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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, 10/04/19 - https://DailyInsuranceReport.com 

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

Targeting 'Medicare For All' Proposals, Trump Lays Out His Vision For Medicare
Selena Simmons-Duffin / npr.org

President Trump gave a speech and signed an executive order on health care Thursday, casting the "Medicare for All" proposals from his Democratic rivals as harmful to seniors.

His speech, which had been billed as a policy discussion, had the tone of a campaign rally. Trump spoke from The Villages, a huge retirement community in Florida outside of Orlando, a deep-red part of a key swing state.

His speech was marked by cheers and standing ovations, and intermittent chants of "four more years" by an audience of mostly seniors.

Trump spoke extensively about his administration's health care achievements and goals, and the health policy proposals of Democratic candidates for president, which he characterized as socialism.

The executive order he signed had previously been titled "Protecting Medicare from Socialist Destruction" on the White House schedule, but has since been renamed, "Protecting and Improving Medicare for Our Nation's Seniors."

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!

6 Key Insights About 401ks and Other Employee Benefits
by John Sullivan, Editor-In-Chief October 2, 2019 in Research/Tools, Your 401k News 0

This is concerning. Only 17 percent of employers are very confident that their employees will be able to achieve a financially secure retirement, according to Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS).

It’s new survey, Employers: The Retirement Security Challenge, finds that employers are aware of the need among employees to work beyond traditional retirement age, but few have updated their business practices to support them.

Key findings include:

1) Retirement plan sponsorship rates are lower among small companies
2) Multiple employer plans show promise for expanding coverage
3) Extending eligibility to part-time employees is key to expanding coverage
4) Automatic enrollment is an underutilized feature that can make it more convenient to save
5) Plan sponsors should do more to assist with retirement transition
6) Other employee benefits can help improve financial security

Walmart Rolls Out Slew of New Health-Care Benefits for Employees
By Matthew Boyle / Bloomberg

Walmart Inc. will test a variety of new health-care programs for some of its workers next year, aiming to provide easier access and better care while also reducing its own expenses.

The nation’s biggest private employer will use a data-analytics company to connect workers with select local doctors in a few regions, expand its tele-health program in other areas and offer health-care “concierges” to act as a single point of contact for staff in North Carolina and South Carolina, according to a statement Thursday.

The company is also adding a $35 co-pay for doctor visits in its most-used medical plan, and providing discounted gym memberships.

The steps, which take effect in January, are the latest example of how Walmart has sweetened the benefits offered to its 1.5 million U.S. employees, after weathering years of criticism that it shortchanged them. The moves include everything from expanding parental leave to relaxing its dress code.

Starbucks expands fertility benefits to cover surrogacy, boosts reimbursements
By Caroline Hroncich / ebn

Employees at Starbucks now have access to broader fertility benefits.

Starting this month, the coffee giant is bolstering its benefits to reimburse for surrogacy and intrauterine insemination not covered by health insurance. Workers will receive reimbursements of up to $10,000 per qualifying event, with a lifetime maximum of $30,000.

Lifetime maximums for fertility benefits are also increasing under Starbucks medical plans — to $25,000 from $15,000 for fertility services, and to $10,000 from $5,000 for prescription drugs. All full- and part-time benefit employees who work at least 20 hours per week are eligible for the benefits.

A company spokesperson told Employee Benefit News, Starbucks wanted to update its Family Expansion Reimbursement program to assist employees whose needs are not fully met by health insurance.

401(k) lawsuits get more complex
One recent case alleges an employer didn't appropriately take into account index-fund tracking error
By Greg Iacurci / Investment News

Lawsuits targeting 401(k) plan sponsors increasingly involve issues that are complex and granular. It's a trend that's likely to continue as such litigation proliferates and one that some advisers and attorneys fear may leave employers paralyzed when it comes to retirement plan design.

The most recent quirk comes via a lawsuit filed against employer Community Health Systems Inc., a large hospital network, which was sued by participants in its $3.2 billion 401(k) plan for alleged retirement-plan mismanagement.

Plaintiffs alleged, among other things, that CHS acted imprudently in retaining an index mutual fund given its tracking error, a reference to how closely the fund tracks a market index like the S&P 500.

This particular fund, the Principal Large Cap S&P 500 index fund, allegedly lagged its benchmark by an average 9.1 basis points between 2010 and 2018, while similar funds offered by BlackRock, Vanguard Group, State Street and Northern Trust lagged by roughly 1 to 2 basis points on average. This underperformance, plaintiffs claimed, led to poor performance that lost participants some retirement savings.

Financial advisers and attorneys familiar with 401(k) litigation said they hadn't previously seen a claim involving index-fund tracking error, and that the reference to tracking error in the CHS lawsuit speaks to an evolution.

401(k) breach complaint against Invesco dismissed
ROBERT STEYER Pensions&Investments

A federal judge dismissed 401(k) fiduciary breach claims against Invesco but gave the plaintiff 20 days to file an amended complaint.

A U.S. District Court judge in Atlanta granted the request by Invesco Holding Co. to dismiss all fiduciary breach claims by a participant in the company's 401(k) plan who alleged, among other things, that Invesco packed the investment lineup with proprietary products.

"Defendants move to dismiss all claims for failure to state a claim" under the federal rules of civil procedure, wrote U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg on Sept. 25. She added that defendants argued that two of the six allegations should be dismissed due to ERISA's statute of limitations on filing fiduciary breach complaints.

The judge agreed with Invesco, but also allowed the plaintiff to file an amended complaint within 20 days in the case of Cervantes vs. Invesco Holding Co. (US) Inc. et al. Defendants include several Invesco affiliates, subsidiaries and executives who manage the 401(k) plan and provided products and services to it.

Column: She’s 82. The cost of her long-term care insurance just went up 80%

According to the American Assn. for Long-Term Care Insurance, there are fewer than a dozen coverage providers still writing policies.

All have applied in recent years for higher rates -- permission that is typically granted because the only other recourse would be the companies going bankrupt, making it difficult if not impossible for policyholders to submit claims.

“It’s not a bait and switch,” said Jesse Slome, executive director of the association. “An insurance company has to accurately project multiple things many years into the future.”

When those variables fail to pencil out, he said, the coverage provider has no choice but to adapt to the changed circumstances, which almost always means higher rates, reduced coverage or both.

In 2000, for example, U.S. healthcare spending totaled $1.4 trillion. It’s since more than doubled to $3.5 trillion. In 2000, the average American lived about 77 years. Today, average life expectancy is closer to 79 years.

“When long-term care insurance was launched as a new product in the 1970s and 1980s, there was no historical experience -- long-term care insurance claims data -- available that actuaries could use to determine pricing,” she told me.

Punter Southall purchases BDO employee benefits arm
By Jack Gray 3 / Pensions Age

Punter Southall Aspire has announced that it is purchasing accountancy and business firm BDO’s employee benefits business.

The financial planning and retirement savings company hopes that the deal will strengthen its own employee benefits business by adding 320 new corporate clients.

Punter Southall will bring in a team of employee benefits specialists from BDO, formerly known as Moore Stephens LLP, to join the firm at its London office.


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, 10/03/19 - Ads for "Trumpcare," which doesn't exist, are everywhere

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

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Walt Bernard Podgurski - - Editor