Education 9-1-1: Some Citizens Really Believe that ACA No Longer Exists

As producers approach open enrollment time for Affordable Care Act health plans, some are encountering a severely misinformed public. In fact, some U.S. citizens believe that because the president said the Affordable Care Act is finished, that it truly no longer exists. Of course, it does exist but the enrollment period for the federal marketplace has been cut in half (to 45 days) and the marketing/advertising budgets to get the word out have been slashed. If you’d like a timeline to these and other ACA roadblocks, Kaiser Health News’ Julie Rover produced Timeline: Roadblocks to Affordable Care Act Enrollment.

Potential Dynamics if CVS-Aetna Combine
Elizabeth Galentine and Greg Slabodkin from Employee Benefit News report that buying Aetna would enable CVS to direct enrollees and clients to a variety of CVS-controlled services, bolster its PBM’s leverage with drug makers and give the combined business a cost and data advantage. An excellent role model — and strong competitor — might be UnitedHealthcare, which has outgrown other large health insurers largely due to investment in Optum, one of the three major PBMs. The UnitedHealthcare unit encompasses pharmacy benefit management, healthcare analytics and even ambulatory surgery centers. It has reportedly directly driven growth and helped UnitedHealthcare’s insurance unit lower medical costs. Read the whole EBN article and see what this all has to do with Amazon.

UBA Survey Looks at Premium Changes
Premium renewal rates (the comparison of similar plan rates year over year) for employer sponsored health insurance rose an average of 6.6%—an increase from the five-year average increase of 5.6%, according to the 2017 United Benefit Advisors (UBA) Health Plan Survey. Some states saw decreases in premiums, such as Arizona and Washington which saw 2 percent and 10 percent decreases, respectively. Two states saw record premium increases: Connecticut saw a 24 percent increase in premiums in 2017, up to $655 from $530; New York also saw a large increase of 14 percent, up to $712 in 2017 over $624 in 2016. Access the 2017 UBA Health Plan Survey Executive Summary online for more data insights.

CoAdvantage Acquires Los Angeles-based Total HR Management
Just after the recent merger with PEMCO, a PEO located in Sarasota, FL, CoAdvantage Corporation announced it has also acquired L.A.’s Total HR Management. This means, of course, CoAdvantage is jumping into the California market. Total HR is a comprehensive human resources administration firm that provides outsourced HR services, benefits and payroll to a white-collar client base. Total HR will form part of CoAdvantage’s west region and James Harwood will continue with the combined company as vice president of California operations. With these two recent acquisitions, CoAdvantage now serves approximately 90,000 work site employees in all 50 states.

EVENTS

Senior Investment Manager Seminar- Nov. 5-8, Dana Point
Held at the Ritz-Carlton in Dana Point, CA, this seminar is designed for mid-to senior investment professionals in the financial services industry. Presentations and discussions cover financial, economic and political issues; investment management and portfolio strategy; and current insurance-specific issues.  A.M. Best Director Rosemarie Mirabella will be participating in “Regulatory & Accounting Emerging Insurance Issues,” on Tuesday, Nov. 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. (PST). This session will provide an update on emerging issues in insurance. Go to the SIMS webpage for more info.

NAILBA 36 – Nov. 16-18, Hollywood, Florida
National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA) 36th Annual Meeting will take place at the Diplomat Beach Resort. The meeting will attract high level representatives from brokerage general agencies, life insurance carriers and insurance industry vendors. More info at the NAILBA36 page.

LAAHU Holiday Party- Dec 12, Woodland Hills

LAAHU, with support from Health Net, will host a holiday cocktail party at Tuccio’s in Woodland Hills Dec 12 from 4:30pm-7:30pm. Cost of admission is an unwrapped toy or $15. Register here.

PEOPLE
CNO Financial Group Promotes Andy Hite to Vice President, Customer Service
CNO Financial Group announced that Andy Hite has been promoted to Vice President, Customer Service. In his new role, Hite is responsible for teams that support the agent and policyholder contact centers, premium management, policyholder services and process support. He reports directly to Jean Linnenbringer, senior vice president of enterprise operations.