Watch the Words: CSRs Not “Bailout” Say Some Lawmakers

Soon after the Senate voted on July 28 against a “skinny” repeal, President Trump tweeted that if a new healthcare bill isn’t brought up again, then “BAILOUTS for insurance companies” would end soon. Now Washington Examiner’s Daily on Healthcare reports that some lawmakers are fighting back against calling CSRs bailouts for insurance companies. “When I hear them described as insurance company bailout that is just not an accurate description,” said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. Collins was one of three Republicans — alongside Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and John McCain of Arizona — who voted to sink the skinny bill aimed at starting new repeal talks with the House. The verbiage pushback could play a key role in securing enough political support for a short-term bipartisan deal to stabilize ACA exchanges, including making the insurer payments. CSRs help low-income people who are only between 100-200 percent of the poverty rate afford out-of-pocket costs. Lawmakers and experts say the CSR payments to lower deductibles and co-pays are honoring an agreement to reimburse insurers and are not bailouts. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently suggested that a bipartisan agreement that includes CSRs may be gaining steam.

LIFE INSURANCE

LIMRA Announces Blockchain Advisory Council
Have your heard about Blockchain yet? You will soon. LIMRA announced it has established an advisory council to explore opportunities in the life insurance and retirement sectors to use blockchain technology.

“Blockchain technology offers our members significant ways to immediately improve operations and efficiencies.  We are encouraged that many of our members have joined LIMRA’s Blockchain Advisory Council to help us find scalable solutions using this technology,” said Robert Kerzner, president and CEO, LIMRA, LOMA, LL Global

Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that provides a secure, legal record of a transaction on a decentralized network (Bitcoin is the only blockchain protocol in widespread use as yet). Researchers predict blockchain technology will solve many of the challenges the financial services industry faces. From lowering administrative and claims processing costs, to expanding access to underserved markets and enabling immediate issue products, blockchain has the capacity to revolutionize the financial services industry.

LIMRA’s Blockchain Advisory Council will hold its inaugural meeting on September 7 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Endicott House. Initial members of the Blockchain Advisor Council include representatives from AXA, John Hancock, Lincoln Financial Group, MassMutual, Nationwide, Northwestern Mutual, Pacific Life Insurance Company, Penn Mutual and Principal Financial Group.

The event will feature experts on blockchain, including Linda Pawczuk, principal, Global Technology, Deloitte Consulting, who will discuss opportunities to leverage blockchain technology to improve operations and efficiencies in the business. LIMRA will work with the Advisory Council to identify and prioritize concepts for practical collaborative industry solutions that could be developed and implemented within 18 months.

More on Crushing Cash
Want to know more about Bitcoin, Blockchain and other possibilities for crushing cash? Check out Bloomberg Capital’s report on on how fin-tech (that’s”financial technology” for readers not familiar with the term) is gaining steam worldwide. Find out how the U.S. stacks up in worldwide consumer acceptance and other fascinating info.

MIB Life Index: U.S. Life Insurance Activity Declines 2.6% in July
U.S. individually underwritten life insurance activity continued to lose ground in July with the MIB Life Index composite down -2.6%, year-over-year. MIB reports that the life index has declined each month of 2017; year-to-date the composite Index is off -3.1 percent. Want to know more? Check out the full MIB Life Index report or watch MIB’s “Life at Half” below.


EVENTS
BenefitMall Gears up For August “Meet & Greet” with Carriers
BenefitMall will host “meet & greet” in five convenient California locations in August. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from carrier partners such as Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, CaliforniaChoice, Cigna, Health Net and UnitedHealthcare. There will also be a carrier panel discussion and updates on products, processes and positioning. In addition, Michael Gomes, BenefitMall’s senior vice president of benefits sales, will share how the company continues to meet the needs of the evolving industry. You’ll have the opportunity to earn 1 CE credit for attending a compliance seminar. Click on one of the links below to register:

August 9 – 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at Skirball Cultural Center (L.A.).
August 10 – 9:00 am – 12:00 pm at Orange County DoubleTree.
August 10 – 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm at Mission Inn (Riverside).
August 11 – 9:00 am – 12:00 pm at San Diego DoubleTree.
August 16 – 11:00 am – 3:30 pm at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Berkeley Marina.

LAAHU/VCAHU Senior Products & Marketing Summit – August 24 Studio City
The Los Angeles Association of Health Underwriters and the Ventura County Association of Health Underwriters have teamed up for a joint Senior Products & Marketing Summit. The event has moved to a larger venue, which allows for two learning tracks of education, additional sponsors and exhibitors to be a bigger part of the day. The summit will take place August 24, 2017, 8:30am-4:30pm at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City. There’s still time to register or inquire about sponsorship opportunities.

Women in Insurance Luncheon – August 24 DTLA
Don’t miss the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) Women in Insurance luncheon at the City Club in downtown Los Angeles August 24, 11am-1pm. The theme is “The Power of Diverse Thought and Innovation.” Admission is $75. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.  Register online via the event website. 

“LOVE” Couture – A Salute to Women in Business Annual Charity Luncheon & Fashion Show- September 8 Westlake Village
Four Seasons Westlake Village is the place for LAAHU’s Salute to Women in Business Charity Luncheon and Fashion Show, Sept 8, 10a.m.– 2:00 pm. Warner Pacific, Dickerson, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Health Net, BenefitMall, United HealthCare, Rodger Benefit Group and Word&Brown are among the event sponsors. Get tickets here.

CAHU Health Care Retreat– September 11-13, Pala Casino Resort & Spa
Join CAHU for three packed days of vital information, legislative updates and networking opportunities. Keynote speaker Nelson Griswold is among the dynamic speakers. “Early Bird” registration rates available through August 21. For more info and registration, go to CAHU’s events site.

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 site to find about workshops for the Certified Medical Tourism Professional (CMTP) designation and more.

NAILBA 36 – Nov. 16-18, Hollywood, Florida
The National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA) opened registration for its 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. A complete schedule of events can be found here. Register at the NAILBA 36 website.

 

PEOPLE

Martinez and Conlon Join HUB
HUB International of California, a wholly owned subsidiary of HUB International Limited, a leading global insurance brokerage, risk advisory and employee benefits firm recently announced that Amanda Martinez joined the company as an employee benefits account executive. Martinez was previously employed at Alliant Insurance Services where she served as an employee benefits account executive and Woodruff-Sawyer where she was an employee benefits senior account manager. HUB also announced the hire of Timothy Conlon as a commercial markets consultant and risk management advisor. Conlon was most recently a senior vice president at Lockton Companies, Inc. where he served in roles with LeaseTerm Insurance Solutions as western regional director of a start-up firm that provided risk management solutions to the multi-family leasing marketplace and as a practice leader with All Risks, LTD., an independent wholesale insurance broker. Martinez and Conlon will be based in San Francisco.

Wells Joins Hixme
Agoura Hills, California-based Hixme, a high-tech innovator in the delivery of group health benefits, announced it has hired veteran sales executive Peter Wells to lead its geographic expansion. Wells, who has experience in technology, pharma, media, retail and communications, will be the national sales vice president.

Bodnar and Nisenson Join Genworth

Vince Bodnar

Genworth recently announced that two industry leaders will be joining the company’s U.S. Life Insurance division to lead product management, distribution and product marketing for its life, long term care and annuity businesses. Vince Bodnar, a long term care actuary, will join Genworth as senior vice president of product management with overall responsibility for the design, development and management of Genworth’s life, long term care and annuity product portfolios.

 

Larry Nisenson

Larry Nisenson joins Genworth as senior vice president, chief commercial officer. He will be responsible for refining USLI’s commercial vision, including distribution and product marketing, as well as developing strategic and tactical plans to grow the business.

 

 

Streiff Joins Aria Retirement Solutions
Aria Retirement Solutions, provider of the RetireOne platform, announced the appointment of Thomas F. Streiff as an independent director of the firm. Most recently Streiff was a senior managing director and head of retirement income products and distribution for TIAA-CREF and Nuveen.

Gullett Joins NAFA
The National Association for Fixed Annuities announced it has hired Alaina Gullett as its membership and development manager. Gullett joins the organization with experience in operations, marketing, membership and education in the various roles she most recently held at the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives.