Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and ranking member Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., announced a deal to stabilize the individual insurance market by funding cost-sharing reduction payments through 2019, giving states more flexibility to skirt certain Affordable Care Act requirements, allowing consumers over age 30 to purchase copper plans, and providing $106 million to support ACA enrollment. However, the proposal garnered mixed messages from President Donald Trump, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has not said whether he will allow a vote, and some Republicans said they oppose it.
Northern California wineries, particularly the smaller ones, might face unexpected limits as they pursue insurance claims for damage caused by wildfires. Insured and economic losses between $3 billion and $6 billion were estimated for the region as of Oct. 12, with business interruptions to wineries possibly driving the ultimate total higher, according to Risk Management Solutions.
Corporate risk managers must be proactive in determining a company's needs for terrorism risk insurance and identifying what form such coverage should take, according to a report from the Risk and Insurance Management Society. Lending agreements and other contracts might contain stipulations for terrorism risk coverage even if a company hasn't deemed stand-alone or another form of coverage to be necessary.
The effectiveness of new insurance technology will depend largely upon the strength of collaboration within the industry, said experts on a panel at the PCI Annual Meeting this week. "As startups, we can innovate but we can't scale, and I think the incumbents can't innovate but have scale," making partnerships important, Tim Attia of Slice Labs said.
Lawmakers are determining how to overhaul the National Flood Insurance Program and are considering $16 billion in NFIP debt forgiveness, which would help the program with the costs of recent hurricanes. Taxpayers "take the brunt of the hit" of recent storms without a strong private flood insurance market to help share the risk, said North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread.
Power outages affected some parts of Whatcom County, Wash., after the western part of the state experienced its first storm of the rainy season Tuesday. A storm forecast to hit the region Wednesday could bring 50 mph gusts.
UnitedHealth Group, the country's largest health insurance company, expressed interest in selling short-term policies and association plans, which President Donald Trump has said are options to supplant Affordable Care Act coverage. "We will be engaging with policymakers as the regulatory frameworks in these areas are developed," UnitedHealth CEO David Wichmann said during a call with investors.
Retiree optimism about the stock market rose 20 points in the 2017 Wells Fargo Retirement Study. Half of respondents said their health care costs are higher than expected, however, and more than one-third said their standard of living dropped after going into retirement, the study found.
The Task Force on Low-Value Care says health care costs for procedures that might be unneeded amounts to $25 billion per year. These procedures include the use of brand-name drugs instead of generics and diagnostic imaging and testing prior to low-risk surgery, according to the task force.
Recent catastrophes didn't just damage property; insurance rates could be in danger as well. Recent natural catastrophes such as the hurricanes in the Caribbean and earthquakes in Mexico will have underwriters looking to increase rates across several lines of business in the near future. "Clearly there's a recognition that the market needs to see some correction," said Paul Kim, managing director and co-chief broking officer at Aon Risk Solutions in New York. However, only about one-third of insurance companies have reported their third-quarter catastrophe-loss estimates, so the potential amount of rate increases remains unclear. Read more.
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