A cluttered desk can make it harder to focus | The words and phrases clients want to hear from you | Gig economy workers show tendency to avoid taxes
October 18, 2017
AHIP Agents & Brokers SmartBrief
Best Business Practices
A cluttered desk can make it harder to focus
If you have trouble focusing at work, a cluttered work area may be part of the problem. Simplify your workspace, and avoid the temptation to leave sticky notes and other visual cues around your desk where they can be a distraction, Robin Madell writes.
U.S. News & World Report (10/16) 
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The words and phrases clients want to hear from you
Research from property and casualty insurer Chubb shows the way advisers word their conversations can make a difference in their clients' reactions. Among the findings, the research indicates that conversations with affluent clients are better received when they focus on the clients' achievements rather than their wealth.
ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (10/17) 
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Webinar: The drivers behind rising costs
Rising health care costs are putting pressure on employers, employees and the benefits professionals who serve them, and the pain is particularly acute this time of year as employees enroll for 2018. Learn how benefits professionals can help ease the pain. Click here to register.
Prospects, Products and Market Trends
Gig economy workers show tendency to avoid taxes
A survey by Finder.com shows a tendency for gig economy workers to avoid declaring the income to the IRS, particularly among millennials, and a number of advisers comment they have clients who are unaware of the liabilities or unwilling to comply with them. Columnist Jeff Stimpson points out the practice can be heavily penalized and identifies areas where advisers can help their clients lower the tax burden.
Financial Advisor online (10/16) 
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Exec: Pre-retirees need education on longevity annuities
The big challenge in retirement isn't accumulating savings but is getting from age 65 to 95 without exhausting them, said Employee Retirement Income Security Act consultant Jeffrey Bograd. People approaching retirement should receive personalized attention and education about longevity annuities that begin paying out at age 85, he said.
PlanAdviser online (10/16) 
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Plan ahead to beat tax challenges to retirement
Details of the Trump administration's tax-reform proposals are still to be clarified, but certified public accountant Ed Slott writes that retirement savings could face challenges on several fronts and urges advisers to make contingency plans for clients. He advises paying attention to deductible items and evaluating the possible advantage of a Roth conversion.
InvestmentNews (tiered subscription model) (10/13) 
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Are you ready for machine learning?
With the advent of big data, the amount of data and our ability to process it has increased exponentially. It's an environment perfectly suited for machine learning. So how can you make it part of your analytic infrastructure? This e-book highlights the capabilities of machine learning, and best practices you can implement to take full advantage of it. Download Here.
Policy and the Health Care Landscape
Senators reach bipartisan agreement to stabilize ACA markets
Senators reach bipartisan agreement to stabilize ACA markets
Murray and Alexander (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and ranking member Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., announced a deal to stabilize the individual insurance market by funding cost-sharing reduction payments through 2019, giving states more flexibility to skirt certain Affordable Care Act requirements, allowing consumers over age 30 to purchase copper plans, and providing $106 million to support ACA enrollment. However, the proposal garnered mixed messages from President Donald Trump, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has not said whether he will allow a vote, and some Republicans said they oppose it.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (10/17),  Politico (10/17),  Healthcare Finance News (10/17) 
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Senators want to fix law weakening government's ability to fight opioid crisis
Senators want to fix law weakening government's ability to fight opioid crisis
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Several senators said they want to amend or repeal the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act -- legislation that reportedly weakened the government's ability to fight the opioid epidemic. Among those pushing for outright repeal are Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who introduced a bill that would repeal the act. However, some lawmakers who sponsored the original legislation took issue with criticism of the law, saying the affected government agencies helped write it.
The Hill (10/17) 
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With enrollment on the horizon, insurers predict decreased numbers for 2018
Insurers are predicting a decline in enrollment as multiple changes -- higher rates, reduced subsidies, confusion about the political status of the Affordable Care Act, a shorter enrollment period and reduced advertising budget -- are in play with the enrollment period for 2018 starting in two weeks. Industry leaders say they are doing their own outreach to ensure enrollees understand their coverage options and when to sign up, while some plans have developed new products such as lower-cost bronze level plans for people who will not get subsidies and more short-term products.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (10/18) 
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Trump may nominate former Eli Lilly exec as HHS secretary, sources say
President Donald Trump reportedly is considering Alex Azar, a former HHS deputy secretary under President George W. Bush who in 2007 went on to work for Eli Lilly and Co., where he led the drugmaker's US operations from 2012 to January. CMS Administrator Seema Verma and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb are no longer being considered for the role, administration sources say.
Politico (10/17) 
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Health Insurance Plan Company News
Video: How Do You Pick a Health Plan?
AHIP has developed consumer education videos that explain how health insurance works. Watch this video and learn how to find a health plan that's right for you.
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Great talent, great tools. AHIP's Career Center
AHIP's Career Center is quick, easy, and delivers candidates with health care experience. Enjoy online management, tracking, customization options, bundled pricing, and more. Visit AHIP's Career Center to learn more. 
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