Cannabis Convictions Likely Won’t Prevent Someone from Becoming a California Insurance Agent

The California Department of Insurance will now make it simpler for some people with a cannabis-related conviction to become a licensed insurance agent of broker. Commissioner Ricardo Lara announced CDI will use  its discretion in deciding whether to issue licenses to those with cannabis-related convictions. This move is in support of Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, approved by voters in 2016. Lara has directed the Department’s staff to use existing authority to carefully consider whether an applicant’s prior convictions fall under the provisions of Proposition 64 when reviewing applications for an agent or broker license. Prior to the passage of Proposition 64, individuals with a cannabis-related conviction may have been denied an agent or broker license. Proposition 64, however, permits an individual previously convicted of specified cannabis-related offenses to petition a court for a reduced conviction or sentence (a redesignation) or to have the prior conviction dismissed and sealed if that offense is no longer deemed to be a crime under current law. While the courts and counties have taken steps to provide relief under Proposition 64 to many Californians, many individuals have not yet pursued formal reduction or dismissal of eligible convictions. In support of the spirit of Proposition 64, the Department’s discretion applies to those eligible individuals who have not been granted relief by the courts. CDI has created a web page for more information about Proposition 64 as well as resources for seeking relief from the courts. The move is seen as another step that Commissioner Lara has taken in expanding access to professional licenses and career opportunities for underserved communities, as well as acknowledging the disproportionate impact of criminal sentencing.

Lara, chair of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Cannabis Insurance Working Group, is also at work making sure the cannabis industry has access to insurance products. NAIC recently approved a white paper outlining a framework for states to regulate insurance for the cannabis industry. Lara has noted that a key finding of the NAIC white paper is that more insurance products are needed for the cannabis industry.

Covered Cal Deadline is Friday! Keep Reminding People

Covered California say enrollment is surging as the Jan. 31 deadline for coverage approaches. Yet too many people – particularly the uninsured – remain unaware about the new state laws that make new money available to offset coverage costs or the new penalty for those who can afford coverage but choose to go without. Don’t stop talking about this just yet!

ConsumerMedical Announces Addition of 43 New Clients

ConsumerMedical, a clinical advocacy, decision support and expert second opinion company, announced at a company-wide meeting the addition of 43 new clients and the expansion of programs with some 25 percent of new annual recurring revenue from its current customer base for 2020.  The company says the milestone marks the best growth year in the 24-year history of ConsumerMedical. Patient advocacy has become a $3.6 billion (and growing) industry.  New clients for ConsumerMedical include Mattress Firm, Teacher’s Health Trust and Farm Credit Foundation. In total the new clients, as well as growth from existing customers, will bring on more than 793,000 covered lives, for a total of more than 4 million-plus lives covered in 2020. Additionally, the company reported a customer retention rate of 95 percent.

MEDICARE

Papa and Alignment Announce Strategic Partnership to Offer Senior Citizens ‘Grandkids On-Demand’

Papa Inc., a leading provider for seniors and caregivers nationwide, announced its partnership with Alignment Healthcare to provide “Grandkids On-Demand” for qualifying members of its Medicare Advantage plans. A soft launch kicked off in Los Angeles in September 2019, with expansion to additional membership January 2020. This service aims to improve senior citizen’s mental health and help reduce loneliness and social isolation to allow seniors to age in place. Sounds like a fabulous idea! More info here.

LIFE

LIMRA to Expand Life Compass Tool

LIMRA announced its expanding its Life Compass tool to allow life insurance companies the ability to compare individual life insurance products with similar competitors’ products. The move aims to help companies track their own performance and adapt to evolving market conditions. Life Compass is a data analytics portal that provides participating life insurance companies access to broad, detailed sales information by product, geography, distribution channel, market type, buyer age, contract size and gender. This aggregate policy-level data can help companies determine new market opportunities and identify growth opportunities in specific areas, analyze product trends in detail and track the effectiveness of sales and marketing campaigns with precision. The Life Compass expansion will be available in May 2020 with first quarter reporting. Access is available free to all LIMRA member companies.

New NAIC Survey Shows Most Life Insurance Beneficiaries Left Unprepared
When it comes to receiving life insurance benefits, most beneficiaries are unprepared, with millennials and Gen Z among the least ready, according to a new survey by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Every year, millions of dollars in life insurance benefits go unclaimed because the beneficiaries are unaware of the coverage or don’t have basic information about the policies. NAIC’s survey found that half of all those surveyed said they are listed as a beneficiary on a friend or relative’s life insurance policy. But some people don’t know about the policies at all. Overall 21% of Gen Zs and 20% of millennials say they don’t know whether or not they’re named as a beneficiary. Good info to pass along: NAIC has developed a Life Insurance Policy Locator tool which has helped consumers claim more than $765 million in benefits since its introduction in 2016. It’s free to use, available online and gives everyone in the United States access to insurer databases, eliminating the need to contact multiple companies or multiple agents to find a policy, or identify whether or not there is a policy. The tool conducts a search of all participating life insurance and annuity companies regardless of the prior state of residency of the deceased. Consumers can begin searches with little information, such as a certified death certificate.

PEOPLE

Martella Named Anthem Large Grp VP

Anthem Blue Cross announced that Kathy Martella has been named Vice President & General Manager of its large group business segment in California. Martella assumes the role previously held by Beth Andersen, who was named President of Anthem’s California commercial business last September. Martella brings more than 30 years of healthcare industry experience to Anthem, most recently serving as Executive Director at Aetna where she provided comprehensive leadership for the Northern California network and sales organization.

EVENTS

  • NAIFA Los Angeles/Society of Financial Service Professionals Award & Leadership Recognition luncheon, February 20, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m, Taix French Restaurant, 1911 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026, members (includes NAIFA, FSP, WIFS, LAAHU, NAHU, CAHU, VCAHU): $50.00, More info here or email janet@naifala.org.
  • OCAHU 8th Annual Business Development Summit– We’ll see you here!
    February 28, DoubleTree by Hilton-Anaheim/Orange County
    Contact: Gail James Clarke (714) 441-8951, ext.3, email: orangecountyahu@yahoo.com
  • The 29th Annual IEAHU Symposium, March 10, Riverside Convention Center– We’ll see you here!
    Email Inland Empire Association of Health Underwriters for more info: ieahu.administration@gmail.com
  • SIIA Self-Insured Health Plan Executive Forum
    March 16-18, Charleston, SC. More info here.
  • CAHU Women’s Leadership Conference, March 25-27, JW Marriott Resort&Spa, Las Vegas– We’ll see you here!
    More info at www.cahu.org.
  • April 6-7
    The Notary Hotel, Autograph Collection
    Philadelphia, PA
  • SIIA Washington, DC Fly-In (Meet Your Members of Congress)
    April 21-22,
    Washington, DC
    Event details to be announced soon
  • LAAHU Annual Symposium- Save the date!– We’ll see you here!
    April 22, Skirball Center, Los Angeles. More info soon!
  • The 16th Annual BenefitsPRO Broker Expo
    May 18-20 Hilton Austin in Austin, TX.
  • SIIA National Conference & Expo
    October 11-13
    JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa
    Phoenix, AZ
    Registration will be open in April