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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, 07/17/19 - https://DailyInsuranceReport.com 

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The "Daily Insurance Report" publishes the life insurance, health insurance, and employee benefits news that matters.

Biden proposes massive new Obamacare subsidies, public option in health care plan
By Eric Bradner and Tami Luhby / CNN

Joe Biden is proposing massive new subsidies to make health coverage through Obamacare's exchanges cheaper -- as well as a new "public option" that would allow people to buy into a program his campaign says would be similar to Medicare.

The former vice president unveiled his health care plan Monday morning amid an escalating fight with his 2020 Democratic presidential foes as some more liberal candidates advocate enrolling all Americans in a national health plan, all but eliminating private health insurance.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is set to deliver a speech making his case for "Medicare for All" on Wednesday, according to his campaign. And California Sen. Kamala Harris, who has similarly backed a single-payer, government-run health program, teased the upcoming rollout of her plan in front of a crowd in New Hampshire on Sunday, too.

Biden, meanwhile, is pushing for a more moderate approach, built on former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.

"We should not be starting from scratch. We should be building from what we have. There's no time to wait," Biden told an audience in Dover, New Hampshire, on Friday.

He said that under his plan, if "you like your employer-based insurance, you get to keep it." Under other leading Democrats' plans, he said, "you lose it, period."

Biden's plan would launch a "public option" that his campaign says would be "like Medicare," with primary care covered with no co-payments.

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Biden unveils healthcare plan: 8 key takeaways

Former Vice President Joe Biden on July 15 unveiled a healthcare blueprint for his 2020 presidential run.

"I believe we have to protect and build on Obamacare," Mr. Biden said in a video announcing his healthcare platform, called the Biden Plan to Protect and Build on the ACA.

Eight things to know about the Biden Plan:

1. The Biden Plan would establish a public option "like Medicare" that will cover primary care without copayments, contraceptive care and abortion.
2. Mr. Biden's platform offers a Medicaid expansion alternative.
3. It would expand tax credits for purchasing insurance in the individual market.
4. The platform also includes a surprise-billing provision that would prohibit providers from charging out-of-network rates to patients who are hospitalized at in-network hospitals.
5. Medicare would be allowed to directly negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to help lower drug costs.
6. Drug price increases would be limited to the general inflation rate.
7. Mr. Biden would repeal the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal Medicaid dollars for abortion.
8. The Biden Plan would also restore the Obama-era status quo

With Alex Acosta Out, State AGs May Get Another Chance to Totally Circumvent Obamacare
by Elura Nanos / LAW & CRIME

It’s no secret that the Trump Administration has taken aim at Obamacare right from the word go. Now, the impending change at the Department of Labor (DOL) may lend the administration just the hand it’s been seeking.

Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta will be leaving his post at DOL on July 19; a group of Republican state attorneys general are hoping that their plan to circumvent a key Obamacare requirement will fare better under Acosta’s acting successor and longtime GOP operative, Patrick Pizzella. A coalition of states, led by Louisiana AG Jeff Landry, are asking the DOL to okay a plan to band together and create something similar to “association health plans.” Such plans allow small employers to form an association in order to drive down health insurance costs – sometimes at the expense of quality coverage.

IRS Proposes Rule to Ease Liability Under 401(k) Multiple Employer Plans
New proposal complements a Department of Labor proposed rule on open MEPs
Stephen Miller, CEBS / SHRM

The IRS has proposed a rule that would make 401(k) multiple employer plans (MEPs) more attractive, especially for small employers, by addressing the risk posed to a MEP by one member's bad actions.

All employers in a MEP could face penalties under the unified plan rule if one employer violates its fiduciary responsibilities—for example, by failing to funnel employee contributions to the plan on schedule. The "one bad apple" liability risk that a negligent member can pose to an entire plan has been a major stumbling block for employers considering whether to participate in a MEP.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) lacked the authority to address this issue when it released its own proposed rule on MEPs last October. That rule, which would let unrelated businesses in different industries join in an "open" MEP offered through association retirement plans, has not yet been finalized.

The new proposal, which the IRS published July 3 in the Federal Register, would apply to "closed" MEPs, which must share common relationships such as being in the same industry, and would apply to open MEPs when the earlier DOL rule becomes final.

Adidas Sued Over Excessive Fees for 401(k) Participants
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit argue that passive funds would have resulted in better returns net of fees that the actively managed funds offered in the plan.
By Rebecca Moore / PLANSPONSOR

Participants in the Adidas Group 401(k) Savings and Retirement Plan have filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Adidas America over the plan’s administrative and investment fees.

According to the complaint, for every year between 2013 and 2017, the administrative fees charged to plan participants were greater than a minimum of approximately 75% of its comparator fees when fees are calculated as cost per participant. And for every year between 2013 and 2017 but two, the administrative fees charged to plan participants were greater than 80% of its comparator fees when fees are calculated as a percent of total assets.

Vericred Launches Disruption Analysis API for Health and Dental Insurance Networks

Vericred, a data services platform powering the digital distribution of health insurance and employee benefits, announced today the immediate availability of its Disruption Analysis API. Vericred’s new API enables InsurTech companies to build decision support tools that help their users — primarily brokers and employers — assess what percentage of an employee population would be affected, positively or adversely, by switching health or dental insurance networks.

Disruption analysis, traditionally, has been a complex process through which employers and insurance brokers evaluate how the transition to a different group health insurance (or dental) network would impact employees’ in-network access to their most important doctors, health systems and hospitals. Analyzing plans in this manner has rarely been accessible within the small group environment, as it was typically a high-cost and inefficient process.

Vericred’s latest API, however, empowers InsurTech companies — which include online insurance marketplaces and quoting platforms — to build user-facing solutions that make disruption analysis far more streamlined and automated. Rather than having to build and maintain the underlying data and logic themselves, InsurTechs can leverage Vericred’s API to develop these features, easily and within an accelerated timeline.


Monday, 07/15/19 - Winning the 'Obamacare' suit would be a disaster for Republicans

Tuesday, 07/16/19 - Five ways life insurance can help you in retirement


Thursday, 07/11/19 - U.S. appeals court signals sympathy to bid to strike down Obamacare

Friday, 07-12-19 - Employee Benefits Platform Hodges-Mace Acquired by Alight Solutions

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Walt Bernard Podgurski - - Editor