Can’t Beat Face-to-Face!

It was great to see you all — finally IN PERSON at  the 2022 LAAHU Annual Symposium themed “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now!”   “Embracing” the occasion were 245 enthusiastic insurance professionals gathered at the Pasadena Convention Center for speakers, classes, vendors and general camaraderie after a two-year pandemic hiatus. LAAHU President Charlotte McPherson opened the day, introducing President-elect June K. Taylor among others. Naama O. Pozniak set the tone with a morning meditation. One of the industry’s elder statesmen, Carl Dickerson introduced the keynote speaker Teledoc entrepreneur Michael Gorton of Recuro. Dr. David Bronstein of Kaiser Permanente gave detailed updates on COVID-19, making us all feel we are ‘in the know’ about the latest developments. The day was peppered with classes and panels including Networking with Intention, Owning the Future, Trends in Voluntary Benefits and much more. Suffice to say, a good time was had by all!


Aflac Puts Real Money In the Game

Closing the gap forHBCU athletes: Aflac does more than quack to shine a spotlight on Black and minority players attending Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) who are ready to compete at the next level. Teaming up with Coach Deion “Prime” Sanders Aflac’s gets its ducks in a row to help close the gap between HBCU football players and the professional football draft. The effort spotlights the fact that there were no HBCU athletes selected in 2021. Good call, Aflac!


Medicare Advantage is Helping Seniors Seriously Save!

Medicare Advantage members are saving an average of $2K – there’s a sales tip for you! Better Medicare Alliance study shows something even better — low-income and minority populations are achieving meaningful cost savings. MA beneficiaries report a 35% lower cost burden compared to FFS Medicare — that’s a cool increase of $325 in consumer savings compared to last year’s report.

CMS Pays More Than Lip Service to Address Equity Issues

Health equity to be tackled by CMS. Closing the gaps in health care access is a primary concern for the agency.  The strategy is aimed to better identify and respond to inequities in health outcomes, barriers to coverage, and access to care.


Meet Your Legislators with CAHIP

Does the name Jessica Altman ring a bell? She should! She’s the new CEO of Covered California, and will be a featured speaker at the CAHIP Capital Summit May 9-11. There’s still time to REGISTER. I’ll be there will be there on May 10 – drop by the Cal Broker Magazine spot and share your latest scoop!

White House Targets the Opioid Crisis

Biden takes action to combat addiction and overdose epidemicThe Biden administration is keen to show it is taking action on a worsening U.S. opioid crisis. The White House released a National Drug Control Strategy to expand access to opioid overdose medications, improve treatment for people at highest risk, provide more funding for law enforcement and expand sanctions against drug traffickers. Let’s hope it helps.

Consumer Watchdog Says “Not On My Watch” to Insurance Commish

California’s Assembly Insurance Committee blocked ethics legislation spotlighting insurance company influence through campaign contributions. The public has right to know who is influencing the Insurance Commissioner’s decisions, says Carmen Balber, executive director of Consumer Watchdog.

“The new evidence strongly suggests an attempted cover up of Commissioner Lara’s and Bryant Henley’s contact with top lobbyists seeking to secure political favors from Lara.”
~Jerry Flanagan, Litigation Director for Consumer Watchdog.

Retirement is Top of Agenda 

Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2022, known as the Secure Act 2.0, is heading to the Senate for a Spring release. Shai Akabas, director of economic policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C. says many senators, “are eager to include provisions that offer solutions” to Americans’ retirement savings challenge. It’s high time this gets attention — many of us are approaching that horizon!


Workers Willing to Pay for Better Coverage

Want to help employers gain loyal workers? WTW survey shows employees willing to dock paychecks for better benefits. Healthcare benefits and retirement programs are popular “lollypops.” Six in 10 (60%) say retirement benefits are an important reason they remain with their current employer.


Looking to Control Pharmacy Spend? Here’s How

5 questions to ask your PBM: Join Self-Insurance Institute of America (SIIA) on May 3 to hear Josh Golden, SVP Strategy-Capital Rx discuss innovative options for controlling drug costs.


Sad fact: Black women face three times higher maternal mortality rates than white women

The United States leads among developed nations in its poor maternal mortality rates, referring to deaths during or up to one year after childbirth. Reversing a rise in maternal disparities among Black women is a seeing new momentum as lawmakers and Biden administration officials previewed their priorities.


April is Financial Literacy Month so here’s some content to inspire you to check in with clients

Certain Flexible Annuities Can Help Clients Pass Retirement Savings to Heirs

Your waistline is not the only thing that needs elastic right now!  Find out how to deal with the Secure Act’s sharply limited tax-deferring powers of inherited IRAs, courtesy of ThinkAdvisor. Annuity Maestro Gary Mettler says the new IRS proposed required minimum distribution regulations show that taxpayers can get around the effects of the change by making single-premium immediate annuities, or SPIAs, part of their estate planning arrangements — giving an IRA durable stretchiness.

Now, What is Crypto Again? 

Still getting up to speed on crypto, blockchain and digital assets? Join the crowd! Biden’s weighed in with an executive order to regulate and ensure responsible development. Ric Edelman of ThinkAdvisor gives a good synopsis of what it means for advisers. Seems like many are already in the know, as these assets are growing in popularity with professionals as advisor personal investment nearly doubled in 2021 to 47%.

Liquid Assets Cost More 

Giving up liquids? Usually it’s just the opposite during a pandemic! But our current economic uncertainty has inspired growth in less liquid alternative investments according to Investment News. Why? “You get better returns and less volatility by giving up some liquidity,” says Keith Singer, founder of Singer Wealth.


Insuring an Unsure Future Gains In Popularity

Want a key to financial security? Apparently owning LIFE insurance is the secret, especially in response to COVID. LIMRA and Life Happens teamed up to reveal 31% of people polled say they are more likely to buy life insurance in 2022.


  • The Group & Worksite Benefits Conference, in person, May 3 – 5, Boston, Massachusetts. Info here.
  • CAHIP’s Capitol Summit, in person, May 9-11, Kimpton Sawyer Hotel, Sacramento. Registration info here. Sponsorship info here.
  • LIMRA/Society of Actuaries Secure Retirement Institute Retirement Industry Conference, in person, May 11-13, Boston. Info here.
  • GGAHU Annual Symposium ‘Day on the Bay’, in person — on a boat!, May 12. Info here.
  • NAAIA Spring Career Fair, online, May 24, 11am-1:30pm Pacific, More info here.
  • BenefitsPro Broker Expo, in person, May 23-25, Austin, TX. Request more info here. Register here.
  • NAFA 2022 Annuity Leadership Forum, in person, June 13-14, Washington, DC. Info here.
  • IEAHU, OCAHU & SDAHU Senior Summit, in person, Aug 23-25, Pechanga resort, Temecula. Register here.