June 2016 Issue


FOCUS

Racing To The Bottom

Back in good old 1991, the phrase “a race to the bottom” described the predicted events following one state’s proposals for a set......

Are MEC Plans A Good Option For Your Smaller Clients?

Health insurance premiums for small firms (3-199 workers) have seen a 25 percent increase since 2010, with the average family premium rising from......

Advanced Health Data Analytics Drive Broker-Employer Partnerships

As they vie for the health benefits business of self-insured employers, brokers need more technology firepower than their competitors. Advanced data......


Small Businesses: An Untapped Market For Individual Health Insurance Policies

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has spurred an increase in coverage nationwide. According to the CDC’s National Health Interview Survey from January through September 2015, the percentage of persons uninsured at the time of the survey......

Benefits Administration Platforms: The Sale Within The Sale

Advising clients by providing focus is essential to a broker’s success. The expertise supplied by brokers makes decision makers more confident in their ultimate choice of policies, vendors and product support teams.  In many......

Broker Words

Broker Words

June’s column inexorably draws from me a miasma of righteous (and coincidentally right-leaning) indignation, paranoia (overwhelmingly justified?), impotent anger and a sense of impending doom.  Coupled with my seemingly unquenchable......

General Interest

Consumer Demand For Financial Protection Pushes Asset-Based Long Term Care Sales Upward

Few things in life are certain, but history tells us it’s fairly safe for financial professionals to presume health care and long-term care costs can take a large bite out of a client’s retirement nest egg. Given the escalating......

Life Is Like Underwear: Change Is Good!

A very common thing to do in the face of adversity or even the simplest forms of change is to regress and fall into the lament “remember the old days when…” Well, it has been a year since I began my odyssey from the......

Special Monthly Update

2016 Fixed Annuity Study

The author would like to thank Jeremy Alexander and Monika Hunsinger of Beacon Research for allowing access to their comprehensive store of annuity sales data and granting permission for a portion of this research to be shared.

Data......

Monthly Commentary

Zika Virus: A Mortality Risk?

On February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika virus a health emergency of international concern, and a week later, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) elevated its response to the highest......

Hot Tips For HSAs

Here’s a “Top Ten” list of reasons why employers and employees should establish Heath Savings Accounts (HSAs). 

The Modest Number Of DI Providers Cannot Be Expected To Do The Job

The disability insurance industry has some confessions to make to insurance consumers. I will offer some suggestions here with hopes of drawing attention to the industry’s critical need for expansion. 

Recall that......

Retirement Ruin(ed)

Many of those in the financial world talk about the concept of retirement ruin. As commonly used, retirement ruin means running out of retirement income before one is dead. In the investment world it has come to be defined as......

Meanderings

This is after all an eclectic commentary column and it is not required to connect all the dots. We are certainly in a time of transition, upheaval and reexamination of all those previously held beliefs concerning the structure of product......

News Releases

LifeMark Partners, Inc. Announces New Board Members

LifeMark Partners, Inc., one of the nation’s largest independent national insurance marketing organizations, today announced two new members to their board of directors: Dan Allison, president of Brokers Clearing House, Ltd., and......

Petersen International Underwriters

Petersen International Underwriters has announced the hiring of Todd Shield as a Regional Vice President.  Mr. Shield previously worked at Assurity Life Insurance Company as Manager of Disability Income Products.  He is a nationally......

Allianz Life

Employees of Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) voted to have four Twin Cities’ charities receive $25,000 each to support their mission as part of the company’s Employee-Elected Charities program......