Look To The Future

Cal Broker Invites You…

We’re gearing up for 2022 and want to add new ideas and new contributors to the editorial calendar. Please reach out if you’re interested in contributing articles on health insurance, life insurance and financial planning! Email us at editor@calbrokermag.com.

Want to know more about the magazine? Read about our recent reader survey here.

Also take a look at the September issue, where you can find articles from Alan Katz on the history of the publication and from Phil Calhoun on benefits to writing for the magazine.

INDUSTRY FUTURE


Society of Actuaries Contribute $150k to Mentorship for Future Actuaries

The Actuarial Foundation (Foundation) announced the generous sponsorship of the Society of Actuaries (SOA) for the Foundation’s STEM STARS Actuarial Scholars Pilot Program. This support will help the Foundation launch the first cohort with its primary goal to break down the barriers to enter the profession for high school students and to support them during their college journey.

The pilot program will consist of a cohort of 20 high school juniors and seniors. Four student support groups formed by the Foundation, including a Corporate Advisory Council, Scholarship Mentors, University Partnerships and Applications Review will create a community of volunteers and partners committed to these students’ success. Each of these support groups will provide students with academic tutoring, social rapport, mentoring, career placement and peer encouragement that they need to be successful on their pathway to becoming actuaries.

The STEM STARS Actuarial Scholar Pilot Program will also leverage two of the Foundation’s most successful national programs, the Math Motivators Tutoring Program and The Modeling the Future Challenge to engage teachers, students and guidance counselors. Look for more information about the STEM STARS Actuarial Scholars Pilot Program coming soon at www.actuarialfoundation.org.

NAAIA Leadership Development Series

Check out the National African-American Insurance Association Leadership Development Series on September 14-15. The two-day event will facilitate learning, professional development and career success. They have some great speakers with fascinating discussion topics lined up! More info and registration here.

HEALTH


Covered Cal Announces Special Enrollment for COBRA People

Covered California announced a special-enrollment period for Californians who will soon be losing the federal financial help that’s allowed them to continue receiving health insurance through COBRA. Under one provision of the American Rescue Plan, Californians have been eligible for financial help that pays 100% of their COBRA premiums from April 1 through Sept. 30. When the American Rescue Plan’s COBRA subsidies cease at the end of September, consumers who are still eligible to continue their COBRA coverage can choose to pay the full premium or switch to Covered California. Covered California estimates that 138,000 people will be losing their COBRA subsidies and will be eligible to enroll.

Far More Insured Americans, Yet Still Most Have Private Insurance

Early data from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention show that about 1.6 million more Americans had some form of health insurance coverage despite the pandemic last year. The number of insured was assisted in large part by enrollment growth in government-sponsored health plans, yet the majority of insured people are still covered by private insurance. Estimates based on a household survey by the statistics division of CDC showed that a total of 31.6 million, or 9.7% of Americans of all ages, were uninsured last year. That’s down from a whopping 33.2 million in 2019. The number of people with public health insurance coverage grew by 2.1 million to 123.5 million in 2020. People with private health insurance grew by 1.9 million to 200.6 million.

RATES

Forecasting  Health Premiums

The American Academy of Actuaries has published an issue brief examining what’s driving changes in individual and small group markets health insurance rates for 2022. Key conclusions of the brief, which was developed by the Academy’s Individual and Small Group Markets Committee, include:

  • As more information is available on how COVID-19 has and could continue to affect healthcare spending, carriers are more likely to include adjustments in their 2022 rates.
  • Issues surrounding the pandemic continue to be a consideration for rate setting, including how the pandemic may affect regional variations in hospital utilization, the cost of vaccinations and need for booster shots, how and where members seek or delay medical care, and utilization for mental health services and telemedicine.
  • Uncertainties remain regarding how the potential ending of the public health emergency and the enhanced premium subsidies available through the American Rescue Plan Act will affect plan enrollment and spending.

Read the full issue brief: Drivers of 2022 Health Insurance Premium Changes.

GAMBLE FOR GOOD CAUSE

IICF Virtual Casino Night Tomorrow!

Deal yourself in tomorrow — Thursday, Sept. 9, from 4:30 – 6:30p.m. PT! The 2021 IICF Western Division Virtual Casino Night will convene the insurance community for a live virtual gaming event including blackjack and roulette, along with industry networking, with the goal of raising more than $100,000 for nonprofit organizations supporting children at risk, education and human services. The top chip winner of the evening will be offered the opportunity to direct a $1,000 grant to the nonprofit of their choice. The event will also feature a Peloton Bike+ Raffle. Valued at $2,500, donations to win a Peloton Bike+ are: 10 for $100; 3 for $50; 1 for $20. Winner will be announced live at the event (individual need not be present). For tickets, please contact Melissa-Anne Duncan, Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation Western Division Executive Director, at: maduncan@iicf.com or (714) 870-1084 or visit https://give.iicf.org/ge/casino21.

LIFE


LIMRA & SOA Team Up

LIMRA and the Society of Actuaries (SOA) Research Institute announced a new three-year partnership to collect and process data to be used in industry-wide experience studies.

“COVID-19 has demonstrated how quickly the insurance industry can be disrupted. In order to develop the products and features that will best serve the emerging needs of the market, insurers require a more real-time feedback loop for mortality and other experience data,” said Marianne Purushotham, FSA, MAAA, corporate vice president, LIMRA Data Analytic Services. “Our partnership with the SOA Research Institute will enable our organizations to provide the industry with new, more robust insights that will help the industry be nimble and responsive to the dynamic changes the industry is facing.”

LIMRA and the SOA Research Institute are planning studies for the remainder of 2021 and into 2022. From this partnership, one of the first studies will focus on U.S. life industry products. Future projects may cover life, health and retirement sectors. The study data collected will be processed and housed within LIMRA’s data processing infrastructure.

PANDEMIC FALL OUT


Babies Postponed

The U.S. Social Security Administration reported that the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the total fertility rate declining to its lowest level in U.S. history. Total fertility rate (number of births a woman is projected to have in a lifetime) is 1.54 this year.Research suggests, however, that babies were simply postponed during the pandemic. The fertility rate is expected to rise to about 1.64 next year, officials said. Read more about the research here.

BEAUTY


Thanks, Nationwide!

We’ve been meaning to mention this…kudos to whoever secured Jill Scott to sing on those Nationwide insurance commercials. What a pleasure to see this talented woman and hear her incredible voice!

EVENTS

  • American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance, National Medicare Supplement Insurance Industry Summit, Sept 8-10, in person at Schaumburg Convention Center, Chicago area. Info here.
  • NAIC 2021 Summit Part 2, virtual Sept 13-17, Info and register here.
  • DCAHU Senior Summit, in person Sept 16, Register here.
  • NAIFA/LAAHU 15th Annual Health Forum, virtual Sept 24, Register here.
  • LAAHU Medicare AEP Kickoff, in person September 30. Sponsorship info here. Register here.
  • SIIA 41st Annual National Educational Conference & Expo, In-Person & Virtual, October 3 – 5, JW Marriott, Austin, TX. Register & secure room NOW! Hotel is nearly sold out. Info here.