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With plenty of insurance and other issues to parse lately, Cal Broker magazine is happy to offer space for guest editorials. Please remember that the views expressed are those of the authors, not of the magazine. We always welcome thoughtful, rational commentary (about 800 words is the perfect length) as well as letters to the editor. We read every single email! Please send your guest editorials or letters to: editor@calbrokermag.com.

HEALTH

California Among States That Won’t Follow New COVID-19 Testing Plan

Arizona, California, New York, Florida and Texas have said “no thanks” to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest advice on COVID-19 testing. The CDC called to reduce COVID-19 testing, issuing guidance saying that asymptomatic people who have been exposed to COVID-19 shouldn’t be tested. The CDC had previously recommended that all people in close contact with anyone with COVID-19 should be tested even if the exposed person shows no sign of illness. The states say they will continue down this course. The new CDC guidance shocked doctors and politicians and spurred accusations the guidance was politically motivated.

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

Stronger On The Other Side

We love the positive thinking and practical tips from the folks at Aflac. They’ve recently published a white paper called “Stronger on the Other Side,” which examines how COVID-19 has impacted benefits and offers brokers solutions for navigating open enrollment and beyond. There is a “beyond the pandemic” right? The whitepaper looks at ways to boost benefit packages that address a potentially long-term recovery and employees’ emotional well-being. Seems like a must-read!

Colonial Life Offers New COVID-19 Coverage
Colonial Life announced a new group critical illness plan with an optional rider that offers a lump sum benefit for hospitalization for treatment of COVID-19 and more than a dozen other infectious diseases such as antibiotic-resistant bacteria, Legionnaires’ disease, meningitis, Lyme disease and sepsis. Colonial Life’s new group critical illness plan has a flexible plan design with a wide range of face amounts to meet different needs. Coverage is available for up to 56 different serious conditions and treatment procedures, including heart attack, stroke, cancer, organ failure or coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Additional conditions covered for children at no additional cost include Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, spina bifida and cleft lip or palate. Employees can further personalize their coverage with riders that provide additional benefits for infectious diseases, cancer, first diagnosis, heart procedures and progressive diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Other features of Colonial Life’s new group critical illness plan
include:
* Spouse and child coverage — available with employee coverage
* Guaranteed issue — provides all employees, spouses and eligible
dependent children access to coverage
* HSA-compatible — allows employers to provide coverage that can be
used alongside employees’ health savings accounts
* 100% coverage for all breast cancer — invasive or noninvasive
* Wellbeing assistance benefit — is designed to pay a benefit for one
of 25 different health screening tests, such as a colonoscopy, mammogram
or BRCA genetic test that identifies breast cancer risk
* Additional diagnoses coverage — benefits are payable for multiple
different critical illnesses as well as reoccurrence of the same
illness, including cancer
* Access to Helpsy Health mobile app — easy-to-use online tool to
track symptoms, treatment plans and appointments and find resources for transportation,
financial assistance, and emotional support while dealing with cancer.

INSURTECH

GIA InsurTech Week Coming Next Month

Ready for some insurance industry innovation? Don’t miss the Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA)’s  annual InsurTech Week, being held virtually this year October 12-16. In addition to founders from 28 GIA cohort alumni companies, the GIA’s insurance company investors selected 20 growth-stage companies to highlight during the week. This year’s featured companies provide solutions for all segments of the industry, including:

InsurTech Week 2020 will be conducted using the Hopin virtual event app. Highlights of the week will include live innovation presentations, virtual booths, breakout room demos, insurance-specific education sessions, video networking for 1:1 meetings and more. More info and registration here.

Pru Signs with Vitech

Vitech Systems Group announced that Prudential Group Insurance has signed a long-term contract to use Vitech’s V3locity as Prudential’s new core administration platform across its entire group insurance business. Prudential will use V3locity to administer a broad range of insurance products including Accident, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity, Term Life, Short and Long-Term Disability, Universal Life, Variable Universal Life and more. The insurer’s decision to leverage V3locity across its entire group insurance business is aligned with Prudential’s overall growth and transformation strategy and follows the successful implementation of V3locity for its voluntary benefits business in May 2019.

VISION

VSP & Livonga Team Up for Impactful Study

Rancho Cordova-based VSP Vision Care and Livongo, a leading applied health signals company focused on healthy folks with chronic conditions live better lives, announced the findings of a case study, born out of their strategic partnership to better identify and support mutual members living with diabetes and other chronic conditions.  The two organizations developed a first-of-its-kind partnership to support their mutual members – from early detection of chronic conditions and easy enrollment in health management programs to closing clinical gaps in care. VSP’s data, combined with medical and pharmacy data, allowed Livongo to identify mutual members with chronic conditions for its health management programs. Meanwhile, Livongo helped VSP identify additional mutual members with chronic conditions who could benefit from VSP’s efforts to connect them with a VSP network doctor for critical eye care needs. The offering was recently made available to 16 large U.S. companies. The simple and secure two-way exchange of data for 390,000 eligible employees yielded the following key findings:

  • 12% of mutual members with diabetes were identified by VSP, previously unknown to Livongo.
  • 62% of mutual members with diabetes were identified by Livongo, previously unknown to VSP
  • 34% of mutual members with hypertension were identified by VSP, previously unknown to Livongo.

Diabetes is one of the most expensive and prevalent chronic conditions in the U.S. The case study revealed the partnership also has the potential to reduce medical costs associated with the condition. One participating employer found 180 new members eligible for Livongo’s services, which the company says can deliver $100,000 in annual incremental healthcare savings.

EVENTS

  • LAAHU’s Zoom Happy Hour is the first Wednesday of the month from 4-5p.m.  Members and nonmembers welcome. Register here.
  • National African-American Insurance Association (NAAIA) Events

NAAIA  AGENT ROUND TABLE SERIES: A Substitute or a Resource? Embracing Technology as a Black Agent, September 15, 9a.m PT. Register here.

NAAIA LEADERSHIP SUMMIT 3.0 Sponsored by The Hartford, facilitated by organizational leader Dr. Addie Perkins Williamson, author of Crossing the Finish Line: Getting to the Top and Staying There. Session 1: September 15, 9 a.m. PT, Session 2: September, 29, 9 a.m. PT. Info and registration here.
  • LIMRA 2020 Group & Worksite Benefits Conference, Virtual, September 15-16, Leveraging Uncertainty to Create Opportunity

Pat Leary, corporate vice president and research director, LIMRA workplace benefits research, will lead a session titled “Big news! U.S. Elections and COVID-19”  with Sun Life’s James Slotnick, JD, assistant vice president, government relations, and Bryan Burke, director, voluntary products, to review the likeliest outcomes and impacts of the election on the workplace benefits industry. Info and registration here.

  • NAIFA-Los Angeles, Virtual Health Forum, September 25
Info and registration here.
  • CAHU Summit, Virtual, Oct 6-7- Moving Boldly Into Our Future

Keynote speaker will be Joe Buzzello, a life-long entrepreneur, author and a master salesperson and organizational leader. Sponsorship info here. Register 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.
  • IICF Inclusion in Insurance Forum, Virtual, October 27 – 29
The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation will convene insurance professionals, C-Suite executives, D&I leaders and other innovators for the IICF Inclusion in Insurance Forum, an action-oriented program with a focus on the future of work in the insurance industry. Gain insights and plans for acting on inclusion, diversity and innovation initiatives from respected leaders representing the industry, academia and other areas of business. Each virtual session will run approximately 2-1/2 hours, starting at 9a.m. Pacific.Register here.
  • CAHU Women’s Leadership Summit will now be 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 info@cahu.org.