Covered Cal Welcomes New Boss

Covered California’s Board of Directors announced recently the appointment of Jessica Altman as its new Chief Executive Officer. Altman currently serves as the insurance commissioner for the Pennsylvania Insurance Department. She will join Covered California with much experience concerning the Affordable Care Act, having played key roles in the Obama administration during the early establishment and implementation of the law, and as the chair of the Pennsylvania Health Insurance Exchange Authority, where she led the establishment of Pennsylvania’s state-based marketplace. Altman’s appointment follows the September 2021 announcement that Peter V. Lee, Covered California’s first executive director, would be leaving after more than a decade of leading the marketplace. She grew up in Menlo Park and is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Altman will begin her tenure with Covered California on March 7 and will earn $450,000 annually. Welcome back to California, Ms. Altman.

YOU’RE INVITED

Health Equity and Quality Committee Meeting

The Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) invites you to the Health Equity and Quality Committee Meeting to be held on February 24, 2022, beginning at 9 a.m. The meeting will be conducted exclusively through videoconference and teleconference.

Members of the public may participate in the meeting by Zoom Video or find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kcmFdw92nL, Meeting ID: 843 1712 9200, Password: 310818

For more information about this public meeting, please read the agenda or visit the Health Equity and Quality Committee Meeting Webpage

Be there or be square.

WE’RE JUST THE MESSENGER

Not What You Want to Hear?

FYI…Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara issued a letter of strong support for AB 1400, a bill by Assembly members Ash Kalra (D-27), Alex Lee (D-San Jose), and Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) that would set in motion a new health care coverage system in California, called CalCare, for all residents.
From the Commissioner’s letter to Assembly member Kalra:
Despite the incredible progress we have made, the pandemic has laid bare the inequities in how Californians access health care coverage. We have paid a deadly price for the needless discrimination, complexity, and excessive costs of for-profit insurance. That is why we need to continue to fight for a single-payer plan that will protect all Californians and serve our collective public health. Insurance companies and health care plans are going to fight to keep their profits before all else and we need to keep fighting for people’s right to quality health care. I believe the only way to achieve ‘health care for all’ is to keep pushing for it.
If you have different views, you may want to touch base with your local AHU chapter.

AFLAC

Insured But Exposed

Last week we told you about  Aflac’s important discovery in its inaugural Aflac Care Index. Minor adjustment: the survey of more than 6,500 adults found that approximately three-quarters of insured respondents underestimate their financial exposure to common medical challenges, such as heart disease (79%) and breast cancer (73%). We previously told you “more than three-quarters.” It’s now corrected in last week’s newsletter, but want to also make sure you see it here!

MEDICARE

Money, Money, Money

Our friends at American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance have just sent us the results of an interesting survey. In a nutshell, the organization found that  insurance agents can earn significant income selling Medicare insurance but it takes time.
“The majority of agents who focus on Medicare insurance earned commission income of less than $50,000 in their first year,” reports Jesse Slome, director of the Medicare insurance advocacy organization.  “Half of those who have been selling Medicare insurance for five or more years reported six figure incomes.”
 
The organization polled a cross section of agents and brokers listed on the organization’s online directory of Medicare agents as well as those who are members of the Medicare Insurance Producers Linkedin group.  Data is based on over 200 participants.
 
The Association survey found that 83.1% of the Medicare-focused agents participating in the survey reported earned commission income of under $50,000 in their first full year of sales.  Just 5.5% shared that their commission earnings were $100,000 or more. 

In their second and third years of sales, commission income increased according to the survey participants.  Some 12.8% reported commission incomes of $100,000 and over. 

Those selling Medicare for five or more years saw significant commission income increases.  Nearly half (46.2%) now reported six figure commission earnings from Medicare insurance sales.  Almost one in five (18.2%) reported annual commission income of over $200,000.

See the full findings at https://www.medicaresupp.org/how-much-do-medicare-agents-make/

WORK FROM HOME

Primerica Says Not So Great

Some people really like working from home, but apparently it may not be great for Medicare sales. At least that’s what Primerica says. The company had hoped to sell at least 36,000 Medicare policies but sold only about 32,000, and the ratio of lifetime policy value per approved policy was only 20% higher than the cost of acquiring each policy, according to Primerica’s CEO. Read all about it on ThinkAdvisor.

NAIC

NAIC Sets Course

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) members met recently to begin charting the work of its various committees. From NAIC:

One of the key priorities and topics of discussion was the launch of the newly formed “H” committee, which will focus on Data, Innovation and Cybersecurity. The committee will grapple with how to appropriately use technology and innovation while protecting consumers from unfair practices and cyber breaches.

Other important issues discussed included long-term care insurance, making insurance more accessible to consumers, and international standard setting.

NAIC members also discussed governance issues regarding task forces and working groups and heard a presentation on the need to review and proactively address outdated, unneeded, and conflicting regulations.

Besides the organizational, strategic, and informational components of the meeting, NAIC members also recognized Superintendent Eric Cioppa from Maine, who had recently announced his upcoming retirement. Superintendent Cioppa was recognized for his many contributions, including his service as NAIC President, and especially for his mentorship and incredible expertise. He was also noted for his passionate advocacy of our state-based system both domestically and internationally. Superintendent Cioppa currently serves as the NAIC representative on the Federal Solvency Oversight Council, where he is the NAIC’s voice in protecting consumers and advocating state-based approaches for the insurance sector.

For more information on the NAIC and its 2022 regulatory priorities, please visit the NAIC website.

MENTAL HEALTH

We Need You for Cal Broker Survey of Mental Health Providers

Our survey and View from the Top goddess Thora Madden is looking for folks in the mental health benefits space. We want you to participate in an upcoming article. Please reach out to Thora at: thora@calbrokermag.com.

EVENTS

  • NAAIA, National Black History Month Program, Feb 18, 8-10am PT. Info here.
  • NAIFA-LA & FSP-Pasadena Will G. Farrell Awards Event, online, Feb 24, Info here.
  • LIMRA’s 2022 Distribution Conference, in person, March 1-3, Miami, FL, Info here.
  • OCAHU’s Annual Sales Symposium, in person, March 11, Lake Forest Community Center. Info here.
  • CAHIP’s Women’s Leadership Summit, in person, March 14-16, 2022, Green Valley Ranch, Las Vegas, Info and registration here.
  • LAAHU Annual Symposium, in person, April 26, Pasadena Convention Center. Info here.
  • BenefitsPro Broker Expo, in person, May 23-25, 2022, Austin, TX. Request more info here. Register here.