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.
  Friday, 09/06/19 - https://DailyInsuranceReport.com 

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Prudential Financial to acquire Assurance IQ, Inc., a leading consumer solutions platform for health and financial wellness needs, for $2.35 billion
Adds established direct-to-consumer channel to reach underserved mass market
Fast-growing, highly scalable business model offers significant upside potential
Acquisition offers attractive financial benefits; accretive to EPS and ROE in year 1; enhances long-term growth profile
BUSINESS WIRE

Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU) today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Assurance IQ, Inc., “Assurance,” a profitable, fast-growing direct-to-consumer platform that transforms the buying experience for individuals seeking personalized health and financial wellness solutions.

“Assurance accelerates the strategy and growth potential of Prudential’s financial wellness businesses, bringing us closer to more people across the entire socio-economic spectrum to better serve the full picture of their needs”

Terms of the acquisition include a total upfront consideration of $2.35 billion, plus an additional earnout of up to $1.15 billion in cash and equity, contingent upon Assurance achieving multi-year growth objectives.

Using a combination of advanced data science and human expertise, Assurance matches buyers with customized solutions spanning life, health, Medicare and auto insurance, giving them options to purchase entirely online or with the help of a technology-assisted live agent. Assurance’s innovative model also matches consumers with the live agent or specific sales process that is best suited to their needs, resulting in better customer outcomes that drive higher levels of engagement and conversion. This approach is underpinned by an ongoing shift in consumer preferences, whereby individuals increasingly begin their research for personalized financial services online and then seek consultation with human experts to complete their purchase.

By eliminating the inefficiencies of conventional models, Assurance’s technology-driven, on-demand service platform lowers the cost of customer acquisition, allowing deeper reach into the mass market while maintaining a high level of service and product selection. Its rapid-growth model offers compelling economic advantages with low fixed costs and low capital requirements that produce high margins and a high degree of scalability.



 
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...




Chubb Workplace Benefits Introduces Next Generation Critical Illness and Accident Products
PR Newswire / YAHOO FINANCE

Chubb Workplace Benefits, a Chubb business that partners with benefits brokers, agents and consultants to offer voluntary benefits to the employees of middle-market and large companies in the U.S, announced today its next generation of group critical illness and accident products. The new products feature innovative benefits for diabetes, cancer and telemedicine services, demonstrating Chubb's continuing commitment to crafting employee benefits that can help today's employers strengthen the financial security of their workforce and help employees manage their healthcare costs.

"Our approach to product development addresses leading concerns in today's healthcare arena, such as diabetes and cancer," said Janet Buzil, Vice President of Product Development and Marketing. "With more than 30 million Americans living with diabetes1, primarily Type 2, and one in eight women developing breast cancer2, the time is now to build innovative products that promote healthier lifestyles and provide Americans with better financial protection."



TOP MEDICAL CARRIER
  • Discounted Medical Rates with Accident / Critical Illness / Hospital Income
  • Free Benefit Administration for 2 years
  • Free Case building
  • PLUS Flexible Spending, ACA, etc.
 Taking Q4 orders now 




How Healthcare Price Transparency Can Cuts Costs, Improve Value
A study analyzing healthcare price transparency in Massachusetts finds steering patients toward lower-price providers or setting price ceilings saves 9.0 to 12.8%.
Healthcare price transparency
By Jacqueline LaPointe / REVCYCLE INTELLIGENCE

Market-wide healthcare price transparency is a key way to increase the value of healthcare spending, according to a new study from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

Published in the September 2019 edition of Health Affairs, the study examined healthcare price transparency efforts in Massachusetts, which makes data available on actual prices negotiated between payers and providers.

Using a unique data set from a state agency that contains prices by procedure, payer, and provider for 291 predominantly outpatient medical services, researchers found that Massachusetts could save between 9.0 and 12.8 percent if policymakers and payers use the price information to steer patients to lower-price providers or set ceiling prices for services.



Minor details can lead to major issues when offering employee benefits
By Matt Reese / Ohio's Country Journal

On Oct. 1 of 2013 a notice went out through the Affordable Care Act to every employee in the U.S. informing them of the new options available. To be better informed, the notice instructed employees to consult their legally required SPD of workplace benefits. Guess what most employers did not have or had never even heard of before?

In short, if an employee requests an SPD or the business is audited and the employer does not have it, this minor detail gets very consequential very quickly.

“Every employer has to have a SPD for each employee for any health or welfare benefit that they provide. If you don’t have a SPD and it is requested in writing, all that employee has to do is turn you into the U.S. Department of Labor and, after 30 days, you have to pay a fine up to $114 per day until you provide the document,” said John Mayer with the Association Benefit Planners in Dublin. “The DOL starts an investigation and you get a letter from DOL about a full audit. If you don’t have the documents to produce, you have to figure out how to provide them. Most employers do not even know they need this. Then they don’t know who to call, so they call their lawyer. Then that gets expensive.”



Headwinds to annuities in 401(k) plans persist
Legal and administrative challenges have stalled uptake by plan sponsors
By Greg Iacurci

While plan sponsors have taken measures to improve retirement-income plan design in some ways — such as allowing savers to access their 401(k) accounts through regular withdrawals, rather than in one lump sum — annuity uptake remains stubbornly low.

According to a new survey published Wednesday by consulting firm Willis Towers Watson, 30% of 401(k) plan sponsors offer some sort of lifetime-income solution for participants. However, of those, the vast majority didn't use annuities: 88% offer systematic withdrawals and 70% offer education and planning tools, for example.

By comparison, only 17% offer funds (such as a TDF) with a built-in annuity component; just 15% offer a deferred annuity as a stand-alone investment option, and 15% connect participants to out-of-plan annuities using a third-party platform.



CBIZ Acquires Ohio-Based Employee Benefits Agency QBA Benefits, LLC
PR Newswire / YAHOO FINANCE

CBIZ, Inc. (CBZ) ("the Company") announced the acquisition of substantially all the assets of QBA Benefits, LLC, ("QBA") of Cleveland, Ohio effective August 1, 2019.

Established in 2018, QBA is an employee benefits agency serving small and mid-sized clients across many industries including service, technology, energy and manufacturing. QBA has eight employees and approximately $2.3 million in revenue.

Jerry Grisko, President and CEO of CBIZ, stated, "We're excited to welcome QBA to the CBIZ family. This acquisition brings additional depth and leadership to our employee benefits operations and rounds out the full breadth of CBIZ service offerings in Northeast Ohio. We look forward to working with James and the QBA team to further grow our Ohio market."

James Harmon of QBA, stated, "We are excited to join CBIZ. CBIZ's mission of providing exceptional advice and service is the same as what QBA believes and has been able to delivery since our start. The additional resources that CBIZ brings will help us continue to provide the very best to our clients."



Global IQX Announces Employee Benefits Automation Advances for Insurers at LIMRA Conference Sept. 10-12
ACCESSWIRE / YAHOO FINANCE

Global IQX, a leader in digital sales and services solutions for group benefits insurers, will announce new product innovations at the LIMRA Group & Worksite Benefits Conference next week as a silver sponsor and exhibitor.

In line with the theme, Global IQX will be showcasing its new features, including new artificial intelligence technologies, automated workflow, and lead, risk and health scores to improve efficiencies for global insurance providers.

“Artificial intelligence is starting to make an impact in group benefits insurance,” said Mike de Waal, president of Global IQX. “The AI features we’re unveiling are an exciting first step in a major evolution. As well as signing two recent clients, we are fortunate to have many long-term clients that work with us as partners in leading digital automation.”

The LIMRA Group & Worksite Benefits Conference will take place in Newport, Rhode Island from September 10 - 12, 2019. Global IQX experts will be available at booth number 5.



New Colonial Life campaign highlights unexpected moments in sports, life
BUSINESS WIRE)

No matter what word you use, the sports world is filled with unexpected moments that live on for generations in the minds of everyone involved – players, coaches and fans alike.

But life away from the gridiron, court and field isn’t that different. That’s the message of a new campaign from worksite benefits leader Colonial Life, in partnership with the University of South Carolina, that highlights the unexpected moments that occur both in sports and in life.

The Unexpected Moments campaign includes a new video spot showcasing exciting moments in Gamecocks sports history, a contest to allow sports fans to predict the scores of UofSC football games this fall and a website that helps people understand the value of financial protection during times of uncertainty and lives filled with unexpected moments.

“The new campaign demonstrates that life, just like sports, can be full of unexpected changes,” said Tim Arnold, president and CEO of Colonial Life. “Sometimes they’re small, but sometimes they’re big – like an accident, new promotion or illness.



Innovaccer Mentioned by Gartner in 4 Recent Healthcare Reports
PR Newswire

According to the Hype Cycle for U.S. Healthcare Payers, 2019, "This Hype Cycle provides critical input for strategic planning by tracking the maturity levels and adoption rates of emerging payer technologies and approaches. U.S. healthcare payer CIOs should use this research to plan their investments to optimize and transform." On the other hand, according to the Hype Cycle for Healthcare Providers, 2019, "This Hype Cycle provides critical input for strategic planning. It helps CIOs communicate with a range of stakeholders on future directions for health IT, analytics and medical innovation. It also supports CIOs' informed decision making to identify, understand and prioritize significant investments."

The Gartner Hype Cycle for Life Science Commercial Operations, 2019 states, "Life science organizations' commercial model is under attack. Accelerating medical innovation, emboldened payers, frustrated patients and digital disruptors are forcing CEOs to deliver transformation. CIOs should use this research to assess and implement emerging technologies for success."






  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, 09/05/19 - HAFA Announces Strategic Partnership with Community Doctors

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


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