Look for Increased Use of Mental Health Benefits

University of Southern California researchers, as well as Johns Hopkins researchers, says health care providers need to brace for an increase in mental health needs. The numbers of Americans suffering from mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression have more than tripled during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health published by JAMA. The number of people in the U.S. reporting feelings of anxiety and depression peaked in early April, according to a separate analysis by the USC team. Anyone associated with health care and access to benefits needs to prepare for a much higher rate of mental illness and a demand for services.
COVID-19 Insurer Expenses to Total Billions. But How Many Bs and How Many Lives Still Debatable

Insurers could be forking over between $30 billion to as much as $547 billion due to COVID-19 from 2020 to 2021, a report commissioned by America’s Health Insurance Plans recently concluded. The report by the consulting firm Wakely looked at the utilization of medical services associated with a COVID-19 infection and the related costs. The massive range in possible expenses is because we still can’t accurately predict the future rate of infection. The analysis was restricted to insurers operating in commercial, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid managed care markets. Read the entire study here.

Meanwhile, new research led by a University of Washington, Seattle, researcher says COVID-19 could kill 500,000 Americans in the coming months if as many people contract the virus this year as contracted the seasonal flu last year. The research was published in Health Affairs. 
Researchers acknowledged, however, that their predictions could prove too conservative, mainly because COVID-19 is more contagious than the flu and there’s not yet a vaccine.  Read that study here.

Anthem Extends Help to Providers

Anthem Blue Cross has accelerated payments and other financial support for California health care providers to help ease some of the COVID-related pressures they’re experiencing. Anthem announced it has accelerated more than $600 million in payments to support hospitals, medical groups and doctors who are on the frontlines providing COVID-19 treatment and supplementing critical services in communities across the state. Anthem also recently launched a program to extend additional funding to targeted independent primary care physician organizations and multispecialty groups; and will provide in-network dental providers a personal protective equipment (PPE)credit of $10 per patient, per visit, from June 15 through the end of August.

FINANCIAL PLANNING

Lion Street: Pandemic Brings Heightened Awareness to Wealth Transfer & Biz Plans

Lion Street had quite the turnout its virtual roundtable on June 2. More than 400 financial professionals, including advisors across the country attended from leading financial, accounting and legal firms, attended the roundtable.  Experts Jonathan Blattmachr of Pioneer Wealth, Chris Erblich of Husch Blackwell and Bob Keebler of Keebler & Associates discussed real-life case studies highlighting what planning clients have done during the COVID-19 pandemic. The panelists also discussed how family dynamics during the pandemic have driven wealth transfer and business plans. The recording is now available. Check out a recording of the event here.

LIFE

Life Insurance Market Heats Up

Not sure what this means for our psyches, but perhaps recent event have us taking the need for life insurance more seriously. After two consecutive months of decline during the pandemic quarantine, the MIB Life Index says U.S. life insurance application activity jumped 5.2% YOY in May in what appears to be a V shaped recovery. According to MIB:

The recovery, using month-over-prior month comparisons, was even more impressive — February/March was off -6.7%, March/April off was -5.5%, and April/May bounced back an unprecedented 1.5% in a time period historically off -5% or more as the summer months approach.

Insurtech Co Lemonade Contemplates Life Market

The insurtech company Lemonade, which began by selling renter’s and home owner’s insurance via mobile devices, recently filed for an IPO. In the Initial Public Offering statement, the company says it is contemplating the life market. Lemonade contends that it’s ideally suited to selling to younger consumers as compared to traditional life companies that rely on human brokers.  Read more at ThinkAdvisor.

CONGRATS!

Aflac Named a Top 50 Civic-Minded Company in America

Aflac, a leading provider of supplemental insurance and products in the U.S., has been named a 2020 honoree of The Civic 50 by Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. This marks the third consecutive year that Aflac appears on this important list as one of the Top 50 Civic-Minded Companies in America. Companies making the list are renowned for demonstrating services to their communities including employees, customers and shareholders.

PEOPLE

Singleton CEO LL Global

LL Global, parent company for LIMRA, LOMA and Secure Retirement Institute, announced Mark Singleton will be its new head of Industry Solutions and chief financial officer (CFO), effective immediately. Singleton has held leadership roles in the financial services industry and has more than 25 years of financial management, distribution and operational experience. Most recently, Singleton was president and chief executive officer (CEO) of 5Star Life Insurance Company, the life insurance carrier for the Armed Forces Benefit Association. As 5Star Life’s CEO, Singleton and his team developed a 5-year strategy to capitalize on new growth opportunities, which included new sales and marketing initiatives, resulting in more than $80 million in additional revenue and propelled 5Star Life to one of the top 20 issuers of group life insurance.

EVENTS

  • Don’t forget LAAHU’s Zoom Happy Hour Today 4 p.m.- Special Guest is NAHU’s Dane Rainhard

This is an excellent way to stay connected to colleagues. Dane Rainhard, incoming NAHU president, will be the special guest. NAHU members and non-members alike are invited! Register here.

  • IICF Dialogue on Diversity

Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation is offering Dialogue for Diversity Live! June 25 at 1 p.m. PT. More info and registration here.

  • NAHU Annual Convention will be Virtual in June

National Association of Health Underwriters announced its annual convention will now be virtual and take place on June 28-30, 2020. More info at NAHU’s website.

  • LAAHU Annual Sales Symposium will be Virtual in July

LAAHU’s AdapTech annual conference will be virtual on Friday, July 17, 2020.  Register here. More info at LAAHU’s website.

  • 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.
  • 16th Annual BenefitsPRO Broker Expo 2020 goes forward with August 20-22 date

BenefitsPRO Broker Expo 2020 says the show will go on August 20-22 in Austin, Texas. More info here.

  • CAHU Women’s Leadership Summit Now Rescheduled for March 2021

CAHU’s WLS committee announced that the second Women’s Leadership Summit has been rescheduled for March 24-26, 2021, at the JW Marriott in Las Vegas. Questions should be emailed to info@cahu.org.