Covered California Releases 2018 Rates, Urges Smart Shopping

With ACA repeal (skinny or otherwise) on ice for now, Covered California unveiled proposed rates for the 2018 individual market. Good news: all 11 of the participating health insurance companies will return. Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee said the average statewide rate change for 2018 will be a 12.5 percent increase and noted that consumers can reduce that amount to less than a 3.3 percent increase if they shop for the best value and switch to the lowest-priced plan in the same metal tier.

“Covered California’s competitive market means consumers have the power to shop and find the best value,” Lee said. “We know our consumers look for the best deal and often end up paying less than the initial rates suggest.”

The rate change varies by health plan and region, with some plans having decreases in their premiums and others having increases.

For more details, check out the Covered California 2018 Rate Booklet.

SCAN Announces Community Grant Recipients
California Medicare Advantage plan, SCAN, recently announced its Q1-2 community giving grant recipients. Thirteen organizations received funding totaling $190,000 from SCAN to continue serving seniors in areas of nutrition, critical services and emergency assistance. Part of SCAN’s mission is to provide direct funding to organizations in an effort to help bridge the gaps between community need and available resources. Grant recipients include:

  • Alzheimer’s San Diego
  • Area Agency on Aging Serving Napa and Solano
  • Catholic Charities Stockton
  • Catholic Charities Ventura
  • Christian Outreach Appeal
  • Community Action Partnership of Orange County
  • Family Service Association
  • Human Services Association
  • Lodi Memorial Hospital Foundation
  • Marin Senior Coordinating Council
  • Meals on Wheels of San Francisco
  • PSA 11 Area Agency on Aging
  • Barnabas Senior Center

Non-profits throughout California are eligible to apply for SCAN community grants. Applications may be submitted year round and grants are made quarterly.  Visit SCAN’s community giving page to learn more.

Dept of Insurance, Kaiser Reach Agreement on Behavioral Health
The California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) announced that it has reached an agreement with Kaiser Permanente to correct identified issues with the plan’s oversight of and access to behavioral health services.

“The DMHC and Kaiser Permanente have worked diligently over the past two years to craft an agreement designed to ensure the plan’s enrollees receive timely access to behavioral health services,” said DMHC Director Shelley Rouillard. “Our goal has always been to compel the plan to fix the access problems we have identified and ensure that enrollees receive timely access to behavioral health services. We believe this agreement will achieve that goal.”

This agreement is said to confirm Kaiser Permanente’s ongoing commitment to resolve deficiencies regarding access to behavioral health services, identified in the DMHC’s 2015 and 2017 Routine Survey Reports. This agreement should ensure continued progress, building upon Kaiser Permanente’s recent investments to improve behavioral health access — including hiring additional mental health providers, investing in additional office space and carrying out a mental health awareness campaign. Access the full agreement online.

Golfers Will Appreciate This: Burns & Wilcox Expands Sponsorship of Simpson
Burns & Wilcox, a wholesale insurance broker and underwriting manager, announced that it will extend and expand a golf sponsorship deal with 2012 U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson.

In addition to showcasing the Burns & Wilcox logo on the left side of his golf shirt, the company logo will now be featured on Simpson’s golf bag. The Burns & Wilcox logo will also continue to be featured on his caddy’s hat.

The four-time PGA victor joined Team Burns & Wilcox as its second professional golf brand ambassador alongside reigning PGA Champion Jimmy Walker in January 2017.

For more info, visit the Burns & Wilcox website.

Vox Vid Explains Medicaid
Check out this video titled “Medicaid Explained.” It’s something that your clients may be asking you about. California is ranked in the top 5 states for providing adequate health care to citizens.


BenefitMall Gears up For August “Meet & Greet” with Carriers
BenefitMall will host “meet & greet” in five convenient California locations in August. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from carrier partners such as Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, CaliforniaChoice, Cigna, Health Net and UnitedHealthcare. There will also be a carrier panel discussion and updates on products, processes and positioning. In addition, Michael Gomes, BenefitMall’s senior vice president of benefits sales, will share how the company continues to meet the needs of the evolving industry. You’ll have the opportunity to earn 1 CE credit for attending a compliance seminar. Click on one of the links below to register:

• August 9 – 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at Skirball Cultural Center (L.A.).
• August 10 – 9:00 am – 12:00 pm at Orange County DoubleTree.
• August 10 – 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm at Mission Inn (Riverside).
• August 11 – 9:00 am – 12:00 pm at San Diego DoubleTree.
• August 16 – 11:00 am – 3:30 pm at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Berkeley Marina.

LAAHU/VCAHU Senior Products & Marketing Summit – August 24 Studio City
The Los Angeles Association of Health Underwriters and the Ventura County Association of Health Underwriters have teamed up for a joint Senior Products & Marketing Summit. The event has moved to a larger venue, which allows for two learning tracks of education, additional sponsors and exhibitors to be a bigger part of the day. The summit will take place August 24, 2017, 8:30am-4:30pm at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City. There’s still time to register or inquire about sponsorship opportunities.

Women in Insurance Luncheon – August 24 DTLA
Don’t miss the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) Women in Insurance luncheon at the City Club in downtown Los Angeles August 24, 11am-1pm. The theme is “The Power of Diverse Thought and Innovation.” Admission is $75. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.  Register online via the event website. 

“LOVE” Couture – A Salute to Women in Business Annual Charity Luncheon & Fashion Show- September 8 Westlake Village
Four Seasons Westlake Village is the place for LAAHU’s Salute to Women in Business Charity Luncheon and Fashion Show, Sept 8, 10a.m.– 2:00 pm. Warner Pacific, Dickerson, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Health Net, BenefitMall, United HealthCare, Rodger Benefit Group and Word&Brown are among the event sponsors. Get tickets here.

CAHU Health Care Retreat– September 11-13, Pala Casino Resort & Spa

Join CAHU for three packed days of vital information, legislative updates and networking opportunities. Keynote speaker Nelson Griswold is among the dynamic speakers. “Early Bird” registration rates available through August 21. For more info and registration, go to CAHU’s events site.

World Medical Tourism & Global Health Conference – Oct 2-4 Los Angeles
The fast growing field of medical tourism is creating a need for trained and knowledgeable professionals. Visit the World Medical Tourism & Global Health Conference site to find about workshops for the Certified Medical Tourism Professional (CMTP) designation and more.

NAILBA 36 – Nov. 16-18, Hollywood, Florida
The National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA) opened registration for its 36th Annual Meeting, NAILBA 36.  Scheduled November 16-18, 2017, at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida, the meeting will attract high level representatives from brokerage general agencies, life insurance carriers and insurance industry vendors.  This year’s agenda has been expanded to deliver four keynote experiences over three general sessions and more than 15 workshops. A complete schedule of events can be found here. Register at the NAILBA 36 website.


Daniels Joins SelectAccount
Health care spending account administration SelectAccount announced that Eric Daniels has joined the company as senior vice president of carrier sales. Eric will be responsible for establishing and growing relationships with new health care insurance carriers to position SelectAccount as the preferred health care spending account administrator. Eric will report to Chief Growth Officer E. Craig Keohan. For more info, visit SelectAccount’s website.


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