Medi-Cal Extends More Help

Medi-Cal, the nation’s largest public health insurance program, will now be able to extend more helping hands to those in need. Federal regulators recently approved a number of Medi-Cal adjustments. Medi-Cal benefits won’t change. However, the “enhanced care management services” will now include a “care coordinator” under Medi-Cal managed care plans. The coordinator will be able to help Medi-Cal members find doctors, schedule appointments and set up medical transportation. The coordinator will also help members understand medications, find mental health services, and locate and apply for community-based services such as housing subsidies or food assistance.

LIFE

Death Rate Astounds Insurer
In life insurance news: the death rate of people ages 18 through 64 is now 40% higher than normal, and well above what life insurer OneAmerica had believed to be the 1-in-200-year-event level. Got more time? Check out ThinkAdvisor’s Allison Bell reporting on more of what J. Scott Davison, the CEO of OneAmerica, said last week at an online press conference.

GET INTERVIEWED

Share What You Know
California Broker taps into the insight of industry movers and shakers with a number of opportunities each year to have their voices heard. Contact Thora Madden (Thora@calbrokermag.com) for more info on this year’s chances, especially if you think a rep from your company or you should be included. Here’s a list of what’s planned for 2022:

February: GA View From the Top
May: Mental Health
June: Pet Insurance (NEW)
July: Dental Carrier Survey
September: Life View From the Top
October: Large Group Round Up
November: Individual & Small Group Round Up
December: Voluntary Benefits

ACQUISITIONS

Integrity Acquires The Diversified Companies
Integrity Marketing Group, LLC, an omnichannel insurtech leader in life, health and wealth solutions, announced it has acquired The Diversified Companies, a leading independent marketing organization based in New Jersey. As part of the acquisition, the Diversified executive team will become managing partners in Integrity. This includes Michael J. Rose, Sr., founder and CEO; Anthony Rose, president and CFO; Michael J. Rose, Jr., CMO; and Daniel Rose, COO. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

SING (Sort of)

CAHU Vanguard Hosts Lip Sync Contest
California Association of Health Underwriters will host a virtual lip sync contest on February 9! You can register to attend the event right here, but we’re pretty sure most of our Insurance Insider readers will want to be CONTESTANTS!! To sign up to compete, go here. Good luck and happy syncing.

THE APPRENTICE

IICF Aims to Help Industry Establish Apprenticeship Programs
The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation will host a webcast titled Connecting Talent with Opportunity: Apprenticeship Program, January 13, 2022. The special one-hour webcast is part of IICF’s ongoing Dialogue for Diversity series. The webcast will feature a panel of experienced managers and a new adopter of the Apprenticeship Program sharing insight on how to establish and build a successful program. Hear authentic testimonials from apprenticeship program graduates now working for Aon and Zurich, along with feedback from a hiring manager.

Attendees will glean valuable tools for getting started or conducting an expansion of an apprenticeship program, including a playbook and access to networks. Register here.

ASSOCIATIONS

NAILBA + Finseca?

NAILBA and Finseca announced that their boards have voted to start the process of looking into a merger. For anyone who has lost track of the acronyms for associations: Finseca is the group formed from the merger of the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting with GAMA International and NAILBA is the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies. A NAILBA rep said that combining with Finseca would give NAILBA’s members the advantage of being part of a larger organization and having a stronger voice. We’ll let you know what happens…

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

Vaccine Mandates, Exemptions & Accommodations 

What is the latest on state and federal vaccine mandates?  What are the exemptions to them, and how are those exemptions being granted or denied? How are employers accommodating employees granted exemptions? All of this will be covered in the next Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC) webinar on Jan. 20, 9am PT. Expert presenters from ReedGroup include: Ashlee Brennan, JD, senior compliance counsel; Robert Dawes, MD, chief medical director and Katarina Niparko, JD, compliance counsel. Go here to register.

FINANCIAL PLANNING

Mark Your Calendar for Will Farrell Award Event
Okay, not that Will Ferrell. You don’t have to be funny to attend! The Will Farrell in question here was actually Will G. Farrell, cofounder of the Life Insurance Committee of the L.A. Chamber  of Commerce. We had to look into that. Anyhow…NAIFA-Los Angeles & Financial Service Professionals-Pasadena are gearing up for the 69th Annual Will G. Farrell Awards event on February 24, 2022. The event will be via Zoom from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm PT.  Go here for more info.

EMAIL TO THE EDITOR

Clearing Things Up: Pfizer Only Approved for EUA

Reader Paula Gallegos from Thousand Oaks reached out to us recently with the following email:

Although it’s been sitting on my desk a while, I just read the article [in the December 2021 California Broker magazine] by Michael Giusti on Vaccinations, p. 12.

A statement in the second paragraph jumped out at me, as it is totally false.  The FDA has never fully approved the Pfizer vaccine.  All shots being given in the US are still Emergency Use Authorization only.  While the FDA has approved the Comirnaty, it is not yet on the market in the US.  This article is very misleading on that point.  I feel a correction is in order.

Thank you for the note, Paula! We always appreciate comments and corrections: editor@calbrokermag.com.

SELF INSURANCE

SIIA Price Transparency Forum to Feature Top Federal Regulatory Staff
The Self Insurance Institute of America (SIIA) has announced that its inaugural Price Transparency Forum is being held February 28 – March 1, 2022, in Dallas, Texas. The focus will be healthcare price transparency. Expect to delve into the opportunities, challenges and needs surrounding the coinciding implementation of the No Surprises Act and the Transparency in Coverage Rules. The following speakers have been confirmed:

  • Deborah Bryant, special advisor for the consumer support group, Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services
  • Matt Litton, Office of Health Plan Standards and Compliance Assistance, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Lindsey Murtagh, director, Market-Wide Regulation Division, Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

The Forum will also feature panels and interactive discussions on different aspects of price transparency for TPAs, brokers, stop-loss carriers, vendors and employers, including surprise billing payment and arbitration strategies, real world examples and strategies, and healthcare payer preparedness.

Early bird registration discount is available through January 13, 2022.  For complete event and registration details, click here. For exhibit/sponsorship opportunities, contact Justin Miller at jmiller@siia.org.

EVENTS

  • National African American Insurance Association Anniversary Year Kick Off Event, online, Jan 18, 8-10am PT. Info here.
  • You Powered Benefits Symposium, in person, Feb 6-9, Phoenix. Info here.
  • NAIFA-LA & FSP-Pasadena Will G. Farrell Awards Event, online, Feb 24, Info 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.