‘Tis the Season!

Please check with your AHU chapter for holiday events. Here are two we’ve been told about:

LAAHU’s holiday party will be Dec. 9, 5pm, at Ceremony Bar in Studio City. More info here.

GGAHU’s holiday party will be Dec. 14, 4-7pm, at Lafayette Library on Mt. Diablo in Lafayette. More info here.

MENTAL HEALTH

Lawmakers Push for Shorter Waits for Mental Health Services

A new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in October aims to fix the problem of long wait time for mental health services in the state.  According to KHN:

Senate Bill 221, which passed the state legislature with a nearly unanimous vote, requires health insurers across the state to reduce wait times for mental health care to no more than 10 business days. Six other states — including Colorado, Maryland and Texas — have similar laws limiting wait times.

Read the whole story here.

FINANCIAL PLANNING

MDRT Finds Knowlege Gap Between People With and Without Planners

A recent MDRT study is interesting. The results aren’t super surprising but still worth noting. In a nutshell, people with advisors are more educated about finances. The study found that 64% of individuals with a financial advisor report having intermediate or advanced financial knowledge compared with the 25% of individuals who have never had one.
The study examined how uneven financial knowledge and emerging economic concerns are affecting both those with and without financial advisors:
  • 49% of Americans who have never had a financial advisor report having no working knowledge of investing or personal finance in comparison with just 7% of those working with a financial advisor.
  • 66% of Americans with financial advisors report owning stocks and bonds while only 22% of individuals who have never had an advisor report owning these investments.
  • 68% of Americans are worried about the impacts of inflation on their personal finances in the next few years.

COVID

Worst Cities for COVID?

ThinkAdvisor is at it again with the lists. This time it’s the 5 Worst Cities for COVID-19 Cases. We’ll tell you right now that no California city ranks! The list includes Philly, Boston and Virginia Beach. Check out the slide show here.

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

Vote Now for You Powered Symposium Awards

The You Powered Benefits Symposium will take place Feb 6-9 at the Camby Hotel in Phoenix, AZ. Naama O. Pozniak will lead meditation for the opening of the symposium. But right now voting is open for the You Powered Symposium Awards! You’ll certainly recognize some of the nominees. Click here to get your votes in! Categories include: most innovative health care consultant, most influential industry personality, most creative social strategy, most outspoken advocate, most valuable health plan partner, industry emerging leader, newcomer of the year, and most influential organization. You Powered is also taking votes for best-dressed, which we think Naama will win hands down (no offense to the others)! Vote here. Info on the Feb symposium here.

INNOVATION

Aflac Recognized as Innovator

Congrats to Aflac. The company has been ranked No. 15 in the 2021 American Innovation Index™ (Aii) and No. 1 in the life and disability insurance category. The Aii is a joint project with Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business and the Norwegian School of Economics and is unique in that it measures innovation from the customer’s point of view rather than relying on expert opinions. This is the fourth time Aflac has been named to the prestigious list.

LIFE

LIMRA Says Life is Up

Total life insurance new annualized premium grew 18% in the third quarter, representing the third consecutive quarter of double-digit growth, according to LIMRA’s Third Quarter U.S. Retail Life Insurance Sales Survey.

Year to date, total new premium increased 18%, representing the largest growth recorded for nine months in 25 years. Our research shows all product lines recorded positive gains in premium in the third quarter and year-to-date.

While overall policy sales were level with prior year (which were up 7% in third quarter 2020), the number of policies sold year-to-date was 5% higher than in the first three quarters of 2020. Except for term products, all products experienced growth in policy sales in the third quarter, and — for the first time in at least 25 years  — every major product line logged increased in policy sales in the first nine months of 2021.

Variable universal life (VUL) new annualized premium doubled in the third quarter, up 104%, and recorded the greatest growth in terms of absolute dollars. While protection-focused product sales — which have driven growth earlier in the year — increased 46% in the quarter, accumulation-focused product sales growth was also strong, up three-fold from third quarter 2020 results.

Year-to-date, VUL new annualized premium increased 78%. VUL market share was 13% in the third quarter, five percentage points higher than a year ago and nearly double pre-pandemic levels.

PHARMACY

What Does CVS Closures Mean to Drug World?

CVS recently announced it will close 900 of its retail pharmacies. Adam Fein at Drug Channels says the move is a harbinger of important pharmacy world trends, including slow retail prescription growth, low generic prices and potential policy changes. Of course, your opinion on whether any of this  is good or bad probably depends on where you stand in the industry. Read the whole post here.

EVENTS

  • SIIA Crowdsource Forum, in person, December 6 – 8, Charleston, SC, Info here.
  • Future of Health, online, Dec 8-9, Save $150 with code CALBROKER. Register here.
  • You Powered Benefits Symposium, in person, Feb 6-9, Phoenix. 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.