CSG Actuarial’s News To Know release this week includes recent articles from across the industry, with updates on Critical Illness, Medicare Advantage, Short-Term Care, and Whole Life.

Critical Illness | From PRNewsire, May 23,2016

CHICAGO, May 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Bankers Life and Casualty Company, a national life and health insurer, today announced a new addition to its critical illness insurance products, Critical Benefit PLUSSM.

The current plan, Critical Benefit®, covers cancer, heart attack, stroke, end-stage renal failure, coronary artery bypass graft and angioplasty. Critical Benefit PLUS covers eight additional critical conditions, including:

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Permanent blindness
  • Permanent paralysis
  • Permanent deafness
  • Coma
  • Major organ transplant—surgery
  • Major organ transplant—active waiting list
  • Diabetic amputation

Read the full article on PRNewsire. 

Medicare Advantage | From Kaiser Family Foundation, June 20, 2016

A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of private Medicare plan networks finds that Medicare Advantage plans include about  half of area hospitals in their network, on average, while one in five plans have no  Academic Medical Center in-network.  Among plans in an area with a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, more than two in five did not include the cancer center in their network.

The new study of the hospital networks of Medicare Advantage plans, which includes plan and firm-specific information for 409 plans in a geographically diverse sample of 20 counties in 2015, also finds that information about hospital networks is not readily available, sometimes inaccurate and rarely consumer friendly.  More than 17 million of Medicare’s 57 million beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, and enrollment in the private plans is projected to reach 30 million by 2026.

Read the full article from Kaiser Family Foundation.

Short-Term Care |  InsuranceNewsNet, June 9, 2016

This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services proposed limiting short-term health policies to a term of three months. Currently, short-term policies can be issued for a term of up to one year.

In announcing the proposal, HHS said it was strengthening the risk pool of participants in the health insurance marketplace by tightening the rules on short-term plans. Abuses in the use of short-term plans, HHS said, “exploit gaps in current rules to use medical underwriting to keep some of the healthiest consumers out of the Affordable Care Act’s single risk pool.”

Read the full article on InsuranceNewsNet.

Whole Life | InsuranceNewsNet, June 20, 2016

New York-based mutual Guardian Life, seeking to inject more flexibility into whole life, has launched a new rider to make the products more affordable.

In addition, policy loan options will give policyholders more borrowing flexibility, the company said.

The rider and the loan options are available on policy forms L-95, L-99 and L-121, the company said in a product release.

“We want to create more flexibility and customization,” said Andrew Gordon, vice president and actuary for Life Product Development and Risk at Guardian Life, in an interview.

Lifetime Protection Builder rider offers decreasing term coverage for a 15-year period.

Read the full article on InsuranceNewsNet.

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