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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, 09/27/19 - https://DailyInsuranceReport.com 

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American Airlines sees engagement soar with new benefits tech
By: Kathryn Mayer / Human Resource Executive

American Airlines turned to a new technology last year and launched it to employees in January. The result? Big engagement, satisfaction and utilization. Photo courtesy of American Airlines.

Like many employers, American Airlines had a problem with its benefits engagement. Though the airline, with 130,000 employees, has a number of services and employee benefit offerings, workers had a hard time navigating them or knowing which way to turn for specific needs.

“We [as benefits managers] think if we give people a lot of programs, they’ll know what to do. But [employees are] looking for ‘just in time’ health,” Schneider said this week, speaking at the National Business Group on Health’s Workforce Strategy conference in San Diego.

“We knew they wanted a point of contact to get the care but also help them understand the offerings that were available to them,” he said. “It was really important that our employees know we care about them on their life journey and on their health journey.”

American Airlines is using Accolade, a personalized health and benefits solution that combines different technologies to help employees navigate their health benefits.

Enter Accolade, a personalized health and benefits solution that combines different technologies to help employees navigate their health benefits. Its other employer clients include Comcast, Lowe’s and AmeriGas.

“Data shows 24% of employees understand their benefits, but I think that’s a generous number. Benefits teams are left doing a lot of cleanup,” said Matt Eurey, senior vice president of customer and health plan partnerships at Accolade. “I think there’s an expectation. Individuals want a simplistic experience. Healthcare has not lived up to a very seamless, simple experience.”

So far, nearly 58,000 unique members have been assisted and 46% of families at American Airlines engage with Accolade. That number is even higher for high-cost families—defined as those who have a $50,000 spend in medical and prescription combined in a given plan year. Of those, American is seeing 91% engagement.

NXT  NXT Employee Benefits Investor Forum - - Who Presents?
NXT carefully chooses the presentation companies that it believes have identified innovative solutions related to the "health and employee benefits" marketplace.

Presenters bring a diverse spectrum of technology expertise including: artificial intelligence, marketing automation, governance solutions, sales platforms, apps for customer interaction, data security software, data mining, machine learning, block chain, biometrics, payments, fraud protection, cyber-security, data analytics, virtual platforms to coordinate health treatments, tools to optimize an organization’s internal performance metrics, and employee on-boarding and career development platforms.

In addition to fintech and insurtech companies, NXT focuses on specific product and service opportunities.


Walmart Adds Healthcare to $1 a Day College Program

Beginning today, Walmart’s 1.5 million associates in the US can apply for one of seven bachelor’s degrees and two career diplomas in health-related fields for $1 a day through Live Better U, Walmart’s education benefit program.

The new offerings will arm associates with training to fill critical health care roles across Walmart and Sam’s Club, which includes more than 5,000 retail pharmacies, 3,000 vision centers and 400 hearing centers, as well as the new Walmart Health center in Georgia. The upskilled workforce will help the retailer make quality health care more affordable and accessible for customers in the communities it serves.

The health and wellness courses include career diploma programs for pharmacy technicians and opticians through Penn Foster, and seven bachelor’s degrees in health science, health and wellness and healthcare management/administration offered through Purdue University Global, Southern New Hampshire University, Bellevue University and Wilmington University.

Live Better U now includes more than 50 programs, removing financial and access barriers to education for associates seeking educational opportunities across professions.

  Need assistance during enrollment season?
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we enroll REGARDLESS OF group size, location or working conditions.
  Not your traditional enrollment service.
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Obama-Era Scheme Illegally Paid $227 Million to States as a Result of Miscalculations
Rushed Medicaid bonus failed to vet inflated state enrollment figures

The federal government incorrectly paid states hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses to expand health care coverage before Obamacare's implementation.

The Obama administration erroneously sent $277 million to state governments that inflated the number of children enrolled in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The federal government began offering bonuses to state programs to help cover the costs of expanded child coverage shortly after Obama took office in 2009. Over the next four years, the program paid out $645 million in bonuses, 43 percent of which turned out to be "unallowable," according to a new report by the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Miscalculations and administrative errors, such as counting disabled people as children in the total tally, drastically inflated the number of children covered by state health care systems, leading to chronic overpayment.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) distributed the bonus payments to states if they enrolled more children in health care programs than a baseline quota established by the CMS. The agency, however, relied on data submitted by the states to evaluate how many kids were enrolled. CMS did not double-check the figures.

This CEO Is Making Healthcare More Affordable With Digital Biomarkers

The healthcare industry is shifting from a disease intervention model to a disease prevention and detection model. New technology is beginning to unbundle primary care functions, such as lab testing and disease screening, while making them more accessible to patients in a home environment. Advancing artificial or augmented intelligence (AI) capabilities and the ubiquity of multimodal sensors in smart devices that can measure key phenotypic signs or “digital biomarkers” of disease create the potential for personal health monitoring in most people’s pockets.

This new healthcare model could democratize, expedite and improve the cost-effectiveness of pharmaceutical drug development by cheaply and efficiently allowing more people throughout the world to contribute their health data to virtual clinical trials. Not only is technology ready to incite this new healthcare model; a growing emphasis on objective, quantitative and outcome-based medicine, alongside increasing consumer demand for convenience and autonomy, makes today ripe for industry-wide change.

Forbes Technology Council member Savan Devani is the founder and CEO of BioTrillion, a San Francisco-based health technology startup developing a digital biomarker platform for data-driven drug development and digitally detecting developing diseases called BioEngine4D.

Top 10 fiduciary misconceptions among 401(k) plan sponsors
These may be more problematic than fiduciary mistakes
By Fred Barstein / InvestmentNews

The level of confusion about ERISA fiduciary liability among employers that sponsor defined-contribution plans with less than $250 million in assets cannot be overstated.

That's not judgmental — it's just reality. It's not surprising that generalist human resources or finance professionals who have little to no training and are juggling 10 jobs wouldn't be fiduciary experts. That's why they rely on providers and advisers to help.

While mistakes may result in fines and penalties, misconceptions can lead to bad results for the organization and its employees. Bad advice from a plan sponsor's trusted third party, whether intentional or negligent, can produce inertia and a lack of trust in the entire system.

Here are the top 10 fiduciary misconceptions based on importance or what is most common, in reverse order.


Monday, 09/23/19 -UAW workers claim they were blindsided by health insurance switch

Tuesday, 09/24/19 - GM caves on increasing employee health costs

Wednesday, 09/25/19 - Healthcare May Eventually Become A Bigger Business For Best Buy Than Selling Electronics

Thursday, 09/26/19 - Mayo Clinic, Google to Form Healthcare Partnership

Friday, 09/20/19 - 25 Ways the Canadian Health Care System is Better than Obamacare for the 2020 Elections by Ralph Nader

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Walt Bernard Podgurski - - Editor