20 States – But Not California – Bring Suit Over ACA

A coalition of 20 U.S. states sued the federal government on Monday over the Affordable Care Act. The suit claims the ACA is no longer constitutional after the repeal last year of the individual mandate. California is not among the states that joined the suit. The coalition is being led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel.

Way to Go CSAA!
Props go to the employees of CSAA Insurance Group. The insurer achieved the highest employee volunteer participation rate in the U.S. by a company with 3,000 or more employees. Marking a new milestone in 2017, CSAA Insurance Group increased employee volunteer participation to 99 percent. More than 3,600 employees volunteered at 547 events across the country, contributing nearly 44,000 volunteer hours – a $1.06 million value – to nonprofit organizations. CSAA Insurance Group emphasizes team volunteer events during the regular work day, and offers employees 24 hours of paid time off to volunteer each year.

Legal Club Partners with U.S. Legal Forms to Provide Members with Online Forms
Legal Club has entered into a partnership with U.S. Legal Forms, Inc., a national online publisher of state-specific legal documents. U.S. Legal Forms will provide over 85,000 forms to Legal Club’s millions of members. Most of these forms are ready to use without additional review by an attorney. Forms are available to members online at www.legalclub.com. Visit Legal Club’s website for more information.

VSP Launches Smart Glasses That Give Back

As if your glasses didn’t make you look smart enough, VSP is taking the whole thing up a notch. Beginning in March, the company is rolling out Level™ smart glasses, specs that feature activity-tracking technology seamlessly embedded inside the temple of an optical frame. The technology tracks activity via an accompanying smartphone app and as wearers reach daily step goals they earn points redeemable for a donation of vision care services to individuals in need.

Level smart glasses began in 2015 as the Project Genesis prototype within VSP Global’s innovation lab, The Shop. A partnership and academic study with USC Center for Body Computing soon followed in 2016, with results published last September in the NEJM Catalyst (see “Why People Stick with or Abandon Wearable Devices”). The best part? Most VSP members will be able to apply their vision care benefits toward the purchase of Level glasses.

Want more vision? Don’t miss the April issue of Cal Broker. We’ll be focusing on vision!

MetLife Offers Enhanced Travel Assistance Program with AXA’s International Teleconsultation Service
The National Travel and Tourism Office says U.S. citizens take over 35 million trips overseas annually. That’s why, says MetLife, they’ll be partnering with AXA International Teleconsultation Service. MetLife will enhance its travel assistance program by providing international teleconsultation through AXA Partners. The new service will enable employees traveling outside the U.S. and Canada to have face-to-face virtual medical consultations with U.S. providers anytime from anywhere in the world. The addition of AXA’s international teleconsultation will provide access to a 24/7 medical team made up of U.S. trained, licensed physicians and advanced practitioners who can provide medical advice, treatment options, assistance with prescription refills, provider referrals and more.

AIG Unveils More Competitive Term Life Insurance Rates
AIG announced new lower rates for Select-a-Term, the flagship term product issued by American General Life Insurance Company (AGL) and The United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York (US Life). Select-a-Term, which has long featured a choice of 18 term durations, now offers reduced premiums for face amounts of $250,000 and more. Select-a-Term offers guaranteed level term coverage for 10-year, 15- through 30-year, and 35-year terms, with renewable coverage until age 95. For more details, visit AIG online.

Landmark Discontinues Sale of New Individual & Family Chiropractic Plans
Landmark announced that the company has discontinued the sale of new chiropractic plans to individuals and families. Members that are currently enrolled in one of these plans will not be affected with respect to accessing their plan benefits or provider network through the end of their policy term.  All  enrolled members will be notified 31 to 60 days prior to the end of their policy term that the chiro plan they are currently enrolled in will be discontinued and no renewal option will be available.  Currently enrolled members should continue to pay their plan premiums and access care to the end of their policy term up to their maximum allowable annual visits. Landmark’s employer group plans are not affected by the discontinuing sales of new individual and family plans. Should clients need  assistance with finding a provider or any other aspect of their Landmark plans, please have them visit Landmark’s website or call customer service at (800) 295-4875, option 2.

More Peeps for an Increasingly Data-Driven Insurance Industry
The CAS Institute (iCAS) announced it has now qualified more than 100 designees of the Certified Specialist in Predictive Analytics (CSPA) credential. The CSPA, which provides evidence of practical knowledge in applied predictive analytics and data science as used in data-intensive industry sectors, was launched in 2017 to meet the needs of an increasingly data-driven insurance industry. The CAS Institute offers practitioners and employers the opportunity to certify quantitative expertise in a growing range of areas.

The list of CSPA designees includes practitioners from Canada, Israel, Italy, and across the United States. CSPA holders are employed by a variety of insurance companies and consulting firms, such as AIG, Allstate, American Family, AON, CNA Insurance, Deloitte, Farmers, The Hartford, ISO (Verisk Analytics), Liberty Mutual, Milliman, Munich Re, Pinnacle Actuarial Resources, QBE North America, State Farm, Willis Towers Watson and Zurich North America.

The most recent recipients of the CSPA credential will be honored at the CAS Ratemaking, Product and Modeling (RPM) Seminar in Chicago March 19-21, where iCAS will also be hosting its second annual Predictive Analytics and Data Science Community of Practice event. For a complete list of CSPA recipients to date, visit the iCAS website.

Change Healthcare Releases 8th Annual Industry Pulse Report

More than 80 percent of payers are integrating social determinants of health into their member programs, and nearly all no longer believe that high-deductible health plans drive positive consumer behaviors. These are two of several insights revealed in the 8th annual Industry Pulse survey, a new national research survey commissioned by Change Healthcare and the HealthCare Executive Group (HCEG).
The research draws from more than 2,000 healthcare leaders, 52 percent VP and above, including Change Healthcare customers, HCEG members and Health Plan Alliance members. The survey is designed to annually provide healthcare stakeholders with timely insight on opportunities, challenges and trends in the healthcare market.

Among the findings: “Social Determinants of Health” has transcended buzzword status with more than 80 percent of respondents already taking steps to promote value-based healthcare by addressing the social needs of members. Meanwhile, only 3.4 percent of respondents identified high-deductible health plans as the best approach for converting passive patients into active healthcare consumers. In fact, they seem to be having the opposite effect—spurring more care avoidance than shopping. However, respondents are having success with other approaches that are detailed in the report. The complete Industry Pulse survey results can be accessed here.

Finaccord Releases Research on Global Bancasurance
New research about global bancassurance (that is, bank+insurance) published by global marketing research company Finaccord says that ownership or co-ownership models in bancassurance are thriving, so much so that the total value of premiums written by captive and joint venture underwriters belonging to the world’s leading retail banking groups amounted to over $450 billion in 2016.

Finaccord looked into the consumer banking operations of the world’s top 500 retail banking groups in more than 100 countries and found that 160 (32 percent) own a captive underwriter (but no joint ventures) in at least one jurisdiction, 58 (11.6 percent) own at least one joint venture underwriter (but no captives) and 32 (6.4 percent) operate both captive and joint venture underwriters. BNP Paribas is the most prominent bancassurer in terms of the breadth of its geographical presence, yet Japan Post Bank is the world’s largest bancassurance group reporting total business of $46.4 billion in 2016. Seven of the 10 largest bancassurance groups in the world originate from Europe. The global bancassurance market is a fluid one, however, and in recent years a number of the banking groups researched have divested previously captive insurance operations either wholly or in part for strategic or regulatory reasons. Find out more here: Global Bancassurance: Product and Partnership Strategies of the World’s Top 500 Retail Banking Groups

Financial Advisers: Why Is It So Hard Being You?
The job “financial adviser” made the Employee Benefit News “10 Toughest Jobs to Fill in 2018” list.  The median pay is just under $90k a year, according to Wiki. Maybe millennials don’t want this job?? Anyhoooo… speaking of our favorite generation, JD Power’s U.S. Full Service Investor Satisfaction study says successful financial advisers are focusing on millennials, not boomers. But you probably already know that.

Chubb, Lockton Affinity Among Companies Cutting NRA Ties

Chubb announced that it will stop underwriting a National Rifle Association-branded insurance policy for gun owners who use their weapons in acts of supposed self defense and face a lawsuit as a result. The policy is called “NRA Carry Guard.” Chubb made the change public last week – well after after the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting – but the company says it notified NRA officials that it would stop underwriting the policies toward the end of 2017. The NRA’s website claims Lockton Affinity is the current administrator, but Reuters reported that Monday Lockton also gave notice that it will no longer be involved with NRA products.

We Can’t Let Olympic Spirit Go
We already miss the Olympics. The curling alone was riveting! (No, Kirstie Alley, curling is NOT boring!) And guess what? If you watched the Olympics, you probably learned a few valuable lessons, says Steve Siebold, a former professional athlete and psychological performance coach to entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 executives.  Author of the books 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of The World Class and Secrets Self-Made Millionaires Teach Their Kids, Siebold says these are some of business gems we can learn from elite athletes:

  1. Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.  Olympians have a “Whatever it takes” attitude.  They’ve made the decision to pay any price and bear any burden in the name of victory.
  2. Conflict brings growth.  When most people run into an obstacle, they seek escape.  Olympic athletes have a plan to push forward when this happens and learn all they can from the challenges they face.  They know facing adversity is part of being successful.
  3. Accountability matters. One of the biggest problems most mere mortals have is that they have no means of accountability or a support system in place to hold them to what they are trying to accomplish.
  4. Competitors are learning machines.  They spend hours practicing, studying their competitors, watching videos of their performances and session after session with their coaches and mentors.  If we adopted just a fraction of an Olympian’s work ethic, the results they could achieve would be endless.
  5. Very good isn’t enough.  For the average person, to be classified as ‘very good’ is something to be proud of.  For the great ones, it’s an insult.
  6. It takes commitment.  When most people are burned out from the battle, Olympians are just getting warmed up.  Their commitment to their dream of winning the gold keeps them going after the fatigue.
  7. Champs are consistent.  The reason Olympians are so consistent is because their actions are congruent with their thought processes.  They have a very clear mental picture of what they want, why they want it and how to move closer to their objective.
  8. Winners are open minded (that is, coachable).  Most people only accept the amount of coaching their egos allow. Champs are well known for being the most open to world-class coaching.  The bigger the champion, the more open-minded they are.
  9. Compartmentalizing emotions isn’t bad. Olympians master how to put aside anything else going on at that moment and focus only on the task in front of them.
  10. You must think big.  Ask most people what they’re thinking at any given time, and you might be surprised to learn how many just want to get by.  That’s called selling yourself short.  Olympians are fearless and focused on manifesting their ultimate dream of bringing home the gold.

The next Olympics is in 2020 in Tokyo! Start planning to watch now.

Ventura County Association of Health Underwriters Chili Cook Off
March 15, 12-4p.m., Camarillo Ranch House
$25 for members / $35 for guests
Games, chili, dessert & a C.E course included. More info here.
IICF Horizon Award Gala
March 15, The Globe Theatre, Los Angeles
Register here. Sponsorship opportunities also available!

NAC3, the North American Crypto Currency Conference
March 24-25, Playa Studios, Los Angeles
Event appropriate for seasoned crypto currency pros and those merely curious about Bitcoin, Ethereum, Blockchain etc. Tickets and info now available at https://www.nac3.io. Companies interested in sponsorship can contact info@nac3.io for details.

LIMRA Life Insurance Conference
April 9-11, Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, Chicago, IL
Using predictive modeling, data scientists at LIMRA’s new Center of Excellence for Data Analytics have identified factors that influence individual life insurance buying behavior and have built profiles of types of customers who are likely to buy. This analysis, along with experts of social economics and customer experience, will be featured at the conference, which is jointly hosted by LIMRA, LOMA, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI). Register here.

LAAHU Annual Conference
April 11-12, LA Convention Center
Registration, exhibit and sponsorship info now available!

IICF Casino Night
May 17, The Rotunda, San Francisco
Join the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation for a fun night of gambling and insurance industry networking while also raising money for community grants. The event takes place at The Rotunda, Union Square, San Francisco. Registration and sponsorship info available at IICF’s website.

November 1-3, Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center, Orlando, Florida
Detailed information about NAILBA 37 will be available soon. Exhibit hall and sponsorship opportunities available here.  Or contact etoups@nailba.org for more info.