Daily Insurance Report  
Walt Bernard Podgurski,  Editor,  440-773-1108, 

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Editorial Mission Statement: The goal of this publication is to provide readers a broad selection of what is being written about the insurance industry and related issues. Some articles may have a “tilt” towards a particular perspective one way or another. Inclusion in this newsletter is not an endorsement of any views or content; but report the various and differing views appearing in media.
  Daily Insurance ReportThursday, 07/19/18

Exclusive: SoFi teams up with Ladder to offer revamped life insurance
Social Finance (SoFi), the fintech unicorn best known for its lending products, today began offering life insurance to customers through a partnership with Ladder, a Palo Alto, California, startup. Customers who sign up for the co-branded service will be eligible for fully underwritten term life coverage worth up to $8 million. Most will get a policy quote instantly, sidestepping the hassle of a doctor’s appointment.
SoFi previously offered life insurance to its 500,000-plus members through Protective. But the customer experience was relatively traditional, and the value of connecting the service to SoFi was unclear. With Ladder, SoFi customers will be able to increase or decrease their coverage over time, as their needs change. SoFi, with its knowledge of customers’ overall finances, will be well-positioned to recommend such adjustments. (Developing an overall “advice” solution is a top-priority for the company.)
Since the start of the year, SoFi has been moving quickly to realize its vision of becoming a true financial hub. Last month, the company unveiled SoFi Money, a mobile-first checking and savings product. Meanwhile, newly installed CEO Anthony Noto, a former Twitter executive, has been talking with bankers about raising $500 million in debt to pursue acquisitions, according to the Wall Street Journal.

High Dollar Claims Rise by 87% in Employer-Sponsored Stop-Loss Insurance
The number of claims on employer-sponsored stop-loss insurance topping a million dollars increased dramatically between 2014 and 2017.
Million dollar claims for employer-sponsored stop-loss insurance grew by 87 percent over four years.
By Thomas Beaton / Health Payer Intelligence
The number of employer-sponsored stop-loss insurance claims of $1 million or more grew by 87 percent from 2014 to 2017, according to a new analysis from Sun Life Financial.
Over the four-year period, 634 employees with $1 million claims cost stop-loss insurers $935.3 million. Most claims ranged between $1 and $1.5 million per individual, but 21 claims exceeded $2 million and a handful topped $3 million each.
The top five conditions that result in million-dollar claims include leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, congenital anomalies, and malignant tumors.
High-cost injectable treatments and blood infusions for cancers and rare blood diseases also drove claims costs over the million-dollar mark.
“Of the total $935.3 million in claims attributed to members with more than a million dollars in claims between 2014 and 2017, 6.6 percent (or $61.5 million) were for high-cost injectables,” the team said.

Examining Supreme Court Nominee Kavanaugh’s Health Care Opinions
Timothy S. Jost / The Commonwelath Fund
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has not staked out a strong ideological position in his major health law opinions
Judge Kavanaugh has made it clear that he supports a more expansive role for the courts
Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, has served on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for more than a decade. In this capacity, he has written opinions in a number of cases involving controversial health care issues. In only one did Judge Kavanaugh write for the majority; the others were dissenting opinions.
This post analyzes Judge Kavanaugh’s opinions in the five major health law cases in which he has been involved. It then discusses what we can learn from these opinions as to how Judge Kavanaugh might decide health care disputes as a Supreme Court Justice.

Integrate Your Business Applications to Achieve Maximum Impact and Enjoy These 4 Benefits
You'll boost employee productivity, improve your access to real-time data and respond more quickly and effectively to customer complaints.
Brian Hughes, GUEST WRITER, CEO of Integrity Marketing & Consulting / Entrepreneur
So, what are your integration options?
There are two basic options for integrating your software applications: hiring someone to create a custom integration system or utilizing an existing platform.
The option of a custom-integration system makes sense for small companies that use only a few common applications. However, there are three challenges with this choice.
First, it is expensive, since creating a customized process will take significant time.
Second, it is difficult to maintain because only your developer knows how everything fits together.
Third, it is difficult to scale as your business grows.
Regarding the third challenge: A custom program can’t plug in new applications or expanded versions of existing ones. If you are starting small and plan to stay that way, this may be a good choice, but it isn’t if you anticipate growth.
There are several integrated platforms to choose from, such as Workato, MuleSoft and Red Hat JBoss Fuse; these are specifically priced and scaled to serve small-to-midsize businesses. Each integrates internal and/or out-of-the-box third-party software systems to achieve the productivity, efficiency, data access and customer support services you need.
The platforms are structured for quick implementation and ease of use. Pricing varies, but each can add, update or remove software programs as needed.

4 takeaway questions as the Senate looks at healthcare costs
By Susannah Luthi
The Senate health panel on Tuesday grappled with how new policies could curb the ever-increasing costs of the U.S. health system. The lawmakers came away with several questions that likely will recur as the federal government pushes forward with the shift to value-based care.
From standardized "care products" to benchmark pricing, here are four issues lawmakers and witnesses raised as they try to rein in spending that is set to reach 20% of gross domestic product within the next decade.
1. Does the government need to standardize care for value-based models to work?L
2. What is fraud and what is waste?
3. How can concierge care and direct provider contracts help keep down administrative costs?
4. Who is responsible for social determinants of health?

BenefitMall Announces Partnership with ePayAdvisors
PRNewswire / The Virginia Pilot
BenefitMall, the leading provider of employee benefits and payroll services, announces a new partnership with ePayAdvisors, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ePayResources, one of the nation's largest regional payment associations. With this partnership, BenefitMall will become ePayAdvisors' payroll partner for financial institutions seeking to expand their product offerings.
The ePayAdvisors partnership will allow BenefitMall to help local and community financial institutions with payroll, benefits, HR and compliance needs. This partnership also benefits ePayAdvisors with the ability to offer payroll as a service to their business clients, in turn making them more competitive in their business offerings. Most importantly, financial institutions will be able to retain existing clients by expanding their product offerings.

UZIO and Transamerica Team Up for a Strategic Alliance in the Benefits Space
PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- UZIO (powered by hCentive), a leader in the benefits marketplace, has announced a strategic alliance with Transamerica, a powerful provider in the employee benefits space.
Transamerica introduces a portfolio of employee benefits in UZIO's marketplace that will compliment employers' healthcare offerings by offsetting deductibles and other expenses that health insurance alone may not cover.
Through this collaboration, UZIO's broker community will be able to streamline their voluntary benefits offering and will provide incremental value to their clients.
John Stanley, Managing Director of Transamerica Employee Benefits, says "Transamerica is focused on empowering employees to focus on their wealth and health. UZIO's platform provides benefit brokers and consultants with access to enrollment, communication and decision support tools to help employees better manage the benefits selection process."
With UZIO's strategic approach in the market, this collaboration aims to simplify the distribution and management of health insurance, ancillary benefits, and other HR needs such as compliance, payroll, onboarding and more.

EXCLUSIVE: Reward Gateway acquires US employee engagement specialist Brand Integrity
By Abbey Bryant / employee benefits (UK)
EXCLUSIVE: Global employee engagement and HR technology provider Reward Gateway announced today (17 July 2018) that it has acquired Brand Integrity, an employee engagement specialist operating from Rochester, New York.
Brand Integrity, founded in 2002, is an employee engagement technology and consulting organisation that works with clients across 25 industries, including Rite-Aid, Constellation Brands and Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. These will now be added to Reward Gateway’s client roster, which includes IBM, Macdonald’s, Unilever and Samsung.
The acquisition will more than double Reward Gateway’s team in the US. The combined group will operate under the Reward Gateway brand, with more than 400 employees, servicing 1,800 clients and 4 million end-users globally. The deal value was not announced, but comprised cash and stock.

Buncombe County to receive more than $2M connected to Wanda Greene case
by Stephanie Santostasi / News 13
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) — As Buncombe County gets money back that's connected to the Wanda Greene case, the government says that when Greene was county manager, she spent more than $2 million on illegal life insurance policies for county employees.
"Of that approximately $2,310,000, six hundred thousand was used to purchase insurance for the benefit of Ms. Greene and her son," said attorney Ron Payne.
The county says all of the recipients, except for Wanda Greene and her son, Michael Greene, signed their policies back over to the county, meaning the county owned the policies.

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