PIA Weekly Industry News
Jun. 5, 2013

Obamacare: Exchanges and new insurers

The Obama administration says the exchanges — designed to help control medical care costs — are adding new insurers not found in states before now. Many of the exchanges required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will be run by the federal government. Most states opted out. Just 15 will run their own and 35 will have the federal government do it for them. A few of those are going to partner with the federal government on theirs.More

Your health insurance company may owe you money
Bloomberg Businessweek
In 2012, health insurance companies sent small businesses $321 million in rebates. In California, tens of millions more are on the way, according to the Los Angeles Times. The money comes from a little-known piece of Obamacare meant to keep premiums in check. In all the talk about death panels, mandates and insurance exchanges, it's easy to miss how the Affordable Care Act tries to limit health insurance premiums. More

The 6 ways Obamacare changes insurance premiums
The Washington Post
Perhaps it's worth simplifying this discussion about premiums under Obamacare a bit. This whole conversation is about the individual insurance exchanges, which effectively replace today's individual market — and have nothing to do with the insurance offered by Medicare, Medicaid or employers. If all goes well, a bit less than 10 percent of the population will get insurance through these exchanges by 2023. In 2014, however, only about 2.5 percent are expected to be in the exchanges.More

Saying 'I Do' to wedding insurance
Insurance Journal
In 2012, Natalia Esparra, then 34 and a new bride, learned that something had gone wrong with her photographer's memory card and that all of her wedding photos had disappeared. Three recovery companies looked at the memory card, the backup hard drive and the laptop, but only 98 photos — none with the wedding party in them — were salvaged.More

Oklahoma's tornado woes

Oklahoma's Department of Insurance recently said that more than 22,000 claims have been filed for the string of tornadoes that hit the state May 19 and 20. They covered 16 counties and destroyed 1,248 buildings. In Moore, Okla. — where the most destruction was recorded — the average home price of the homes destroyed range from $150,000 to $200,000. Payments on the claims by insurers as of last report hit $85 million. That will climb.More

Middle income and the No. 1 health concern

Middle income Americans worry more about cancer than any other disease. Or so says the Washington National Institute for Wellness Solutions. Their study looked at people 30 to 66 with incomes between $35,000 and $99,999. Health concerns were in order.More

Statistics: Hurricane season

The hurricane season officially started June 1. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's is predicting a fairly active hurricane and tropical storm season. The NOAA thinks there will be somewhere between 13 to 20 named storms. There is a big chance that seven to 11 of them will turn into hurricanes. Three to six will turn into category 3, 4 and 5 storms.More

The basics of business interruption coverage and having the right limit
By Curtis M. Pearsall, President, Pearsall Associates Inc.
Most commercial customers should have business interruption coverage, yet judging by some industry articles on Superstorm Sandy, that issue may be debatable. One article cited a survey from a national carrier stating that only 30 percent of the small businesses in New Jersey had business interruption coverage, and only 10 percent had coverage for off-premises utility interruption.More

Reinsurers in US, an excellent 1st quarter

The Reinsurance Association of America said the first quarter of 2013 was pretty good. Net income doubled to $3.4 billion. That's up from $1.5 billion in the first quarter of 2012. The net underwriting gain was $1.2 billion. That beats the $69.3 million loss of the first quarter of last year. Net underwriting gains are the reason.More

Update: The farm bill

Montana Sen. Max Baucus is retiring in 2014. He told a group of Montana farmers the farm bill now being debated by Congress is a top-priority for him before he retires. His reception was less than positive.More

Senate insurance deregulation bill from Tester, Johanns would benefit companies
The Huffington Post
The Senate Banking Committee is considering a new bill to deregulate insurance agent licensing requirements, drawing ire from consumer advocates.More

Economic risks continue to top ERM concerns
Insurance Networking
Financial modeling continues to grow, though at a slower pace than in 2011, survey finds.More

Employers gear up for health care changes
With the enrollment period for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act little more than four months away, employers are gearing up to inform their workers of the big changes ahead.More

Retirement: Times are changing

We all look forward to that day when the daily grind disappears and our lives are our own. The current term for that state of being is "retirement." Gallup gathered some retirement statistics and asked a few people close to retirement some questions.More

Your company wellness program: Is it working?

There are 500 workplace wellness vendors in the United States. Combined sales for their industry is $6 billion a year. Here's why. Of the employers in the country with 50 or more workers, 51 percent of them offer a wellness program. That is according to a study done by RAND.More

Is the PC long for the world?

When it comes to computers, laptops have long been more popular than desktops. Now — says the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker — tablets are quickly becoming more popular than laptops or your standard PC.More

AM Best: 2012 results excellent

The final results may not be the best ever, but A.M. Best says the underwriting and operating results of 2012 are pretty good. For certain they are better than 2011. How good? Net income jumped almost 52 percent. It was $39.9 billion compared to $26.3 billion in 2011. Policyholders surplus grew to a record $598.4 billion from the 2010 record of $572.2 billion.More

Diagnostic codes: Poking good-natured fun of Obamacare

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is classified as a Republican but he's really a Libertarian. Paul is also a doctor so his good-humored laughs at the new diagnostic codes for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act come from experience. Paul says some are very, very strange.More

Around the PIA Western Alliance states

Updates on PIA Western states.More