Insurance Agents are Superheroes

We had a blast at the LAAHU and VCAHU Medicare Summit at Pickwick Gardens Conference Center in Burbank  last week.  Thank you AgentMethods for giving us this:

HEALTHCARE

California Continues to Fight Shoddy Insurance

The recent Trump administration Department of Labor ruling that was supposed to allow more small businesses, including self-employed individuals and independent contractors, to band together and purchase health insurance as a large group, isn’t happening here. California has become the first state to legislatively prohibit small businesses from taking part in these plans. The state also prohibits sole proprietors from joining these association health plans – sometimes called “junk insurance.”

Landmark Sends Out Correction

Landmark Healthcare sent out a correction to a previous notice about rate increases. According to the most recent statement some of the language in the first notice was inaccurate but did not effect the rate quote and premium calculator. The following info is correct: Effective January 1, 2019, Landmark Healthplan will be implementing a rate increase of 5 percent across all rate tiers for both new business and renewals. This increase supercedes the past 7-1-2018 Employee Only rate increase of 3 percent for both new business and renewals.  Thus, new business and renewing groups will realize the following increases—

  • 7-1-2018 to 12-1-2018 – 3% Employee Only
  • 1-1-2019 to 6-1-2019 – 5% all tiers
  • 7-1-2019 to 12-1-2019 – 2% Employee Only and 5% all other tiers

Brokers can download the latest Rate Quote and Premium Calculator here.

TECH

Standard Launches Navigator Mobile

Standard Insurance Company announced it will exclusively distribute an innovative digital solution developed by Navigate Communications. The Navigator Mobile tool enables employees to access their benefit information at any time, from anywhere. Steven Clark, founder and former CEO of Navigate, has joined The Standard, helping the company integrate this new digital capability and enhance the customer experience. Navigator Mobile provides employees with access to all their employer benefit information and resources in a simple and engaging, consolidated, 24/7 accessible mobile tool that is fully branded in their employer’s look and feel. Navigator Mobile’s capabilities and ease of use enable employees to better understand their benefits, improve their experience using them, and better appreciate the benefit package provided by their employer.

LISI and CoPower Offer Simplified Enrollment and More

CoPower, an insurance benefits and administration service provider, and LISI, a leading general agency, launched new product and administrative services that encompass the entire MetLife small group portfolio.  Now, small businesses and their employees have more flexibility in accessing and customizing benefits from the top national carriers. CoPower is delivering simplified enrollment, consolidated billing, and comprehensive administration services.

Effective October 1, businesses will be able to select any products that meet their needs within the MetLife small group portfolio, bundle them with the best options among leading national carriers, and maintain those benefits with one point of contact for enrollment, billing, payment and service.  Brokers and employers also have free access to Empower, CoPower’s online administration system, where a single submission can update all benefits across any number of supported carriers.  And, a dedicated group service representative is always available as a single point of contact via phone, email, or online chat to support all your business needs.

How Do You Feel About Insurance Companies Using Big Data?

LendEDU recently published the results of a study of 1,000 Americans to find out how consumers felt about the rapidly increasing trend of insurance companies using personal data to determine risk before issuing a policy. In case you haven’t read it, check out ProPublica’s article detailing how insurance companies are predicting health costs by things like how much TV someone watches or what they like on social media. A few key findings included:

  • Only 15 percent of respondents believe insurance companies should be allowed to use big data to determine risk in a potential insurance policy. Seventy-two percent don’t think this should be allowed.
  • 55 percent of respondents think insurance companies accessing private data is just as threatening as tech companies like Facebook doing the same.
  • Eighteen percent of respondents would be OK with insurance companies accessing their DNA if it led to them getting a cheaper policy. Eight percent would allow a camera to be installed in their home, while 11 percent would allow for a biometric tracker to be installed in their body.

Check out the full results of LENDEdu’s recent study here.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

AP Analysis Finds More Rx Prices Increase, Despite Promises

A new Associated Press analysis has found that over the first seven months of the year, drug companies have not paid much attention to the Trump administration’s pleas to reduce prices. There were 96 price hikes for every price cut, the study found. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, conceded in a recent AP interview that it will take time for prescription prices to fall. He noted the complexity of the market and incentives for drug makers to boost prices so they and middlemen make more profits. And if you’re really into reading about the prescription drug world, don’t miss this blog post at Drug Channels: The Cigna-Express Scripts Deal’s Intriguing Connections With—And Implications For—AmerisourceBergen and Walgreens.

WEBINARS

Hodges-Mace Busts Myths on Dependent Audits

Many organizations are wasting money insuring ineligible people.  Dependent verification experts Anna Simmons and Katy Dahlstrom of Hodges-Mace, LLC, will show you how companies can determine and avert this common, but costly HR mistake in Busting the Myths of Dependent Audits, a free one-hour webinar Tuesday, October 2, at 10a.m. Pacific. Register here to attend.  The webinar is ideal for benefits managers and other seeking to ensure the integrity and boost ROI from employee benefits programs. During their session, Anna and Katy will:

  • Reveal the top four myths employers believe about dependent audits
  • Share how Hodges-Mace has turned these myths around to create a great dependent verification experience for employers and employees
  • Showcase real world examples of ROI from dependent verification
  • Offer next steps on how to prepare for an audit

The webinar will conclude with a live audience Q&A and will be available for replay to those who register.

Black Diamond Offers Advisor Communication and Efficiency Webinar

Black Diamond Wealth Platform is sponsoring the webinar “How to Become a More Efficient Advisor and Open Up Client Communication” on Thursday, October 18, 11am Pacific. The webinar will focus on removing barriers to information for clients. Join this complimentary webcast to discover what features the best client-facing technology should include. Afterward, you’ll understand:

  • Key considerations to make regarding your future tech decisions,
  • How to implement the right tech for your advisor team to ensure success, and
  • Actionable methods to integrate new tech efficiently and cheaply.

Register here.

PRODUCTS

Guardian Offers New Short-Term Disability Product

The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® has launched Guardian Disability Income SelectTM, a new voluntary short-term disability insurance product. The new product enables employees to select certain coverage features at enrollment, including:

  • When benefits will begin to be paid after the onset of a disability
  • The maximum amount of time disability benefits will be paid
  • The weekly benefit in a flat-dollar amount

Additionally, a standard inclusion on all plans is the portability provision, which allows an employee to take their coverage with them if they change jobs, helping to maintain financial security. To learn more about voluntary disability benefits, click here. 

 ACCOLADES

California Students Among CIAB Scholarship Recipients

The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers (CIAB) Foundation announced that USC student Jacqueline Roges and UC Davis student Gretchen Tuscher, summer interns at Heffernan Insurance Brokers in Walnut Creek, were selected as a recipients of $5,000 scholarships for the 2018-19 academic year. The Council Foundation’s mission is to bring fresh, diverse talent into the brokerage sector by way of internships with member firms of The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers. The interns are among 75 college students across the country who received college money this year. Go to CIAB for more info on the scholarship program.

 EVENTS

Senator Stone to Speak DCAHU Meeting

Oct 18

Sorry, folks, we told you the wrong info last week! Senator Jeff Stone will speak at the Desert Cities Association of Healthcare Underwriters October meeting. More info at DCAHU.org.

 

 

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Industry Mixer/Partners Day with L.A. Rams (CalCPA, CFALA, LAAHU & NAIFA)

LA Memorial Coliseum, 3911 S Figueroa St Los Angeles, California

Thursday, September 27, Gates open 3:20pm, Kickoff 5:20pm

The insurance and financial advisor industry is taking over the fan deck at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to network and watch the Los Angeles Rams against the Minnesota Vikings! Expand your network of colleagues and resources as you socialize with other young and emerging professionals from CalCPA, Los Angeles Chapter; CFA Society Los Angeles (CFALA); the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), Los Angeles Chapter; and the Los Angeles Association of Health Underwriters (LAAHU) Vanguard Council. Ticket price is $55 and includes access to the Shell Fuel Rewards fan deck located at gate 28 (report to the Shell Fuel rewards check-in tent in the peristyle area for check in). Please note price does not include concessions or beverages. Some concessions are provided on the fan deck for purchase and throughout the stadium. View options here so you may plan for costs during the event. Register here. No registration at the door!

Discounted parking: $35 if purchased in advance by contacting the Rams ticket office at 818-540-4519 (This is garage parking, and there is no space for pre-tailgate). Click here to view other parking options.

Ticket pick up: Tickets will be available under purchasers name at the will call box office located at Gate 1 beginning at 1:20p.m on game day.
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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.
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LIDMA 15th Annual Fall Meeting & Business Showcase

October 14-16, InterContinental Hotel in New Orleans

Life Insurance Direct Marketing Association is the life insurance industry’s most focused gathering of high performance direct response marketers, producers, underwriters and service providers who are driving positive changes in the distribution of life insurance in order to benefit middle market consumers. Attendance at the LIDMA Fall Meeting & Showcase is available only to LIDMA members.  This year LIDMA is also offering a discounted annual membership fee for first-time producers for $495, which is half off.  Information on the various membership categories and pricing is available at www.lidma.org.
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NAC3 Cryptocurrency Conference

December 8, Las Vegas
Come hang with Crypto Bobby, Ready Set Crypto, the Crypto Street Podcast crew and many more. This event’s focus will be on investment and how to take your gains to the next level in the current market. Register now for the early bird rate of $97. More info here.