Black Lives Matter.

Protests turned to riots across the country this week after the George Floyd killing by a Minneapolis police officer. Like many people, the staff of California Broker wish to be part of an anti-racist sea change in America. We’ve worked to invite diversity and inclusion to the pages of Cal Broker and we’ve worked to note events in the industry that focus on diversity and inclusion. But we haven’t done enough. If you have ideas that need to be heard, please contact us: editor@calbrokermag.com.  For more, check out ThinkAdvisor’s post where health and life insurers have also said they need to do more.

Below are just a couple of things that came our way on the subject of racism in the last couple of days:

Cape Up with Jonathan Capeheart

The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capeheart talks with Robin DiAngelo, the author of “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism.” DiAngelo doesn’t mince words: “I actually don’t think that most white people care about racial injustice. I really don’t.” Listen in here.

And here’s LL Cool J’s IG post:

COVID

United States of Care Releases Guide to Help Humanize the Health Care Debate and COVID-19 Response 

United States of Care (USofCare) released a new guide to help policymakers, advocates, and other key stakeholders humanize the health care debate and COVID-19 response. USofCare has undertaken an ongoing listening project to better understand people’s shared needs in response to COVID-19, combining public opinion analysis, survey research, and in-depth interviews throughout the country. The new guide summarizes what USofCare learned, advice on connecting with the public, as well as how to prioritize solutions.

We’ve consistently found that centering the conversation around shared needs and values opens new avenues for more people to be part of the conversation and the solution. In our discussions and several of our survey’s open-ended questions, responses were similar across a variety of demographics (Republican and Democrat, rural and urban, African American and white), including raw, sometimes heartbreaking, emotions as they describe their concerns. Our findings show many people share common experiences, even if we each have unique circumstances and different political viewpoints.

Public Opinion Key Findings include:

  • There is a conflicting set of emotions, with Americans feeling concerned (53%), anxious (47%), uncertain (44%), frustrated (35%), and also hopeful (33%) and grateful (23%).
  • The most pressing concerns for the majority of respondents are the health and safety of their loved ones (66%), followed closely by their health and safety (55%). The next most pressing concern is for “my own and my family members’ employment and financial situation,” (44%) except in the GOP groups, which stated that reopening the economy is of higher importance. Participants were least concerned with “getting back to my job” (around 20%).
  • Americans are also finding hope amid the crisis—in religion, their families, and stories of people helping others.
  • The pandemic illuminated deficiencies in our health care system; many respondents reflected on the fact that the US was caught unprepared to handle the pandemic, and our losses have been higher than those of other countries.
  • Many expressed pride in the response from doctors and nurses.

MEDICAID

State-by-State Medicaid Guide Now Available

Need a good resource for clients who don’t yet understand Medicaid. Check out this state-by-State Medicaid guide, which offers info on:

  • What Medicaid is and how it works

  • Required information needed to apply

  • State-by-state eligibility, plus alternative options if ineligible

DENTAL

California Dental Association distributes PPE to licensed dentists statewide

The California Dental Association announced it is distributing approximately 25,000 personal protective equipment kits to licensed dentists in California. The critical supply of masks, face shields and gowns is from California’s pandemic response stockpile and was made available to CDA by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. The state of California procured large supplies of surgical masks and other PPE, which are in short supply through traditional, commercial distribution channels, by contracting directly with manufacturers and is now making this supply available to health care providers statewide.

Through this procurement, CDA has taken delivery of 4 million surgical masks, as well as tens of thousands of N95 and KN95 masks, face shields and surgical gowns. CDA is uniquely positioned to distribute PPE by using its online dental supplier, TDSC.com, as a fulfillment mechanism. TDSC.com staff repackaged the supplies as evenly as possible to maximize their distribution to all licensed dentists in California, regardless of whether the dentist is a CDA member.

Dentists interested in obtaining a PPE kit, which will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis for a $20 shipping and handling charge, may visit TDSC.com/freePPE. A valid dental license will be required to complete a purchase and will be validated before products are shipped. 

GUEST POST

Thank you Dr. Chang, CMO, of UnitedHealthcare. Dr. Chang has penned the following guest post letting us know how his company is supporting return-to-work efforts…

Health Resources Aid in Safer Return to Work

By Dr. John Chang, Chief Medical Officer, UnitedHealthcare of California

 As states begin to relax their stay-at-home orders and communities plan for the reopening of local economies, many may be returning to work and engaging in more regular social activity. While the return to some semblance of normalcy may come as a relief, questions about one’s own health or the health of family members may remain.

Upon returning to work, people should continue to be smart and cautious while interacting with others. Following CDC guidelines and maintaining social distancing, practicing good hand hygiene and frequently sanitizing common areas or high-contact items, including doorknobs, hand railings and communal phones and printers, can be good preventive measures to help mitigate COVID-19 health risks.

Business associations, health systems, and governments are crafting guidelines to help mitigate risks associated with reopening communities, but additional resources may be available to help individuals navigate their own physical and mental health during this transition period.

Many may continue to have questions related to potential COVID-19 symptoms. To help, UnitedHealthcare provides an online COVID-19 symptom self-checker to help people gauge their symptoms and consider what may be the next steps for care. The symptom self-checker is at no additional cost for people to access, and users of the self-checker tool will be asked to answer a series of questions to generate feedback on care options to consider, which then assigns assessment levels ranging from self-isolation to emergency care, depending on the severity and urgency of the symptoms recorded. A testing site locator feature provides updated information on nearby COVID-19 testing sites if recommended by a physician.

Some people may still need to see a doctor but may worry about the potential risk of exposure (or the risk of exposing others) with in-person visits to a physician’s office or urgent care center. As an alternative starting point for care, some people may continue to consider telehealth, which enables people to connect 24/7 with a health care provider via a smart phone, tablet or desktop computer. Telehealth may be especially helpful as an initial option for medical advice related to COVID-19, and to help evaluate other possible health issues, such as allergies, pink eye or the flu.

Employers also have a tool available for their employees. ProtectWell, a new smartphone app just launched by Microsoft and UnitedHealth Group, screens employees for COVID-19. Employees found to be at-risk for COVID-19 are directed to get a test and the app notifies employers of the results. The ProtectWell app is offered to all employers in the United States at no charge.

Access to mental health resources may also continue to be an important tool for people to have as they head back to work. Being at home and perhaps feeling isolated over the last few months may have had an impact on one’s mental health, and the loneliness people may be experiencing, as well as possible stress or anxiety brought on by the pandemic, should be considered alongside physical health.

Virtual mental health resources are available for those experiencing increased stress and anxiety. A free emotional support line (866-342-6892) is available 24/7 to the public courtesy of Optum, which is part of UnitedHealth Group. Staffed by mental health professionals, individuals may receive help without taking any unnecessary trips.

Available at no additional cost, mental health and wellness apps, like Sanvello, may also be great resources for coping with the ongoing stress and anxiety. Equipped with self-care tools, peer support groups, coaching and therapy, Sanvello offers a number of avenues to receive the help and support one may need as they return to work.

For people who used mental health services before COVID-19, some care providers offer long-distance counseling and other resources, enabling for continued care from the comfort of home. Check with your providers regarding options on what may work best for you.

 Taking care of physical and mental health needs may be imperative in the coming weeks and months as communities strive to reopen and individuals resume more familiar living routines. Using online and telehealth services may play a role in facilitating a smoother and healthier transition.

EVENTS

  • Don’t forget LAAHU’s Zoom Happy Hour Today 4 p.m.

This is an excellent way to stay connected to colleagues. Register here.

  • The National Association for Fixed Annuities Webinar

Elder Financial Fraud in the COVID 19 Environment

Thursday, May 28, 2020
8:30 a.m. PT

  • IICF Dialogue on Diversity

Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation is offering Dialogue for Diversity Live! June 25 at 1 p.m. PT. More info and registration here.

  • NAHU Annual Convention will be Virtual in June

National Association of Health Underwriters announced its annual convention will now be virtual and take place on June 28-30, 2020. More info at NAHU’s website.

  • LAAHU Annual Sales Symposium will be Virtual in July

LAAHU’s AdapTech annual conference will now be virtual on Friday, July 17, 2020. More info at LAAHU’s website.

  • IICF Foundation Women in Insurance Regional Forums Rescheduled

Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation has rescheduled the Women in Insurance Regional Forums:

Chicago: October 14
New York: October 26

Los Angeles: October 30
Dallas: November 17
More info at IICF’s website.
  • 16th Annual BenefitsPRO Broker Expo 2020 goes forward with August 20-22 date

BenefitsPRO Broker Expo 2020 says the show will go on August 20-22 in Austin, Texas. More info here.

  • CAHU Women’s Leadership Summit Now Rescheduled for March 2021

CAHU’s WLS committee announced that the second Women’s Leadership Summit has been rescheduled for March 24-26, 2021, at the JW Marriott in Las Vegas. Questions should be emailed to info@cahu.org.