Pandemic Spotlights Need for Consumer Insurance Ed

Here’s a real opportunity to make your clients happy and insurance smarter! A new survey  from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) shows that, overall, 47% of consumers surveyed say they don’t understand what their health insurance plans will pay for when it comes to coronavirus testing and treatment. And of the respondents who have been tested or treated for coronavirus, 34% of them say they received a bill that they expected their health insurance to cover.

NAIC says that the survey results point to shortcomings by insurance companies, insurance regulators, health care providers and — dare we add– agents/brokers in making cost information clear to consumers. From NAIC:

The health insurance knowledge gap goes beyond the pandemic to understanding basic health insurance plan features. Nearly one-third (32%) of consumers surveyed didn’t know how much their health insurance deductibles were and 25% weren’t aware of their co-pay amounts. The knowledge gap is even wider among younger consumers: 45% of those ages 18 to 29 didn’t know their deductibles and 39% didn’t know their co-pay amounts. For younger respondents, there is also confusion around what these basic health insurance terms mean. Over half (51%) of surveyed 18-29 year-olds could not accurately define what a deductible is and almost half (48%) couldn’t correctly define what a copay is.

Check out the survey. Perhaps you can use this info in your next client communication and make your clients real health insurance smarties.

CAHU Summit Changes LAAHU Happy Hour — Just this week!
We hope you’re enjoying the CAHU Summit today. Because of the Summit, there’s been a slight change to the LAAHU happy hour schedule…LAAHU’s Zoom happy hour will now be on Oct. 14 from 4 to 5p.m. The LAAHU happy hour is great way to meet other professionals in the industry. Space is limited. Register here.

Advocates For Civility and Moral Leadership

Are you nostalgic for the old handshake days? Check out this TedTalk by Regan political appointee Shelby Scarbrough, author of Civility Rules!: Creating A Purposeful Practice Of Civility. Scarbrough says that now more than ever we need a refresher course on basic social graces. Yep! Over at the Ford Foundation, Darren Walker says it’s imperative that we insist on moral leadership.

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

PayPro Launches ‘Let’s Chat Pat’, $0 Set Up for Ease & More

PayPro Administrators has been busy! PayPro has been working since January on the rollout of the new platform for Account Based Plans. From the company:

FSA, HSA and HRAs are housed in a single platform allowing for multiple accounts, separate debit card purses, and a personalized experience for both plan sponsors and participants.

In October, PayPro also launched “Let’s Chat Pat”, which utilizes AI technology to provide quick answers and 24/7 help for participants. The technology platform includes employer role based technology, an uptime of 99.999%, a mobile and participant portal and more.  In addition, PayPro Administrators announced its moving to $0 set up fees and $0 maintenance fees for Ease. The fee change goes on a prospective basis effective November 1, 2020 and will automatically be applied to both current clients and those clients of the future. Even more news: PayPro Administrators also says it is eliminating fees for EDI maintenance. Get info here.

MEDICARE

Walmart Selling Medicare Plans

We’re not sure many agents will appreciate this, but Walmart shoppers might…The retail giant will now sell Medicare insurance plans. From Walmart:

We’re building on our commitment of offering quality health services at low, transparent prices by launching Walmart Insurance Services, LLC, a licensed insurance brokerage, which will assist people with enrolling in insurance plans—and simplify what’s historically been a cumbersome, confusing process. Walmart Insurance Services will begin selling Medicare insurance plans during this year’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), Oct. 15 through Dec. 7.

At launch, Walmart Insurance Services will provide Medicare plans (Part D, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans) offered by Humana, UnitedHealthcare, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Amerigroup, Simply Health, Wellcare (Centene), Clover Health and Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The company says carriers may be added in the future. Walmart Insurance Services is licensed in all 50 states, plus Washington D.C., and has built a team of licensed insurance agents.

Aetna Says 2021 Plans Focus on Total Health

Aetna , a CVS Health company, recently announced its 2021 Medicare offerings. The offerings feature increased integration with CVS Health; expanded and differentiated Medicare Advantage plan options, including HMO and Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan offerings in new states; new Aetna Medicare Eagle plans designed especially for Veterans; and the lowest premium standalone prescription drug plan product in all 50 states and D.C. They are also now using U.S. figure skater Dorothy Hamill as a new Medicare spokesperson. More info here.

MENTAL HEALTH

CHE Behavioral Announces Agreements with Dozen+ California Insurers to Cover Telehealth

San Diego-based CHE Behavioral Health Services announced that telehealth treatments are now covered for millions of California residents. CHE launched its telehealth platform in response to the overwhelming mental health needs arising from the COVID-19 crisis – telehealth appointments have skyrocketed by 3900% in California. CHE, which has historically provided behavioral health services in skilled nursing facilities, is now able to reach patients who are 21 years and older with its virtual psychotherapy. The California insurance companies that currently approve telehealth appointments from CHE professionals include but are not limited to:

  • Medicare/Medi-Cal
  • Aetna Health
  • Anthem CA
  • Blue Shield of CA
  • CareMore Health
  • Cenpatico
  • Cigna
  • Humana
  • IEHP
  • Magellan
  • MHN-Healthnet
  • Molina Health Plan
  • UMWA
  • Universal Care-Brand New Day
  • Scripps Health
  • Sharp Healthcare

For those covered, virtual psychotherapy is available at little to no cost.  Appointments can be scheduled by visiting the company website at https://www.cheservices.com/telehealth.

LTC

What’s Up with LTC?

Insure.com recently assessed the coronavirus’ effect on long-term care insurance. Researchers evaluated changes to the application and approval process as well as pricing.

Since COVID-19 emerged, Insure.com says LTC has experienced the following changes:

  • Many insurers temporarily restricted applications for coverage and required additional steps in their application process.
  • Some insurers declined applications from people in their late 60s or older.
  • Other insurers reduced the maximum age for benefits to as low as 65.
  • Many insurers required applicants to wait 3 to 6 months after a negative COVID-19 test before applying for a policy.
  • Long-term care insurers expedited younger applicants’ applications, in some cases.
  • Some insurers are charging between 5% to 50% more for coverage and are reducing spousal discounts by as much as half.
  • Filing long-term care claims has become more complicated.

For the entire report, read: How COVID-19 is affecting long-term care insurance.

FINANCIAL PLANNING

In Case You Want to Read About Student Loan Defaults
LendEDU recently published its second annual student loan default rate report. With just-released data from the Department of Education, LendEDU listed default rates at nearly 4,500 colleges and used this data to analyze statewide and school-type trends. For-profit institutions had the highest collective student loan default rate (14.70%), followed by public institutions (9.30%), and private institutions (6.70%).

EVENTS

  • LAAHU’s Zoom Happy Hour is usually the first Wednesday of the month from 4-5p.m but because of the CAHU Summit it has moved to Oct. 14! Members and nonmembers welcome. Register here.
  • SIIA National Conference & Expo, Virtual, Oct. 12-14

Self Insurance Institute of America will host the world’s largest self-insurance event with nearly 50 educational sessions planned – several live with an interactive format and others available on-demand. The event will also feature a virtual exhibit hall with nearly 100 companies showcasing their products and services. Registration fees now as low as $495. Info and registration here.

  • 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.

  • IICF Inclusion in Insurance Forum, Virtual, October 27 – 29

The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation will convene insurance professionals, C-Suite executives, D&I leaders and other innovators for the IICF Inclusion in Insurance Forum, an action-oriented program with a focus on the future of work in the insurance industry. Gain insights and plans for acting on inclusion, diversity and innovation initiatives from respected leaders representing the industry, academia and other areas of business. Each virtual session will run approximately 2-1/2 hours, starting at 9a.m. Pacific.Register here.

  • NAIC  Fall National Meeting, Virtual, Dec 3-9

The agenda for the 2020 NAIC Fall National Meeting is now available. The schedule includes interactive sessions, as well as a special session that will be held by The Center for Insurance Policy and Research (CIPR). Meeting registration opened September 25, and the registration fee is $495. As a reminder, unused registration fee credits received from the cancelled 2020 Spring National Meeting may be applied to the registration fees for the 2020 Fall National Meeting. Register here.

  • CAHU Women’s Leadership Summit will now be April 7-9, 2021!

The latest news from CAHU’s WLS committee is that the CAHU Women’s Leadership Summit will now take place April 7 –9, 2021, at Green Valley Ranch in Las Vegas. Questions should be emailed to info@cahu.org.