Posts Tagged ‘insurance’

Insurance industry looks to address opioid epidemic

opioidsThe opioid crisis is very present in the mainstream news these days. One can read the tragic stories of heroin addiction and the easy access to opiates, and the ensuing statistics are staggering. This is a truly an epidemic of our times.

Opioids have been the topic of conversation within the insurance industry for a long while now as well. Those within the medical claims industry have been aware of the severity of the opioid overdoses for some time, but there have been some recent events that have heightened the focus on this issue. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s preliminary statistics indicate that the number of deaths in the state directly linked to opioid overdose for 2015  is over 750, and is therefore  high enough for officials to regard the issue as a public health crisis. The state estimates that the number of deaths so far in 2015 appear to be higher than last year during the same time period. Read more…

Insurance unicorn cut in half

November 13, 2015 Leave a comment

healthcareMAUnicorns, private, VC-backed firms with valuations over $1 billion had been growing by leaps and bounds this year.  But, now those valuations are under pressure.  The most dramatic of these in insurance is Zenefits, an online health insurance broker.  Press reports today say that Fidelity cut its valuation for Zenefits by 48% from its May round, still a unicorn but a much smaller one at a reported $2.34 billion.  That cannot be making shareholders happy.

The report also says that turnover is high and telephone sales representatives in Arizona are being paid $30,000 per year. No surprise at those low wage levels. Read more…

New insurance template for Swiss clinical trials

October 2, 2015 Leave a comment

clinicalTrialsThe Swiss Ethics Committees on research involving humans has recently released a new certificate of insurance/policy template that insurers must follow. As part of this new format, the Committee now requires the insured risk be categorized as category A, B, or C as outlined by Ordinance on Clinical Trials in Human Research (Clinical Trials Ordinance; ClinO) of September 20, 2013 (Status as of January 1, 2014). Insurers do not have the descriptions for the classifications, and are prohibited from providing advice regarding categorization of a trial. Sponsors or their CROs must seek advice from the Swiss Ethics Committees on research involving humans to determine the appropriate classification for their trial. Categorization of the trial is required before the certificate of insurance meets the requirements of the Human Research Act (HRA) and the Ordinance on Clinical Trials in Human Research (ClinO) can be issued. Certificates cannot be issued without the categorization of the Insured risk. Read more…

Anthem data breach latest scare for health insurers

data-securityThe nation’s second largest health insurer, Anthem (which includes several major Blue Cross and Blue Shields brands), has reported a major data breach. Last Wednesday, security personnel discovered a hack in which cyber thieves accessed the names, birth dates, social security numbers, addresses and member IDs of up to 80 million current and former policy holders. Anthem’s President and CEO, Joseph R. Swedish, in a letter to its current and former members said that through its initial analysis of the breach “there is no evidence that credit card or medical information, such as claims, test results or diagnostic codes were targeted or compromised.” Nevertheless, the impact of this breach is significant. Read more…

What to do when employee drivers rent vehicles

January 27, 2014 Leave a comment

carJimShould employees purchase insurance when renting a car? Over the course of my insurance business, this has been the one question that has been posed by more clients than I can count. It is worth revisiting since this issue is as important to a start-up firm as it is to a Fortune 500 company.

The answer is that it depends on what types of insurance coverage your company currently carries, and whether the employees will be renting in the U.S. or internationally. There are nuances in the coverages purchased to mitigate issues when having employees rent vehicles. It also helps to develop a concise internal protocol to be followed when asked the insurance question.

Starting with the basics, when your employees rent vehicles for business purposes there are two main types of insurance coverages to consider: Liability and Physical Damage. Liability Read more…

Insurance considerations during a shutdown

govshutdownNearly three weeks into the partial federal shutdown, Congressional deadlock over the debt ceiling poses several possible risks for businesses that may suffer losses stemming from the shutdown. While political analysts say the current situation is unlikely to affect the validity of federal debt, companies that provide services to the government (and spend considerable resources and money to do so) should consider special insurance policies that will provide coverage for losses associated with the situation. This includes the potential elimination or disruption of any underlying government project, in which case coverage would protect businesses if the order is cancelled. These policies are specifically underwritten for particular risks, and while it’s often difficult (or cost prohibitive) to find this kind of coverage, it is certainly worth preliminary research The following are types of policies that may Read more…