Covered CA: 2022 Looks Good

Covered Cal announces its rates and carriers for the upcoming 2022 coverage year today. The new year will include the first full year of new and expanded financial help through the American Rescue Plan. Expect a low rate change and more carriers in the exchange. For the latest, follow Covered Cal on Twitter @CoveredCA.

UnitedHealthcare Offers Millions of Members Year-Long Access to Peloton App

Gosh, if insurers keep going in this direction the public is actually going to start liking them… UnitedHealthcare just announced that it will provide nearly 4 million of its members with free year-long access to the Peloton exercise app starting September 1. Users will be able to access live and on-demand classes  for a year using their Peloton bike or by accessing a variety of classes that don’t require special equipment through Apple or Android devices, Fire TV, Roku TVs etc. Eligible UnitedHealthcare members will receive details via email about activating their Peloton membership starting Sept. 1 or thereafter depending on the health plan’s effective date. At the end of the 12-month membership, UnitedHealthcare plan participants will have the opportunity to renew the Peloton Digital Membership at the market rate directly through Peloton; UnitedHealthcare members will not be automatically enrolled beyond the 12-month offer.

VACCINE

VA First Fed Agency to Mandate COVID-19 Vaccine
The Department of Veterans Affairs will be the first federal agency to mandate vaccination for employees. The VA announced that all of its 115,000 health care workers who interact directly with patients will be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine within the next two months. Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough told the New York Times that the move is intended to ensure the safety of vets. McDonough said outbreaks among staff members at several VA health care centers , which resulted in staff shortages and emergency operations in some cases, raised his concern.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE


UnitedHealthcare Introduces Predictive Analytics

UnitedHealthcare says they’re welcoming in a new era of ‘predictive analytics’. The company says predictive analytics, a form of artificial intelligence that has been used with Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, will will now help improve well-being, lower costs and drive engagement in clinical-intervention programs by addressing social determinants of health for people in some employer-sponsored benefit plans. The resource is currently available to employers that select UnitedHealthcare’s Advocate4Me Elite or Advocate4Me Premier product offerings, with plans to introduce a customized version for employers with fully insured health benefits later this year.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

2021 Outstanding CSR Of The Year State Winners Announced

Each year, a group of exceptional insurance professionals are chosen by The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research to compete for the National Outstanding CSR of the Year Award.  To be eligible for this award, candidates must be an insurance customer service representative or have primary responsibility for insurance customer service duties. Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Outstanding CSR of the Year Award, the competition started in 1991 to honor customer service representatives and account managers who have made significant contributions to the insurance and risk management industry. This year’s winner from California is Marcella R. Beasley from Alliant Insurance Services, Inc. The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research is the nation’s premier provider of educational opportunities for insurance and risk management professionals.

ANNUITIES

Second Quarter U.S. Annuity Sales Jump Nearly 40%, Marking the Highest Sales in More than a Decade

According to preliminary results from the Secure Retirement Institute U.S. Individual Annuity Sales Survey, U.S. annuity sales were $67.9 billion in the second quarter, up 39% from second quarter 2020. According to SRI:

Year-to-date, annuity sales were $129 billion, 23% higher than prior year. Total variable annuity (VA) sales were $32.8 billion in the second quarter, up 55% from prior year. This represents the highest quarterly VA sales in nearly six years. In the first six months of 2021, total annuity sales were $62.8 billion, 33% higher than prior year. Traditional VA product sales benefited from the strong market growth and low volatility. In the second quarter, traditional VA sales were $22.7 billion, a 37% increase from second quarter 2020. Year to date, traditional VA sales totaled $43.6 billion, up 16% from prior year.  Total fixed annuity sales rose 27% in the second quarter to $35.1 billion. Year to date, total fixed annuity sales were $66.2 billion, 15% above the first half of 2020.

MEDICARE

Opportunities to Learn & Network

Two great Medicare events are coming up fast. It’s time to register if you haven’t already.

In person —

  • 9th Annual Senior Summit: Chart Your Course and Navigate Into the Future, in person at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, August 31-September 2. Online registration is open through August 19. Register here. Cal Broker will be toasting its 40th anniversary here! Please join us!

Virtual —

  • California State Medicare Expo: Unmasking Medicare – August 26-27. Register here.

LEADERSHIP


Women’s Leadership Summit Announces ‘Save the Date’

Organizers for the CAHU Women’s Leadership Summit recently announced there will be a WLS 2022. Save the dates of March 14-16 for the summit at Green Valley Ranch Resort & Spa in Las Vega. Stay tuned for more details and follow WLS on Instagram @cahuwls. If you have questions, or would like to get involved, reach out to WLS@cahu.org.

LTC

Have LTC Prices Increased?

Jesse Slome, executive director of American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, invites you to  find out if LTC prices have increased. His organization has been producing an LTCI Price Index for many years, which makes possible an ‘apples to apples’ comparison.  Want to see the findings for a 55-year-old man /woman?  Click here.

BTW, 54% of all LTCi buyers (last year) were between 55 and 64.

EVENTS

  • LIMRA, LOMA and the Society of Actuaries (SOA) Supplemental Health, DI & LTC conference, virtual, Aug 4-6, info here.
  • BenefitsPro Broker Expo, in person in San Diego, August 16-18. Save 15% with promo code RIGHTPLAN. Agenda here, register here.
  • 9th Annual Senior Summit: Chart Your Course and Navigate Into the Future, in person at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, August 31-September 2. Online registration is open through August 19. Register here.
  • California State Medicare Expo: Unmasking Medicare, virtual, August 26-27. Register here.
  • American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance, National Medicare Supplement Insurance Industry Summit, Sept 8-10, in person at Schaumburg Convention Center, Chicago area. Info here.
  • SIIA 41st Annual National Educational Conference & Expo, In-Person & Virtual, October 3 – 5, JW Marriott, Austin, TX. Info here.