Reforming U.S. Healthcare System

The Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury and Labor told the White House this week that lawmakers and the Trump administration should expand consumer access to health savings accounts (HSAs) and health reimbursement accounts. In a 119-page report, titled The Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury and Labor told the White House this week that lawmakers and the Trump administration should expand consumer access to health savings accounts (HSAs) and health reimbursement accounts.

LIFE

Californians Find $17M in Lost Life Insurance Benefits

The California Department of Insurance announced that The Life Insurance Policy Locator — launched by the Cal DOI through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners — has matched consumers with policies totaling $17,332,464 just in the past 12 months, and $33,863,187 since the 2016 launch. Want to see if you have some lost life insurance money? Log on to the locator here.

Delaware Life Insurance Company Intros Value-Added Sales Consultants

Life and annuity provider Delaware Life Insurance Company announced it added new talent with the introduction of the National Sales Consulting (NSC) team. This group of experienced professionals are highly educated consultants on income and tax planning, as well as business-building strategies for financial advisors. The NSC team is a dedicated resource for guidance and questions on Advanced Markets, Practice Management, and Financial Technology. They can provide actionable sales ideas, meaningful content, resources, and tools that are rich in advisor education and practice management, as well as ways to help simplify complex planning issues for clients. The team partners with wholesalers to provide advisors with consulting, educational workshops, national conference presentations and dedicated internal support. Leading the NSC team’s marketing and sales development is Sandy McGuire, MBA, formerly of Janus Henderson Investors and MFS. Brendan Payne, JD, a former advanced strategies consultant at Jackson National, is the western region director. Contact the NSC team at: NationalSalesConsulting@delawarelife.com, or 855-672-6957 (1-855-NSC-OWLS).

HEALTH

Free Ebook on Supplemental Health

BenefitsPro is offering “A Broker’s Essential Guide for Supplemental Health Insurance.”  Download the free ebook here.

Medicare Open Enrollment Pointers for Clients

ThinkAdvisor’s Ginger Szala spoke with Morningstar’s Mark Miller for some great Medicare tips for your clients. Among them: Premiums for part D plans are going up on average 2 percent in 2019. Some, however, may go up as much as 10 percent. Retirees can check their options at Medicare.gov. Get the other five tips here.

RECRUITING

Patra Corp Expands Successful Patra Academy, Partners with Military Spouse Employment Program

California-based Patra Corporation, an insurance processing and technology company, announced an expansion of its Patra Academy program. Patra Academy was developed as a way for the company to meet its hiring needs in light of the talent shortage the industry is currently facing. Patra Academy recruits, trains and hires individuals with no previous insurance experience. Upon completion of training, graduates are placed within Patra’s nationwide network of insurance staff. Now, however, Patra is tapping into an underutilized talent pool: military spouses. Because Patra allows many of its employees to work remotely, Patra has been able to train and employ more than 30 military spouses and veterans with jobs that are portable enough to follow them to their next duty station; two Patra Academy locations are in proximity to military bases – Fort Campbell, near Clarksville, Tennessee, and Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada. Patra Academy also recently formalized a partnership with the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP), which will focus recruiting on and near major military installations, hiring spouses of active duty military. Patra Academy’s expansion brings the total number of locations to three, with a facility at its headquarters in El Dorado Hills, California in addition to those in Fallon and Clarksville.

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

UBA and JP Griffin Announce Partnership

independent employee benefits advisory organization United Benefit Advisors (UBA) and employee benefits firm JP Griffin Group recently announced a new partnership. The companies say the partnership furthers their mission to provide affordable and innovative benefit solutions to clients, while easing HR and financial burdens.

MassMutual Insights Reveal How Life Insurers Evaluate and Manage Pension Obligation Risks

Massachusetts Mutual has published a white paper to help guide and inform employers about how to successfully de-risk and potentially transfer defined benefit (DB) pension obligations. The white paper, “Pension Risk Transfer: Insights from an institutional risk manager about how to successfully de-risk and transfer pension obligations,” is designed to be a primer for evaluating pension risks and determining potential courses of action to manage those risks over time.  The white paper was created by MassMutual’s Institutional Solutions unit, which offers defined benefit pension management, pension risk transfer (PRT) solutions, and other institutional investment offerings. The PRT market has been growing steadily, especially in recent years as economic and regulatory factors have converged, prompting plan sponsors to reconsider their risk management strategies.

FINANCIAL PLANNING

FSA Contribution Cap Increases

Good news: The IRS belatedly announced that the 2019 FSA contribution cap rises to $2,700, up from the 2018 cap of $2,650. Every 50 dollars counts, right?

Fin Ed Creates Better College Borrowers

The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) released research findings reinforcing the benefits of financial education—as provided through state mandates—and how it leads to a shift in the ways in which families borrow for college. The NEFE-funded study, performed by researchers at Montana State University, finds that students in states where financial education is required to graduate from high school make better financial aid decisions as college freshman, moving from higher-cost to lower-cost borrowing options. Mandated financial education increases applications for grants and federal aid, keeps overall borrowing balances down, and decreases credit card balances. The study concludes that requiring financial education in high school at the state level leads to better borrowing behaviors. Students with lower expected family contributions (EFC) tend to carry smaller credit card balances and are less likely to work during their freshman year when they have been exposed to a mandate. Higher-EFC students take on smaller amounts of private loan debt. Additionally, with access to financial education, there is a notable increase in applications for financial aid, and in acceptance of federally subsidized Stafford Loans. According to the Council for Economic Education 2018 Survey of the States, just 17 states require high school students to take a class in personal finance. While mandates are relatively easy to track, implementation varies widely and changes frequently. Hensley says research on financial education mandates is only as good as the information on the mandates and course offerings themselves. For more on the better borrowing research, click here.

PEOPLE

DDPA Welcomes Steffl

Delta Dental Plans Association, the not-for-profit national association of the 39 independent Delta Dental companies, announced Tim Steffl has joined the organization as vice president, strategic development & finance. With 30 years of health care management, strategy, finance and sales experience, Steffl will be responsible for providing the oversight and leadership for DDPA’s strategic development and finance and accounting operations.

NAIC Names 2019 Zone Committee Leaders
Members of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) elected the 2019 zone officers during the Fall National Meeting, held in San Francisco. Zone leaders play an important role as members of the NAIC’s Executive Committee and provide oversight and direction regarding the functions of the organization. The Western Zone committee members are:

EVENTS

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.


LAAHU Holiday Party

Dec. 18, Traktir Restaurant, Tarzana, 4:30-7:30pm

Register here.

 

PIMA’s 2019 Industry Insights Conference

January 24-27, 2019, Margaritaville Beach Resort, Hollywood, Florida

Registration is now open for the Professional Insurance Marketing Association (PIMA) Industry Insights Conference. The conference will host expert speakers from leading companies around the country including Facebook, Forrester and Action Surge. Conference promises to explore new product and distribution trends; emerging markets that harness growth in new areas; social marketing to drive insurance business; marketing to Millennials and Gen Z; and an insurance industry overview of blockchain. Early bird registration and housing deadline is December 14, 2018. Visit PIMA’s conference page for more details and to register or call 817-569-7462 (PIMA).

LAAHU Annual Conference — Save the date!

April 17, 2019
New Location: Skirball Center
2701 N Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90049

LAAHU’s Annual Conference is the largest in the state and includes updates from DC, breakout sessions for IFP, small group, large group and medicare. It’s a don’t miss! More info to come soon.

IICF Global Conference — Save the date!

June 12-14, 2019, New York City