Some L.A. communities will be happy to hear this news: L.A. Care Health Plan and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan announced this week that they will jointly operate 14 new and existing community resource centers throughout Los Angeles county. The joint operation is part of a $146 million investment from both insurers over a five-year period with each group investing $73 million. A collab between competitors is seen as unique, but it also makes sense: Blue Shield Promise contracts with L.A. Care to offer Medi-Cal in the state.
CVS-Aetna Clears Last Hurdle, Not Without Critics
We forgive you if you thought this was already a done deal, but nope it wasn’t. And now it is: the CVS-Aetna union is official. A federal judge last week formally approved CVS Health’s nearly $70 billion takeover of Aetna. This was the last hurdle, folks. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon approved the merger and said in his ruling that those challenging the union weren’t able to demonstrate that the merger would result in CVS gaining the ability to steer patients away from their current providers. The American Medical Association, one of the groups opposing the merger, had harsh words for the merger. AMA President Patrice Harris said the decision fails patients and will likely raise prices, lower quality, reduce choice and stifle innovation.
CMS Cracks Down on Medicare Provider Problems
In an attempt to remove problematic health care providers from Medicare and Medicaid eligibility, the federal government recently finalized a rule that will expand its power to remove such providers.
Under the new final rule, CMS can kick providers out of the programs if the provider has a previous affiliation with a banned organization, even if the provider itself has not been directly hit with a federal investigation. CMS has now also taken measures to prevent a problematic provider from reinventing itself. Read more here.
A Reason to Feel Better About Spending $ on that Latte
This is pretty cool…Starbucks is reportedly taking steps to improve its employees’ mental health with a new initiative that includes an enhanced employee assistance program and mental health training for store managers. Starbucks has also added subsidized childcare and other benefits. Read more here.
Ease Partners with The Standard
Ease, an HR and benefits software provider for small businesses, insurance brokers and insurance carriers, announced a new partnership with The Standard. The partnership aims to make it easier for brokers and employers to offer and manage The Standard’s dental, vision, disability, life, AD&D and supplemental plans. With this connection, The Standard will become Ease’s newest EaseConnect+ partner, allowing brokers to safely and securely submit enrollment data directly to The Standard. Additionally, Ease will fully setup and maintain this connection for brokers.
Pozniak Honored by Employee Benefit Adviser
Boy, Employee Benefit Adviser sure has great taste. EBA named our own Naama O. Pozniak as thier 2019 Wellness Adviser of the Year. Pozniak has been unwavering in introducing meditation, yoga and mindfulness to her clients and the insurance industry. Congrats Naama!
LIMRA and LOMA Mags Win APEX Awards
Congrats to LIMRA’s MarketFacts, SRI Review, and LOMA’s Resource magazines. The magazines been recognized by APEX as 2019 winners of the Awards for Publications Excellence.
PERKS LA – The Employee Experience Expo- We’re here!
Discount for CB readers!
September 11, Magic Box @ The Reef, Los Angeles
See the largest selection of perks, services, amenities and benefits for your clients, prospects and their employees. Plus VIP workshops and fitness, giveaways, free food and drink samples, happy hour and more for all ticket holders. Register at here with code CALBROKER (20% off!) and also check out sponsor/exhibiting details.
NAAIA National Conference & Empowerment Summit
Sept 11-13, Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Atlanta, GA
Leaders from across the insurance and financial services profession will come together at this high energy industry event to further the education, advancement and uplifting of African American insurance professionals. More info at www.naaia.org
LIMRA Group & Worksite Benefits Conference
Sept 10-12, Newport Marriott, Rhode Island
The conference will focus on key industry issues, including factors driving change in the benefits market. Executives and professionals in the workplace benefits area are encouraged to attend and network at this collaborative event. Tom Wamberg, chief executive officer, Wamberg Genomic Advisors, will open the conference by talking about how genomic developments will change every long-held belief of the life and health insurance industries. He’ll discuss genomic products and their potential risks, rewards and regulations. The following day, these industry leaders will share their thoughts on today’s most important topics in the workplace space:
- Lori L. High, senior vice president, Sales & Relationship Management – Group Benefits, The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.
- Gene Lanzoni, assistant vice president, Thought Leadership – Group & Worksite Marketing, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America;
- Jeanette Rice, president and chief operating officer, American Fidelity Assurance Company; and
- Bill Smith, president, Cigna Group Insurance
Registration and info here.
GGAHU –Reducing Healthcare cost with Yoga & Meditation
LAAHU seminar- The Art of Networking
September 19, Skirball Cultural Center, 9 a.m.
Speaker Sarah Shirazi-Reznick will cover the how to be more effective and intentional in networking environments. Topics will cover include niche marketing, how to choose your network groups, power partners, elevator speeches and much more. Register here.
NAIFA & LAAHU 13th Annual Health Forum
September 20, 2019, Corky’s Restaurant, 5043 Van Nuys Blvd., Sherman Oaks
Join NAIFA- Los Angeles, NAIFA-Greater Foothills and LAAHU for a jam-packed half day, including a 2CE breakfast with senator Anthony Portantino and much more. Info and registration register here.
CAHU Annual Conference & Symposium– We’ll see you here!
Oct 3-5, Costa Mesa
Register here for early bird rates.
Alliance of Comprehensive Planners 2019 Annual Conference
Nov. 12-15, Hyatt Regency Mission Bay, San Diego
The Alliance of Comprehensive Planners (ACP) is a community of tax-focused financial planners who provide planning strategies for clients on a fee-only retainer basis. Conference early bird registration rates (which expire Oct. 11, 2019) are in effect now. Participation is open to all interested financial professionals. Companies interested in sponsoring the ACP Annual Conference should contact Jill Colsch at email@example.com. The agenda is available here: https://2019.acplanners.org/home. More info here.
CAHU Women’s Leadership Conference
March 25-27, 2020, JW Marriott Resort&Spa, Las Vegas
Save the date! Get early bird pricing by registering by 8/31/19 and using code NAHU19. More info at www.cahu.org.
LAAHU Annual Symposium- Save the date!
April 22, 2020, Skirball Center, Los Angeles
More info soon!