Today is deadline day for HealthCare.gov enrollment | Hawaii offers financial help to caregivers; other states may follow | Commentary: Life insurance via bonuses can be good small-business tool
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December 15, 2017
NAIFA SmartBrief
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Today is deadline day for HealthCare.gov enrollment
HealthCare.gov enrollments were 17% higher this year compared with the same time period last year, according to data shared by HHS this week, and many of those signing up are new enrollees. Although the shortened enrollment window ending today means the total will likely come in well under last year's enrollment, observers have been surprised by this year's pace given reduced advertising and navigator support.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (12/14) 
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Industry News
Hawaii offers financial help to caregivers; other states may follow
Hawaii this week kicked off a program that provides people giving home-based care to an elderly family member with as much as $70 daily for buying supplies, hiring help or covering lost wages. Maine and Washington are states in which officials could develop similar programs.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (12/15) 
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Commentary: Life insurance via bonuses can be good small-business tool
Executive bonus plans that include life insurance options can be a good idea for small businesses, writes Jason Wellmann of Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America. Such plans have positive aspects for the executive, who can receive a death benefit and potential income stream, and the business, which can gain a tax deduction and a powerful way to recruit and retain talent, Wellmann writes.
InsuranceNewsNet online (12/12) 
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Industry expresses mixed opinions on "hybrid" indexed annuities
Some industry executives say they are concerned that the increasingly popular "hybrid" indexed annuities are too complex, but supporters say the products give companies a way to stand out among competitors. "If you bring out another S&P 500 indexed annuity, you have what everyone else has," said Scott Stolz of Raymond James & Associates.
InvestmentNews (tiered subscription model) (12/14) 
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Policy Watch
Rubio's opposition puts GOP tax bill in doubt
Rubio's opposition puts GOP tax bill in doubt
Rubio (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
The fate of the Republican tax bill became uncertain when Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said he would not vote for the measure unless the child tax credit is increased, a provision that would increase the cost of the bill. Under congressional rules, the bill can't increase the deficit during the next 10 years by more than $1.5 trillion if Republicans are to pass it without Democratic votes.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (12/14),  Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (12/14) 
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Pass-through tax change could rattle brokerage industry
The changes to how pass-through businesses are taxed in the tax bill could shake up the brokerage industry, some firms fear. The problem stems from the fact that independent brokers would be able to deduct up to 20% on their taxes as a pass-through business while brokers employed at larger firms, including those owned by banks, would not benefit from those deductions, potentially prompting some brokers to switch jobs.
Bloomberg (free registration) (12/14) 
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State auto-IRAs coming, but at a price
Nine states are planning to introduce their own auto-IRA plans in the absence of any national initiative, but the costs at launch for participants will be rather high. One big factor is the cost of creating a network for employers to implement automatic payroll deductions.
U.S. News & World Report/Reuters (12/14) 
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FINRA may allow remote inspections of branch offices
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has invited comments on a proposal to allow member firms to conduct remote inspections of branch offices in place of on-site inspections under certain circumstances. The proposal would require firms to have a clear set of procedures to determine which offices would qualify for remote inspections and includes a number of qualifying factors to help with that assessment.
Lexology (12/12) 
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House measure would clarify safe harbor for annuities in retirement plans
Legislation filed by Reps. Ron Kind, D-Wis., and Dave Reichert, R-Wash., aims in part to encourage employers to include annuity options in their retirement plans by clarifying the safe harbor for annuity selection. Employers would be able to depend on annuity providers' representations with regard to supervision by state regulators.
PlanAdviser online (12/14) 
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Building Your Business
Could it be time to think about rebranding?
Many advisors are too busy running their day-to-day business to consider their brand, writes marketing professional Pete Muckley. Muckley discusses what constitutes a brand, how to know if it needs re-appraisal and how to set about a successful rebranding process.
WealthManagement (12/14) 
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NAIFA News
Give gifts that open all year long
Check off your holiday shopping with Lenovo. Grab a gift for all on your list with savings starting at $500 off select Lenovo devices and accessories while supplies last this December. Visit Lenovo's website or call 800-426-7235, ext. 9405.
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A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.
Nelson Mandela,
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