A Call Out for Story Ideas!

You may be thinking about summer, but we’re already assigning stories for the last quarter of 2018. That means an update to our editorial calendar for next year is right around the corner. We need your input. Got story ideas? Drop us an email with specific ideas or just let us know which stories you want more of. Email editor@calbrokermag.com with the tagline “story ideas.”

MEDICARE

Medicare To Run Out by 2026?
The Medicare board of trustees  released its annual report to Congress this week. Unfortunately, the news isn’t good. The report contends that the program’s hospital insurance trust fund could run out of money by 2026 — a full three years earlier than projected just last year. The trustees attributed the worsened outlook to projected lower wages, which mean lower payroll taxes. They also said that the recent tax cut passed by Congress, which results in fewer Social Security taxes paid into the hospital trust fund, contributed to the more dire outlook. Kaiser Health News reports that some industry researchers also point out that changes to the ACA’s individual mandate penalties, which takes effect next year, are expected to lead to millions more people going without health insurance. This in turn will leave hospitals with higher rates of uncompensated care. Some of those expenses are covered by a special Medicare fund paid to hospitals with larger numbers of uninsured patients.

DENTAL

Guardian Life, Children’s Health Fund Support Kids’ Oral Health with $1 Million Partnership
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America ® and the Children’s Health Fund announced the nationwide partnership Guardians of the Smile aimed to ensure children don’t fall behind in school because of dental health. Guardian has committed $1 million to provide quality dental care to children in underserved communities across the U.S. Guardian is the lead sponsor of Children’s Health Fund’s dental program and the donation will fund screenings, clinics and mobile dental services for children in need in cities around the country, including New York, Washington, D.C., Dallas and Idaho, over the next two years.  Children’s Health Fund published a review of literature which found that the effects of poor oral hygiene have a negative impact on a child’s education leading to increased school absence and lower standardized test scores. Guardian and Children’s Health Fund aim to bolster academic performance and quality of life for students throughout the U.S. by providing necessary dental resources and academic programming to teach lifelong oral hygiene habits.  For more info, visit Guardian Of The Smile online.

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

EBN Honors Digital Innovators
Employee Benefit News unveiled a list of the 2018 digital innovators. We noticed that Cal Broker contributor BenefitFocus ranks. Bravo!

LIFE & FINAL EXPENSE

Integrity Acquires Agent Service Connection
Oakland-based Integrity Marketing Group announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Agent Service Connection, Inc., a leading final expense insurance distributor. As part of the deal, Agent Service Connection’s founder and President, Alan Town, becomes an owner in Integrity. Financial terms of the private transaction were not disclosed. The combined business will create the nation’s largest independent final expense marketing organization with almost $175 million of annualized premiums in final expense-related products. Agent Service Connection will continue to operate nationally under its existing brand, and all employees will stay in their current roles.

New Life Insurance Digital Marketing Solution for Independent Agents
Give Your Kid a Million, a suburban Chicago-based life insurance marketing company, announced the launch of its advanced life insurance marketing tools and platform. Give Your Kid a Million’s approach to marketing life insurance can help independent agencies grow and sell more life insurance through an automated platform which includes robust, turnkey delivery of compelling marketing content. Agencies get an exclusive territory according to the communities they serve and are the sole agency representing Give Your Kid a Million in their area. With a few quick steps, agents can launch a co-branded Give Your Kid a Million website, outfitted with search marketing, social media and marketing automation technologies. The website augments the agency partners’ existing website. Give Your Kid a Million experts feed partners’ social calendars with posts/updates, while drip emails campaigns, newsletters, blog posts and press releases are set up for automatic distribution. Agency partners’ lead data, such as name and email address, is captured automatically and saved in a built-in CRM, along with lead path tracking, lead analytics, and instant email/SMS notification every time a lead comes in. Give Your Kid a Million’s marketing packages start at $199 per month. For more information about Give Your Kid a Million, visit www.giveyourkidamillion.com.

Actuaries’ Use of Big Data Grows With New Applications to Life and Pension Risks
Big Data techniques and methods are increasingly being used to more effectively assess risks within insurance and pension and retirement systems, providing actuaries with powerful new analytical tools, according to a monograph released by the American Academy of Actuaries at the International Congress of Actuaries in Berlin on June 5. Big Data is already breaking the mold of the traditional insurance pricing box, and will more deeply transform how insurance in all lines and retirement system risk drivers are analyzed by actuaries, according to Bob Beuerlein, past president of the Academy and chairperson of the Academy’s Big Data Task Force that authored the monograph, Big Data and the Role of the Actuary. The monograph provides an overview of:

  • Current and emerging Big Data practices.
  • The potential benefits and drawbacks of predictive analytics and other Big Data methodologies for consumers, insurers, and regulators, including the effects of disruption and innovation in insurance models and markets, regulatory frameworks, underwriting, pricing, claim settlement, and consumer privacy.
  • The expanded role of the actuary as a subject matter expert and potential leader of multidisciplinary Big Data teams, with actuaries’ professionalism requirements providing guidance for the application and disclosure of Big Data assumptions and methodologies.

Interested?  Big Data and the Role of the Actuary is available for download on the Academy’s website at actuary.org.

GIVING BACK

Unum Releases Corporate Responsibility Report
Unum and its employees in the U.S., U.K. and Ireland contributed more than $12.8 million in corporate and employee contributions and volunteered more than 77,000 hours to charitable organizations in 2017. “Unum has always been committed to helping people through difficult times, and that commitment to making a difference also guides our approach to social responsibility,” Rick McKenney, Unum’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “We’ve been around for 170 years, and while a lot has changed in that time, one thing that hasn’t is the caring spirit at the heart of who we are.”  Unum’s recently released 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report highlights the company’s focus on social responsibility and support of public education that provide students more opportunities to learn. Other areas of community support include health and wellness, and arts and culture.

PEOPLE

Devon Hunter, California Broker, V.P. Marketing

Cal Broker Welcomes Devon Hunter, VP Marketing
California Broker magazine announced Devon Hunter has been hired as vice-president of marketing. Hunter will handle advertising and marketing related to the print magazine and website. She can be reached at devon@calbrokermag.com

June issue is up!
The June print issue is now available online! Check out Mark Galvin’s guest editorial about the Amazon conglomeration, plus stories on private exchanges, voluntary benefits and more.

EVENTS

NAFA Annuity Leadership Forum & Hill Walk
June 13-15, Grand Hyatt, Washington, DC

Events provide an opportunity for membership to network with one another, advocate on behalf of fixed annuities and learn about ways to enhance distribution. Keynote speaker is journalist Fred Barnes. Info and registration here.

IICF Western Regional Forum
June 21, The Millennium Biltmore, Downtown Los Angeles
The one-day regional format provides opportunities for greater participation and networking with colleagues here in the West and beyond. There will be ample time for networking with speakers as well. Topic this year is Driving Diversity: Cultivating Individual and Industry Confidence. Learn more at womensconference.iicf.org

CAHU Health Care Summit
August 7-9, San Diego Hilton, Bayfront
This year’s theme is “New Hope for the Modern Agent.” This year CAHU will be offering multiple Continuing Education tracks on Medicare, IFP and Group Benefits, Business Development and more. There will be two NAHU certification courses offered on August 7. Individuals who register for the Summit and a certification course will receive a $50 discount upon completing both registrations. Details here.

Save the date!
Golden Gate Association of Health Underwriters
4th Annual NORCAL Medicare Summit
August 16-17, DoubleTree Hotel, Pleasanton, More info soon at ggahu.org.

NAILBA 37
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.