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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.
  Friday, 01/18/19 - www.DailyInsuranceReport.com

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

The future of enterprise demands a new future of HR
Reimagining human resources
Arthur H. Mazor, Principal | Human Capital, Michael Stephan, Principal | Human Capital / Deloitte

Disruptive forces are sharply changing how we live and work, creating an imperative for enterprises to rapidly adapt. But there are several areas where the pace of change has yet to catch up with the new realities of business. Chief HR officers and their teams must take the lead with agility and sustain exponential value for the future of human resources.

Enterprises are fundamentally shifting with new business models, technologies, and changing expectations of—and by—the workforce. Often, HR teams are left straddling the needs of the legacy organization while planning for the needs of the future.

This creates unprecedented opportunity for HR to play a new and vital role in shaping the way enterprises compete, access talent, and show up in the communities where they operate. Enterprises can compete—and succeed—by changing entire business models in the field, product and services development, sales, production, leadership teams, and back office. And, of course, in the HR suite.'

Here's how brokers can beat Goliath
Nelson Griswold / Employee Benefit Adviser

Ascend to the C-Suite

The foundation of NextGen benefits is ascension to the C-Suite, moving the benefits strategy discussion from the HR department to the executive offices. While an important part in the benefits process, HR is operational while the CEO and CFO are highly strategic.

NextGen advisers have a benefits strategy conversation with the CEO and/or CFO, avoiding topics like plan design, open enrollment and renewal strategies — operational details that executives have delegated to their HR team. The conversation focuses instead on how these executives can reclaim control of their benefits spend using alternative benefits financing strategies and managing the healthcare supply chain.Ascend to the C-Suite

Schlichter Bogard & Denton Reaches $10.65 Million Settlement on Behalf of Duke University Employees in 403(b) Excessive Fee Case
Associated Press

“This settlement includes both financial compensation and non-monetary improvements to the plan going forward. It will enable Duke employees and retirees to improve their ability to build their retirement assets for years to come,” said Jerry Schlichter, managing partner of Schlichter Bogard & Denton, attorneys for the plaintiffs.

The case was among the first cases ever filed against a university alleging excessive fees. Schlichter Bogard & Denton also filed the first cases over excessive fees in 401(k) plans.

The complaints alleged that Duke University breached its duties of loyalty and prudence under ERISA by causing plan participants to pay excessive fees for both administrative and investment services in the plan. Duke denied it committed any fiduciary breach in its operation of the plan.

Besides the financial compensation, Duke agreed for a three-year period to: hire an independent consultant regarding bids for recordkeeping services; ease the ability of participants to transfer their investments out of frozen annuity accounts; analyze the cost of different share classes of mutual funds considered for inclusion in the plan; and avoid the use of plan assets to pay salaries of Duke employees who work on the plan.

Paychex adds four new features to HCM platform
Caroline Hroncich

Paychex has added four new features to Paychex Flex, its human capital management and payroll administration platform, the payroll and HR company said Monday.

The new additions — performance management and workflow approval tools, real-time analytics and an events calendar — are designed to help employers get a “competitive edge when it comes to meeting the HR and talent management requirements of today’s demanding business environment,” says Tom Hammond, vice president of corporate strategy and product management at Paychex.

The new performance management tool gives employees the ability to select their preferred review process. For example, workers can select quarterly or monthly reviews with their manager. It also provides a template for employers who may be looking to jumpstart a review process.

Democratic governors have bold ideas to transform health care: Harvard researchers
A new analysis published in the American Journal of Public Health finds competing visions for health reform among newly elected governors, including significant enthusiasm among Democrats for new public coverage

Five Republican nominees proposed adding work requirements for their state's Medicaid program, of whom one was elected (in Ohio). In the 22 states that had previously expanded Medicaid, no candidate from either party proposed rolling back coverage.

Six Democratic nominees proposed creating a new public insurance option to compete alongside private plans, of whom five were elected. Importantly, a public option was proposed by newly elected governors in Illinois, Colorado, New Mexico, and Maine who will be working with Democratic state legislatures, bolstering the political viability of reform. Seven Democratic nominees proposed single-payer health care plans, of whom three were elected. These newly elected governors--in California, Colorado, and New Mexico--will all be working with Democratic-controlled state legislatures.

All Democratic nominees included health care platforms on their campaign websites, but only half of Republican nominees did so. Their omission did not appear to have electoral consequences: 13 of the 18 Republicans offering no health care platform won their elections.

Kreidler bans sale of NRA-affiliated insurance, seeks fines of $177,000
Office Of The Insurance Commissioner Washington State

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler today banned the sale of illegal insurance policies branded by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and will fine two companies involved in underwriting and selling them in Washington state.

Kreidler ordered Illinois Union Insurance Co. to stop underwriting the policies, branded under the NRA as self-defense policies. They are illegal in Washington state because they insure unlawful activity.

Kreidler also seeks to fine the company $102,000 for selling 811 of the illegal policies to Washington state consumers.

Kreidler also seeks to fine Lockton Affinity L.L.C. $75,000. Lockton Affinity is the licensed insurance producer that sold the illegal policies on behalf of the NRA.

“When it comes to insurance products associated with the NRA, it’s buyer beware,” Kreidler said. “The attempt to insure a criminal act is a rip-off for consumers. The policies sold are deceptive and dishonest. I would be remiss as the state’s insurance regulator if I didn’t shut them down.”

The Segal Group Acquires Industry Leader Benz Communications

The Segal Group has acquired Benz Communications, an award-winning, industry-leading HR and employee benefits communications consulting firm. The acquisition significantly expands The Segal Group’s award-winning communication consulting practice. Both firms have longstanding relationships with clients who look to them to successfully engage employees and participants in strategic HR and benefits programs.

Founded in 2006, Benz Communications is a well-known firm, serving talent-focused large employers, including top technology and financial services companies as well as prestigious universities. The firm is among the largest women-owned companies in the San Francisco Bay Area. They are also a five-time honoree on the Inc. 5000, which lists the fastest-growing privately held companies in the U.S.

“The acquisition of Benz Communications enhances Segal’s ability to help clients solve their most pressing HR and benefits communication challenges,” noted David Blumenstein, President and CEO of The Segal Group. He added, “Our new colleagues from Benz Communications are known as strategic and creative thought leaders. Their services focus on creating modern, fresh, and engaging communications that will help our clients stay ahead of industry trends.”

Student Debt Is a Driver of Low Millennial Homeownership
Jeanna Smialek / Bloomberg

American homeownership has been on the decline, and Federal Reserve researchers point to the high cost of college as one culprit.

Just 36 percent of household heads between 24 and 32 years old owned homes in 2014, down from 45 percent in 2005. At the same time, average student debt per capita rose to an inflation-adjusted $10,000 from $5,000 in 2005.

About 20 percent of the decline in homeownership among young adults can be attributed to that increase in student loan debt, the authors estimate, making such borrowing an important, but not central, driver of the decline. Some 400,000 more young people would have owned homes in 2014 if debt burdens hadn’t risen.

Why does this happen? It’s partly because higher student loans early in life leads to lower credit scores later in life, making it harder for former students to take out mortgages.

Leading Insurtech Company Wellthie Launches National Health Insurance Marketplace for Small Businesses

Wellthie, a technology company modernizing insurance distribution, has launched a new, nationwide, online health insurance marketplace for small businesses to instantly and effortlessly search and compare health insurance costs and options. The new health insurance marketplace allows small business owners to view thousands of medical, dental and vision products with various budget ranges across hundreds of carriers throughout the country. At any stage in the searching and shopping process, users can instantly connect with a licensed broker who can expertly guide them through the purchase and enrollment in the plan(s) of their choice.

Wellthie’s marketplace is fast, easy-to-use and transparent. Small business owners are pressed for time and budget, and with Wellthie’s new health insurance marketplace they can find the best plan options at any hour, without delay. By simply entering their zip code and the birthdates of their employees, they will be able to search, compare and understand benefits costs and options in mere minutes instead of waiting on a callback. Given the high-value purchase of employee benefits, Wellthie offers tools, education, and the immediate support of an expert, licensed broker via live chat, email, or phone to help small business owners through the shopping and purchase decision.


Monday, 01/14/19 - Best Buy teamed up with Care.com to offer 10 days of child care to all employees for only a $10 daily co-pay

Tuesday, 01/15/19 - California’s other fiscal time bomb

Wednesday, 01/16/19 - Walmart to leave CVS network, roiling drugstores

Thursday, 01/17/19 - Microsoft and Walgreens join forces to take on Amazon in health care

Friday, 01/11/19 - A “New Front Door” To Healthcare - - CVS “concept stores”

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Walt Bernard Podgurski - - Editor