Help with Difficult People

Psychiatrist Mark Goulston has a story up with 5 strategies for dealing with difficult people. Because we all know that THEY are difficult, not us, right?? 🙂 Some of the strategies include the empathy jolt and power THANK YOU, which of course is so appropriate for this week. Definitely read Goulston’s tips because they may even help with your Thanksgiving relatives.

ALSO— everyone at Cal Broker wishes to thank our loyal readers (even the difficult ones-haha), contributors and advertisers. You’re the pumpkin in our pie.


LAAHU to Sponsor Toluca Lake Turkey Trot

Don’t forget that LAAHU is sponsoring the Toluca Lake Turkey Trot on Sunday, November 21, 2021, 1:30- 4 pm. Chase Bank Parking Lot, 10050 Riverside Drive, Toluca Lake. Register in advance here.


More $ For Some Covered Cal Work

Very good news: Covered California announced that three of the biggest health insurance carriers that it contracts with — Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California and Kaiser Permanente — will be increasing the amount they pay insurance agents. The move comes after Covered California studied agent-commission trends and found that while people were continuing to rely on an experienced person to help them understand and choose their coverage options, agent compensation had steadily declined since 2014. During the study and analysis, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California and Kaiser Permanente worked with Covered California to bring their agent compensation up to the average levels in the individual market, which is about 2 percent of premium paid to agents helping consumers enroll. The three carriers account for more than 70 percent of Covered California’s enrollees. The new compensation will increase agent compensation statewide by an estimated $22 million a year, which is a 17 percent increase over current levels. The increase will bring the total compensation provided by carriers to agents to more than $125 million a year, which is nearly equal to Covered California’s entire marketing and outreach budget for fiscal year 2021-22. The increased compensation will come at no additional cost to consumers and will go into effect January 1, 2022.


Fireside Chat to Parse Predictions in Health and Employee Benefits

Virta Health is sponsoring a fireside chat with special guest Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel – author, ethicist, oncologist, and policymaker.

Dr. Emanuel is the Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, and a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a Special Advisor to the Director General of the World Health Organization, the founding chair of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health, and served as Special Author on Health Policy to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and National Economic Council.

Dr. Emanuel and other distinguished guests will predict the upcoming trends in 2022 and beyond. They plan to cover:

    • The COVID Vaccine Mandate – What Employers Should Know
    • The Economy, Jobs, and Social Determinants of Health
    • New Approaches to Chronic Disease Including Diabetes and Obesity

The free fireside chat will take place Dec. 1, 10am PT. Register here.


VSP Partners with Black EyeCare Perspective

Citing a commitment to increase awareness about the eye care profession to minority communities, VSP Global® announced a partnership with Black EyeCare Perspective, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to redefining the color of the eye care industry 1% at a time. As a part of the partnership, VSP Global has signed the 13% Promise, an initiative to increase equity and representation of Black students in the eye care industry to better mirror the makeup of the U.S. population. According to data from Black EyeCare Perspective, only 1.8% of practicing optometrists are Black. Only 3.2% of enrolled students and 3.8% of faculty in optometry colleges are Black.

In addition to signing the 13% Promise, the partnership will also include:

  • Annual scholarships for Black third-year optometry students.
  • Leadership development programs designed by VSP® and delivered by Black EyeCare Perspective to enhance personal and professional development opportunities for students.
  • Social media, marketing, and grassroots event outreach efforts to elevate and promote optometry as a career.
  • Mentoring programs to assist students and prospective optometrists in career planning, application support, networking opportunities and access to a variety of educational resources.
  • Active participation in Black EyeCare Perspectives’ Impact HBCU Program, including leveraging the VSP Eyes of Hope® mobile clinics to increase awareness of the profession at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) while providing no-cost vision care to the campus and surrounding communities.


InsurTech Hartford Ramping Up for 2022

InsurTech Hartford (ITH), an ecosystem with global startup, agent/broker, carrier, solution provider, and investor constituents, announced a ramp up for 2022 with in-person events, networking and education opportunities. ITH recently concluded an event during which InsurTech Israel joined the ITH community for short presentations and networking. The full-capacity event, presided over by Hartford’s mayor, Luke Bronin, featured presentations by eight Israeli startups, including:

Building on the momentum of the Israel event, ITH announced that registration for an ITH InsurTech Ecosystems & Platforms event on December 9, 2021, and for the in-person InsurTech Hartford Symposium in March 2022 are now open. For more information go here.


NAFA Honors Dennis Brown with 2021 Bo Johnson Spirit Award for Positively Impacting the Annuity Industry

NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, recently recognized Dennis Brown, CEO and owner of M&O Marketing, as the winner of its 2021 Bo Johnson Spirit Award for Lifetime Achievement. NAFA’s highest honor goes to an individual with “courage, spirit and determination that challenges the status quo who inspires others to achieve, contributes unselfishly to others, and works ethically and conscientiously to improve the fixed annuity marketplace.” Congrats Dennis!


Brian Sullivan Joins BenefitMall

BenefitMall recently welcomed Brian Sullivan as market director. Sullivan is LAAHU past president. He joined BenefitMall from Humana, where he was market vice president. Congrats on your new role, Brian!


AHU Holiday Events

LAAHU’s holiday party will be Dec. 9, 5pm, at Ceremony Bar in Studio City. More info here.

GGAHU’s holiday party will be Dec. 14, 4-7pm, at Lafayette Library on Mt. Diablo in Lafayette. More info here.

Don’t forget to check with your AHU chapter for other holiday events!


  • SIIA Crowdsource Forum, in person, December 6 – 8, Charleston, SC, Info here.
  • Future of Health, online, Dec 8-9, Save $150 with code CALBROKER. Register here.
  • CAHU Women’s Leadership Summit, in person, March 14-16, 2022, Green Valley Ranch, Las Vegas, Info and registration here.
  • LAAHU Annual Symposium, in person, April 26, Pasadena Convention Center. Info here.
  • BenefitsPro Broker Expo, in person, May 23-25, 2022, Austin, TX. Request more info here. Register here.






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