Daily Insurance Report - July, 27 2023

Your summary of the Voluntary and Healthcare Industry’s most relevant and breaking news; brought to you by the Voluntary Benefits Association®

AHIP, NAACOS, AMA Publish Data-Sharing Best Practices Playbook

By David Raths - AHIP, the American Medical Association (AMA), and the National Association of ACOs (NAACOS) have combined forces to develop data-sharing best practices that organizations may voluntarily adopt to support the growth of value-based care. Over the past several months, the partners convened an advisory workgroup of members from each association, established a managing committee of association leaders, directed a literature review and environmental scan, and conducted interviews with subject matter experts. Read Full Article… 

VBA Article Summary

  1. Data Privacy and Security Concerns: Danielle Lloyd emphasized the importance of vigilance around the impacts on security and patient privacy as data sharing expands across different types of organizations. The senior vice president of AHIP pointed out that the increased sharing of data could potentially compromise patient privacy if not properly handled, underlying the need for secure systems to protect sensitive information.

  2. Inconsistent Data Standards and Infrastructure: Lloyd also highlighted the barriers posed by the lack of mature data standards and varying data infrastructure capabilities across regions. The absence of uniformity can make data sharing challenging and less effective. Some regions have access to robust health information exchanges, while others lack this critical resource. Additionally, participant readiness and varying levels of experience and capabilities amongst providers and plans further complicate the issue.

  3. The Five Key Areas of Opportunity: The webinar identified five key areas of opportunity for improving data sharing and usage: creation of an interoperable data ecosystem, sharing of more comprehensive data, improvements in data collection and use to advance health equity, sharing of timely and actionable data, and making data methodologies, calculations, and context readily available. Achieving these goals, according to Lloyd, requires standardized data elements, exchange standards, and mutual understanding between all stakeholders.

Overall, the webinar outlined the challenges faced by the healthcare industry in terms of data sharing and offered possible solutions for increasing the effectiveness of data-driven strategies in the sector. The playbook provided marks the beginning of an ongoing effort to improve and expand participation in value-based care arrangements.

The Biden administration proposes new rules to push insurers to boost mental health coverage

By Zeke Miller and Chris Megerian - President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced that his administration is moving forward with new rules meant to push insurance companies to increase their coverage of mental health treatments. The new regulations, which still need to go through a public comment period, would require insurers to study whether their customers have equal access to medical and mental health benefits and to take remedial action, if necessary. Read Full Article… 

  1. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act Reinterpretation: The Biden administration intends to reinterpret the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act to demand that insurers provide the same level of coverage for mental and physical health care. This move comes in response to concerns that insurers' policies are restricting patient access to mental health services, despite the law's mandate. Critics suggest that the current interpretation of the law allows for a discrepancy between mental and physical health care, undermining the spirit of the legislation. Biden argues that a mental health breakdown should be treated with the same urgency and coverage as a physical injury, like a broken arm, to fulfill the promise of mental health parity for all Americans.

  2. Proposed Rules and Measurements: Under the proposed changes, insurers will be forced to study patient outcomes to ensure that benefits for mental and physical health are administered equally. This includes considering factors such as their provider network, reimbursement rates, and whether prior authorization is required for care. By measuring these outcomes, the administration believes it can force insurers to make necessary modifications to comply with the law. The rules, if finalized, aim to prevent issues such as higher out-of-pocket fees for subscribers due to insufficient mental health providers in insurer networks or unnecessary difficulties in accessing services like nutritional counseling for individuals with eating disorders.

  3. Biden's Unity Agenda and the Mental Health Crisis: The reinterpretation of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act is part of Biden's "unity agenda" – a series of issues that he believes could garner bipartisan support in Congress. Tackling the nation's mental health crisis was a key topic during his 2022 State of the Union address, emphasizing the urgency of the issue and the need for change. The administration's move to address mental health parity aligns with the aim to rectify healthcare disparities and establish equal access to care for all Americans.

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Telecommunications Services Market: Booming with Lucrative Opportunities and Important Updates

By Absolute reports pvt ltd - Global "Telecommunications Services Market" research studies offer significant time savings and enhance the credibility of your work. Whether you're updating your business strategy, preparing a presentation for a key client, or providing guidance to senior executives, these studies provide valuable legitimacy. The Telecommunications Services Market Report provides a comprehensive analysis of regional and major player segments, delivering detailed insights into current market conditions and future opportunities. Read Full Article… 

VBA Article Summary

  1. Comprehensive Market Insights: The article covers various essential aspects of the Telecommunications Services market, including drivers, trending segments, consumer behavior, pricing factors, and market performance. By incorporating types (Mobile Data, Mobile Voice, Fixed Data, Fixed Voice), end-users (Residential, Commercial), and regions, readers gain valuable insights into the industry's dynamics.

  2. Informed Decision Making: The report offers a specialized data report that combines fact-finding, expressive analysis, and contributory research. By providing both quantitative and qualitative perspectives, including SWOT and PESTLE analysis, it equips readers with a deeper understanding of the market. This knowledge empowers businesses to make informed decisions, whether it's about investments, market expansion, or strategic partnerships.

  3. Anticipated Market Growth: The Global Telecommunications Services market is projected to witness significant growth during the forecast period from 2023 to 2029. With the market already growing steadily and key players adopting innovative strategies, the article emphasizes the potential rise in the market over the projected horizon. This indicates lucrative opportunities for companies to capitalize on the evolving market trends and meet the rising demand for telecommunications services.

Overall, the article provides a comprehensive and specialized outlook on the Telecommunications Services market, enabling readers to stay informed about the latest developments and make well-informed decisions to thrive in the industry.

Best Construction Insurance Companies, USA: 5-Star Construction 2023

By Insurance Business - Constructive accomplishments: The 2023 Insurance Business America 5-Star Construction awards celebrate the outstanding insurance providers who deliver an industry-leading service to brokers nationwide. These best construction insurance companies were ranked in categories including work quality, specialist expertise, and client service to earn the coveted 5-Star designation. Read Full Article… 

VBA Article Summary

  1. Customized Risk Management Solutions: Selective Insurance prides itself in offering unique risk management solutions tailored to the specific needs of its customers. This customization is particularly beneficial in industries like construction, where different roles such as general contractors, masons, and commercial builders have distinct risk exposures. Selective's approach to differentiation lies in its unique field model with local resources for each geographic territory, superior customer experience delivered by dedicated employees, and a true franchise value in partnership with top-notch distribution partners.

  2. Recognition and Achievements: As a testament to its superior services and policies, Selective Insurance has been ranked A+ by AM Best and won the Forbes Best Midsize Employer and Great Place to Work awards in 2023. Additionally, the company recorded 81% of 2022 total net premiums written from commercial lines, expanded its services to all 50 states, and catered to the needs of tens of thousands of contractors.

  3. Adapting to the Future: Considering the ongoing changes in the construction industry, including shifts in workforce, technological adoption, and evolving customer demands, Selective Insurance understands the importance of staying ahead. The company has noted emerging trends, such as a shift toward more affordable multi-family construction and infrastructure improvement projects, and is keen to tailor risk management programs to suit these new developments. They underscore the importance of maintaining a broad view of the industry and ensuring safety protocols and coverages for subcontractors are included in their insurance solutions.

More than 70,000 federal workers to gain vision, dental coverage

By Molly Weisner - Tens of thousands of government employees including some firefighters and mail carriers will be able to sign up for the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program under a new rule by the Office of Personnel Management that expands eligibility for workers on temporary or seasonal schedules. Read Full Article… 

VBA Article Summary

  1. Expansion of FEDVIP Coverage: The Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) has expanded its coverage with a new rule that took effect on Tuesday, making an estimated 72,000 additional employees eligible for dental and vision insurance. This expansion aims to promote parity in healthcare access, particularly for high-risk occupations such as wildland firefighters and emergency responders. The expanded coverage could slightly increase premiums due to the potential for more costly procedures associated with high-risk patients. However, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) suggests this may be offset by the typically younger age and better health of the new enrollees.

  2. Projected Impact on Demand and Workforce Health: Initially, there may be increased demand on FEDVIP as many newly eligible employees are likely to sign up for coverage. The OPM anticipates that this surge will eventually stabilize, and the overall effect will be positive, reducing the need for sick leave among the workforce as more people have access to health insurance. This new rule extends beyond the previous limitations, which restricted enrollment to employees working at least 130 hours a month for a minimum of 90 days and who met the full-time government employee threshold of 33 hours per week.

  3. Improved Coverage Transition for Veterans: The proposed rule will also better facilitate the transition to FEDVIP for veterans. Currently, veterans can only enroll in FEDVIP upon retirement, with a 60-day window from the date they achieve retired status to enroll, risking a potential lapse in coverage. The new rule would allow service members to enroll 31 days before they lose their dental or vision coverage, or an additional 60 days after becoming eligible. For those newly eligible, enrollments will be accepted during a 60-day period following the issuance of the final rule, starting when the employing office notifies employees of their eligibility.

How Barbie's boss puts wellness first

By Deanna Cuadra - To maintain a competitive edge in the labor market, more and more companies are recognizing the importance of aligning wellness with their policies and benefits. But for this benefit leader, they've always been intertwined. Keith Saucier is the vice president of health and well-being at Mattel, a multinational toy and entertainment company and the maker of Barbie. Working in a creative field, Saucier believes Mattel's innovation can't happen without their employees feeling supported by the right wellness benefits. Read Full Article…

VBA Article Summary

  1. A Focus on Holistic Wellness: At Mattel, employees' well-being is valued and addressed across five key pillars: emotional, physical, financial, social, and career development. This comprehensive approach includes benefits such as free counseling sessions, a Headspace subscription, access to behavioral health providers, on-site fitness centers, fertility assistance, and paid parental leave. Additionally, they have implemented free one-on-one and group coaching sessions to guide employees through any major life event.

  2. Creating Social Connections: Understanding the need for social connections among workers, especially amidst the pandemic and the resulting remote work model, Mattel encourages group coaching sessions. These sessions not only provide a platform for shared goals and challenges but also aim to cultivate a collaborative culture - a cornerstone for sparking creative and innovative ideas.

  3. Leadership Commitment to Employee Well-being: While the inclusion of these comprehensive benefits is crucial, Mattel's leadership understands that they need to actively promote and prioritize employee well-being. Rather than simply viewing these initiatives as HR tasks, they emphasize that the intention should be to transform the company culture. They actively monitor employee sentiment through a global pulse survey and have seen positive outcomes even during challenging times, a testament to their successful approach.

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Benefits Administration Systems Market Share Size 2023: Top Players, Market Share, Future Growth by 2029: Benefitfocus, ADP, BreatheHR

By 360 Research Reports - The New Report By 360 Research Reports Titled, ‘Global "Benefits Administration Systems Market" Size, Share, Price, Trends,Report and Forecast 2023-2029’, gives an in-depth analysis of the global Benefits Administration Systems market, assessing the market based on its segments like fraction, application, end-use, and major regions. Read Full Article… 

VBA Article Summary

  1. Market Overview: The Benefits Administration Systems market is anticipated to witness significant growth between 2022 and 2029. The growth is expected to be fueled by advanced technological adoption and strategic approaches by key players in the market. Despite intense competition, the market is predicted to flourish due to global recovery trends and new investments. The report scrutinizes the Benefits Administration Systems market based on manufacturers, regions, types, and applications. It also provides a detailed analysis of the cost structure, supply chain, and market dynamics, such as drivers, restraints, and opportunities.

  2. Market Segmentation and Key Players: The Benefits Administration Systems market is segmented based on its applications into Small Business, Medium-sized Business, and Large Business, and based on product types into On-Premise and Cloud-Based systems. Some of the largest manufacturers in this domain include Benefitfocus, ADP, BreatheHR, PlanSource, bswift, Paycor, Zane Benefits, BambooHR, EmpowerHR/Pay, WEX Health, Gusto, Zenefits, Ceridian, Paycom, Namely, and Workday.

  3. Regional Analysis and Impact of COVID-19: North America, especially the United States, and Europe are predicted to play crucial roles in the market growth, with considerable expansion expected during the forecast period. Furthermore, the impact of COVID-19 on the Benefits Administration Systems market has been analyzed from global and regional perspectives. The report discusses both the direct and indirect impact of the pandemic, offering a comprehensive evaluation of market development before and after the COVID-19 crisis. It also provides a thorough PESTEL analysis to understand the key influencers and barriers to market entry. The final report will additionally incorporate the analysis of the impact of the Russia-Ukraine War and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on the Benefits Administration Systems industry.

Diabetes: ‘A defining disease of this century,’ doubling to 1.3B people by 2050

By Matthew Griffin - Effective weight-loss programs have proven hard to implement at large scale, and many health-care systems are not prepared to intervene in diabetes early, according to researchers at medical journal Lancet. Global aging and rising body weight will more than double the number of people with diabetes by 2050, researchers predicted, putting millions more people at risk of a variety of dangerous disorders. Read Full Article… 

VBA Article Summary

  1. Rapid Increase in Global Diabetes Prevalence: By 2050, it's predicted that more than 1.3 billion people worldwide will be affected by diabetes, more than doubling the 529 million patients recorded in 2021 according to the Lancet medical journal. This increase is primarily driven by the prevalence of type 2 diabetes, the form often linked to overweight and obesity issues. With diabetes impacting one in 10 adults globally and causing 6.7 million deaths in 2021, it's poised to be a defining disease of this century.

  2. Challenges in Diabetes Management and Treatment: Despite type 2 diabetes being largely preventable through weight loss and controllable with various effective medications, rates of the disease remain high. This is partly due to the difficulty of implementing large-scale weight-loss programs and a lack of early intervention in many health-care systems. Promising diabetes drugs, such as those in the GLP-1 class produced by Novo Nordisk A/S and Eli Lilly & Co., are often inaccessible for many patients due to their high costs. Moreover, these drugs have not been used widely enough to determine whether they can significantly alter the course of the epidemic.

  3. Inequality and Diabetes: Diabetes disproportionately affects individuals in low- and middle-income countries, as well as minority groups. Less than 10% of the affected population in these countries receive adequate care, exacerbating the impact of the disease. As such, addressing systemic issues like racism and economic inequality is critical to effectively manage and control the global rise in diabetes. Despite these challenges, researchers emphasize the importance of early identification and management of diabetes.