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Obamacare: Sebelius sorry and more Healthcare.gov
Unless you've been vacationing on another planet or in deepest, darkest Africa, you know the Obamacare rollout has been a huge flop. Today, this is what you find at the top of the landing page of the federal government's Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange: "The Health Insurance Marketplace online application isn't available from approximately 1-5 a.m. EST daily while we make improvements. Additional down times may be possible as we work to make things better. The rest of the site and the Marketplace call center remain available during these hours."
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 PIAW Happenings


PIA Washington mourns the passing of Bob Wallin
PIA Washington/Alaska member Bob Wallin has passed. He worked hard on behalf of this association at the state and national level for decades. Bob was PIA Washington/Alaska president in 1977 and is responsible for bringing National Alliance education courses to the state.
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NFIP referral registration reminder
PIA National says to join or maintain your eligibility in the National Flood Insurance Program Agent Referral Program, you must participate in two hours of flood training every two years and provide written proof of training completion to FloodSmart. Beginning now, existing agents in the program who haven't provided this documentation during the last two years will be required to provide it to stay in the program.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Who wants to eliminate their deductible?

A new Deductible Reimbursement Insurance is now available to all residents of the Western Region (except Alaska). Licensed insurance agents may now sign up on the ZeroDeductible website and offer deductible reimbursement insurance to their clients directly for their auto, home and boat policies.

Click here
to learn more!
 


PIA National: Can't use the exchange? Use an independent agent
The few people able to access the federal government's healthcare.gov Obamacare exchange are getting health insurance sign up assistance from navigators. PIA National is offering a better solution. Even better, the message is gaining traction — traction it should have gained when Congress was putting the Affordable Care Act together more than three-years ago.
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 Industry News from PIA Western Alliance


Controversy: You can keep your insurance
When campaigning for health care reform, President Barack Obama assured Americans they could keep their insurance if they liked it. "If you like your health plan, you will be able to keep your health plan. If you already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance." Obama was saying that up through the end of 2012.
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Is Obamacare helping?
Very recently, Bankrate.com wondered if the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — is helpful. So it did a survey. Just 11 percent of those polled say their health insurance situation is better now than it was a year ago. Of those surveyed, 36 percent say their health insurance costs have risen in the last year. Just 5 percent have seen a decrease. These are not great statistics by any stretch of the imagination.
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Your clients: Midsize business owner worries
Midsize business owning is as tough a row as a person can hoe. And few anywhere worry more than the midsize business owner. They're hammered on all sides. The ADP Research Institute — a group within ADP, a corporation specializing in capital management — recently looked at what worries midsize businesses. Here are the top three in the report Top Concerns and Challenges of Midsized Business Leaders in 2013.
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Flood insurance increase delay — agreement reached
PIA National reports that key House and Senate members have reached a bipartisan deal to delay rate hikes in the reformed National Flood Insurance Program. Complaints are coming in that is raising premiums for too many homeowners and many of them cannot afford the increases. The bipartisan group worries that some rate increases are 100 to 200 percent and some report learning of hikes of 1,000 percent.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Health policies canceled in latest hurdle for Obamacare (Bloomberg)
Health insurance options aren't limited to government exchanges (The New York Times)
PIA National: New, less expensive MVR source (PIAW)
Success: PIA Washington/Alaska and IIABW's Annual Conference (PIAW)
After insurance industry pow-wow, White House delays Obamacare's individual mandate (Forbes)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


Consumer opinion: Obamacare rollout bombs
Polls continue to show public opinion of the Affordable Care Act isn't very high. The approval rating averages in the mid-to-high 40 percentile. The disastrous rollout of the Obamacare exchanges — particularly the federal government's healthcare.gov — hasn't helped increase the approval rating.
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Threats to insurance growth in 2014
The recently completed 2013 Property Casualty Insurers Association of America Annual Meeting was a treasure trove of great information on the attitude of the industry about a number of topics. One of them is worries and positives carriers foresee in 2014.
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The most dangerous thing in America
The most personally dangerous thing about living in the United States is living in the United States. No. That is not a misprint or a writer's error. You'd think the most dangerous thing about living in the U.S. would be car crashes or disease or terrorist activity — maybe even crime or some such similar event. Nope. It's living.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword OBAMACARE.


FEATURED ARTICLE
TRENDING ARTICLE
MOST POPULAR ARTICLE
Green building insurance industry 'booming'
Environmental Leader
The green building insurance market is competitive and growing, the Insurance Journal reports, with green construction industry driving this growth. By 2015, between 40 percent and 48 percent of new nonresidential construction, when measured by value, will be environmentally friendly. That equates to a $120 billion to 145 billion opportunity for the insurance market, the news service reports.

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Getting rid of Congress and the government shutdown
PIAW
While the people of the U.S. are glad the stalemate between the Republicans and the Democrats and the president over the debt extension and money to run the federal government is over, they're still really angry with Congress and the administration.

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Federal government shutdown insurance impact
PIAW
The federal government shutdown has impacts all over the place. One place it won't impact is flood insurance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency managed National Flood Insurance Program is allowed by law to continue activities because the NFIP is funded by sources.

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The health of the industry: Financial and employees
The Insurance Information Institute says core operations of property/casualty insurers are improving as payouts for damages decline and rates for coverage rise. The institute reports insurance losses from catastrophes in the U.S. totaled $35 billion in 2012. That includes $18.75 billion in losses related to Superstorm Sandy. This is compared with losses of $33.6 billion in 2011.
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The automobile: Various interesting topics
Vehicles that drive themselves are called autonomous. Experts at the think tank Eno Center for Transportation say if 90 percent of the vehicles in the U.S. were autonomous, we'd see 4.2 million fewer accidents and over 21,700 lives would be saved. And we'd burn 724 million less gallons of gas.
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 Around PIA Western


Around the PIA Western Alliance States

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 News You Can Use


101 bad business buzzwords — and why you should avoid them
By Joe Latta
Today’s marketing and proposal materials are littered with important-sounding words that have no real value. Seamless, top-notch, world-class, laser-focused, and best of breed. We've all been guilty of using terms like these in place of meaningful descriptors. Unfortunately, buzzwords can seriously weaken your persuasive messaging and give an impression of insecurity. In fact, a 2010 study by researchers at New York University and the University of Basel found that readers are significantly more likely to think your statements are untruthful when written with abstract language, rather than with concrete terms and phrasing. Not good.
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PIA Weekly Industry News
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Rebecca Eberhardt, Content Editor, 469.420.2608   
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Gary Wolcott, Writer for PIA Western Alliance, 503.724.9028   

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