We’re Here at the Employee Healthcare and Benefits Conference

California Broker has been manning booth #205 and talking to producers, vendors and others here at the Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress (EHBC) and the World Medical Tourism & Global Health Conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Expect coverage of these important conferences in our next issue. Are you here too? Maybe you’ve already talked to us. If not, drop us a line and tell us what you think and what you’ve learned! Email comments to: editor@calbrokermag.com.

TheConversation.Com: Now is good time to talk about health care costs
Since a repeal effort for the Affordable Care Act appears to be at a standstill, TheConversation.com says now is a good time to talk about how to cut rising health costs. One important way to do that, according to Linda P. Fried, the dean of Columbia University’s Mailman School, is to focus on public health. Fried says investing in public health could cure many of our health care ills. In fact, it could lower the amount the U.S. spends on 86 percent of all health care expenses. Read the full article at TheConversation.com.

Great Tips for Open Enrollment
There’s always room for improvement with open enrollment. Check out 5 Tips for a More Engaging Open Enrollment in Employee Benefit News. We love Tip 5: Add a dose of humor. “Studies have shown that when we’re laughing and our defenses are down, we’re more engaged and likely to absorb (and retain) information. If you don’t consider yourself a funny person, don’t worry. Since nobody expects benefits communications to be entertaining at all, even a few lighthearted touches can go a long way.”

LEGISLATIVE NEWS

Big “I” Praises Introduction of Insurance Regulatory Bills in the House
The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) issued a release that says it applauds the introduction of “The Federal Insurance Office Reform Act” by Reps. Sean Duffy (R-WI) and Denny Heck (D-WA) because it shows “strong support for state regulation.”  Earlier this month two other bipartisan measures supportive of state insurance regulation were also introduced. H.R. 3762, “The International Insurance Standards Act,” and H.R. 3746 “The Business of Insurance Regulatory Reform Act.”  The bills would require federal officials to oppose international standards and actions that are inconsistent with state insurance law and clarify that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regulatory authority does not extend to state insurance markets, respectively. According to the press statement, Big I believes the legislation will help to guarantee that insurance regulation continues to be “the purview of state regulators, and that federal agencies and officials do not exceed their authority in oversight of state insurance markets.”

LIFE INSURANCE

John Hancock Life Insurance and the American Diabetes Association Partner to Change the Conversation About Living with Type 2 Diabetes
John Hancock Life Insurance and the American Diabetes Association® (ADA) have teamed up to raise awareness about the successes, challenges and stigmas of living with type 2 diabetes. The campaign, dubbed “In it Together,” showcases real-life stories of people living with diabetes, along with tips, resources and information on issues such as health, wellness and the accessibility of life insurance.“By partnering with the ADA, the leading organization supporting the diabetes community, John Hancock is advancing our commitment to helping all Americans understand the strong correlation between making healthy choices and living a long and rewarding life,” said Brooks Tingle, senior vice president and interim head of John Hancock Insurance. “We’re encouraging people to start with small steps that can make a big difference over time while protecting their families’ future. We are proud to enable people with diabetes to live healthier through this partnership and through our wellness-based life insurance programs.” The “In It Together” campaign launched in late September with a new podcast series, sponsored by John Hancock and produced by the ADA. The series will present a new episode each month featuring the stories of people living with diabetes and their loved ones, and will offer tips and resources to help people live well with diabetes. Listeners can tune in to the podcast on iTunes or on the ADA’s website diabetes.org/inittogether. 

Trouble with Life Insurance for Clients in Marijuana Businesses?
A couple of months ago Cal Broker was contacted by a representative for a Las Vegas woman who applied for life insurance and was declined because she was the owner of an advertising and social media company that specialized in handling clients in the legal marijuana industry.

The woman supplied back up documentation, including a letter from a major life insurance company that stated she was being denied coverage because her occupation is “associated with marijuana sales, distribution or production.”

While we think this is an important industry issue, California Broker has decided to withhold the name of the woman, her insurance agent and the name of the insurance company that declined her. We’ve decided to do this because her insurance agent has voiced concern over the woman’s ability to gain coverage should her name become public. The agent helped her apply to several other insurance providers and they are awaiting news of approval – or not. You’ll see a more complete account of what happened in our October issue. We hope to bring more indepth coverage about legal marijuana and life insurance soon. If you have a client who is experiencing similar problems and you want to talk, please reach out to editor@calbrokermag.com.

EVENTS

#IICFWeekofGiving Oct 14-21
Last year nearly 8,500 industry colleagues and friends participated in the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation’s Week of Giving. This year you can too! Give your time, talent and resources to benefit your local community. Volunteer as an individual or as part of a company team or group from different companies. The week will be packed full of volunteering projects. If you have one hour, you can write cards and letters of appreciation to our service men and women from your office. If you have three or four hours, you can help at a food bank or shelter, read to preschoolers at an early literacy event, clean up a community park — or many other activities with local nonprofit organizations. Projects will take place in cities throughout the United States and United Kingdom. Explore projects and register to volunteer at www.weekofgiving.iicf.org   New projects continue to be added.

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