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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, 10/03/19 - https://DailyInsuranceReport.com 

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



Ads for "Trumpcare," which doesn't exist, are everywhere
Bob Herman / AXIOS

Do a quick search for health insurance, and you'll find plenty of ads for "Trumpcare" plans that cost $59 or less per month. But there's a catch: Trumpcare doesn't exist, and many of these advertised plans offer bare-bones coverage.

Why it matters: For people who buy health insurance on their own instead of receiving it through an employer, searching for a plan is already challenging. And deceptive marketing only makes it harder, especially when these plans will leave consumers on the hook for potentially ruinous medical bills.

Reality check: The primary way the Trump administration has altered the insurance market is by expanding niche products — including short-term plans, association plans and health reimbursement arrangements.





ICMG Annual Conference
Orlando, Florida, January 29-30, 2020
ICMG's Annual Conference has a history of offering networking events where executives from insurance and financial product manufacturers and distributors meet and successfully develop business partnerships. Our next conference will be no exception!

Those that have attended for several years know the ICMG Annual Conference is the place to network and get deals done. If you're looking for a new product, someone to design a new product for you, or you're looking for distribution for new or existing products, chances are you can find what you're looking for at the ICMG Annual Conference.

WHO ATTENDS: Senior level executives and decision-makers from insurance carriers, fraternal, and financial organizations, marketing organizations and distributors, operational and sales support providers, and others involved in creating business relationships and strategic alliances.

See More and watch the video to get a feel of what you can expect at an ICMG Annual Conference!




Brokers launch distributed technologies incubator
Matthew Lerner / Business Insurance

Holmes Murphy & Associates on Friday said it has partnered with several firms to launch BrokerTech Ventures to serve as an incubator for development of distribution technologies.

Waukee, Iowa-based Holmes Murphy and Madison, Wisconsin-based M3 Insurance Solutions Inc. are co-founders of the venture. Partners include PayneWest Insurance, Missoula, Montana; ABD Insurance & Financial Services, San Mateo, California; Conner Strong & Buckelew, Camden, New Jersey; and Assurance Agency Ltd., Chicago, Holmes Murphy said in a statement.

BrokerTech Ventures will provide funding, curriculum, mentoring and other support for tech startups in the distribution realm, according to the statement. It will begin accepting applications in October from companies that wish to participate in the program, with the program’s launch planned for February 2020.



New Round of Medicare Readmission Penalties Hits 2,583 Hospitals
By Jordan Rau / KHN (KAISER HEALTH NEWS)

Medicare cut payments to 2,583 hospitals Tuesday, continuing the Affordable Care Act’s eight-year campaign to financially pressure hospitals into reducing the number of patients who return for a second stay within a month.

The severity and broad application of the penalties, which Medicare estimates will cost hospitals $563 million over a year, follows the trend of the past few years. Of the 3,129 general hospitals evaluated in the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program, 83% received a penalty, which will be deducted from each payment for a Medicare patient stay over the fiscal year that begins today.

Although Medicare began applying the penalties in 2012, disagreements continue about whether they have improved patient safety. On the positive side, they have encouraged hospitals to focus on how their patients recuperate, and some now assist them in procuring medications and follow-up appointments.

But the hospital industry and some academics have raised concerns that some hospitals may be avoiding readmitting patients who require additional inpatient care out of fear of the financial repercussions, while others have said the program is not showing major benefits.



Unum: 40% of people unsure if they have have life insurance
By Jennifer Carsen / HR DIVE

Dive Brief:

Forty percent of respondents in a recent Unum study of 1,000 U.S. adults report that they don't have or don't know if they have life insurance.

The study revealed a great deal of uncertainty and anxiety in this area: 35% of respondents said that thinking about what would happen to their family in the event of their unexpected death was a top cause of anxiety, right behind going to the dentist (40%). Additionally, if the primary wage-earner were to die unexpectedly, 32% of respondents between the ages 25 and 64 said their family would experience a financial impact within a month.

Unum, citing the life insurance industry group LIMRA, said nearly half of U.S. households are underinsured, with an average coverage gap of $200,000. While LIMRA recommends that individuals have seven to 10 times their salary in life insurance, 34% of respondents in the Unum study felt that one to two times their annual salary would be sufficient to protect their families.



Medical Tourism Conference Moves to Abu Dhabi with Highest Quality of Participants in 12 Years
PRNewswire

Hosted buyers, expert speakers, Ministers of Health, and hundreds of other healthcare executives will travel to Abu Dhabi next month as delegates to the 12th World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress (WMTC). The Congress, which hopes to address many of the challenges surrounding the medical tourism field, will take place from Oct. 15-17.

This year's meeting of the WMTC is a bold new direction for the world's fastest-growing meeting of healthcare innovators and disruptors. Leaders from every corner of the industry will meet in beautiful Abu Dhabi, where specially hosted buyers will take a private tour of the Emirate's burgeoning medical scene on Oct. 15. The first day will also feature a Ministerial Summit on medical tourism and population health management, as well as an all-day workshop event for industry insiders who wish to become a Certified Medical Travel Professional.

About the Medical Tourism Association: The MTA is the global trade association for the medical travel industry working with the leading hospitals, governments and insurers in the development and launch of world class healthcare systems and solutions and setting the industry standards, while focusing on offering the highest quality transparent healthcare for consumers and buyers around the globe. Through the publishing of research, analytics, insights, and training the MTA has raised the bar on international patient experience and outcomes, while helping educate health and wellness consumers from around the globe on their world of options. MTA's events are managed by Global Healthcare Resources.



Continuous Underwriting Platform Company Cowbell Cyber Receives $3.3 Million In Funding
By Dan Anderson / Pulse2.0

Cowbell Cyber — a startup focused on AI-powered cyber insurance for small to mid-sized enterprises — recently introduced the industry’s first continuous underwriting platform that aligns insurable threats to risk exposures in order to identify cyber risks and proactively mitigate losses in the aftermath of cyberattacks. And the company also secured $3.3 million in seed funding from leading insurance, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence venture funds, including ManchesterStory Group, Holmes Murphy & Associates, Tri-Valley Ventures and the Global Insurance Accelerator.

This round of funding will be used to help accelerate the go-to-market and development of its continuous risk assessment, underwriting, and comprehensive cyber liability insurance platform.

“With the increasing magnitude and frequency of cyber attacks, organizations not only need to focus on prevention and detection but also on managing risk mitigation in the aftermath of attacks,” said Cowbell Cyber founder and CEO Jack Kudale. “Cowbell Cyber has demystified enterprise-specific insurance coverage through the development of an early warning system that enables companies to gain complete insight into risk exposure and take control of loss mitigation while increasing insurability.”

The cyber insurance market saw a major boom over the last few years as high-profile breaches making weekly headlines and is forecasted to reach $14 billion globally by 2022. But the lack of observability into the real risk profile of cyber insurance has challenged insurance distribution, underwriting, and claims.



The World's Biggest Insurance Market Will Go Online Next Year
By Will Hadfield / Bloomberg

Lloyd’s of London, the insurance market founded three centuries ago, will write its first business electronically next year.

Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurer, will begin writing policies through an online-only syndicate on Jan. 1, according to emailed statements from both companies. While bundles of paper continue to dominate daily business at Lloyd’s, the new syndicate will not have any space on the floor at the market’s Lime Street headquarters.

The online insurer -- dubbed a “syndicate in a box” -- is the most eye-catching of six proposals to overhaul the market unveiled by Lloyd’s Chief Executive Officer John Neal at an event in London on Monday. Neal, who took the top job almost a year ago, plans to halve the cost of insuring risks at the world’s biggest market over the next five years.



The Many Faces of Value-Based Healthcare
Maria Stewart, Global Vice President, Health Economics and Market Accessv / Modern Healthcare

The definition of value-based healthcare has been debated for more than a decade, yet most of the discussion has focused on payment reform—a critical but notoriously slow and cumbersome process. If we define value more broadly as improving patient outcomes while making it more affordable to deliver those outcomes, there is a wider range of possibilities for product developers, providers and payers to collaborate, and signs of progress are easier to find.

Harnessing predictive analytics

As an example, heart failure, which affects 5.7 million adults in the U.S. alone, presents many challenges to the healthcare system. One in four heart failure patients is readmitted within 30 days of an initial hospitalization, and half of these patients die within five years of diagnosis. All of this costs an estimated $30.7 billion per year.

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) to identify patients who are likely to become sick, and to take preventative action to keep them healthier can have a significant impact. The Boston Scientific HeartLogic™ Heart Failure Diagnostic is one such monitoring tool. The software is embedded within implantable defibrillators—which many heart failure patients need—and uses sensors to collect and analyze an ongoing stream of a patient’s physiological data. The technology can predict heart failure events an average of 34 days before they happen, using multiple sensors to track physiological signals in and around the heart. This allows clinicians to intervene with patients sooner, empowering them to take preventive action and ultimately avoid patient hospitalizations.



Small firms may have a new way to offer 401(k) plans to their workers
Sarah O’Brien / CNBC

The rule, issued in July by the Labor Department and effective Monday, aims to expand the use of so-called multiple-employer plans.

Companies in different industries can band together to offer their workers a retirement plan through certain organizations, as long as they are located in the same geographical area.

A similar, but broader, proposal continues to idle in the Senate as part of the Secure Act.

A federal rule now in effect allows companies to team up through certain employer groups and professional organizations to offer a shared 401(k) plan to their workers. The rule, which aims to expand the use of so-called multiple-employer plans, comes as a similar — but broader — proposal continues to idle in the Senate as part of the Secure Act.

The target is the 38 million employees who don’t have a workplace retirement plan, according to figures from the Labor Department, which issued the new federal rule in late July. Lack of access is more pointed among small businesses: In 2018, 53% of workers at companies with fewer than 100 workers had access to one, compared with 85% of workers at larger companies.

Small-business owners have cited cost and administrative headaches as reasons they don’t offer retirement plans of their own to their workers. The new Labor Department rule aims to reduce those issues by making regulatory changes to allow local or state associations of employers — i.e., chambers of commerce — to sponsor a 401(k) plan that members can offer to their employees. Companies located far apart that want to band together would need to be in the same industry.







  Archives

Monday, 09/30/19 - Online comparison shopping for healthcare services increased 257% since 2012: UnitedHealthcare survey


Tuesday, 10/01/19 - Bank of America, Morgan Stanley eye growth in employee-benefits management


Wednesday, 10/02/19 - Schwab Cuts Commissions To Zero, As Free Trading Edges Toward The Norm


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



Friday, 09/27/19 -
American Airlines sees engagement soar with new benefits tech


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