COVID Update…

The United States reported a record-high 4.6 million doses of COVID vaccines administered in one day, according to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, vaccination hesitancy haunts us: more than 75% of the US population isn’t fully vaccinated, according to CDC data. Because of this, new cases and hospitalizations are increasing, according to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walenky. Young people and those not vaccinated account for most of these new COVID cases.

HEALTH

Cigna + Oscar Expands Small Businesses’ Access to Affordable Health Plans in California
There’s a new collaboration between Cigna and Oscar for small business health insurance in the Bay Area, Central Coast, Greater Sacramento, Inland Empire, Los Angeles, Orange County, North Bay and San Diego regions. The companies will share risk equally under a reinsurance agreement for solutions offered through this strategic partnership and plan to expand the partnership over time.  More info here. We’re curious about the Cal Broker reader experience with Oscar. If you have anything you want to tell us, please email editor@calbrokermag.com.

TECH

Panel Discussion on Multi-Cancer Early Detection and Policy Challenges

Have you heard about MCED yet? It’s short for multi-cancer early detection, a new suite of blood-based technologies that hold the promise to revolutionize cancer screening. MCED proponents say the new tech will enable earlier detection and, furthermore, screen for dozens of deadly cancers simultaneously, most of which do not have any screening alternatives today. For patients to benefit, however, policymakers first must tackle the regulatory environment, including Medicare coverage. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a nonpartisan research and educational institute focusing on technological innovation and public policy, will host a panel discussion about MCED on April 21, 7–8:30 AM PST.  Learn more from ITIF’s Stephen Ezell with Anna Howard of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Lynn M. Matrisian of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and Joshua Ofman of GRAIL. Watch live and ask questions at itif.org/cancer-detection.

WEED

Insurance and Marijuana: It’s Complicated

Capping off a decade of sweeping marijuana reforms, 36 states now permit its use for medicinal purposes and 16 states—along with the District of Columbia—have now legalized recreational marijuana. Nonetheless, the insurance industry struggles to keep up with marijuana legalization, largely because so many state laws conflict with the federal government’s official position on the production, possession and consumption of cannabis. Thus far, here is the score:

health insurance – when it comes to health, don’t expect your provider to cover the cost of medicinal marijuana, even if you live in one of the states that have legalized it for medical use.

life insurance-– life insurers are all over the place, some telling potential policyholders that if they only smoke a couple of times a week they are considered nonsmokers. That is, a few hits of pot apparently don’t count as real smoking (aka the kind that happens with cigarettes).

Read here for Nick DiUlio’s excellent update on the state of insurance and weed.

LIFE SETTLEMENTS

Rehburg Offers Insight on Life Settlements Market

We recently received some good insight from Cal Broker contributor Lisa Rehburg of Rehburg Life Insurance Settlements. Lisa attended the Institutional Investor Conference organized by the Life Insurance Settlements Association (LISA). She says the bottomline is that the market is great for investors, which means it is great for clients. A few of her key takeaways from the conference:
Investor Perspective:
  • The market is good with projected growth in the next 3 – 7 years, and the future is bright.
  • Coming out of the COVID crisis, capital influx into the market will increase
  • According to new research commissioned by Managing Partners Group (MPG), more than half (51%) of institutional investors globally plan to reduce their exposure to bonds this year. The research shows that, of those planning to switch, 52% plan to redirect their investments into life settlements.

Client Perspective:

    • Clients put the sale of their life insurance policies on hold during the COVID virus spikes, creating pent up transaction volume. That changed during the 2nd half of 2020 and continues to increase in 2021.
    • The face value of policies sold was down in 2020 v. 2019, meaning investors are buying lower face value policies.
    • Increased consumer demand for new life insurance policies – up over 7% in 2020 v. 2019 – results in an increased future life settlement pool.

AHU LOVE

OCAHU Golfs for Good Cause- April 19

OCAHU’s 24th annual golf tournament will be April 19 at Aliso Viejo Country Club. The tournament promises to be a lot of fun and, moreover, proceeds go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Event sponsors include Kaiser Permanente, Warner Pacific and Benefit Resource, Inc. More info here.

Does your AHU chapter have an upcoming event you want us to mention? Please email details to editor@calbrokermag.com.

MEDICARE

AAMSI Encourages Medicare Agents To Participate In National Survey

If you sell Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement insurance, AAMSI says you should participate in an important survey. The independent survey will provide valuable and timely information to insurers and major distributors of Medicare insurance, according to Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance (AAMSI). To participate in the survey, go here.

EVENTS

  • Insurance Advertising Compliance Association conference, Virtual, April 22-23. Register here.
  • CAHU Statewide Leadership Conference, Virtual, April 28-29. Agenda here. Register here.
  • San Diego Association of Health Underwriters Sales Expo, Virtual, May 6. Info here.
  • Los Angeles Association of Health Underwriters Annual Symposium, Virtual, May 13-14. Sponsorship info here. Register here.
  • IICF International Inclusion in Insurance Forum, June 15-17. Register here.
  • BenefitsPro Broker Expo, virtual one day May 18 AND in person in San Diego, August 16-18. Save 15% off with promo code Rightplan. Agenda here, register here.
  • American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance, National Medicare Supplement Insurance Industry Summit, Sept 8-10, Schaumburg Convention Center, Chicago area. Info here