Get Your Zoom Holiday Party On!

LAAHU Virtual Holiday Event Dec 17 – 100% of Proceeds go to Regional Food Bank!
LAAHU announced that this year’s holiday charity event will be virtual December 17, 2020 – 4:30pm to 6:30pm. It’s $25 per ticket and 100% goes to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. You can watch this YouTube vid if you want to know how desperately the food banks need help. LAAHU promises fun and prizes.  And be sure to wear your ugly sweater for a chance to win a special prize. You can still get get tickets!

And In case you’re reading this before noon on Wednesday, Dec. 16, don’t forget that LAAHU’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee is hosting attorney Capri Maddox for the Hour of Power event from noon-1p.m. The lunch hour event promises to provide an open, inclusive learning forum for members and non-members alike. Register here.

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Lara Issues Mental Health Benefits Notice

Sometimes you read something and you think well, isn’t it about time? Case in point:

Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara issued a notice to all health insurance companies in California informing them of their obligation to comply with landmark changes to the California Mental Health Parity Act following the recent enactment of Senate Bill 855, authored by Senator Scott Wiener. Under the new law, health insurance must cover health care services that are medically necessary to diagnose, prevent, and treat all mental health conditions, as well as substance use disorders, equal to coverage provided for other medical conditions.

In addition to expanding coverage to all mental health conditions and substance use disorders, Senate Bill 855 requires health insurance companies to adhere to the same standards of care that are followed by addiction and mental health care providers. Health insurance must cover all medically necessary care for mental health and substance use disorders and can no longer limit coverage for treatment in ways that conflict with prevailing standards of care.
The requirements of Senate Bill 855 will take effect on January 1, 2021.

What Is Quarantine Savings Going For?

Some people have realized savings during quarantine because they simply aren’t going anywhere or doing anything. But, according to the 2020 Aflac Health Care Issues Survey, many American families will be using this money to pay for out-of-pocket medical costs rather than holiday cheer. Within the past two years, high medical costs led 71% of American families to make a sacrifice or hard decision during the holidays.  Aflac research says these disruptions include:

  • Fewer presents underneath the tree — More than 1 in 5 said they spent less on holiday gifts or went without giving them altogether (23%), decided against purchasing a gift for a loved one (21%) and reduced their overall holiday spending (21%).
  • Risky debt on the rooftop — Nearly one-third (28%) said they relied on a credit card, and 21% borrowed money from a friend or family member.
  • Home alone for the holidays — Over 1 in 5 said they canceled events (23%) and put a stop to travel plans to see family or friends (21%).
  • COVID’s Impact — Sixteen percent of families said they or a member of their household was diagnosed with or received treatment for COVID-19, and more than 3 in 4 of those respondents said they faced medical expenses beyond a copay or deductible resulting in hard choices about their health and finances, including relying on a credit card (44%), postponing seeing a medical professional (37%) or taking a family member to see a medical professional (33%), working extra to offset medical expenses (31%) and taking out a loan (30%).

Additional survey findings, including comparison data between individuals and families, are available here.

DMHC Reminder: Vaccines Will Be No Cost to Enrollees

The California Department of Managed Health Care recently issued guidance reminding all that qualified, approved COVID-19 vaccines must be provided with no cost-sharing for health plan enrollees, regardless of whether the enrollee receives the vaccine from an in-network or out-of-network provider. The DMHC issued an All Plan Letter to health plans regulated by the Department requiring full-service health plans cover qualifying vaccines to prevent COVID-19. In compliance with the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, health plans must cover the administration costs without any enrollee cost-sharing, such as co-pays, co-insurance or deductibles. If a health plan enrollee receives a COVID-19 vaccine bill, they should first file a grievance with their health plan and include a copy of the bill. Their health plan will review the grievance and should ensure the enrollee is reimbursed. If the enrollee does not agree with their health plan’s response or if the plan takes more than 30 days to fix the problem, they should file a complaint with the DMHC Help Center at  or 1-888-466-2219.


60 Minutes Focuses on Sutter Health Lawsuit

Did you happen to catch 60 Minutes on Sunday? One segment was about California’s lawsuit against Northern California health care behemoth Sutter Health. California has maintained that Sutter became so powerful in NorCal that it started to jack up health care prices because it could, which in turn then allowed other hospitals to also do so. Someone on 60 Minutes actually said that this time the insurance companies aren’t the bad guys. It’s the hospital system. Of course, we’re paraphrasing. But you can check it out for yourself here.


How to Do Virtual Office Parties

Moe Vela, chief transparency officer of TransparentBusiness and a remote work expert, sent us his top 10 tips for company holiday Zoom parties this season. We thought you might need them:

  • Give it a fun and festive structure – During these challenging times, it’s even more important than ever to plan fun activities that can be done remotely as a group—i.e.  a trivia game, mail something to taste test, or do a cookie or cocktail making together! Plan activities that enhance workforce cohesion, collaboration and can uplift spirits at these times of tremendous anxiety.
  • Use gallery view to see all participants – It already feels like you aren’t all together, so in the gallery view, you can see and then follow along with all your coworkers. It’s vital that everyone get to “see” each other.
  • Take personal conversations to the side – Zoom calls when multiple people are trying to talk at once can get chaotic. Utilize the chat feature to have any one-off conversations and avoid frustrating your colleagues.
  • Make it so engaging that people don’t want to leave – Leaving the holiday party IRL is awkward, and now in the virtual space, Zoom fatigue leads to people wanting out early. Plan the evening well, so participants don’t start popping off the Zoom on their own.
  • Be creative with your screen background – Screen backgrounds are the new holiday party decorations, so choose creatively and set the tone but don’t let it be too distractive.  You might even think of a changing background throughout the event.
  • Show up in party attire or themed attire (if theme party) – It’s a holiday party, so dressing the part will contribute to your ability to enjoy and be festive. Use it as a respite from the sweat pants and pajamas!
  • Don’t feel obligated to participate – However, it sends a nice message to your company to show up and engage since someone took the time to make it happen.
  • Have your audio on the whole time – Mute yourself when necessary to avoid screen chaos.

And here’s another article on The Conversation about how to say connected during this pandemic holiday season.


California Mutual and Invoice Cloud Share Insights

Hollister, California-based Cal Mutual and Invoice Cloud recently released a research report based on their “Customer Experience in the Insurance Industry” survey. The report shares insights gleaned from California Mutual’s experience implementing Invoice Cloud, provider of PCI compliant, secure electronic payments and Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP) solutions. Last year, California Mutual successfully transitioned to Invoice Cloud’s platform from its legacy payment processing system.  Since implementation, California Mutual has seen e-payment adoption rise by over 150 percent and paperless enrollment increase 15-fold.


  • LAAHU’s Zoom Happy Hour is the first Wednesday of the month from 4-5p.m. Members and nonmembers welcome. Register here.
  • NAHU Power Hour, 4th Wednesday of the month from 4-5p.m. Pacific. Members and nonmembers welcome. Register here.
  • NAIFA-Los Angeles 68th Annual Will G. Farrell Award & Leadership Recognition Event, Virtual, Feb. 18, 2021. More info here.
  • CAHU Women’s Leadership Summit, April 7-9, 2021!The latest news from CAHU’s WLS committee is that the CAHU Women’s Leadership Summit will now take place April 7 –9, 2021, at Green Valley Ranch in Las Vegas. Questions should be emailed to
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