Insurance Industry Haters a Problem?

So Graham-Cassidy died before it really lived and now talk is resuming about a bipartisan Alexander-Murray proposal. We’ll see… Did you watch the Healthcare Debate hosted by CNN the other night? We noticed that a couple of the debaters really loved bashing the insurance industry. Have you experienced an uptick in negativity from acquaintances because of your role in the insurance industry? Has a changed public sentiment about insurance and the insurance industry impacted you? We’d love to hear how you handle insurance industry haters. Please email your comments to editor@calbrokermag.com. Let us know if we can use your comments in a future issue of the magazine.

Perfect Lunch Hour Viewing: A Panel Discussion on Future of ACA
The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Reuters jointly hosted an excellent discussion about the future of the Affordable Care Act. The panel discussion is about an hour long and it’s available to view for free as an on-demand video. If your clients keep asking you what’s going on, make sure you know. Here’s the program’s description: The future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unclear. Republicans have decided not to vote this week on the Graham-Cassidy bill, but promised to revisit ACA repeal-and-replace efforts. Democrats announced recently a single-payer health care proposal. And another hurdle for the ACA looms. With open enrollment beginning on November 1, questions remain about the stability of the ACA insurance exchange marketplace, particularly around the fate of cost-sharing subsidies and other factors that affect enrollment, affordability and access to varied plans. This Forum brought together health and public policy experts from across diverse perspectives to look at what’s next for the Affordable Care Act. What can Americans expect and where does health care reform go from here?

Kaiser CEO Tells NPR that the Way Forward is Bipartisan
Kaiser’s Bernard Tyson spoke with NPR Morning Edition host David Greene this week about what a health care compromise may look like. Tyson said he was optimistic that the U.S. would meet the health care coverage challenge. Listen to Kaiser’s Bernard Tyson on NPR.

Health Net Gives Back to Californians

Health Net has awarded a combined $1.5 million to 10 health care and community-based organizations across the state to help close the insurance gap, improve the quality and availability of health care and enhance health outcomes in medically underserved communities. These grants are supported by Health Net’s Community and Infrastructure Investment Program, created as a result of the Undertakings agreed to by Health Net and the California Department of Managed Health Care as a condition of the department’s approval of the merger between Centene Corporation and Health Net, Inc. The organizations receiving the grants support a wide range of programs and initiatives that directly address many of the unmet needs of the state’s most underserved communities. Investments in these organizations, through Health Net’s Community & Infrastructure Investment Program, are intended to grow coverage in health insurance programs and help individuals find the care they need. Recipients include:

Northern California

  • Ampla Health: $150,000 to facilitate access to healthcare, educate consumers about the importance of good health and help families enroll in and renew their Medi-Cal and Covered California coverage.
  • Sacramento Covered: $150,000 to develop, integrate and implement Medi-Cal and Covered California retention tools, protocols and strategies.

Central Valley

  • Centro La Familia Advocacy Services: $100,000 to support the Aseguré Su Bienstar (Secure Your Wellbeing) program, which helps increase awareness of the benefits and requirements of Medi-Cal enrollment through education and outreach activities at health fairs, community forums and workshops.
  • Community Health Initiative of Kern County: $100,000 to increase enrollment and retention in the Medi-Cal program as part of the “Good Health Starts at Your Medical Home” program that serves largely agricultural communities.

Los Angeles

  • East Valley Community Health Center: $100,000 to educate individuals on their health plan benefits and how to access healthcare, and to increase access to social service resources.
  • Institute for High Quality Care: $500,000 to support safety net healthcare providers statewide by increasing their capacity to apply quality improvement tools and techniques to positively affect their required performance and quality measures, including HEDIS. And to design a program to increase the number of Medi-Cal providers engaging in, and sustaining, quality improvement efforts.
  • Maternal & Child Health Access: $100,000 to implement enrollment and retention strategies, primarily for Medi-Cal, and advocate on behalf of Medi-Cal beneficiaries.
  • Northeast Valley Health Corporation: $100,000 to implement Medi-Cal and Covered California enrollment and retention strategies and provide education on navigating the healthcare system.
  • Southside Coalition of Community Health Centers: $100,000 to educate local residents about enrolling in health coverage for low-income and undocumented adults and children, and provide care-coordination when patients are admitted to or treated in the emergency department at California Hospital Medical Center.
  • The Children’s Clinic: $100,000 to increase enrollment and retention, primarily in Medi-Cal, through enhanced in-reach and outreach activities to help improve re-enrollment rates.

LIFE INSURANCE

LIMRA: More People Have Employer-based Life Insurance Than Individual Life
A new LIMRA study finds that 108 million Americans have life insurance coverage through their workplace, compared with 102 million covered by individual life insurance. This is the first time the number of people covered by workplace life insurance has surpassed those covered by individual since LIMRA has been tracking U.S. life insurance ownership in 1960.

Several Insurance Companies Rank on LATINA Style’s List of 50 Best Companies for Latinas to Work
A handful of insurance and financial service companies — including New York Life, Aflac, MetLife,  TIAA, State Farm, Kaiser, Morgan Stanley, Nationwide and Prudential — landed coveted spots on LATINA Style’s list of 50 Best Companies for Latinas to Work for in the United States.  According to LATINA Style, the annual LATINA Style 50 Report is the most respected evaluation of corporate America’s career advancement opportunities for Latinas in the country. Prudential grabbed the top spot. See the entire LATINA Style 50 rankings here.  Visit the LATINA Style 50 Report website for information on how the report is compiled.

EaseCentral Partners with TASC
EaseCentral is a cloud-based benefits enrollment software platform built for insurance brokers and employers, announced a partnership with TASC (Total Administrative Services Corporation), the largest privately-held, third-party employee benefits administrator in the country. Through the partnership, EaseCentral users will have access to additional benefits solutions, including COBRA, HSA, FSA and the ability to submit electronically.

PRODUCTS

PlanSource’s New Software Streamlines Payroll Deductions
PlanSource announced the launch of Halley, software that improves payroll deduction obstacles. The release includes a groundbreaking tool for deducting benefit premiums in payroll systems, a hub for connecting with the company’s partners, and reporting and administrative enhancements. “The Halley release solves some fundamental problems that HR and payroll teams have struggled with for years,” said Ryan Baldwin, chief technology officer at PlanSource. “For example, we’ve cracked the code on making retroactive payroll deductions, a previously manual process that often creates errors and adjustments.” The Advanced Payroll Deduction tool in the Halley release uses sophisticated logic to calculate and track payroll deductions over time, automating a process that is often manual, time-consuming and error-prone. The system calculates payroll deductions based on coverage effective dates and enrollment dates. It can also import actual payroll deductions, making adjustments and generating refunds to employees when required. These types of actions can be especially useful to manage situations in which an employee returns from a leave of absence and deductions must be taken out of several paychecks. With the launch of Halley, PlanSource also unveiled PartnerSource, a marketplace where employers, brokers and consultants can view and interact with PlanSource’s network of partners, and purchase add-on products. For more info, visit PlanSource online.

PEOPLE

Richard L. Williams Jr. Joins Aflac
Aflac announced that it hired Rich Williams as executive vice president and chief distribution officer, reporting to Teresa L. White, president of Aflac U.S. In the newly created role, Williams will be responsible for growth of the business through leading the fully aligned distribution team of career agents and brokerage professionals. He will work closely with the key leaders of the career and broker distribution teams to capitalize on Aflac’s strategic growth objectives in the U.S.

EVENTS

LAHU Membership Breakfast- Sept. 28 Studio City
Hear Rainmaker CEO David Estrada speak at this Thursday’s LAAHU membership meeting. The event starts at 8am at the Sportsmen’s Lodge. Register here.

Employee Healthcare & Benefits Conference- Oct 2-4 Los Angeles
The Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress (EHBC) brings together attendees from across the world to discuss the latest developments in the employee benefits industry — from corporate health & well-being programs and the latest in healthcare reform, to trends in voluntary benefits and self funded insurance. The event is being held at the Los Angeles Convention Center in West Hall A. Learn more and register at the event’s website.

World Medical Tourism & Global Health Conference – Oct 2-4 Los Angeles
The fast growing field of medical tourism is creating a need for trained and knowledgeable professionals. Visit the World Medical Tourism & Global Health Conference for workshops and classes to become a Certified Medical Tourism Professional (CMTP). The event is being held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. More info and register at the event’s website.

AM Best Webinar: How Life Insurers Compensate Producers- Oct 12, 11am Pacific
AM Best is offering a webinar about how life insurers are changing how they motivate and compensate producers. Register here.

Women in Insurance and Financial Services 30th Annual National Conference – Oct 25-27 Minneapolis
This year’s conference, Dream It Achieve It, will celebrate the impact that women are making in the insurance and financial services industry.  The conference focuses on empowering women through dynamic educational workshops, networking events and inspirational sessions that help women invest in their futures. An additional element of this year’s conference is a featured session that provides attendees the opportunity to earn continuing education (CE) credits. The exhibit hall will host 50 vendors with products and services aimed at elevating the businesses of those in the industry. Workshop topics include marketing strategies, sustainable investing, Department of Labor policy, best practices, team building and more. Learn more and register at the WIFS conference page.

NAILBA 36 – Nov. 16-18, Hollywood, Florida
Registration is now open for the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA) 36th Annual Meeting, NAILBA 36.  Scheduled November 16-18, 2017, at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida, the meeting will attract high level representatives from brokerage general agencies, life insurance carriers and insurance industry vendors.  This year’s agenda has been expanded to deliver four keynote experiences over three general sessions and more than 15 workshops. Go to NAILBA.org for a complete schedule of events.