2020 Brings New Pet Insurance Law in California

Hope your 2020 is off to a great start.  Did you know there’s a new pet insurance law in California? Yep. This just in from CDI (BTW, Happy New Year Commissioner Lara):

Assembly Bill 1535 is a new law that requires pet insurers to disclose the contact information for the underwriting insurer, the agent or broker and the Department of Insurance to consumers that hold pet insurance policies. The new law aims to provide consumers with greater transparency and help streamline communication between pet owners and pet insurance carriers so that owners can get their claims handled appropriately. Makes sense!

HEALTH

Aflac Survey Says Majority of Consumers Want Companies to ‘Take a Stand’
The majority of U.S. consumers expect companies to actively stand up for social good, according to the 2019 Aflac Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility.  The findings reflect a growing sentiment among consumers and investors for corporate America to do good.

Among the survey’s key findings:

  • Over three-quarters (77%) of consumers say they would be motivated to purchase a company’s products or services if the company shows they are committed to making the world a better place;
  • 73% of investors (defined as adults who own individual stocks) agree that a company’s efforts to help improve society and the environment contribute positively to return on stockholder’s investments.
  • 49% of respondents said that it is very important for a company to “make the world a better place”, while 37% said it is very important for a business to “make money for its shareholders”.
  • Younger (millennial) investors put significantly more effort into researching a company’s role in improving society and the environment before deciding to invest — 41% compared to Gen X (27%) or boomers (16%).
  • Fifty-five percent of American consumers say it’s important for companies to take a stand on social and political issues, 53% of consumers also say they have stopped using the products of a company because of its public position on some issue, and 48% of investors report they have decided to not invest in a company because of its position on some issue, with 38% having actually sold shares.
  • A surprisingly large majority of consumers (72%) report they are willing to “forgive” a company’s bad behavior, either unethical or illegal. Still, many Americans have grown cynical when it comes to judging corporate social behavior, claiming “zero tolerance” when it comes to infractions of ethical corporate codes. This “one strike club” includes 25% of consumers and 22% of investors.

Go Mediterranean

Just in case you’re dieting as a New Year’s resolution, we think you should know that researchers say the Mediterranean diet is best. The diet focuses on eating less red meat, sugar and saturated fat and having more Omega-3-rich fish and olive oil. Red wine can be enjoyed in moderation and socializing with friends and family during meals is part of the diet. One of the worst diets is the popular keto diet. Get the full scoop here.

MEDICARE/MEDICAID

CMS to Include More — Not Less — Encounter Data to Adjust Payments

The CMS has proposed changes to Medicare Advantage payments for 2021, including an increase in the percentage of patient “encounter data” used to determine payments. Encounter data is detailed information about the patient based on visits with clinicians. The insurance industry has railed against using the data, charging that it is often inaccurate or incomplete. For 2021, however, CMS has proposed using a blend of 75% encounter data and 25% of data from the less-detailed Risk Adjustment Processing System (RAPS). In 2020, the CMS is using a mix of 50% encounter data and 50% RAPS.

Medicaid Expansion Found to Improve Public Health

A study published in Health Affairs by Vanderbilt University researchers concludes that Medicaid expansion made declines in health status 1.8 percentage points less likely in the Southern states that expanded the medical coverage vs. those that did not. The study compared the health of people in the states that accepted the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (including Kentucky, West Virginia, Arkansas and Louisiana) and those that have not (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee).

BUSINESS

AmeriLife Enters Into New Agreement with THL Investor Group

AmeriLife Group announced that it has entered into a recapitalization agreement with an investor group led by private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners (THL). Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020 subject to customary closing conditions, were not disclosed. THL is acquiring a majority stake from private investment firm J.C. Flowers & Co., which has been partnered with AmeriLife for over four years.

WEBINAR WATCH

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

The Future of National Health Insurance: Debates During a U.S. Presidential Election Year

Live webcast will stream on Monday, January 13 (in collaboration with The Commonwealth Fund)
9-10 a.m. Pacific
There is no registration required to watch the event online.
An on-demand video will be posted.
Send questions for the panelists in advance: theforum@hsph.harvard.edu

Improving the Public’s Health:  A Conversation about Leadership with Dr. Leana Wen

Watch the Live Stream Tuesday, January 14, 9-9:30 a.m. Pacific

No registration is required to watch the live stream online. An on-demand video will be posted after the event.

INSURTECH

GIA Announces 8 Members of New Cohort — One from NAHU Region 8

The Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA) announced the launch of its sixth cohort on January 14 with eight insurtech companies going to Des Moines, Iowa, for the annual 100-day program. There’s no company from California, but at least one is a Region 8 pick. So close enough!

The selected companies will participate in the GIA’s mentor-driven program by engaging in 1:1 meetings with insurance pros, site visits to insurer offices, networking events, discussions, education sessions, investor introductions and lots of partying (haha).

The 2020 GIA cohort includes:

  • Caregiven: An Oregon-based startup enabling providers to offer real time, curated guidance to individuals and families managing end-of-life care for an aging or ailing loved one.
  • Denscore: A Michigan-based startup using existing claims data to support dental insurers’ pay-for-performance initiatives to derive value-based scores for participating dentists.
  • Gerald Tech: A New York-based startup offering a life event engagement and cross-sell platform for insurance providers.
  • InsureVite: A Singapore-based startup aiding insurers in reducing friction in the insurance process and revolutionizing customer experience through social messaging apps.
  • Kiwi: A New York-based startup focused on bringing episodic on-demand injury insurance to market by using social media analytics to meet customers wherever they are.
  • Summary Medical: A Wisconsin-based startup employing artificial intelligence (AI) to automate the review of medical records for life insurance companies.
  • TCARE: A Missouri-based startup reducing long-term-care (LTC) claims by providing an evidence-based, family caregiver support program which can help delay or prevent nursing home placement.
  • UDoTest: A Massachusetts-based startup (via South Africa) providing a business-to-business at-home disease testing software platform which helps enterprises improve insurance outcomes.

EVENTS

  • SDAHU Expo 2020 -January 16 @ 8:00 am2:30 pm
    Town and Country Resort and Convention Center, San Diego. More info here.
  • Joint Industry Forum 2020, Insurance Information Institute
    January 16, Marriott Marquis, New York City. Theme is “A 21st Century Workforce that Reflects the Communities We Serve.” More info here.
  • NAIFA Los Angeles/Society of Financial Service Professionals Award & Leadership Recognition luncheon, February 20, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m, Taix French Restaurant, 1911 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026, members (includes NAIFA, FSP, WIFS, LAAHU, NAHU, CAHU, VCAHU): $50.00, More info here or email janet@naifala.org.
  • OCAHU 8th Annual Business Development Summit– We’ll see you here!
    February 28, DoubleTree by Hilton-Anaheim/Orange County
    Contact: Gail James Clarke (714) 441-8951, ext.3,
    email: orangecountyahu@yahoo.com

 

  • The 29th Annual IEAHU Symposium, March 10, Riverside Convention Center– We’ll see you here!
    Email Inland Empire Association of Health Underwriters for more info: ieahu.administration@gmail.com
  • SIIA Self-Insured Health Plan Executive Forum
    March 16-18, Charleston, SC. More info here.
  • CAHU Women’s Leadership Conference, March 25-27, JW Marriott Resort&Spa, Las Vegas– We’ll see you here!
    More info at www.cahu.org.
  • April 6-7
    The Notary Hotel, Autograph Collection
    Philadelphia, PA
    Registration will open in January
  • SIIA Washington, DC Fly-In (Meet Your Members of Congress)
    April 21-22,
    Washington, DC
    Event details to be announced soon
  • LAAHU Annual Symposium- Save the date!– We’ll see you here!
    April 22, Skirball Center, Los Angeles. More info soon!
  • The 16th Annual BenefitsPRO Broker Expo
    May 18-20 Hilton Austin in Austin, TX.
  • SIIA National Conference & Expo
    October 11-13
    JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa
    Phoenix, AZ
    Registration will be open in April