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Picking Health Plans — A Different Kind of Crisis

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 8, 2016

It’s that time of year. Those participating in the Affordable Care Act and its subsidies are registering and many are finding they must pick a new plan. Those of us with choices from our employer plans are facing a similar dilemma.

 

And understanding a health insurance plan is tough. In fact, Policy Genius did a survey that says half of us aren’t sure we are qualified enough to pick one. We don’t understand the jargon. It’s often legalese and — as we insurance professionals know — packed with terminology and isn’t written in the proverbial king’s english.

 

Men are more confident at picking the right plan than women with 58% saying they’re sure of things. Millennials? Well, 43% of them think they’ll pick the right plan.

 

The survey looked at confidence of picking the right plan and the perception of understanding insurance terms and then compared them to their actual understanding of those terms and insurance concepts.

 

  Women were more aware of the knowledge gap of insurance concepts than men.

  Just 22% of women rated themselves as confident in their knowledge.

  29% of men were confident in their knowledge of insurance terms and concepts.

  Millennials — those aged 25 to 34 — had the least understanding of health insurance.

 

The least understood insurance terms:

 

  Just 22% could correctly define co-insurance.

  Copay was the best understood term at 52%.

  Deductible was understood by 50%.

  Out-of-pocket maximum sat at 42% understanding.

 

Policy Genius CEO Jennifer Fitzgerald said consumers — because of all the confusion from ObamaCare — have no clue how to pick the best policy for the buck.

 

For consumers, finding a good health insurance plan starts with understanding the various trade-offs involved with different types of plans and benefits. Americans will need to weigh competing priorities, understand the apples-to-apples difference between plans, and understand how decisions may impact their total out-of-pocket costs,” she said.

 

By the way, UnitedHealth — who started the ObamaCare exchange exodus — reported last week that it has recovered from its Affordable Care Act losses. United Health posted a rise of 6.4% in stock value and is predicting a more profitable year ahead.

 

Net income rose 23% to $1.97 billion and operating profit jumped 28% to $1.47 billion and it still spent 80.3 cents of every premium dollar on health care for its subscribers.

 

Source links: Two from Insurance Business America — link 1 and link 2

 

 

Tags:  Healthcare  HealthCare.gov  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  ObamaCare  Picking Health Plans — A Different Kind of Crisis  The Affordable Care Act  Weekly Industry News 

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Auto Theft: Duh! It’s Easy when the Keys are in the Vehicle

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Car theft is on the decline but there is one area where it is rising. And that area comes into focus when looking at least year’s statistics from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). Those stats show one in every eight car thefts are because people left their keys in the ignition or somewhere visible in the vehicle or left the FOB in plain view.

 

Usually the keys are left when warming the vehicle up in the morning or at other times of the day or when an owner runs into a coffee shop or does a quick stop at a convenience store.

 

And how serious is this problem? There were 57,096 thefts last year when the keys or fob was left in the vehicle. That’s a jump of 22% over 2014. In the past three years, the numbers have risen by 31%.

 

Theft with Keys in Vehicle:

 

  2013-2014 — 7% increase

  2014 - 2015 — 22% increase

 

  2013 to 2015 — 31% increase over three years

 

Looking at totals:

 

  From 2013 through 2015 — 147,434 vehicles with keys or FOB inside stolen

  In 2013 — 43,643

  In 2014 — 46,695

  In 2015 — 57,096

 

NICB President and CEO Joe Wehrle said just as interesting is the amount of time it took for someone to steal a vehicle with the keys or the FOB inside — 6.5 minutes. And a lot of people don’t admit their vehicle was stolen because they were so stupid that they left the keys or FOB in plain sight.

 

Anti-theft technology has had a tremendous impact on reducing thefts over the past 25 years, but if you don’t lock it up, it’s not going to help. Complacency can lead to a huge financial loss and inconvenience for the vehicle owner. Leaving a vehicle unlocked or with the key or FOB inside gives a thief the opportunity to take not only the car, but also any possessions inside,” he said.

 

Wehrle also noted that some of us keep personal ID info in our vehicles and things like checkbooks, credit cards, address books and so on. That gives thieves access to that information as well. We have reports from our law enforcement partners that car thieves have stolen the car, driven it to the residence and burglarized the home before the owner even knew the vehicle was missing,” he said.

 

The top five states with stolen vehicles with keys or FOB in the vehicle and the PIA Western Alliance states of California and Nevada are on the list:

 

California — 22,580

Texas — 11,003

Florida — 9,952

Ohio — 8,623

Nevada — 8,073

 

Interestingly, one state — Hawaii — didn’t report any.

 

Days with the most thefts:

 

Saturday — 22,081

Monday — 21,851

Friday — 21,652

 

Source link: Insurance Journal

 

 

Tags:  Auto Theft: Duh! It’s Easy when the Keys are in th  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News 

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Corporate Taxes: Are We Due a Major Overhaul?

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 8, 2016

By the time you read this we have a new president. And maybe the Senate belongs again to the Democrats. Or not. New York Sen. Charles Schumer will either be the new Senate Majority Leader or he could be the new Senate Minority Leader.

 

For the purposes of this story it’s important but not.

 

Schumer’s goal for next year is to redo the nation’s awfully outdated tax system. Of course, his goals are being criticized by the left and by the right. And to negotiate a deal that sits somewhere in the middle, he needs support from both sides.

 

That lack of support — however — isn’t going to deter him. Schumer wants to change how companies are taxed and wants to start with overseas investments. The income generated from the new tax system on those investments will be used to pay for an overhaul of the nation’s infrastructure.

 

Few of us disagree that an overhaul is needed.

 

Here’s the plan. Currently U.S. corporations are taxed at a 35% rate. However, they can deduct from that 35% how much they pay foreign governments in taxes. At the same time, they can keep profits overseas indefinitely and don’t have to pay taxes when the money is brought back into the U.S.

 

That’s called reparation.

 

Schumer thinks we need to find a way to return the $2.6 trillion the Joint Committee on Taxation says is stored overseas to our own shores. He’s a member of that committee.

 

If you can get overseas money to come back here, even if it’s at a lower rate than the 35 it now comes back at, and you can use that money for a major constructive purpose such as infrastructure — if you did an infrastructure bank, for instance, you could get $100 billion in equity in the bank and get a trillion dollars of infrastructure,” Schumer said in an interview on CNBC a couple of weeks ago.

 

Politicians on both sides of the aisle like the idea and among Schumer’s allies is Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman. He and Schumer and the working group floated this idea a year ago in President Obama’s last budget and in a 2014 tax reform bill from then House Ways and Means Committee Chairman and Michigan Republican Dave Camp.

 

It went nowhere.

 

Senate Finance Committee member and the ranking Democrat on the committee is Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden. He said, Members on both sides share the view that a major investment in this country’s roads and highways is long overdue, and you fund that investment with one-time revenue generated by bringing back the $2.6 trillion of cash parked overseas and reforming our broken international tax code.”

 

Wyden is more mainstream than some like Progressive Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders who do not want to drop the foreign earnings tax rate at all.

 

However, many tax groups like the idea a lot.

 

Source link: The Hill

 

 

Tags:  Corporate Taxes: Are We Due a Major Overhaul?  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News 

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Homeowners’ Premiums High & Returns Low

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Aon Benefield’s Homeowners ROE Outlook report is a mixture of good news and bad. On the positive premiums are rising and will hit $91 billion in 2016. That’s a huge increase from the $74 billion in 2011 that climbed to $89 billion last year.

 

Insurers were able to keep premiums rising in the last 18-months by 2% on average. Also, good news.

 

It’s underwriting concerns and a decrease of return on equity that has Aon concerned. After tax equity is 6.7% on average nationwide and when you exclude Florida it’s 10.9%. In 2015 those numbers were 8.6% and 12.6%. And Aon thinks the return on equity will rise above 10% in 34 states. That makes it possible for carriers to at least cover the cost of capital.

 

In 2015 it took 36 states with equity returns of 10% or higher.

 

Another negative is lower investment yields, increased expenses and a jump in the catastrophe loss ratio. It is causing insurers to place greater emphasis on underwriting performance and is forcing the development of better price, claims management, marketing and risk selection strategy.

 

Aon’s Greg Heerde said, Our study reveals that at prospective 2017 rates, homeowners’ insurance provides accretive returns in the majority of states, and opportunities exist for insurers to pursue profitable growth in the line.”

 

Source link: PropertyCasualty360.com

 

 

Tags:  Homeowners’ Premiums High & Returns Low  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News 

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Around the PIA Western Alliance States

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 8, 2016

California — Health Care Grant

 This from the California Department of Insurance.

 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services announced today it awarded a $1.84 million grant to the California Department of Insurance to enhance enforcement of key market reforms under the Affordable Care Act.

 

The Health Insurance Enforcement and Consumer Protection Grant awarded to the Department of Insurance will provide resources to enable the department to enhance existing efforts to protect consumers by making sure insurers are in compliance with a number of requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The department was awarded federal funds to:

 

  enhance existing enforcement of non-discrimination standards in health insurer plan, network and formulary designs;

  enhance existing enforcement of no-cost coverage for preventive care services under Section 2713 of the Public Health Service Act;

  enhance existing review of Medical Loss Ratio reports; and

  enhance existing enforcement processes of parity in coverage of mental health and substance use disorder benefits under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.

 

"There continues to be more work to do to ensure consumers receive all the health insurance benefits they are entitled to without delay," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "This federal grant will enhance our existing consumer protection and enforcement efforts to make sure insurers are delivering on the promise of the Affordable Care Act in key areas of reform such as preventative health care and mental health parity."

 

The department will use the two-year grant in areas such as market conduct examinations, consumer complaint investigations, enforcement of the laws relating to parity in mental health and substance use disorder benefits, preventive services, and medical loss ratio compliance.  In some areas, the department will contract with medical professionals whose clinical expertise will assist the department in enhancing existing enforcement of the law.

 

New Mexico — Immigrant Driver’s Licenses: The New Mexico program to allow immigrants — legal and otherwise — to obtain driver’s licenses is slowing but it’s still approaching a four-year high.

 

The state says 3,886 foreign nationals picked up licenses from January of this year until the end October. That’s just a few shy of last year’s 4,026 for all of 2015.

 

Officials say the rush is because illegal immigrants want to pick up their licenses before the state changes its ID law to a federal standard.

 

Source link: Insurance Journal

 

 

Oregon — DFR Website changes

This from the Oregon Department of Insurance.

 

The Division of Financial Regulation Rates and Forms website is changing this weekend. It does not involve the whole site, only the Rates and Forms section will be affected. Filers using our website for filing requirements, to bookmark product standards, or have draft files in SERFF need to be aware that the website is changing its URL's. This will cause any links you have saved to not work.

 

Most of the documents will have a change of the name from "Insurance Division" to "Division of Financial Regulation," and the URL location for the document. We will work through our forms as soon as we can to update statute, rule, or federal references.

 

There will be one form, # 440-2448 ACA Major Medical Large Group Health Benefit Plans, that has been revised with current statute, rule and federal references

 

This e-notify was distributed to the following groups:

● Rates & Forms New Developments

● Product Standards updates

Oregon — Retirement Program: This is from the Oregon Department of Insurance.

 

With clock ticking to July launch, Retirement Saving Plan seeks business volunteers for pilot group, releases draft rules

 

A public hearing will be Dec. 15 to ensure proposed rules work well for employers and an estimated 1 million Oregon workers

 

The plan, which will make a workplace-based retirement savings option available to as many as 1 million Oregonians, is scheduled to debut in phases, starting in July 2017.

 

To prepare for that launch, the State Treasury is taking deliberate steps to help ensure the program works well for workers and employers. Passed by the 2015 Legislature, the plan will be available to those Oregonians who do not have access to a retirement savings option, such as a 401(k) plan, at work.

 

Workers who are eligible will automatically have a portion – initially 5 percent -- of their paychecks deposited into their own secure retirement accounts, unless they opt out.

 

After months of meetings with business representatives, payroll administrators and consumer groups, Treasury has released a detailed draft of administrative rules that spell out plan specifics and the roles of employers and record keepers. A rulemaking hearing is set for Dec. 15 to discuss the draft and potential changes.

 

To help achieve the goal of a smooth and orderly launch, the plan will be phased in over several years and will be coupled with public education efforts. The Oregon Retirement Savings Board is seeking businesses that want to be part of the initial pilot group of participants. Treasury is seeking a diverse group of employers for the pilot, both small and large in terms of number of employees and from different industries.

 

Oregon is on track to be the first state in the nation to give employers and employees the ability to benefit from a state-based retirement plan, and Treasury is being deliberate to ensure the plan is simple, convenient and secure,” said State Treasurer Ted Wheeler, the chairman of the Oregon Retirement Savings Board. When more people save for retirement, it will lead to a better quality of life and reduce the heavy burden on taxpayer-financed programs.”

 

More than half of the Oregon workforce does not have an available retirement savings plan at work, and studies show that people are 15 times more likely to save if an option is available through payroll deductions.

 

At the same time, an estimated half of young people are not saving for retirement, according to a recent poll by Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

 

The median level of savings is just $3,000 for working-age households and $12,000 for near-retirement households, per the National Institute for Retirement Security.

 

The Oregon plan will impose no fiduciary risk to employers, and clerical responsibilities will be kept low.   The plan will not be a pension, will not be connected in any way to the Oregon Public Employee Retirement Fund, and will not offer any matching funds or any guarantee of performance by the state or employers.

 

Learn more about the plan at www.oregon.gov/retire. To inquire about being part of the pilot group or upcoming focus groups of employers and workers, please contact Joel Metlen, manager of public engagement, at 503-559-4154 or joel.Metlen@ost.state.or.us.

 

It is estimated that 64,000 businesses of all sizes will have employees that are eligible to participate in the plan. Comments about the proposed rules can be submitted in writing to the rules coordinator or during the public meeting on Dec. 15, which will be at the Tigard office of the Oregon State Treasury, 16290 SW Upper Boones Ferry Rd.

 

The Oregon State Treasury protects public assets and saves Oregonians money through its investment, banking, and debt management functions. State investment policies are set by the Oregon Investment Council. The State Treasury also promotes public outreach and education to help Oregonians learn strategies to save money, invest for college and make smart financial choices. You can learn more about the Oregon Treasury and Oregon Retirement Savings Plan on Twitter at @OregonTreasury.

 

 

Washington — Emergency Powers Rule Withdrawal

 From the Washington Insurance Department.

 

Thanks for your interest in the Commissioner's Emergency Powers Rule from the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner. We have some new information on this topic.

 

We have withdrawn the proposed language (CR-102) on the Commissioner's Emergency Powers Rule, R 2015-17. The CR-102 has been withdrawn because we have determined that further review is needed to understand the concerns raised by stakeholders. We anticipate restarting the rulemaking process in 2017.

 

For more information, including the proposed rule language (CR-102), please visit the rules webpage.

 

 

Tags:  Around the PIA Western Alliance States  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News 

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Peering into the Crystal Ball — P&C Insurers & 2017

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Tim Gardner is the CEO of Guy Carpenter’s U.S. Operations. He said, US insurers are facing an increasingly complex set of issues and significant disruption that requires them to innovate across their business to achieve profitable growth.”

 

Those complex issues — he added — mean that of the top 100 P&C insurers, just 40% say they’ve had an underwriting profit in the last five accident years. The worst performers for those insurers are personal and commercial auto. That led to more profit opportunity in general liability lines, special property and product liability. But that profit was limited.

 

In other words, it’s an era of uncertainty.

 

And — ironically — An Era of Uncertainty is the theme of this year’s annual meeting of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). The gathering a couple of weeks ago emphasized a softer market and rising costs, lower return on investment, technological challenges and disruption and regulatory overreach.

 

Representatives of all areas of insurance — more than 1,100 of them — attended. And all discussed what keeps them up at night and it starts with the current election as PCI President David Sampson said, I think [PCI] was very prescient because all of these uncertainties have only increased over the course of the year. And it appears the outcome of the 2016 election is not going to do anything to remove that uncertainty. In fact, it might increase it.”

 

Another concern — the soft market. Munich Reinsurance of America President Steven Levy said it’s temporary and it’s a huge mistake to think it’s unchangeable. These trends can reverse very quickly and very easily,” he told the group.

 

PCI found — via studies done the last two years — that insurers are increasingly concerned about regulation. A whopping 19% said it is impacting them and Sampson said the impact on smaller insurers is even more severe.

 

It is clear that the industry has reached an inflection point and the cumulative effect and timing of new regulations and state data calls are increasingly costly, impactful and intrusive — affecting the industry’s ability to serve policyholders,” he said.

 

In other words, Sampson said what’s keeping insurers up at night is a whole bunch of unknowns. In the midst of so many unknowns, there are some knowns. First, this heightened level of uncertainty is likely to remain with us for the foreseeable future. Second, the pace of change and disruption in all of its forms is likely to increase, bringing both challenges and opportunities.”

 

And that leads to pricing — another big concern. And Willis Towers Watson’s 2017 Marketplace Realities report bears that out. Matt Keeping who heads the firms North American operation said, The mix of increases and decreases, while subject to some change line by line, overall remains steady. The marketplace continues to offer opportunities for buyers, but as always, strategic planning yields the best results. The key point for buyers is to understand the nuances of the market so they can optimize their risk management programs.”

 

  Property lines — the report predicts — will continue to decline. Rates are expected to drop 7.5% to 10% for firms without significant exposure to nature disaster. Those more exposed will see jumps of 10% to 12.5%.

  General liability looks a bit better at flat to down 5%. But buyers with recent claims will see jumps of 5% to 10%.

  Workers’ compensation will stay steady.

  Cyber renewals will leap 5% to 10% for most buyers and 15% to 20% for point of sale retailers and large health care firms with no claims history.

 

Here are the key price predictions for 2017:

 

Property

  Non-cat risks:  –7.5% to –10%

  Cat-exposed risks: –10% to –12.5%

 

Casualty

  General liability: –5% to flat; +5% to +10% for risks with losses

  Umbrella/Excess: –10% to flat; +10% for truckers and NYC construction

  Workers comp: –2.5% to +2.5%; +15% in Florida

  Auto: +3% to +10%

  International: Flat to +10%; –5% to flat for Defense Base Act coverage

 

Executive Risks

  Directors and officers: –7.5% to flat

  Errors and omissions: Flat to +5%; +15% to +20% for poor loss experience or loss-prone industries

  Employment practices liability: Flat to +3%; +5% to +15% in California

  Fiduciary: –5% to +5%

 

  Cyber +5% to +10%; +15% to +20% for POS retailers and large health care; competitive for first-time buyers

 

Benefits

  Self-insured plans: +4% to +5%

  Insured plans: +7.5% to +8.5%

 

Political Risk

  Most risks: –2% to flat

  Active hot spots: Capacity limited

 

Terrorism

  Non-tier 1: –5% to –10%

  Tier 1: Flat to –5%

 

Trade Credit

  Most buyers: Flat to +5%

  With South American or East European risks: +5% to +10%

 

Source links: Insurance Business America — link 1, link 2, Insurance Journal

 

 

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Peering into the Crystal Ball — P&C Insurers & 201  Weekly Industry News 

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ObamaCare: Rate Hikes & Sticker Shock Continues

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Premiums are rising. In some cases, and in some states over 100%. Insurers are either leaving or threatening to leave the exchanges also known as marketplaces. Republicans complained from the outset and have never stopped. Democrats are worried and President Obama is stressed and stumping to save his signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act.

 

It hasn’t turned out to be so affordable and is unaffordable at this point. But to who? Good question. Before we get to that question we must first look at the current situation.

 

Insurers want a fix and soon or they’re not going to stay says Blue Cross Blue Shield lobbyist Alissa Fox. In less than six months we have to turn around and prepare strategies for 2018. The sooner we get these changes which we’ve been urging all year long the sooner we’ll get on a better track for the future,” she said.

 

And what do insurers want?

 

  Tighter criteria on who can or cannot signup up outside the open enrollment period

  An exclusion for those signing up for health insurance just because of sudden illness

  Limiting the numbers that can enroll in private insurance to maximize reimbursement of costly procedures

 

Former Oregon Insurance Administrator Joel Ario is a former Obama administration ObamaCare exchange head. He says insurers also want an extension of the three-year reinsurance program that helps them offset losses due to too many sick people signing up.

 

That is a key ingredient. Republicans hampered the ability of the administration to support insurers in the last federal budget deal by restricting how money collected to reinsure the insurers could be spent.

 

And insurers definitely don’t want the now being kicked about public option as outlined in a bill introduced in the senate by Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley (D) and his 33 cosponsors. Both President Obama and Democratic presidential nominee Hilary Clinton are calling for one.

 

Joining insurers in opposing the idea of a public option are hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. American Hospital Association President Rick Pollack said, We think we need to make these [marketplaces] viable before we give any consideration of going to a public option.”

 

Marilyn Tavenner is the former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and now heads America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). She — considering her former ObamaCare position — ironically agrees with Pollack and calls the concept a huge mistake. I just think we need to solve the problems that we have, rather than chasing yet another government program,” she said.

 

And that leads back to the question of just how bad are the price increases and for whom?

 

In 2017 the average premium for plans sold on HealthCare.gov will rise 25%. The benchmark price — says the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) — will leap from $242 to $302. As an FYI, the benchmark plan is the silver plan — the most popular of all the plans — and it is based on information gathered in 43 states on an average 27-year old.

 

The spin being tossed out by the Obama administration and by Democrats is that it hurts consumers and is bad for the poor. In reality, the bad news really isn’t for the them, it’s for the taxpayers subsidizing about 85% of those enrolled through HealthCare.gov and the state exchanges.

 

Avalere Health spokesman Dan Mendelson put it in perspective and said, Relatively few people will feel the premium increases, but everyone will hear about them. That will have an effect on the perception of the program.”

 

And adding to the taxpayer expense is an expected jump of 260,000 more in the subsidized program as 22% currently not subsidized become eligible. Remember, for an individual, subsidies are available for anyone making under $47,000 a year.

 

The bottom-line: premiums for people on the subsidized plans will still be less than $75 per month. Where those subsidized by ObamaCare are impacted is the shrinking number of purchase options. It drops from 298 this year to 228 next year and with five states having only one option.

 

But they’ll still be able to find something and their payments will still be low.

 

For the rest of us, premium hikes will directly hit the 16% of those on ObamaCare that don’t have subsidies. That’s 1.6 million not receiving financial help and 7 million getting individual coverage outside the exchanges.

 

The increases in 2017 in some states are huge and in other states not so huge. And they have put ObamaCare front and center in the political spotlight. Democrats — like President Obama and Hilary Clinton and along with wanting the public option — are pushing for an increase in subsidies and tax breaks to make health insurance even more affordable.

 

As you know, Donald Trump and the Republicans want it dumped.

 

And the new rate hike crisis has brought the nation’s election cycle and the Senate battleground states into focus. These are the rate changes in those states:

 

Illinois — 43%

Wisconsin — 16%

Florida — 14%

Indiana — a drop of -3%

Missouri — 18%

New Hampshire — 2%

North Carolina — 40%

Pennsylvania — 53%

Ohio — 2%

 

And the PIA Western Alliance state of Arizona — a whopping 116%

 

That leads us to the cause of the whole rate hike crisis. Insurers can’t afford ObamaCare because of the millions signing up, most are unhealthy. The young people that are healthy, and that are needed to make it all affordable are paying the fines and ignoring it all.

 

And what are they doing?

 

Aetna’s CEO Mark Bertolini said, As the rates rise, the healthier people pull out because the out-of-pocket costs aren’t worth it. Young people can do the math. Gas for the car, beer on Fridays and Saturdays, health insurance.”

 

Yes. Beer. The car. Weekend and day off fun. Those items are far more important to young people than health insurance even when it’s priced at less than $100 a month.

 

Here’s more irony. When young people don’t sign up because prices are rising then prices rise even higher. What happens is the population gets sicker and sicker and sicker and sicker. The rates keep rising to try and catch it. It’s a fruitless chase, and ultimately you end up with a very bad pool of risk,” Bertolini said.

 

Source links: Insurance Business America — link 1, link 2, link 3, The Hill — link 1, link 2, link 3, Insurance Journal

 

 

Tags:  Healthcare  HealthCare.gov  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  ObamaCare  ObamaCare: Rate Hikes & Sticker Shock Continues  Weekly Industry News 

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Mergers & Acquisitions — Steamrolling in 2016

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 1, 2016

 

Close to a record number of mergers and acquisitions were completed in the first six months of 2016. In fact, at 232 the number is just one short of the 233 deals from January through June of 2015.

 

OTPTIS Partners is an investment bank and financial consulting firm and they track such deals. It found a serious demand. There have been 100 or more transactions in seven consecutive quarters. OPTIS managing director Timothy Cunningham said the last time there were fewer of than 100 in a quarter was in the 3rd quarter of 2014.

 

Buyers and sellers continued to feed their hearty appetites for deals and push up the M&A activity trend line. We anticipate the recent strong industry-consolidation trend will continue for the near term as acquisitions are an important growth strategy for many firms, especially those backed by private-equity capital,” he said.

 

Cunningham noted interest is driving up prices and making it a good time to sell if that is your eventual desire.

 

Five groups are doing most of the buying:

 

  Private equity backed brokers

  Privately held brokers

  Publicly traded brokers

  Banks

  Miscellaneous others

 

The most active to date are the private equity backed brokers who’ve picked up 114 of the 232 transactions. Privately held brokers are second with 68. Most of the sellers have been P&C firms and they account for 53% of all transactions. That’s 124 transactions.

 

Source link: PropertyCasualty360.com

 

 

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Mergers & Acquisitions — Steamrolling in 2016  Weekly Industry News 

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Government Appeals its MetLife too Big to Fail Failure

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) said it would appeal the decision of U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer that MetLife did not deserve its too big to fail designation.

 

And now it has.

 

Mark Stern is the council’s attorney and he began the government’s defense by saying Judge Collyer’s decision that the designation was “fatally flawed” is — in itself — flawed. He told the three appeals court judges — Obama appointees Sri Srinivasan and Patricia Millett and A. Raymond Randolph who was appointed by President George H. W. Bush — the government followed the proper protocols in making the designation.

 

MetLife attorneys — as the case continues — will argue otherwise and will continue to maintain the FSOC didn’t get it right.

 

Expect a decision before the first of the year.

 

Source links: Insurance Journal, Insurance Business America

 

 

Tags:  Government Appeals its MetLife too Big to Fail Fai  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  MetLife  MetLife Dumps Snoopy  Weekly Industry News 

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Wildfire Season Done — Even More Risk Coming in 2017

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The 2016 wildfire season — as Weekly Industry News reported last week — wasn’t as bad as it has been the last couple of years and especially last year when it set records. And while that’s a good thing, the annual CoreLogic Wildfire Risk Report says we aren’t likely to have that happy circumstance in the future. It noted that there are 1.8 million single-family homes in the 13 Western states that are in extreme risk or high risk danger of wildfire damage.

 

And the total price tag for all those homes? Try $500 billion.

 

California has the most homes in both categories at 645,445 properties. Texas and Colorado are second and third with 532,317 and 195,601 homes respectively. The three states also have the highest reconstruction value with California at $250 billion, Texas sitting close to $94 billion and Colorado pushing past $54 billion.

 

Why is this important?

 

On average in the last 20 years 5.8 million acres in the West have burned every year. That number nearly doubled in 2015 to 10.1 million and it is felt this year’s low figure is an anomaly and that it’ll get worse in the future and not better.

 

Tom Jeffrey authored the report for CoreLogic. He said the governors of many Western state are pouring more resources into fighting wildfires and were able to address them early which helped keep the acreage burned down in 2016.

 

And the governors aren’t alone. Jeffrey said people in risk areas are also starting to catch on. People in high risk areas, and especially in California with the drought, everybody gets the story. They understand that there’s a risk, and I think that individual homeowners are doing more to mitigate their property and that’s helping a lot too,” he said.

 

Jeffrey added another important aspect to address and one that isn’t being properly done, is limiting growth on wilderness boundaries aka the wildland urban interface. It’s growing and means even more homes are now in danger.

 

Carole Walker of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association agrees with Jeffrey and the CoreLogic report. Wildfire is a risk that science demonstrates that we can reduce damage and destruction of property by doing ongoing wildfire mitigation both as individuals and communities. Wildland urban interface residents also need to consider their insurability and at least on an annual basis update their insurance coverage and costs to repair and rebuild their homes,” she said.

 

These are the at risk home figures for the nine PIA Western Alliance states:

State Extreme Risk
(Score 80-100) 
High Risk
(Score 61-79)
Moderate Risk
(Score 51-60) 
Low Risk
(Score 1-50)
Arizona 26,782
28,882 11,375 2.024 million
California
263,152 382,293 136,913 8.322 million
Idaho 41,230
26,647 10,795
500,028
Montana 29,902
21,079 10,795 274,441
Nevada  6.325 7,556 1,249 876,382
New Mexico 38,911 24,318 8,453 540,335
Oregon
80,261
50,413 22,977 1.400 million
Washington 18,323 14,272 7,891
2.256 million

 

 

Source link: Insurance Journal

 

 

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News  Wildfire Season Done — Even More Risk Coming in 20  wildfires 

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