Wednesday, August 31, 2016
The Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act has been hit with some major setbacks as big health insurers like Aetna are pulling out of the public exchanges, also some regulators have said that the exchanges is collapsing due to increases in premium prices and the dwindling number of insurers.
The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have proposed a number of changes last Monday to try to save the exchanges on its impending collapse. The proposal will make it less risky for insurers in the marketplace to enroll sick patients. The major problem of insurers in the exchanges is that there are few young and healthy people to even out the cost of taking care of sick patients, which lead to huge losses.
"Right now, we are preparing to serve millions of consumers with a new set of innovations during the upcoming Marketplace Open Enrollment. As we do this, we are proposing today a set of critical actions based upon our first 3 years' experience that, if finalized, would improve how consumers and health plans interact with the Marketplace," said Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Andy Slavitt. "These proposals help fulfill the promise that affordable, quality health coverage can be provided to everyone who needs it."
There are 14 proposals in total, here are some of them:
- Proposes updates beginning in 2017 to better reflect the risk associated with enrollees who are not enrolled for a full 12 months.
- by using some of the fees from the federally funded marketplace for outreach to get more young people to sign up.
- Strengthening rules for signing up for insurance outside the open-enrollment period to ensure that people are not waiting until they are sick to get coverage.
- Take prescription-drug use into account when evaluating the risk profile of potential patients. Previously, this had not been taken into account, and insurers argued that it prevented them from getting a full picture of possible patients' health status.
- Creating more flexibility for insurers in their bronze plan offerings to reduce cost burdens.
The proposed rule can be found here
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Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Disability Insurance or sometimes called DI, disability income insurance, or Disability Income protects the insurers earned income against the risk of disability. It would pay a portion of your salary, creating a safety in case of illness, disability or accidents that render the individual unable to work.
For instance an employee may suffer from an inability to maintain composure in the case of psychological disorders or an injury, illness or condition that causes physical impairment or incapacity to work. It encompasses paid sick leave, short-term disability benefits (STD), and long-term disability benefits (LTD). If you suddenly become ill or disabled the Disability Insurance can help you pay your bills, make your monthly rent or mortgage loan payments, buy your groceries, make your car payments, pay for your children's education, etc.
According to Council of Disability Awareness the average length of a long-term disability claim is three years. So, what you need to do is to target above three years to give you more protection.
Yes, workers compensation is a Disability Insurance, however it's only for work-related disabling illness, and it only covers about 2/3 of your pre-disability income. Most long-term disabilities doesn't come from work-related illness or injuries it comes from cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses.
Having a disability insurance is really important since no one knows what happens in the future. Protecting part of your income would be better than having no protection at all.
If you want to protect your future and get additional Disability Insurance you can get quotes from these online brokers:
Disability Insurance Resource Center
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Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Like a sinking ship, health insurer are jumping out of the Obamacare titanic. Aetna Inc, 3rd biggest health insurer in the U.S., announced Monday that because of continuous financial losses on Obamacare plans, they will limit their market on individual insurance on the government-run online marketplaces in only (4) four states next year, instead of their current 15 states. This is the latest blow to Obamacare. The will stop offering policies on the exchanges in 11 states. They will keep selling Obamacare products in Delaware, Iowa, Nebraska and Virginia.
Aetna said that they lost $430 million in its individual policies unit since the exchanges opened in January 2014. They had 838,000 exchange customers at the end of June and they complained that those policyholders are mostly sick and costly to maintain. They criticized the federal program that should have mitigate those risks.
"Providing affordable, high-quality health care options to consumers is not possible without a balanced risk pool," said Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini.
Aetna will still offer individual policies outside of the Obamacare exchanges in the vast majority of markets where it now does business. However, those Off-exchange products are not qualified for federal subsidies.
Like Aetna, most insurers complains about the loses they incur because of Obamacare exchanges. They said premiums were too low and it can't cover the cost of care because their consumers are far sicker than anticipated.
UnitedHealthcare (UNH), the largest insurer in the U.S. is expecting to lose about $1 billion on Obamacare policies in 2015 and 2016, they will also pull out most Obamacare exchanges in 2017. Humana (HUM) announced last month that it was withdrawing nearly 1,200 counties in 8 states in 2017. Afterward, it will only be selling insurance on the exchanges in 156 counties in 11 states. Others, including several Blue Cross Blue Shield companies, are also scaling back.
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
The Business Insurance magazine have listed the top 100 brokers in the country they are ranked based on the 2015 brokerage revenue generated by U.S.-based clients.
There are four Western New York brokers that made the list First Niagara Risk Management Inc. – now owned by KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) based in Buffalo got the number 54 spot with $65.3 million. Lawley a privately-held insurance broker is at number 57 with $62 million. Meanwhile, M&T Insurance Agency Inc. dropped to number 79 from number 74 last year. Tompkins Insurance Agencies Inc., the sister company of Tompkins Bank of Castile in Batavia, were able to grow it secured the number 94 spot from 97 last year.
Here's the Top 20:
1 Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc.1 $6,326,880,000 8.4%
2 Aon P.L.C. $6,052,059,000 4.1%
3 Willis Towers Watson P.L.C.1,2 $3,980,760,000 129.7%
4 Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.1 $2,713,336,000 13.0%
5 BB&T Insurance Holdings Inc.1 $1,676,025,000 (2.2%)
6 Brown & Brown Inc.1 $1,656,951,014 5.7%
7 Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA Inc. $1,316,335,000 1.3%
8 Hub International Ltd.1 $1,146,972,060 26.4%
9 USI Insurance Services L.L.C.1 $1,027,846,835 12.6%
10 Lockton Cos. L.L.C.1,3 $996,426,750 6.5%**
11 NFP Corp.4 $880,611,794 10.6%
12 Alliant Insurance Services Inc.1 $826,567,635 33.5%
13 AssuredPartners Inc.1 $555,938,953 23.8%
14 Acrisure L.L.C.1 $410,654,072 114.7%
15 BroadStreet Partners Inc. $336,550,000 36.6%
16 Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group P.L.C.5 $261,469,584 11.2%**
17 Integro Group Holdings L.P.1 $221,395,200 30.3%
18 CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Services Inc.1 $220,400,000 6.9%
19 Leavitt Group Enterprises1 $216,058,000 (2.9%)
20 Edgewood Partners Insurance Center, dba EPIC Insurance Brokers & Consultants $195,558,100 28.9%
The full list can be accessed on businessinsurance.com, however subscription may be required.