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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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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.
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.
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
| 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.
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.
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.
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.
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.
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
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.
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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Green building insurance industry 'booming'
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.
Getting rid of Congress and the government shutdown
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.
Federal government shutdown insurance impact
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
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.
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.
Around the PIA Western Alliance States
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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