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.
  Wednesday, 02/19/20 - https://DailyInsuranceReport.com 

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Bank of America Eyes Growth in Employee Benefits as Morgan Stanley Ramps Up
By Lananh Nguyen | Bloomberg / The Washington Post

Bank of America Corp. is seeking to become a one-stop shop for employee benefits.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender is uniting its offerings for employers -- including retirement, health care savings, equity and deferred-compensation plans -- alongside its traditional banking and investing services. It’s also on a path to hire about 150 specialists in employee benefits across the U.S. for its combined Financial Life Benefits services.

“Companies are begging us to help their employees every day,” Lorna Sabbia, Bank of America’s head of retirement and personal wealth solutions, said at a briefing in New York. At the same time, “employees are stressed out” and seeking better tools to manage their finances, she said.

The push comes as Morgan Stanley aims to attract new wealth-management clients from its stock-plan administrator, Shareworks, which has about 3,900 corporate customers. Over the next five to seven years, the bank expects to sign up more than 1 million employees to its digital wealth or financial-advisory services, Morgan Stanley Chief Executive Officer James Gorman said in an earnings call last month.

Financial Wellness: The New Must-Have Employee Benefit
Marthin De Beer, Forbes Councils Member / Forbes

The transformative nature of employee financial wellness is still not widely appreciated in corporate America. There hasn’t been a fundamental shift in thinking about the importance of helping employees achieve financial wellness. The aha moment has yet to happen regarding the potential of financial wellness to redefine the contract between employer and employee for the greater good.

As a result, comprehensive financial wellness is often viewed as a nice-to-have benefit, not a must-have. This is partly due to low adoption of first-generation financial wellness programs, which generally focused on education without much help in the areas of coaching or implementation.

For employees, though, financial wellness is a must-have.

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First Choice prioritizes accessibility through telehealth benefits
By Kayla Webster

As the new CEO of a healthcare provider-owned benefits company, Jaja Okigwe believed he was in the right position to address a common barrier to healthcare: Accessibility. His solution? Stop relying on brick and mortar appointments, and switch to digital.

“Getting and seeking care is so willfully complicated — there ought to be an easier way,” Okigwe says. “If you’re able to seek and get care when you need it, you’re likely going to be healthier. That has an impact on cost for people and their employers.”

A lot of people do the work we do: we process benefits for any employer with over 200 employees. But we’re unique because we’re provider owned; meaning we have better insights on getting healthcare. We’re in a really good position to make it work better, and I think we’ve made important strides in the past year through strategic partnerships that rethink what digital care means. There’s programs for weight management and diabetes on the market, but none of these things are addressing a real problem with healthcare — accessibility.

IAT Insurance Group to Help its Employees Accelerate the Repayment of Their College Loan Debt
Business Wire / yahoo finance

As a continuing investment in its employees, IAT Insurance Group, a leading provider of specialty property, casualty and surety products, is pleased to announce the launch of the IAT College Loan Assistance Support (CLAS) program. Beginning in the third quarter of 2020, IAT will match 50% of an employee’s monthly college loan payment (up to a $300 monthly contribution by IAT) with a per employee lifetime cap of $30,000. The program will also provide debt counseling and refinancing services to all employees starting in March.

IAT is working with Boston-based Gradifi, an innovator in employee benefits for U.S. employers to create the CLAS program. Gradifi is part of the E*TRADE Financial family of companies and supports progressive organizations across the country, such as PWC, Peloton and Sotheby’s, to help employees potentially shave years off their student loans.

Zero Trust Can Fix Healthcare’s Security Problem
by Eitan Bremler, VP Products and Technology / SECURITY BOULEVARD

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are under attack from cyber criminals. In 2019 healthcare was one of the most targeted industries. In the first half of 2019 alone, there were 168 attacks that breached more than 30 million health care records. And according to IBM research, the average cost of a breach at a healthcare facility was $3.92 million. And as hospitals continue to go digital, these stats are on track to get even worse.

Attackers Love Healthcare

So why do attackers love healthcare? The answer is pretty obvious isn’t it? Stolen healthcare records are a goldmine for hackers. On the typical dark web marketplace, medical records and PII, or Personal Identifying Information, can sell for up to $1000 per record, depending on how much information is included per record set.

Today, medical records are more valuable than credit card numbers and social security records, as they allow attackers to pull off potentially devastating medical identity theft. Most medical records sets contain the patient’s aforementioned social security number, full name, and DOB. This information together allows attackers to pull off grand identity theft scams and in some cases, can be used as black mail. This was the case in 2018 when SingHealth, Singapore’s largest healthcare provider was hacked and the medical data of over half the population of the tiny nation state was stolen. In particular, the healthcare records of the Prime Minister were stolen to be used as black mail.

InsurTech100 company Insuritas signs First Citizens National Bank as its latest customer

US-based InsurTech venture Insuritas has just scored another high-profile customer to help it build up its own insurance agency.

“We are excited to welcome First Citizens National Bank (FirstCNB) to the Insuritas family,” said Jeffrey Chesky, CEO and founder of Insuritas. “The bank’s leadership understands the value of offering a full suite of insurance products to their entire statewide customer base and has tasked us with building a full service insurance agency that will support their retail and commercial customers’ insurance needs across their 24-branch footprint. We will deploy our award winning iInsure digital agency platform and our data analytics capabilities to deliver personalised insurance solutions to their consumers and commercial customers for all of the insurance purchases they make every year.

A Portland company raised $42M to invest in health care for pets
By Lori Valigra / Bangor Daily News

Rarebreed already has 10 practices in its group, eight of them in Maine, and plans to triple its number of practices by the end of the year. The company said Monday that it closed on a $36 million round from private investors last week that will help it do that. Rarebreed raised as much as $42 million since it was founded in October 2018.

Animal health businesses have been growing rapidly. In 2019, Americans spent close to $19 billion on veterinary care, up about 5 percent over 2018 spending, according to the American Pet Products Association. The association attributed a lot of that increase to millennial pet owners.

Over 1 Million Students Defaulted on their Student Loans Last Year Alone.

Over $1 trillion 675 million in student debt.

CNBC said, “Short term college planning is the fastest growing segment in the insurance industry.” Why? Because when parents reposition their money into your products it does not count against them in the financial aid formula.
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Monday - 02/17/20 - - Cigna and Oscar Announce Strategic Partnership to Offer Differentiated Health Solutions to Small Businesses

Tuesday - 02/18/20 - - Who’s Profiting From Your Outrageous Medical Bills?

Wednesday - 02/12/20 - - Trump budget calls for cutting Medicaid, ACA by about $1 trillion

Thursday - 02-13-20 - - AARP, United Healthcare and CVS keep prescription drug prices higher for seniors

Friday - 02-14-20 - - The Future Of Insurance: Fintech 50 2020

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Walt Bernard Podgurski - - Editor