Contact your Congress member to postpone Medicare Marketing rule, says NAHU
The new Medicare marketing rule is set to go into effect Oct. 1 — less than a month away! It was finalized earlier this year and, despite repeated comments and inquiries by NAHU and others, CMS has yet to delay the rule or to provide guidance on its implementation. … With less than 30 days from the start of 2022 Annual Enrollment, it is nearly impossible for our members to be in compliance with the final rule by the Oct. 1 effective date. This will leave thousands of Medicare beneficiaries without the help of licensed agents and brokers and may leave them in the hands of the bad actors that this rule seeks to regulate.
NAHU urges you to contact your member of Congress to request that CMS implement a delay of six to 12 months, during which CMS will work with stakeholders to develop marketing regulations that will protect beneficiaries while allowing them access to their trusted licensed independent agent or broker. Click here for more info.
Take action NOW by signing the petition that CHANGE.ORG has been circulating since July 1, 2022. The petition implores CMS to reconsider this unnecessary and burdensome requirement. To sign the petition, here’s the link.
2022: A Supreme Summer?
A Detailed Look Into This Summer’s Supreme Court Decisions that Affect Employer Health Benefits and Plan Decisions
SCOTUS Cases Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, Marietta Memorial Hospital Employee Health Plan v. DaVita, Inc.
By Dorothy M. Cociu, RHU, REBC, GBA, RPA; president, Advanced Benefit Consulting & Insurance Services, Inc.; VP, Professional Development, OCAHU –
It was definitely a summer to remember, but not for the reasons most of us would think. Instead of taking extensive dream vacations, many stayed closer to home, with shorter and more cost-effective adventures, due to the high cost of flights, hotels and basic living expenses … As if all of this wasn’t enough, there has been a lot in the news causing discord and overall political controversy across the nation. … the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Mississippi restrictions on abortions, in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision. In another case that was decided this summer … the U.S. Supreme Court decision on June 21 found in favor of an employer’s health plan (Marietta) in a 7-2 opinion, which stated that the Marietta Hospital Employee Health Benefit Plan did not violate the Medicare Secondary Payer Act (MSPA) in limiting dialysis payments to DaVita dialysis centers. This was a huge victory for the self-insurance industry, as well as ERISA protections.
Where Dobbs caused stress and anxiety, Marietta v. Davita should have been cause for celebration for many health plans, but again, many are not even aware of this because the spotlight turned almost immediately to the Dobbs decision. I will provide information on both cases.
Click here to read the full report: Cociu-Supreme Summer
COVID-19 Update: FDA Authorizes Two COVID-19 Vaccines for Use as Booster Dose
The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent, is authorized for use as a single booster dose in individuals 18 years of age and older. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent, is authorized for use as a single booster dose in individuals 12 years of age and older.
Both kinds of booster shots will provide “better protection against COVID-19 caused by the omicron variant,” the FDA announcement stated.
“The BA.4 and BA.5 lineages of the omicron variant are currently causing most cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and are predicted to circulate this fall and winter,” the FDA said. Read more.
U.S. life expectancy fell again in 2021, largely due to COVID-19
Life expectancy at birth in the United States declined nearly a year from 2020 to 2021, according to new provisional data from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). That decline – 77.0 to 76.1 years – took U.S. life expectancy at birth to its lowest level since 1996. Read more.
Student Loan Payment Assistance Hottest New Job Benefit
85% of workers say they’d leave job for a company that helped with student loans
This is an opportunity for employers to step up! Borrowers have a clearer picture of the financial burden they’re facing, now that the White House has unveiled its student loan forgiveness program and announced the last extension of the payment pause.
President Biden’s plan cancels $10,000 in debt for individuals earning less than $125,000 a year (or $20,000 if they have a federal Pell grant). That’s expected to wipe out the balances of almost a third of the 45 million Americans currently holding federal student loans, but many borrowers will still head into 2023 under a cloud of debt.
Help could come from an unexpected source: Their bosses. A growing number of employers are offering student loan assistance as a job benefit to lure — and keep — top talent. Read Article
Other perspectives on the student loan situation:
- Will student loan forgiveness make inflation worse? Here’s what economists say Read Article
- Will Biden’s forgiveness plan spark interest in student loan benefits? Student loan repayment benefits have been an emerging trend over the past several years, although there has not been widespread adoption. About 7% of U.S. organizations offer student loan benefits in 2022, according to data from the Society for Human Resource Management’s 2022 employee benefits survey. Here’s where employers can step in!
What did you say? Hearing Aids Make News
Global Market to Grow 5% by 2026
Why? Smart Hearing Aid Devices, and FDA Ok of OTC sales
Aging population, tech advancements, increasing adoption of smart hearing aids, rising incidence of noise-induced hearing loss, favorable reimbursement in developed markets, growing awareness, and improving access to healthcare in emerging markets are some of the key factors driving the global Hearing Aids market.
Additionally, new entrants may shake up hearing-aid market after FDA clears path for over-the-counter (OTC) sales. The new class of devices is expected to drive competition in the broader hearing aid market.
Health Insurance Providers Expanded Behavioral Health Access
In response to the growing need for mental health treatment, the number of in-network behavioral health providers increased by 48% in the last three years among commercial health plans, says AHIP’s recent survey. The number of in-network inpatient psychiatric hospitals rose by 40%. A majority of health plan respondents to the AHIP survey, or 78%, said they also increased reimbursement rates for behavioral health providers. Read more.
Mindfulness Meditation Plays Important Role in Healthcare
Clinicians used to wonder if there was a role for mindfulness meditation in healthcare. But after the Covid-19 pandemic laid bare the overwhelming need for practical solutions in behavioral health, the question has shifted to what role it can play.
An article from American Physical Therapy Association, citing the American Mindfulness Research Association, describes mindfulness as the practice of remembering to observe moment-to-moment experiences with openness and without automatic patterns of previously conditioned thoughts, emotions or behaviors.
“Mindfulness means present-moment awareness and offers you a constructive, practical and effective way to observe your physical, cognitive and emotional reactions and make skillful choices that can decrease your pain and distress. Remember you may not have control over the sensation of pain, but you do have control over your reactions to the sensation of pain. Your choices directly impact your nervous system activity.”
Analysis: What CVS Health’s interest in primary and home care means
An expert industry observer said CVS Health’s move into primary care is both offensive and defensive, but perhaps more importantly a natural evolution of a company with such a large healthcare footprint. Read more.
Positive Attitude Serves Better Than Dour Mood
Here’s an article about retaining a positive attitude from long-time CBM author Louis Brownstone, chairman of California Long-Term Care Insurance in Burlingame, Calif. He can be reached at Louis@CLTCinsurance.com or www.CaliforniaLongTermCare.com
“Go out and share your joy with others. Plan to utilize your talent to make life better for others. Show the happiness which you have in presenting great insurance products which will protect policyholders and grow their assets. Become an ambassador of the many positive things that make our lives worth living.“The bottom line is that the issues we can feel really good about dwarf the problematic issues. We’re lucky as hell, and our mood should be upbeat and positive, not dour.” Full article.
Tune in! 60 Minutes show: Living Into Your 90s
60 Minutes looks back a groundbreaking 2014 report on factors that can lead to a longer, healthier life. Want to know a few tips? Drink wine, keep moving, don’t worry, enjoy romance, laugh often, and gain (a little) weight! Watch here.
CRC Group Closes BenefitMall Acquisition
CRC Group, the leading wholesale specialty insurance distributor in North America, announced that the company closed on the acquisition of BenefitMall effective Sept. 1, 2022. The addition of BenefitMall, the nation’s largest benefits wholesale general agency, will enable CRC Group to provide the broadest array of insurance products and services available from any wholesale distributor in the marketplace today.
According to a spokesperson at CRC: “As we enter the busy fall enrollment season, California brokers will benefit from a broader set of options they can draw from to tailor custom solutions for clients and drive growth in their businesses. BenefitMall will retain its name and leadership team in the transaction, ensuring continuity of service and the commitment to innovation and expert advice that brokers have come to rely on.”
TOOLS YOU CAN USE
California Carrier Partner Updates
Courtesy of Word and Brown
Get the latest on California carrier, health plan, and administrator partners. Link to this thorough listing of bonuses, renewals and other vital information. Thanks,Word and Brown!
- WIFS-Los Angeles & NAIFA-Los Angeles present “Bust Those Myths About Life Insurance” as part of Life Insurance Awareness Month. Sept. 8, 2022 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. PST by Zoom. Register
- OCAHU Annual CE Day, Sept. 13, 9am – 4pm. Earn 5 CEs. Register
- DCAHU Annual Medicare Summit, Sept 15, 10-3pm, Palm Desert, Register
- LAAHU 7th Annual Medicare Symposium, Sept. 15, Burbank Marriott Hotel, Register
- NAIC Insurance 2022 Summit (in person & virtual), Sept.19-23, Kansas City. Register
- InsurTech Connect: The Future of Insurance is Here, Sept. 20-22, Las Vegas. Info here
- CAHIP Virtual Medicare Event, Sept. 21, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Register
- GGAHU Complimentary Webinar: Modifications to Medicare and the Medicare Marketplace for 2023, Thurs., Sept. 22. Register for one CE credit.
- WIFS National Conference, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, Phoenix, Arizona. Info here
- National African-American Insurance Association (NAAIA) 2022 Annual Conference & Empowerment Summit, Oct. 5-7, Baltimore, MD. Info here
- Self Insurance Institute of America (SIIA) ENGAGE National Conference & Expo, October 9-11, Phoenix. Info: (800)851-7789 www.siiaconferences.org
- Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association (LIMRA) 2022 Annual Conference, Chicago, Oct. 16 – 18. Register
- HLTH 2022 Health Innovation Expo, Nov. 13-16, Las Vegas. Register
- Ellevate Women’s Leadership 2023 Summit, March 13-15, 2/23. JW Marriott just outside Las Vegas. Register
Regal Medical Group looks forward to partnering with you during open enrollment as you continue to bring quality healthcare benefits to your clients throughout Southern California. More info here.
Visit regalmed.com and click on “Brokers.” Questions? Email BrokerInquiry@regalmed.com
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- Unlikely Life Settlement Cases
- Ellevate Conference Educates Female Leaders
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