RWJ Offers New Insight on Individual Market

Naturally you’ve been distracted with the likes of Stormy Daniels, Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, but we promise you that stuff continues to chug along in the less salacious world of insurance. For example:

After interviewing 10 insurance companies participating in the individual market in 28 states and the District of Columbia, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation issued “Insurers Remaining in Affordable Care Act Markets Prepare for Continued Uncertainty in 2018, 2019.” The report examines insurers’ participation and pricing decisions for the 2018 and 2019 plan years. Among the nuggets of info:

“The midyear loss of the ACA’s cost-sharing reduction (CSR) plan reimbursements drove 2018 premium increases ranging from 10 percent to 20 percent. However, several insurers credited state regulators with prompt action to help insulate consumers from premium hikes, noting further that proposed federal legislation to restore cost-sharing reduction funding could result in significant disruption and sticker shock for consumers receiving premium tax credits.”

Read the whole report here or the Washington Examiner story about it.

Study Reveals Most Insurance Carriers Unprepared to Leverage IoT Data
LexisNexis Risk Solutions released findings from the first comprehensive research study to examine the insurance industry’s perspective on collecting, analyzing and using data created by the Internet of Things (IoT). The study found that while insurance carriers recognize the impact this data will have on the insurance industry, few carriers currently have an IoT strategy, are collecting IoT data or have dedicated resources in place. For complete findings, download the 2018 LexisNexis IoT and State of the Insurance Industry Study whitepaper.

Department of Managed Care Update- Help Us Translate, Please!
So we received this little diddy from the Department of Managed Care:

“The Department of Managed Health Care (Department) has updated its website to reflect an updated posting under Open Pending Regulations.

Pursuant to Government Code section 11346.8(c) and California Code of Regulations, Title 1, section 44, the Department is giving notice of a 2nd comment period for the proposed regulation, General Licensure Requirements, adding section 1300.49 of Title 28 of the California Code of Regulations.

Interested parties may submit public comments to the Department for 15 days (through and including April 5, 2018).

You will find the following new documents posted in the “Open Pending Regulations” section of http://wpso.dmhc.ca.gov/regulations/ .

Notice of 2nd Comment Period, and Notice of 15-day Text.

Please do not reply to this e-mail directly.  If you have questions about this e-mail, please submit your questions to regulations@dmhc.ca.gov.”

Anyone who can translate this into English, wins a free subscription to California Broker magazine! Email us: editor@calbrokermag.com.

HSAs

More HSA Ed Needed

A new joint report by the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute and Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) and finds only 51 percent of Americans believe they are knowledgeable about Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).

The study surveyed consumers, financial advisors, asset managers and employers to get a complete understanding of the HSA market and how this product is being used. The survey results indicate there is much to be done to educate consumers, advisors and employers to ensure the full benefits of HSAs are realized.

The survey found that many Americans are unaware that they can use their HSA assets  ̶  accumulated in their working years  ̶  to pay for health care and long-term care expenses in retirement. In fact, 2 in 5 Americans mistakenly believe that balances must be spent by the end of the year, or forfeited.  The growing costs of health care and long-term care have prompted many advisors to address these risks with their clients as they plan for retirement. Nine in 10 advisors surveyed say they typically discuss healthcare or long-term care with clients but only seven in 10 have specifically addressed the use of an HSA. Those who do not discuss HSAs acknowledge they have insufficient expertise with HSAs. Nearly all advisors (96 percent) surveyed say they would like to learn more.

RETIREMENT

Need to Feel Good About Something Today?
At least California is not on EBN’s Ten Worst Places to Retire List.
Kentucky and New Jersey are number one and two, respectively.

LEGAL PLANS

New Survey: Legal Plans Keep Employees
A recent survey conducted on behalf of Hyatt Legal Plans found that a majority of employers say that legal plans are helping them to achieve their HR goals of attracting and retaining employees. Approximately two-thirds of employers agreed that a legal plan can help attract and retain employees and 58 percent believe that having a legal plan has impacted employee satisfaction with benefits.

The survey, conducted by ORC International, consisted of interviews with benefits decision makers at companies with at least 500 employees to assess their views on offering legal plans. The survey also included an employee survey to get their thoughts on legal issues they’ve faced and legal plans.

With demographic shifts in the workplace, employers are focused on finding ways that they can attract and retain employees. The MetLife 15th Annual Employee Benefits Trends Survey found that when employers were asked to rank their top benefits priorities, more employers (83 percent) chose retaining employees as an important benefits objective than increasing employee productivity or controlling health and welfare benefit costs. More so, over half of employers (51 percent) say that retaining employees through benefits will become even more important in the next three to five years.

FINANCIAL PLANNING

And Speaking of the Mass Mutual Study…
Nearly six in 10 middle-income Americans say they feel more financially secure as a result of financial and insurance benefits they receive through their employer, according to a study by MassMutual. However, not all workers agree, especially those with lower-incomes, which may indicate a need for more financial education through the workplace. Fifty-eight percent of middle-income workers overall say they feel more secure because of benefits at work, according to the MassMutual Workplace Benefits Study. The internet-based research was conducted on behalf of MassMutual by Greenwald & Associates and polled 1,010 working Americans ages 25-65 who had annual household incomes of between $35,000 and $150,000 and participated in making household financial decisions. While 65 percent of upper-middle-income Americans or those with annual household incomes of $75,000 to $150,000 point to employee benefits as a source of greater financial security, only 42 percent of those with incomes of less than $45,000 say the same, the study finds. Those who do not feel as financially secure are less likely to have access to benefits such as a 401(k) or other retirement savings plan, or life, disability, accident or dental insurance.

TECHNOLOGY

Where’s The InsureTech Capital?
Which cities can lay claim to the “InsurTech Capitals of the World” title? Carrier Management magazine, the Wells Media Group publication for property/casualty insurance executives, says it knows. Using analysis provided by Venture Scanner(venturescanner.com), an analyst and technology-powered research firm,  London, New York and San Francisco rank highest by a simple count of the number of InsurTechs in each city. But that’s not the end of the story. Based on concentrations of funding dollars, Palo Alto edges out San Francisco, for the top spot—each of these locales report more than $2 billion in funding dollars — while London sinks to 12th place.

LONG TERM CARE

LTC TV From AM Best
A.M. Best Senior Industry Research Analyst George Hansen and Financial Analyst Bruno Caron discuss a new report that examines the long-term care insurance sector, which has seen a multitude of carriers leave the market or change their approaches in the hopes of achieving profitability. Click on http://www.ambest.com/v.asp?v=ltc318 to view the entire program.

PEOPLE

Jim Darling – Photo by Danielle Klebanow

Chubb’s Jim Darling Honored at IICF Gala
Congratulations to Jim Darling, regional executive officer, Pacific region, Chubb Life. Darling was awarded the Golden Horizon Award for the charitable work he’s done in his community and on behalf of the insurance industry. The award was given out last week at the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation Horizon Award Gala in downtown Los Angeles. The Gala, which included a live auction and dinner, raised nearly $300,000 to benefit local Southern California nonprofits! Cal Broker was honored to attend. Look for more coverage in the May issue of the magazine.

EVENTS

IICF March Madness
March 22 (Thursday!), 4-7pm, Bunker Hill Bar &Grill, Downtown Los Angeles
Join the IICF Western Division for the 6th annual March Madness! Catch the Sweet Sixteen games while enjoying hosted beer & wine, appetizers, and networking with your fellow insurance peers. Ticket at Door: All proceeds from the event benefit the IICF Community Grants Program. Click here for more information.

NAC3, the North American Crypto Currency Conference
March 24-25, Playa Studios, Los Angeles
Event appropriate for seasoned crypto currency pros and those merely curious about Bitcoin, Ethereum, Blockchain etc. Tickets and info now available at https://www.nac3.io. Companies interested in sponsorship can contact info@nac3.io for details.

LIMRA Life Insurance Conference
April 9-11, Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, Chicago, IL
Using predictive modeling, data scientists at LIMRA’s new Center of Excellence for Data Analytics have identified factors that influence individual life insurance buying behavior and have built profiles of types of customers who are likely to buy. This analysis, along with experts of social economics and customer experience, will be featured at the conference, which is jointly hosted by LIMRA, LOMA, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI). Register here.

LAAHU Annual Conference- Field Day 2018
April 11-12
Los Angeles Convention Center
Janet Trautwein, NAHU CEO, and the wonderful Alan Katz (a long-time Cal Broker contributor) will be among the guest speakers.
Find out what is going on in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento plus much more!
Registration, exhibit and
sponsorship info now available!

Big “I” Legislative Conference
April 18-20
Grand Hyatt Washington, Washington, D.C.
Attend a one-of-a-kind legislative event for the independent agency system and educate members of Congress on issues important to you and your clients. Registration includes an in-depth issues briefing, legislative breakfast with high-profile Congressional speakersHouse Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), a general session and networking opportunities. Register here.

LAAHU May Meeting
May 17, 8am, Sportsmen’s Lodge, 12825 Ventura Blvd, Studio City
Topic is  marketplace changes in long term care with presenter Steve Cain, director of LTCI Partners. There will also be an election of directors. Nominations can be made from the floor at the meeting. Click here for names of those already nominated.

IICF Casino Night
May 17, The Rotunda, San Francisco
Join the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation for a fun night of gambling and insurance industry networking while also raising money for community grants. The event takes place at The Rotunda, Union Square, San Francisco. Registration and sponsorship info available here.

IICF Western Regional Forum
June 21, The Millennium Biltmore, Downtown Los Angeles
The one-day regional format provides opportunities for greater participation and networking with colleagues here in the West and beyond. There will be ample time for networking with speakers as well. Topic this year is: Driving Diversity: Cultivating Individual and Industry Confidence. Learn more at womensconference.iicf.org

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.