Don’t Miss CA Statewide Medicare Expo

Ten local California Association of Health Underwriters chapters will host a California Statewide Medicare Expo  next week. This is a virtual expo that’s a no-brainer. For the cost of registration ($49 for AHU members; $59 for non-members) you not only get the program but you also receive a $25 per day credit for lunch delivery by Grubhub! You must attend virtually on the day of the conference in order to earn CE, but presentations and other content will be available for 90 days after the event. Join the online, two-day dive into all things that can help Medicare agents serve seniors. More than 100 sessions and opportunities for certifications and CE. Cal Broker will be there so drop by our booth and let’s talk! Let’s figure out together how to carry on. Register for the expo here.

CDI Launches Remote Testing

The California Department of Insurance announced this week that agents and brokers who are required to take a license exam will now have the option to do so via a remote online proctored exam. CDI will use PSI as the test vendor. Those taking the test must use a desktop or laptop computer with a webcam, microphone and internet connection. Technology compatibility will be evaluated as part of the scheduling process. Anyone who wants in-person testing still has the option to schedule an exam at CDI’s Los Angeles test center or one of PSI’s statewide centers, where appropriate social distancing guidelines will be followed. To schedule a license examination or if you need additional information about PSI’s license examinations including the exact specifications required to take a remote online examination, reach out to PSI at www.psiexams.com or (833) 518-7456.  For all other questions, contact CDI’s Curriculum Review Section by email at CDI.Education@insurance.ca.gov or call (916) 492-3064.

NAIC Announces a Special Edition of The Regulators on Race and Insurance

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara is featured on a special addition of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) podcast “The Regulators.” The episode (Season 2, Episode 7) focuses on race and insurance by bringing together regulators, the industry and consumer advocates to discuss diversity and equity in the insurance industry, an issue that the NAIC is addressing as part of its new race and insurance special committee. This special episode is guest hosted by Connecticut Commissioner Andrew Mais and discusses racial equality in how insurance products are delivered and sold, and racial diversity within the insurance industry. In addition to Lara, guests also include New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Marlene Caride; Aflac Chief Executive Officer, Dan Amos; and Consumer Advocate and Chair of the Connecticut Insurance Department Subcommittee on Big Data, Sonja Larkin-Thorne. The Regulators podcast is available on NAIC.org, Apple or the choice platform you use to access podcasts.

COVID Vaccines Will Be Free

Looks like the U.S. government is working with commercial health insurers to make future COVID-19 vaccines free of charge with no copay. Paul Mango, deputy chief of staff for policy at HHS, says government health insurance programs such as Medicare and Medicaid will cover the cost of administering COVID-19 vaccines, and a federal fund created by the CARES Act will provide the vaccines free for the uninsured.  Vaccine priority will be given to healthcare workers, the elderly, nursing home residents and those at high risk for COVID-19.  A collaboration between the feds and the healthcare industry will handle the distribution of the vaccines. Read the full story in The Wall Street Journal

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

Organizations Call on Trump to Extend Benefits to ‘Mixed Earners’

SAG-AFTRA and 11 other arts and entertainment organizations and unions have sent a letter to President Trump to bring attention to problems with the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. The organizations say “mixed earners” —  including entrepreneurs, seasonal workers, gig workers, musicians, singers, actors, photographers and writers who make a mix of traditional W-2 employee and self-employment income — are being left out due to an unintended flaw in the CARES Act.  Many of the mixed earners are now left with less than $100 a week in unemployment benefits due to this flaw. To download the letter, click HERE.

Organizations that signed the letter include:

The Authors Guild

Freelancers Union

Future of Music Coalition

Gospel Music Association

Music Artists Coalition

The Recording Academy

The Recording Industry Association of America

Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists

Songwriters Guild of America

Songwriters of North America

SoundExchange

Southern Gospel Music Guild

PET INSURANCE

Wagmo Pet Insurance and Wellness Launches In California and New York

Wagmo, a company that bills itself as modern pet insurance founded by insurance nerds Christie Horvath and Alison Foxworth, announced expansion into California and New York. Wagmo was previously only available in Colorado, Illinois, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. To access, new pet owners visit Wagmo’s site, peruse wellness and insurance plan options and choose the plan that fits their budget and pets needs. Wagmo does not appear to use agents. Instead, for new pet parents that might be confused as to what plan is right for them, the company offers a recommendation engine. From the company:

Wagmo Wellness offers pet owners three tiers of coverage that extend from routine to preventative care, including vet visits, vaccines, grooming, dental care and more. Wagmo Insurance provides pet parents with a single, comprehensive product that covers emergency care and unexpected expenses like surgeries, x-rays, lab tests, prescription medications and cancer treatments. Wagmo’s insurance product is the only one in the market that is 100 percent reimbursable across all policies.

Wagmo’s wellness plans begin at $20. Insurance plans start at $9 for cats and $13 for dogs and vary based on a pet’s age, breed and zip code. More info here.

LIFE

GlobalData: High concentration in Life and the U.S. Market Makes AIG Vulnerable

In a written statement released August 19, data analytics and consulting firm GlobalData contends American International Group (AIG) is vulnerable because of its focus. The U.S. accounted for over three quarters of AIG business in 2018. This exposes the company to increased claims due to the high COVID-19 death toll in the country. According to GlobalData, AIG is more concentrated in one particular area than most global insurers of similar size, with 75.2% of 2018 premiums held in the U.S. While the company does have a diverse business portfolio, life accounted for over 50% of its total premiums in 2018. GlobalData says this leaves AIG exposed to the current low interest rate and poor investment conditions.

EVENTS

  • LAAHU’s Zoom Happy Hour is now the last Wednesday of each month from 4-5p.m. This month it will be August 26. Members and non-members alike are invited! Register here.
  • LAAHU/VCAHU Present “Get Up, Go and Grow – You Got This!”, Aug 20
Los Angeles and Ventura Country Associations of Health Underwriters will host a panel of ancillary experts who will help producers identify opportunity within their books of business where they can add value while maintaining a growth mindset. The panel will take place August 20, 3- 4:30p.m. Pacific. it’s free for Members, $15 for non-members.
Panelists:
Chad Eichten, Mutual of Omaha
Zachary Copeland, Reliance Standard
Michael Lewis, Guardian
Laura Murphy, Principal
Brian Sullivan, Humana
Register here.
  • California Statewide Medicare Expo, Virtual, Aug 26-27

Ten local California Association of Health Underwriters chapters will host a California Statewide Medicare Expo. Join the online, two-day dive into all things that can help Medicare agents serve seniors. More than 100 sessions and opportunities for certifications and CE. $49 for AHU members; $59 for non-members. Register here.

  • NAIFA-Los Angeles Events

Thursday August 27, 2020: Life Insurance Awareness webinar with 4 great speakers. Info and registration here.

Friday September 25, 2020: Health Forum. Info and registration here.
  • National African-American Insurance Association (NAAIA) Event
Conquering the World of Virtual Presentations with Gilda Bonanno. Thursday, August 20, 9-10a.m. Pacific. Info and tickets here. 
Also see more NAAIA offerings here.
  • The Senior Summit, Virtual, Sept 1-3

A collaboration of Inland Empire, Orange County and San Diego Associations of Health Underwriters. Certifications, product trainings, CEs, guest speakers, industry experts, as well as a virtual exhibit hall and more! Price: $49 AHU Member or Non-Member (3 Day Admission). Deadline to Register: August 28. Info and registration here.

  • CAHU Summit, Virtual, Oct 6-7- SAVE THE DATE!

Keynote speaker will be Joe Buzzello, a life-long entrepreneur, author and a master salesperson and organizational leader. Sponsorship info here.

  • IICF Foundation Women in Insurance Regional Forums Rescheduled

Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation has rescheduled the Women in Insurance Regional Forums:

Chicago: October 14
New York: October 26

Los Angeles: October 30
Dallas: November 17
More info at IICF’s website.
  • CAHU Women’s Leadership Summit will be March 2021– So far this is scheduled to be in Las Vegas

CAHU’s WLS committee announced that the second Women’s Leadership Summit has been rescheduled for March 24-26, 2021, at the JW Marriott in Las Vegas. Questions should be emailed to info@cahu.org.