Private Equity Firms, Angel Investors, Representatives from Insurance Carriers / Banks Who Have an Internal Venture Fund and/or Seeking Strategic Relationships, Product and Distribution Heads at Insurance Companies, and IMO’s.

LEARN MORE...




CHS, Principal sued by 401(k) participants
ROB KOZLOWSKI / Pensions&Investments

CHS/Community Health Systems Inc., Franklin, Tenn., and record keeper Principal Financial Group are the targets of a class-action lawsuit filed by a group of participants in the company's 401(k) plan, alleging the company and record keeper violated their fiduciary duties in offering Principal's index funds in the plan.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Nashville on Aug. 8, alleges that CHS breached its fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 by offering "excessively expensive and poorly performing index funds in the plan that were managed by Principal," according to the court filing.



How HR Can Lower Healthcare Costs Without Reducing Coverage
By Eileen Clark, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, ELAP Services / HR Daily Adviser

Large employers currently pay about $500 more in healthcare costs per employee than they did just a year ago—money every company would love to have back. With healthcare costs increasing yearly, many HR departments are struggling to contain healthcare spending, which has become the largest cost to many companies outside of payroll.

The escalating healthcare costs not only cut into every budget, including HR’s, but also hurt the business’s benefits package—a vital offering in today’s tight labor market—and its ability to retain and recruit employees.

While decoding health care’s black box to lower costs might seem impossible or overwhelming, a reference-based pricing model can help self-insured businesses and HR professionals lower healthcare costs without reducing quality of coverage.



Florida Obamacare navigators get $1.3 million in federal funding
By NASEEM S. MILLER / ORLANDO SENTINEL

In preparation for the Obamacare open enrollment period on Nov. 1, the federal government announced this year’s funding for the navigators, who provide free help to individuals who want to sign up for a plan in the marketplace.

The top grantee this year is Texas, with $1.5 million, followed by Florida, which received $1.3 million.



Mills proposes Maine-run marketplace for 'Obamacare' coverage
Mainbiz

Maine may soon runs its own marketplace for private health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, often known as "Obamacare," if a plan by Gov. Janet Mills is approved.

Mills said in a news release Thursday that she’s proposing the state take over management of its marketplace, which consumers and small businesses use to shop for health coverage and apply for financial assistance under the ACA.

Maine currently relies on the federal government to operate the state marketplace. But states have the choice to run their marketplaces independently, or with help from the feds; there are several options. Under Mills’ plan, Maine would have greater control over outreach, marketing and consumer assistance, while the federal government would continue to provide the call center and website for enrollment.

“By pursuing a state-based marketplace, we will be putting ourselves — not the federal government — in the driver’s seat when it comes to helping consumers and small employers understand their options for affordable coverage, and we will better insulate ourselves from the attacks on health care that are coming out of Washington,” Mills said in the release.



How health benefits can be a competitive advantage for your company
By Mary Johnson – Contributor / Washington Business Journal

Health care is the most important benefit employers can offer, according to the 2017 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement survey from Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). But when it comes to the quality and effectiveness of those benefits, there is ample room for improvement.

The SHRM survey found that 63 percent of employees said health benefits were “very important,” followed closely by leave and flexibility. But, just 31 percent were “very satisfied” with the benefits their employers offered.

That matters in a tight labor market, where it’s not enough to offer the bare minimum. If companies want to keep the talent they have and bring new people in, they have to take an innovative, thoughtful approach to benefits packages, McDermott said.

Businesses are seeing the value in tailoring their benefits packages to the needs of their employees, rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach, McDermott said. The construction company offers a prime example: Giving employees what they want and need has become a competitive advantage.



Why your people want to get healthy but can’t
MERCER

Anyone who has ever attempted to stick to a fitness routine or cut out junk food knows just how hard it is to put an end to bad habits. That’s because bad habits start for a reason, and good intentions alone aren’t enough to deliver significant behaviour change. So it’s perhaps unsurprising that the health of people at work is continuing to deteriorate.

According to the latest Britain’s Healthiest Workplace study,1 which Mercer founded six years ago with Vitality Health to better understand the impact of employee health on productivity, UK employers are now losing an average of 35.6 days of productive time per person per year, compared to 30.4 days last year.

This sharp increase means that, on average, 13.63% of work time is lost to health-related absence (1,16%) and presenteeism2 (12.47%), in no small part due to poor lifestyle choices, which most employees don’t even realise are impacting negatively on their ability to perform at work.

Fortunately, employers that apply the science of behaviour change to their wellbeing programmes can dramatically increase people’s chances of converting good intentions into actions that help them lead healthier lives.


Heirs Can Use NUA Tax Break for Inherited 401(k)s
This tax-saving move will result in more money in your pocket if you inherit employer stock.
By RACHEL L. SHEEDY, Editor / From Kiplinger's Retirement Report

Workers who have a stash of employer stock in their 401(k)s can make use of a tax-saving move known as net unrealized appreciation, or NUA. But this tax-saving move is also available to heirs who inherit 401(k)s that hold employer stock, IRA expert Ed Slott recently noted at his IRA workshop in National Harbor, Md.

Here’s how the NUA strategy works: Say a deceased worker had employer stock in his 401(k) with an original cost basis of $100,000 and a current value of $500,000. If the heir rolls assets from the 401(k) to an inherited IRA, she can split off the appreciated employer stock and roll that into a taxable brokerage account.
https://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T001-C005-S004-heirs-can-use-nua-tax-break-for-inherited-401-k-s.html



Tabula Rasa HealthCare Expands Services to PACE in Louisiana
GLOBE NEWSWIRE

Tabula Rasa HealthCare, Inc. (TRHC) (TRHC), a healthcare technology company advancing the field of medication safety, has been selected by PACE of Greater New Orleans (PACE GNO) to provide medication risk mitigation and comprehensive pharmacy services for the second PACE program in Louisiana. Services will began September 1, 2019.

PACE GNO (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly in the Greater New Orleans area) services are provided for PACE participants at its historic Adult Day Health and Activities Centers in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans and on the Westbank in Marrero. With the expanded service area, qualified seniors in parts of Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes can benefit from PACE GNO’s comprehensive healthcare program and services.

Tabula Rasa HealthCare (TRHC) is a leader in providing patient-specific, data-driven technology and solutions that enable healthcare organizations to optimize performance to improve patient outcomes, reduce hospitalizations, lower healthcare costs and manage risk. Medication risk management is TRHC’s lead offering, and its cloud-based software applications, including EireneRx® and MedWise®, provide solutions for a range of payers, providers and other healthcare organizations.



Rideshare Giants Slam Brakes on Giving Contract Drivers Employee Benefits
By Thom Jensen / NBC BAY AREA

Gig-economy giants Uber and Lyft pledged to spend at least $90 million to launch a ballot proposition to fight rideshare contract drivers asking for benefits.

Upset about losing a bigger share of their fares, rideshare drivers took to the streets of San Francisco and called on state lawmakers to support AB-5 - which makes it harder to classify certain workers as independent contractors - a legislation that passed the house in May.

To combat AB-5, rideshare companies are willing to spend at least $90 million to launch proposition revise AB-5 or Kill Assembly Bill 5 if it’s signed into law.



  Archives

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

Tuesday, 09/03/19 - Bernie Sanders calls for eliminating all medical debt at South Carolina event

Wednesday, 09/04/19 - Walmart tests the waters for digital healthcare

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

Friday, 08-30-19 - Health Savings Accounts Hold Over $61 Billion For Future Medical Expenses


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Walt Bernard Podgurski - - Editor
440-773-1108
Walt@DailyInsuranceReport.com