Becerra Closer to HHS Top Spot

The Senate Finance Committee today voted along party lines to advance the nomination of California attorney general Xavier Becerra as head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It’s still uncertain if Becerra will end up leading HHS, the largest government agency. Conservatives have opposed him for his stance on abortion rights and support of certain aspects of the ACA.  In his hearing, Becerra acknowledged, however, the effectiveness of Medicare Advantage plans — leading some observers to note that he supports a role for private health insurance.

CAL BROKER

$500 for Your Thoughts

If you haven’t done so already, please click here to take Cal Broker’s super easy 2021 reader survey. Share your email only if you like, and you’ll be entered to win a $500 Visa gift card. The gift card drawing will coincide with Cal Broker’s 40th anniversary issue later this year. We’d love to hear from you. Please take the survey. Thank you so much!

HEALTH

CAHU WLS Postponed

The California Association of Health Underwriters recently announced its Women’s Leadership Summit, originally re-scheduled for April, will be further postponed. We’ll keep you posted when we hear plans for the next WLS, which is sure to be even bigger and better!

New Study: Patients Now Prefer Telehealth

A new study by Telehealth.com claims that a full 62% of Americans say will prefer telehealth post-pandemic. Highlights of the study include:

  • Prior to the pandemic, 50% of people said they would have preferred an in-person doctors visit
  • Now only 43% said they would prefer an in-person visit, and only 23% say they will prefer in-person after the pandemic 
  • 2/3 of millennials say they’d rather have a telehealth appointment than in an in-person appointment
  • Almost 50% of people (47%) said they have used telehealth since the pandemic began
  • White, wealthier Americans were more likely to know about and to use telehealth services

Of course, this is a study conducted by a telehealth company! But you can check out the whole study here.

FINANCIAL PLANNING

National Association For Fixed Annuities to Discuss New Administration, DOL’s Fiduciary Rule

Join NAFA and Brad Campbell, Partner at Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath, to talk about the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the fixed annuities industry. The webinar is slated for Thursday, Mar. 11.  Kevin Mechtley, VP of legal and director of government affairs for North American Company and NAFA board treasurer, will interview Campbell about critical regulatory issues and how they could impact your business, including:

  • The new administration’s priorities and where they intersect with financial and retirement planning
  • How the newly implemented DOL fiduciary rule and PTE 2020-02 could impact fixed annuity professionals
  • How state and federal regulations impact one another and the potential for harmonization
  • Other key regulatory and legislative considerations for 2021 and beyond

YOUR BUSINESS

Integrity Acquires Access Capital

Integrity Marketing Group, the nation’s largest independent distributor of life and health insurance products, announced it has acquired Access Capital Group, LLC , a financing company for insurance agents and agencies. The companies say the partnership will serve the financial needs of America’s agents and agencies, a vastly underserved market. As part of the transaction, Principals and Co-Founders Bryan Neary and Dave Emerton will also serve as Managing Partners with Integrity. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Access Capital provides financial solutions for insurance agents by leveraging future policy renewals to obtain capital today, while maintaining their client relationships for future product sales. Drawing from decades of insurance and actuarial experience, Access Capital uses proprietary data and actuarial models to project the value of an agent’s future commissions across a limitless range of life and health products. Access Capital provides near real-time valuation services and an immediate capital payout to agents based on readily available information about their book of business. The ability for agents to convert their commissions into capital allows them to add staff, invest in leads or meet any number of life’s unexpected obligations. More info here.

MENTAL HEALTH

New Study on Mental Health Claims for Younger People

In March and April 2020, mental health claim lines for people aged 13-18, as a percentage of all medical claim lines, approximately doubled over the same months in the previous year. At the height of the spring wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, this rise in mental health claim lines amounted to 97% in March and 103.5% in April. These are among the many findings in FAIR Health’s new white paper, the seventh in its COVID-19 studies. Check out the whole paper here: The Impact of COVID-19 on Pediatric Mental Health: A Study of Private Healthcare Claims.

MARKETING

Insurance Advertising Compliance Assn Snags Robinhood Keynoter

The Insurance Advertising Compliance Association announced LaSalle Vaughn, head of global product compliance & quality for Robinhood, will deliver the 2021 keynote at their April virtual conference. Prior to Robinhood, LaSalle, a former Navy officer, served in many leadership roles at USAA, most recently, as the executive responsible for marketing, digital & new product compliance for all of USAAs investments, insurance and banking entities. He holds a BBA, MBA, FINRA registrations Series 7, 24, 66, and the Group 1 Insurance License. The conference will also cover:

  • DOL Rule/REG BI/NAIC Suitability;
  • Aging into Medicare: Compliantly Marketing to Medicare
    Beneficiaries;
  • Advertising Enforcement Actions (Life);
  • Field Generated Advertising (Including Rebating and
    Inducements

More info here. Early bird registration ends on March 15. Register here.

EVENTS

  • NAHU Power Hour, 4th Wednesday of the month from 4-5p.m. Pacific. Members and nonmembers welcome. Register here.
  • LAAHU DEI Book Club, discussing Miles McPherson’s book, The Third Option, starts March 8, Register here.
  • NAIFA-LA, ABCs of Annuities with Alvin Parra, Aaron Gravel and Brendan Lavelle, Virtual, March 18, register here.
  • CAHU Women’s Leadership Summit, POSTPONED Email questions to info@cahu.org.
  • National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Spring National Meeting, Virtual, April 7-9 and April 12-14. Register here.
  • Insurance Advertising Compliance Association conference, Virtual, April 22-23, Register here.
  • Save the Date– IICF International Inclusion in Insurance Forum, June 15-17
    The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation is convening insurance professionals, C-Suite executives, D&I leaders and other innovators from around the globe for the IICF International Inclusion in Insurance Forum, an action-oriented program with a unique focus on an inclusive future for the industry. Registration details will be shared soon.
  • American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance, National Medicare Supplement Insurance Industry Summit, Sept 8-10, Schaumburg Convention Center, Chicago area, info here.