Are You Partying With LAAHU Today?


Today is opening day of LAAHU’s annual conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center. This afternoon you should be at the mixer enjoying a refreshment with your colleagues. Tomorrow, it’s game time. See the whole program here. Not registered yet? Do that here. California Broker is in booth #16(i). We expect a visit!

Debate Over AB3087

This week California Assemblyman Ash Kalra released details on Assembly Bill 3087. The bill calls for a government-run commission with nine political appointees who would set prices for all medical services that are not already controlled by the government. Labor unions and consumer advocates back the bill, but the California Medical Association (CMA) vehemently opposes it. In a written release CMA charged that the bill “would increase patient out-of-pocket costs and result in a dangerous government intrusion into the health care market by creating state-sanctioned rationing of health care for all Californians.”

How Do You Boost HSA Participation?
Employee Benefit News says story telling boosts HSA participation. And you shouldn’t be be afraid to go negative, either. More here.

Trump Admin Tries to Deal with Individual Mandate Now
Of course, the individual mandate was repealed in the GOP tax legislation. But that’s starting in 2019. Which means taxpayers must have insurance or pay a penalty this year. The Trump administration, however, made a move to remedy that situation for some people. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Monday expanded the list of hardship exemptions for the law’s requirement that individuals purchase health insurance. CMS said people who live in a county that has only one Affordable Care Act insurer can receive an exemption from the penalty. It also lets people avoid the fine if the only affordable plans available on the law’s exchanges cover abortion. The current penalty is $695 or 2.5 percent of household income, whichever is highest. CMS hasn’t provided an estimate of how many people might use the new exemptions. The law already includes hardship exemptions for job loss or low income.

More CMS Insight
Want to know what else CMS is up to? Read Shelby Livingston’s “5 Takeaways from CMS’ Final 2019 ACA Marketplace Rule” on Modern Healthcare.

Wal-Mart In Talks to Buy Humana

Wow. Did you see this WSJ story about Wal-Mart possibly buying Humana? This is definitely something to watch.

LIFE

Oxford Life Intros InstaWrite
Oxford Life Insurance Company has initiated its new, simpler and speedier life insurance qualification process. The company says Oxford Life InstaWriteSM represents a streamlined and improved experience for both agents and clients because it features an almost instant health assessment. In the two-step process, an agent first chooses to complete either an electronic or paper application. Second, the agent calls to speak with one of the dedicated InstaWrite processors for a quick health assessment. The health assessment generates a qualified or not qualified decision in a matter of minutes. The InstaWrite health assessment can be obtained by calling (833) 705-4019 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. EDT (6 a.m.-5 p.m. PDT). Agents will soon have the option to bypass the phone health assessment and determine qualification status for their clients online. The electronic health assessment will be available via Oxford Life’s agent portal 24-7. To learn more, visit Oxford online.

TECH

Bindable Drops
The company behind MyLifeProtected announced its newest incarnation: Bindable, an insurance technology company aimed to transform the affinity distribution of insurance by providing a full stack of innovative, technology-enabled services. Under the Bindable umbrella, the company will offer a full suite of solutions for modern insurance distribution including:

  • MyLifeProtected – launched in early 2016, the multi-product digital platform delivers private label and custom branded insurance marketplace solutions to partners.
  • Policy Crusher™ – the newest service under the Bindable umbrella serves as a SaaS platform and CRM for agents specifically designed for partner distribution models.
  • MassDrive – a nationally licensed agency offering multi-carrier auto and home insurance comparison-shopping services available for integration with eco-system partners.

FINANCIAL WELLNESS

MetLife Forms PlanSmart Alliance with EY
MetLife announced that it has formed a strategic alliance with Ernst & Young LLP (EY) that will drive the creation and delivery of a cutting-edge workplace financial wellness solution. Launching in spring 2018, PlanSmart® Financial Wellness will focus on behavioral change, giving employees the tools, guidance and support they need to improve their financial wellbeing. The offering builds on MetLife’s PlanSmart workplace financial education program, which has offered workshops and one-on-one consultations for more than 20 years to over 2,000 group customers.  MetLife’s experience in this space, along with in-depth research and customer feedback, will help shape the solution’s new capabilities. PlanSmart Financial Wellness will bring together MetLife’s decades of experience in delivering workplace benefit solutions and financial education with EY’s innovative, high-tech approach to offering financial education and counseling. The result will be a customized, goal-oriented approach to financial wellness that will meet employees where they are, offering the tools via channels they prefer. This will include online and phone support, both offered by EY.

EVENTS

LAAHU Annual Conference- Field Day 2018
April 11-12
Los Angeles Convention Center
Janet Trautwein, NAHU CEO, and the wonderful Alan Katz (a long-time Cal Broker contributor) will be among the guest speakers. This event has been
Find out what is going on in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento plus much more!
Registration, exhibit and
sponsorship info now available!

Big “I” Legislative Conference
April 18-20
Grand Hyatt Washington, Washington, D.C.
Attend a one-of-a-kind legislative event for the independent agency system and educate members of Congress on issues important to you and your clients. Registration includes an in-depth issues briefing, legislative breakfast with high-profile Congressional speakers. House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), a general session and networking opportunities. Register here.

LAAHU May Meeting
May 17, 8am, Sportsmen’s Lodge, 12825 Ventura Blvd, Studio City
Topic is  marketplace changes in long term care with presenter Steve Cain, director of LTCI Partners. There will also be an election of directors. Nominations can be made from the floor at the meeting. Click here for names of those already nominated.

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 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

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.