Health Insurance Drama Never Ends!

The Hill and many other outlets reported that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has adopted an interim final rule that will allow the agency to provide $10.4 billion in “risk adjustment” funding to insurers to help them provide coverage to particularly sick and costly enrollees. This happens just weeks after the Trump administration sent insurers into a panic by abruptly suspending the payments. Gosh, there’s never a dull moment these days in the insurance world!

Who Pays More Could Be Key to Health Cost Solutions
Researchers from the University of North Carolina say understanding how much different insurance types pay for health care services like emergency room visits may provide guidance for policy solutions to rising health care costs. In their recent study they found that private insurance providers pay more for emergency department visits than Medicaid and Medicare. Read about it here.

Medigap Sales Rise
According to the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance, sales of Medicare Supplement insurance continue to grow –up 500,000 in 2017 from 2016.

DENTAL

Delta Survey Finds Getting Kids to Floss Is the Ultimate Parenting Challenge
If you can get your kid to floss, you’re winning! According to a recent national survey from Delta Dental, parents are more likely to say getting their child to floss regularly (45 percent) or brush their teeth (37 percent) is more difficult than getting their child to make the bed (30 percent) or to complete homework on time (25 percent).

DeltaDental’s Children’s Oral Health Survey indicates that many of our kids are not following recommended guidelines of brushing their teeth for two minutes twice daily and flossing once a day, potentially leading to oral health problems. The majority of parents (78 percent) confess that their child’s oral health isn’t as good as it could be, with 64 percent disclosing that their child currently has oral health issues, including cavities (31 percent).

Interested in more info about dental? Cal Broker’s July and August print issues have part 1 and part 2 of our annual dental carrier survey.

FINANCIAL PLANNING

SmartAsset Raises $28 Million in Series C Funding
Financial technology company SmartAsset announced it has raised $28 million in Series C funding.  The new investment comes from Focus Financial Partners (which is backed by Stone Point Capital and KKR), Javelin Venture Partners, TTV Capital, IA Capital, Contour Venture Partners, Citi Ventures and Fabrice Grinda, among others.  This increases the total funding in the company to more than $51 million.  SmartAsset says it plans to use the funding to further grow its audience, as well as expand its fast-growing SmartAdvisor platform, which matches consumers to financial advisors. The six-year-old Y Combinator company provides personal finance information and tools to more than 45 million people each month.  Powered by proprietary Automated Financial Modeling software, SmartAsset’s tools, calculators, data-driven studies and educational content provide online personal finance resources, directly to consumers.  Keep your eyes peeled for SmartAsset cofounder and CEO Michael Carvin’s article on digital marketing in an upcoming issue of Cal Broker!

MassMutual Intros Actively Managed Target Date Fund Series for Retirement Plan Savers
A new family of target date funds (TDFs) introduced by MassMutual features active management and dynamic tactical asset allocation by T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. to enhance return potential and help mitigate risks. The MassMutual Select T. Rowe Price Retirement Funds are designed to address a spectrum of risks, including inflation, longevity and market risks, which retirement savers face during their accumulation years and through retirement. The new TDF family is available exclusively to participants in retirement plans sponsored by MassMutual. More information here.

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

Some Benefits On The Rise, Others On The Decline
You can’t go wrong with a good list – or two. EBN recently posted this list of 15 employee benefits on the rise and this list of 15 employee benefits on the decline. HSAs, paid paternity leave and employer-sponsored fitness are among the benefits on the rise. Preventive programs, FSAs, benefits for domestic partners and short-term disability made the decline list.

PEOPLE

InsurTech Thought Leader Caribou Honig Joins Board of Directors of Tomorrow 

Tomorrow , the first mobile app to combine insurance, legal and finance goals into a single, easy-to-use interface, announced Caribou Honig has joined its board as an independent director. This comes on the heels of a recently-announced $4.2 million funding for the company led by Sinai Ventures, joining investors Aflac and Allianz. Tomorrow provides a will and trust for free, and allows a user to apply for insurance in three minutes from within the app.

EVENTS

2018 DMEC Annual Conference
August 6-9, Hilton Austin, Austin, TX
More than 700 disability and absence management, HR and legal professionals will discuss paid leave, mental health, disability and more at the 2018 DMEC Annual Conference. Workshops and panel discussions include:

  • The Business Impact of Paid Leave:  An Interactive Workshop
  • Mental Health in the Workplace:  The Invisible Disability, Now Visible
  • FMLA/ADA Lessons Learned: Recent Court Cases, Jury Verdicts and Settlements
  • It Seems Simple, But: The Complexities of Reasonable Accommodation
  • ADA Leave Cases Post-Severson
  • Minimizing the Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders in the Workplace
  • State by State:  Paid Family and Medical Leave Legislation
  • Disability and Fitness for Duty in Transgender Employees
  • Get Explicit About Implicit Bias

See a full program and more info here.

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. Register for the Summit and a certification course and receive a $50 discount upon completing both registrations. Keynote speaker is Suzanne Delbanco, PhD, Executive Director of Catalyst for Payment Reform. Details here.

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

LAAHU- Growing Your Business in a Dynamic Marketplace/Large Group Trends
August 16, 8-10a.m., Monterey at Encino Glen, 16821 Burbank Blvd., Encino

Join Anil Kochhar, chief actuary ASA MAAA of Dickerson Insurance Services, an Alera Group Company, as he discusses Large Group Trends that impact and shape 2019’s Open Enrollment. Kochhar will address these four major drivers in the large group marketplace:

  • ACA: compliance, removal of underwriting restrictions, private exchanges
  • Networks: ACOs and Telemedicine
  • Pharmacy:  Specialty Rx – the cure versus the cost
  • The aging population

Register here.

CAHU Foundation Gala
September 14, Fairmont Grand Del Mar, San Diego
Please join CAHU for a Masquerade Gala to revitalize the CAHU Foundation. Festivities begin at 5:30pm at the famous Fairmont Grand Del Mar. Formal attire is requested.  Gala tickets and hotel reservations can be purchased here. Or call (800) 322-5934.  More info at the CAHU Foundation website. 

DCAHU 2nd annual Medicare Summit

Thursday, September 20, 8:30am – 2:30pm

Villa Portofino Clubhouse, 4001 Via Portofino, Palm Desert

Hear Ryan Dorigan from Applied General Agency at 11:30am speak on working with providers and medical groups and Margaret Stedt at 1pm discuss helping your senior clients maximize their drug plan and options. 2 CEs available.

Advance tickets $30 (or $60 at the door). More info and registration here.

LAAHU and VCAHU Medicare Summit
September 20-21, Pickwick Gardens Conference Center, Burbank
September 20- certifications and product training (including SCAN)
September 21- C.E. Courses and breakout sessions! Theme is “Get Ready to Rock and Roll with Medicare.” Click here to register.

IICF Week of Giving 2018: October 13-20
The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation announced the 2018 Week of Giving will be October 13-20. Registration for nonprofits and volunteers is now open. Check out IICF Week of Giving for more info. 

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.

Last But Not Least…
We don’t usually toot our own horn, but sometimes it’s good to remind everyone that Cal Broker’s print magazine reaches some of the most important people in the state’s insurance industry! Our own Devon Hunter is available to discuss killer advertising opportunities. Email her at devon@calbrokermag.com