Guest Post on COVID -19: FFCRA & CARES Act –Plus a lot more!

Thank you Dorothy Cociu, the incoming vice president of communications for California Association of Health Underwriters, for contributing the excellent COVID-19: FFCRA& CARES Act article. Read the complete article here.  Dorothy will also contribute an updated version of this story for our June print issue.

LAAHU Virtual Happy Hour Today 4-5:30 p.m. with NAHU’s Janet Trautwein!

Don’t miss this. We’ll be there. BYOB. Register here.

84K+ Sign Up For Covered Cal

Covered California announced that more than 84,000 people had enrolled in health care coverage since the exchange announced a special-enrollment period in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pace of sign-ups during this five-week period has been more than 2.5 times the level seen during the same period in 2019. The enrollment data covers the period from March 20, when Covered California opened the health insurance exchange to any eligible uninsured individuals who need health care coverage amid the COVID-19 emergency, through April 24. Anyone who is uninsured and meets Covered California’s eligibility requirements, which are similar to those in place during the annual open-enrollment period, can sign up for coverage through June 30. During this time, Covered California has also seen tremendous consumer interest online, with nearly 1.4 million new users visiting CoveredCA.com, which is almost twice the number of visits seen during the same time period last year. There were also more than 208,000 unique visits to Covered California’s Medi-Cal page, which is nearly a 50 percent increase over the same time period last year.

Insurer Orgs Ask Congress to Expand Health Coverage

The American Hospital Association (AHA), America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to Congressional leaders asking for them to expand health coverage for employers and workers.

“Employers need more support – and workers need to be able to continue their stable, secure coverage,” the letter reads. “As you consider the next round of legislation to overcome COVID-19, we urge you to prioritize maintaining private health benefits for individuals and families and to increase coverage options for those who are already uninsured.”

The organizations asked Congress to provide subsidies during the crisis to offset the cost of health coverage, cover the full cost of coverage for unemployed workers under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, and lift the limit on qualifying expenses through health savings accounts. Additionally, they urged Congress to open a special enrollment period for the health marketplaces created under ACA while also increasing the eligibility for subsidies in the marketplace.

Be Aware of Telehealth Payment Issues

Policymakers and insurers across the country have been vocal about their embrace of telehealth. So much so that they’ve said they’re eliminating copayments, deductibles and other barriers to telemedicine. Problem is, reports Kaiser Health News, patients say doctors and insurers are charging them upfront for video appointments and phone calls. And that’s not just copays. Sometimes its the entire cost of the visit, even if it’s covered by insurance. While the bill can be righted with a little protest, nobody needs the hassle right now.

Supreme Court Sides with Insurers On Risk Corridor Program

The US Supreme Court ruled 8-1 this week that the federal government must “honor its obligations” and pay insurers $12 billion owed to them under the Affordable Care Act’s risk corridor program. The program was designed to mitigate insurers’ risks from 2014 to 2016, when they sold coverage to previously uninsured people through exchanges established under ACA. Insurers successfully argued that letting the government off would’ve amounted to a “bait-and-switch”. This is how the ruling might impact agents.

DENTAL/VISION

COVID-19’s Impact on Dental and Vision

Allison Bell at ThinkAdvisor has a post up about how COVID-19 has impacted dental and vision insurance. Check it out here.

FINANCIAL PLANNING

 COVID-19 Withdrawals for 401(k) Plans a Bad Idea?

401(k) guru Robert Lawton, who also contributes to Cal Broker, has an interesting piece up with 7 reasons why COVID-19 withdrawals are a bad idea. Reason #2: The impact of withdrawals likely is devastating. Read the post here.

EVENTS

LAAHU offers a weekly Happy Hour. It’s an ideal opportunity to network and meet others in the field. Today’s guest is Janet Trautwein, the executive vice president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) in Washington, D.C.  You don’t want to miss this one!
Mix and mingle with other business professionals Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. today.
Date: April 29 2020
Register here.
  • National Medicare Supplement Insurance Industry Summit Rescheduled to 2021

The 2020 National Medicare Supplement Insurance Summit set to take place May 13-15, 2020, in Chicago will now be held June 2-4, 2021, according to the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance the conference organizers. The conference will take place at the Schaumburg Convention Center just outside of Chicago’s O’Hare airport. The 2021 conference will include its free day for insurance agents who market Medicare and other senior insurance products. Go here for more info.

  • CAHU Women’s Leadership Summit Rescheduled to August

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the CAHU Women’s Leadership Summit has been postponed from March to August 5-7, 2020, at the same location, the JW Marriott in Las Vegas. We are hopeful that all current participants, and those who were recently forced to cancel, will be able to join us in August. CAHU will automatically transfer event registrations to the new dates. If for some reason you can no longer attend, please contact Korey Platt by email for additional options.If you have any questions or concerns contact info@cahu.org.

  • LAAHU 2020 April Annual Sales Symposium Rescheduled to July

LAAHU will postpone the April 22 Sales Symposium, AdapTech until Friday, July 17, 2020. The event will take place at Skirball Center. More info at laahu.org.

  • Self-Fund SoCal April 16 Event Postponed

The Self-Fund SoCal 2020 April 16 event at the Woodland Hills Marriott has been postponed. A new date hasn’t been announced.

  • Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation Women in Insurance Regional Forums Rescheduled

IICF has rescheduled the Women in Insurance Regional Forums:

Chicago: October 14
New York: October 26

Los Angeles: October 30
Dallas: November 17
  • 16th Annual BenefitsPRO Broker Expo 2020 will be August 20-22

BenefitsPRO Broker Expo 2020 has been postponed to August 20-22 in Austin, Texas. More info here.