Find Out Why Agents Are Superheroes!

Stop by and say hello to us March 18-19 at the Inland Empire Association of Health Underwriters annual sales symposium at the Riverside Convention Center. This year’s theme is  “Agents Are Superheroes.”  Cal Broker will be there, along with  more than 50 other industry partners.  Info and registration here. Check out the schedule below…

HEALTH
Not A Lot of Love from Committee for Responsible Fed Budget

The nonprofit, nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget recently released an analysis of President Trump’s budget proposal and an analysis of a federal “Medicare for All” policy, similar to the single-payer bill introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, during the 2016 presidential campaign. The organization estimates the cost for “Medicare for All” would be anywhere from $28 trillion to $32 trillion over a decade and concludes that supporters “should work to identify new revenue, premiums, and/or spending cuts to finance new federal costs or else scale back their proposal if they are unable to identify sufficient funding.” The analysis of the budget is also far from glowing, including comments such as: …the budget is “riddled with gimmicks and unrealistic assumptions. In particular, it hides the cost of extending tax cuts in its baseline, circumvents budget caps in order to extend recent defense hikes through a war spending account, and relies on incredibly rosy economic growth assumptions.”

Trump Budget Proposal (Nutshell Version)

No time to sift through the budget proposal released this week? This is some of what you might care about: Trump’s budget proposal includes cutting Health and Human Services by 12 percent to $87.1 billion and slashing Medicaid spending by almost $1.5 trillion from 2020 to 2029 by repealing the ACA Medicaid expansion program and converting overall funding to state block grants. The administration also wants to slash Medicare spending by $845 billion over the next 10 years, with most reductions said to come from changing payments to providers and hospitals and limiting fraud and wasteful billing.

Docs Say Prior Auth Ridiculous

U.S. doctors aren’t happy with how insurers are handling the increasingly common prior authorization process, according to physician survey results released by the American Medical Association (AMA). The doctors charge that waiting for health plans to authorize necessary medical treatment is hazardous to patients’ health and that most health plans are not making meaningful progress on reforming the cumbersome prior authorization process.

House Moving to Shore Up ACA

House Dems are moving to shore up the Affordable Care Act, contending voters elected them to fight back against ACA attacks. According to the Washington Examiner, the proposals Dems are weighing “align neatly with the desires of the healthcare industry by injecting billions of federal dollars into Obamacare.” The proposals have been criticized, however, for including no measures to control overall healthcare spending. And, of course, there’s that contingency of Dems that favor Medicare for All.

But Why Don’t All Dems Favor Medicare for All?

So far 106 Dems have signed on as cosponsors of the latest House Medicare for All proposal, but that’s far fewer than the total number of Dems in the House. This post from Grit concludes that’s because of the insurance industry and pharma backing of those lawmakers. This was sent to us by a reader. So thanks for the info! Of course, it could also be because they simply don’t believe in it or don’t think the budget can handle it.

PBM

Anthem Building Next Gen PBM

Anthem Inc. contends its new pharmacy-benefits manager, IngenioRx, will be a more transparent, more customer-friendly business in an industry that has come under sharp criticism. During an investor presentation, Aetna executives said that the new PBM will pass along rebates to customers at the pharmacy counter. Critics have said that deep rebates on drugs help keep list prices high, which hurts patients who have to pay cash or a share of a drug’s total cost. Other PBMs have recently moved toward similar practices, reports Bloomberg.

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

EaseCentral and Guardian Team Up

EaseCentral, the HR and benefits SaaS platform folks, announced an integration with The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America,  a leading provider of key insurance products and benefits. This integration will allow small businesses, with as little as two employees, to access quality employee benefits that they otherwise would not have access to. In addition to increasing access to Guardian plans, this integration will allow employees to submit enrollment information directly, online and will result in faster processing of ID cards.

LTC

Genworth Suspends LTC Through BGAs

Genworth Financial announced it will temporarily suspend sales of long-term care insurance and immediate annuities through the brokerage general agency (BGA) channel. The move took effect in all states at the start of this week. According to Genworth, sales through BGAs, or independent distributors, have already fallen sharply, in part because of the company’s low credit ratings.

FINANCIAL PLANNING

Nominations Open for Invest in Others Award

If you know a financial planner who does a lot of charitable work, it’s time to nominate them for the annual Invest in Others Awards! This is a program that recognizes the charitable work of financial advisors in communities across the country and around the world. Awards are presented at the annual Invest in Others Awards Gala. There are five categories of awards that recognize the distinct ways that advisor have made a difference.

Catalyst Award
Community Service Award
Global Impact Award
Volunteer of the Year Award
Lifetime Achievement Award

Nominations accepted until April 5. Nomination form and info can be found here.

KUDOS
Aflac ‘Most Admired’

Aflac announced that it is once again included on Fortune’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies for 2019. This is the 18th year the company made the list.

PEOPLE

Met Announces Leadership Changes

MetLife announced a series of changes to its senior leadership in connection with its CEO transition. Ramy Tadros will succeed Michel Khalaf as President of MetLife’s U.S. Business, Marlene Debel will succeed Tadros as the company’s Chief Risk Officer and Graham Cox will succeed Debel as head of the Retirement & Income Solutions business.

EVENTS

IICF March Madness- March 28

LAAHU 5k Charity Run/Walk- We’ll see you here!

March 16, Griffith Park, Los Angeles
Check in 7-8a.m., run starts at 8:15a.m., fun walk starts at 8:30a.m.

All proceeds will be donated to Fit 4 The Cause, a nonprofit that brings exercise and nutrition information to low-income communities. Bring the whole family: $35 for adults, $10 for kids 6-17, under 5 free! More info here. Register here.

IEAHU “Agents Are Superheroes” Sales Symposium– We’ll see you here!

March 18-19, Riverside Convention Center, Riverside

The Inland Empire Association of Health Underwriters sales symposium will include speakers, exhibitors, CE and more.  Info and registration here.

BenefitsPRO Broker Expo

April 2-4, 2019, Hyatt Regency, Miami, FL
A leading educational and networking event for employee benefits brokers and agents. Cultivate important relationships and obtain the most practical industry education for positioning your business for sustainable growth. More info here.

CAHU Women’s Leadership Summit -We’ll see you here!

April 3-5, Marriott, Las Vegas
Small group breakouts with introspective discussions focused on self care, relationships, and career success, lead by dynamic speakers, from both within and outside the industry. More info here.

LAAHU Annual Conference- We’ll see you here!

April 17, 2019, Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles. Register here.  Exhibitor info here.  Sponsorship info here.

LAAHU’s Annual Conference is the largest in the state and includes updates from D.C., breakout sessions for IFP, small group, large group, medicare and more!

LAAHU Annual Conference- We’ll see you here!

April 17, 2019, Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles.

Register here.

IICF Women in Insurance Global Conference- save the date!

June 12-14, 2019, New York City