LIMRA facts: Life Insurance Awareness Month, September 2019

The changing life insurance buying process

     ● About half (47%) of American consumers find simplified underwriting more appealing than traditional underwriting;

     ● Benefits of simplified underwriting:

          ◘ It’s fast and easy (63%);

          ◘ It’s unbiased and objective (57%);

          ◘ It offers transparent explanations of risk and pricing (57%);

          ◘ It avoids need to see a doctor (56%);

          ◘ It avoids medical exam, blood and urine samples (55%);

          ◘ It avoids face-to-face conversation (40%)

     ● The majority (74%) of consumers who buy their life insurance online work full-time;

     ● Similar to those who buy in person, about half of those who buy online are married;

     ● Consumers who purchased life insurance online tend to have fewer investable assets than those who purchased in person (on average, $179K vs. $289).

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Listen and Learn; You’ll Know What To Do

If you want to be successful, let no one ever tell you what to do. If someone has to tell you what your goals are, then the only goals you have belong to someone else. If someone has to tell you what your responsibilities are, then you’re not doing enough to be as successful as you might be. If someone has to remind you of what you need to do, you may be failing them … but more importantly, you’re failing yourself. If someone has to tell you what to do, then you’re squandering the gift of being human and wasting your initiative, your resourcefulness, your creativity and your determination. Learn from everyone. Seek out good advice. But let no one ever tell you what to do.

COLUMN

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Medicare Spending and Financing: 2019

This issue brief includes the most recent historical and projected Medicare spending data published in the 2019 annual report of the Boards of Medicare Trustees from the CMS and the Office of the Actuary, and the 2019 Medicare baseline and projections from the Congressional Budget Office.

Medicare was 15% of federal spending in 2018; it’s projected to rise to 18% by 2029.

As a share of total Medicare benefit spending, payments to Medicare Advantage plans for Part A and Part B benefits increased by nearly 50% between 2008 and 2018, from 21% ($99 billion) to 32% ($232 billion) of total spending, as enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans increased over these years.

 Medicare per capita spending is projected to grow at an average annual rate of 5.1% over the next 10 years (2018 – 2028) with enrollment growth, increased use of services, intensity of care and rising health care prices.

ISSUE BRIEF

 

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Q2 Annuity Sales Set Historic Records

Fixed indexed annuity sales in Q2 were $20 billion, 14% higher than prior year results, according LIMRA. Annuity sales were up sharply again across the board, continuing a sales rebound that began with the defeat of the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule early in 2018. “This quarter’s FIA sales total represents the highest quarterly sales for FIAs ever,” LIMRA said. “Despite declining interest rates, we are forecasting the current momentum of FIA sales to continue through the end of the year, and expect sales of FIAs to exceed $70 billion for 2019.” In the first six months of 2019, FIA sales were $38 billion, an increase of 18%, compared with the first six months of 2018. Total annuity sales were $63.9 billion in Q2, up 7% compared to 2018. This is the highest quarterly sales recorded since Q1 2009, and the third consecutive quarter where total annuity sales surpassed $60 billion. Year-to-date, total annuity sales were $124.8 billion, an increase 11%, compared to the first half of 2018.

ARTICLE based on REPORT

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ACA Begins Using Star Ratings for Plans

HealthCare.gov and the state ACA exchange websites will start publishing quality star ratings for insurance plans, CMS announced Thursday. Under the now-nationwide policy, set to start for the 2020 plan year, exchange insurers will be rated using a 5-star quality rating system similar to Medicare Advantage’s. The number of stars awarded depends on how enrollees rate in-network doctors, care received, customer service and overall experience with the insurer. HealthCare.gov will post the ratings.

ARTICLE based on CMS RELEASE

 

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Medicare Advantage: Double-Digit Growth

All but one of the five largest for-profit payers saw double-digit growth in their Medicare Advantage membership in Q2 2019. Insurers are listed in order of year-over-year M/A enrollment growth, as of June 30:

  1. Aetna: M/A membership – 2.3 million, 30.6% growth;
  2. Anthem: M/A membership – 1.2 million, 24.9% growth;
  3. Humana: M/A membership: 12.4 million, 19.2% growth;
  4. Cigna: M/A membership – 1.6 million, 10 % growth;
  5. UnitedHealthcare: M/A membership – 5.2 million, 8.4% growth.

 

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