We’re Talking About Money

Is it raining money in your office or is it more of a drizzle? The latest issue of California Broker dives deep into commissions and what’s happening with them. This is part one of Phil Calhoun’s series. Don’t miss it! Subscribe to the magazine.

NAIC Accepting Applications for the 2020 Consumer Liaison Program

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is currently accepting applications for the 2020 Consumer Liaison Program. Established in 1992, the Consumer Liaison Program provides a way for individuals who are qualified consumer representatives of consumer organizations to participate in NAIC meetings. The NAIC defines a consumer organization as a national, state or local organization that serves to protect the interests of consumers as they relate to the regulation of insurance. More info here.

When Estimate Doesn’t Equal Reality

KHN has a story up about one patient who received a bill almost 50% higher than the estimate he received before surgery. If you have clients in the same boat, take a read here.

INSURTECH

Insurtech Ushers in Instant, Flexible and Digital Quotes

Global insurtech funding is pretty astounding: funding topped $3 billion in 2018, an increase of 84.2% from 2017, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. If you want to bone up on the topic, check out GlobalData’s report, ‘Digital Challengers in Insurance – Thematic Research‘. The firm says one emerging trend is on-demand policies where customers can purchase insurance by the hour, day or week – normally using a provider’s app.

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

Ease Partners with The Standard to Offer and Manage Primary & Worksite Plans

Ease, a leading HR and benefits software solution for small businesses, insurance brokers, and insurance carriers, announced its partnership with The Standard. The partnership is intended 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.

PERKS LA One Week Away

The #PERKSLA19 event is just a week away. Doors open at 9 a.m. on the 2nd floor at the Magic Box @ The Reef at 1933 S Broadway, Los Angeles. You should go.We’ll be there. Use this link to register.

HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE

Commish Lara Gives Advice on Cancellations

We don’t generally cover homeowners insurance. But we’re throwing this out there as an FYI in case you or your clients find themselves in a cancellation bind. California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara recently visited with some Nevada County, California, residents and told them that insurers cancelling policies on home owners after a disaster is a big concern. Lara says he’s working on proposing legislation that makes the rules on cancellation clearer. In the meantime, anyone who is struggling with cancellation and has questions can call the California Department of Insurance hotline: 1-800-927-4357 or http://www.insurance.ca.gov. (If you ask for a call back, the average time is two minutes.)

MEDICARE

MA Plans Delivered on Care Despite Payment Decreases

Before the Affordable Care Act, Medicare Advantage plans received payments of up to 114 percent traditional Medicare spending.The ACA reduced payments. In 2019, Medicare payments to Medicare Advantage plans (including bonus payments) are roughly equal to the per capita costs in traditional Medicare, 100.4 percent, on average, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. Contrary to the negative predictions because of the ACA-inspired reductions, Medicare Advantage beneficiaries’ access to care and health plan affordability did not change between 2009 to 2017. That’s according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Managed Care. If fact, researchers found that MA plans reduced costs without diminishing healthcare access or affordability for enrollees. In California, about 40 percent of Medicare enrollees have an MA plan. Nationwide, UnitedHealthcare and Humana together account for 44% of enrollment in 2019.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

More Education Needed for Travel Insurance

The latest research indicates that agents who sell travel insurance have their work cut out for them. While the International Travel Insurance Journal (ITIJ) reported overall purchases of travel insurance by U.S. citizens increased more than 40 percent, 94 percent of coverage purchased was exclusively for trip cancellations and trip interruptions. In fact, research from the United States Travel Insurance Association (USTiA)  looking at travel insurance purchases by U.S. travelers from 2016 to 2018 found that only 6% of American travelers buy travel medical insurance.  Reminder: most U.S.-based health insurance plans don’t cover travelers for treatment or hospitalization outside of the U.S. and Medicare doesn’t cover any medical treatments when performed outside of the U.S. “American travelers too often trust single options offered to them for travel coverage after purchasing airline tickets or rely on their credit card travel coverage for all of their travel needs. Unfortunately, they are risking serious financial consequences if they do not purchase comprehensive medical travel insurance coverage,” says Rajeev Shrivastava, CEO and founder of VisitorsCoverage, a Silicon Valley insurtech company. Travel insurers say it’s time for agents to educate clients about risks (and, naturally, sell more travel insurance).

LIFE INSURANCE

Life Insurance Awareness Month Highlights the Importance of Owning Life Insurance, What Stands in the Way

While about 60% of American consumers own some type of life insurance, it’s the 40 percent that don’t that has LIMRA’s attention. Top reason those people don’t buy: consumers tend to overestimate the cost of life insurance – especially millennials. In fact, 4 in 10 millennials estimated the cost of a $250,000 term life policy for a healthy 30-year-old at $1,000 a year or more when the average cost actually hovers at $160. Good thing to keep in mind, given that September is life insurance awareness month. For facts, infographics and more shareables, visit the 2019 LIAM page.

People are living longer, Industry Grapples with New(ish) CSO Tables

In February 2018, the Internal Revenue Service agreed to let life insurers move to use of the 2017 CSO tables, from the old 2001 tables. The new tables calculate mortality probabilities to the insured’s age of 121. Of course, this all speaks to the fact that people are living longer and there could be significant tax consequences if one to reach the maturity date (and subsequent payout) of a life policy. Allison Bell at ThinkAdvisor parses what’s up with the new CSO tables.

MDRT Announces 2020 Leadership

Million Dollar Round Table recently announced its 2020 executive committee. Regina Bedoya, CLU, ChFC, takes her place as 94th President and newcomer Peggy Tsai, RFP, CCFP, assumes the role of Secretary. Bedoya, a 26-year member, succeeds 32-year member Ross Vanderwolf, who will become the Immediate Past President. Ian James Green, Dip PFS, a 21-year member and Randy L. Scritchfield, CFP, LUTCF, a 35-year member, will move into their new roles as First and Second Vice Presidents while newcomer Tsai, an 18-year member, will serve as Secretary.

INSURANCE INDUSTRY EVENTS

LISI Health Benefits & Tech Summit
Sept 9- Irvine

LISI presents BETA, the first health benefits and technology summit dedicated to improving the benefits industry through technology-focused collaboration and forward thinking. Network with a community of professionals engaged in the development of broker, carrier and partner technologies. Educational talks, tech focus groups, CE credit courses, guest appearances and much more. Admission is free! Registration and info here.

NAIFA- Los Angeles- Life Insurance Awareness Event

August 29, 2019, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm, Taix French Restaurant, Echo Park

Come join the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors for lunch, networking and guest speaker Pacific Life’s Michelle O’Hearn. Register here.

PERKS LA – The Employee Experience Expo- We’ll see you 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.

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.

CAHU Annual Conference & Symposium

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 jill@acplanners.org. 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.