Adding pet insurance to voluntary benefits can round out your clients’ offerings to workers with fur babies. This is especially popular with Millennials, but don’t count out the baby boomers with multiple pets, along with grandkids!
Get a head start with this Forbes Advisor Guide to the Best Pet Insurance of 2022
There’s also another approach with United Pet Care’s alternative or complement to traditional pet insurance. UPC offers employer’s a value-conscious, inclusive program at no cost to the employer. Link here.
With pet insurance popularity rising, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) passed a Pet Insurance Model Act to establish appropriate regulatory standards for the pet insurance industry. Now a significant market, pet insurance annual premiums have reached $2.8 billion in total in-force premiums in 2021 (up over 30.5% from $2.175 billion in 2020). According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, over 4.41 million insured pets are insured across North America, up 27.7% from over 3.45 million pets insured in 2020
“This model law establishes clear rules for the sale of pet insurance and provides important disclosures to pet owners interested in purchasing this product,” said Beth Dwyer, Superintendent of Insurance for the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation. “Now, it is up to the states to see if they would like to adopt or modify the model law for this regulatory framework to be in effect.”
Of particular note for agents and brokers: The model codifies training for insurance producers to ensure that producers are appropriately prepared to present information to consumers.
Employees Want Help with health insurance enrollment
A Harris Poll survey of over 1,000 U.S. employees showed 82% considered themselves knowledgeable of the health insurance enrollment process, but 53% didn’t feel like they were maximizing their health insurance options and 54% didn’t know the full scope of their health coverage.
The survey was commissioned by Justworks. It shows that more education is needed, with more than half surveyed know how to define a deductible or incorrectly thought that the deductible is defined as how much their health plans pay for their healthcare services (54%).
Results show an opportunity for agents and brokers to help employers and their staff navigate the enrollment process.
- 72% indicated that they wanted someone to point them toward the best health plan for their situations
- 44% were not comfortable discussing their coverage options with a human resources representative
- 47% leaned on their friends and family members for enrollment support.
- Nearly three out of ten respondents said that the process made them feel overwhelmed (29%)
- Almost a quarter said that enrollment made them stressed (24%).
Full Story: Health Payer Intelligence
Maternal Mortality Crisis Must Be Averted!
U.S. is worst high-income nation for Black, Native American and rural women
Recognizing the critical need for immediate change, senior Biden administration officials held summits and traveled around the country over the past year, gathering information from doulas, midwives and mothers about childbirth experiences. The effort produced a 70-page report on how the U.S. can improve its maternal mortality rates, especially for underserved populations.
“Is the federal initiative is enough to accomplish the administration’s goal? Maternal health experts are skeptical. As the only high-income nation that doesn’t guarantee access to provider home visits or paid parental leave in the postpartum period, the obstacles are formidable. Experts and the administration acknowledge that addressing maternal mortality means understanding the effects imposed on expectant mothers by racism, housing policy, policing, climate change and pollution.“
Full Story: The Washington Post
More Businesses Now Eligible for Employee Retention Credit (ERC)
Do You or Your Clients Qualify?
What is the ERC? Congress introduced the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) as part of the CARES Act to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll during the pandemic. The ERC gives eligible employers payroll tax credits for wages and health insurance paid to employees in 2020 and 2021 – up to $5,000 per employee for 2020 and up to $7,000 per employee per quarter for Q1 – Q3 in 2021. Similarly, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was made available to assist businesses keep their workforce employed during the crisis. Originally, employers were only allowed to claim one or the other – either ERC or PPP. Following amendments to the CARES Act, eligible employers may now claim an ERC, even if they received a PPP loan. Read article
Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment Projected to be 9.6%
Seniors will be happy about this one! The Social Security cost-of-living adjustment for 2023 could be as high as 9.6%, almost a full point lower than the 10.5% the Senior Citizens League predicted in July. This would be the largest increase in more than 40 years, and the average retiree benefit would grow from $1,656 to $1,815. Read more.
Coverage gaps common after leaving Medicaid, CHIP
An opportunity for brokers? Just 3% of individuals who disenrolled from Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program in 2018 transitioned to Affordable Care Act exchange coverage within 12 months, according to a study by the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission. Researchers examined enrollment data from the ACA markets, Medicaid and CHIP between 2017 and 2019, and they found that for most people who did transition from public programs to ACA plans experienced a gap in coverage, and gaps were prolonged for consumers of racial and ethnic minority groups. More here.
People with dental insurance recognize the emotional and financial benefits that come with having coverage, according to Delta Dental’s 2022 State of America’s Oral Health and Wellness Report.
New Approach to Health Insurance Offered by UHC’s Surest
Surest members show improved satisfaction
UnitedHealthcare’s Surest offers a new approach to health benefits that removes deductibles and provides clear upfront pricing information to people in advance of treatment. Surest, introduced initially in 2016 as Bind, has the fastest growth rate among UnitedHealthcare’s employer-sponsored plans. UnitedHealthcare offers Surest to employers nationwide with self-funded health plans. Surest plans enable members to review single, all-in prices for more than 490 services before receiving care. Plans offer up to 15% lower health care costs for employers and reduced member out-of-pocket expenses by up to 44%. Read more.
Humanize Your Hiring Process—Here’s Why and How
No more cover letters
Would this yield better results for your recruiting? The nonprofit Leading Edge took on the task of completely redesigning how they recruit and hire employees to attract the best and ensure these new recruited experienced their values in company interactions. What they did could be a model for others.
Voyager Consulting teamed up with Leading Edge and recommended a radical change: bye bye to cover letters. Many organizations require cover letters and judge applicants based on how well they write them — even if writing letters has nothing to do with the job. Instead of cover letters, Leading Edge is asking each candidate to submit a video introduction, which lets them show other forms of intelligence and personality and gives hiring managers a more multi-dimensional picture of applicants. Read more.
New Workplace Models Revealed
Research finds remote workers happier than on-site
Open office’ structures with no cubicles used to be the trend. Now it’s given way to: No office at all! The July 2022 Future Forum Pulse Summer Snapshot found that home office workers say they are more satisfied with their flexibility (39 percent), work environment (35.4 percent), and work-life balance (33.2 percent) than those who work in their employer’s office.
On site workers had the lowest satisfaction for flexibility (18.1 percent), work environment (21.6 percent), and work-life balance (17.1 percent). Hybrid workers fell in the middle. The number of knowledge workers who want to be in the office full-time dropped to 20%, the lowest point in two years of surveying. Although inflation often leads to increased wages, some employers are offering more remote work due to its high “amenity value” rather than raising salaries, the researchers note. Read more
- IEAHU, OCAHU & SDAHU Senior Summit, Aug 23-25, Pechanga resort and casino, Temecula, Calif. In person. There’s still time! Although online registration is closed, walk ins are welcome! Registration is $299 at the door. Come join us! More info here. 3-day agenda here.
- Ellevate Women’s Leadership 2023 Summit March 13-15, 2/23. JW Marriott just outside Las Vegas. Register
- Women In Financial Services (WIFS) End Of Summer Lunch & Winery Tour, Sun., Aug. 28 at 1:00 at San Antonio Winery, RSVP to email@example.com by Friday, Aug. 26.
- WIFS-Los Angeles & NAIFA-Los Angeles present “Bust Those Myths About Life Insurance” as part of Life Insurance Awareness Month. Thurs. Sept. 8, 2022 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. PST by Zoom. Register
- LAAHU 7th Annual Medicare Symposium, Sept. 15, Burbank Marriott Hotel, Register
- NAIC Insurance 2022 Summit (in person & virtual), Sept.19-23, Kansas City. Register
- InsurTech Connect: The Future of Insurance is Here, Sept. 20-22, Las Vegas. Info here
- CAHIP Virtual Medicare Event, Sept. 20 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Register
- WIFS National Conference, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, in person, Phoenix, Arizona. Info here
- National African-American Insurance Association (NAAIA) 2022 Annual Conference & Empowerment Summit, Oct. 5-7, in person. Baltimore, MD.
- Self Insurance Institute of America (SIIA) ENGAGE National Conference & Expo, October 9-11, 2022 in Phoenix. Info: (800)851-7789 www.siiaconferences.org
- Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association (LIMRA) 2022 Annual Conference, Chicago on Oct. 16 – 18, 2022. Register
September is Life Insurance Awareness Month and the Cover Story for our print magazine.
Nearly 1 in 3 consumers say they are more likely to purchase life insurance because of COVID-19. Look for more in your mailbox in September.
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