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February 18, 2013
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News covering the insurance and financial advising industry

  Top Story 
  • Program depletes funds for "high-risk" health coverage pools
    Funding is running out for a program aimed at providing health insurance to those with pre-existing conditions, federal officials said. The program established state "high-risk pools" three years ago and was intended to accept applications until 2014, but it will wind down its acceptance of new applicants by March 2. "We're being very careful stewards of the money that has been appropriated to us and we wanted to balance our desire to maximize the number of people who can gain from this program while making sure people who are in the program have coverage," said Gary Cohen of the Department of Health and Human Services. The Washington Post (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • NAIFA: Capability of PCIP "woefully off": In order to ensure that funds are available through 2013 to cover those enrolled in the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, new applications will no longer be accepted. "The capability of this program was woefully off," NAIFA said. Officials initially estimated that the initiative would cover as many as 375,000 individuals by the end of 2010. Read more at the NAIFA Blog. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry News 
  • States, insurance companies partner for long-term care
    Aging baby boomers soon will face the high costs of long-term care, but few Americans have long-term-care insurance. The burden for those who cannot afford care falls to states, which pay for Medicaid. Many states are partnering with insurance companies in plans that allow seniors with long-term-care insurance to qualify for Medicaid without losing their assets if their costs exceed insurance coverage. The idea is to get more people to purchase insurance. Medill Reports (Northwestern University) (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Survey: Gen X, Gen Y say their financial expertise is limited
    Twenty percent of Generation X and Y consumers say they use a financial adviser, and only 14% consider themselves "very knowledgeable" about the product options available, according to a LIMRA survey. Among Gen X households, 43% of their $3 trillion in assets are in pension and retirement accounts, with 30% in IRAs and two-thirds in defined-contribution plans, LIMRA says. Less than 50% of Gen X members said they save more than 8%, while one-fifth of Gen Y respondents said they're saving less than 3%. AdvisorOne (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Investment Trends 
  • Study: 401(k) providers are slow to drop their own lagging funds
    Poor-performing funds are more likely to remain in a 401(k) plan if they are managed by the company operating the plan, a research report says. Plan trustees have competing interests -- investors' returns and their own proprietary funds, according to the researchers from the University of Indiana and the University of Texas. MarketWatch/Encore blog (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Watch 
  • States, feds take various approaches to health insurance exchanges
    States are grappling with the challenge of making their health insurance exchanges functional by the Oct. 1 enrollment date, experts say. Washington, D.C. and 23 states have committed to running their own exchanges, while almost all other states have chosen to largely default to federal oversight. But the form and number of state exchanges may change over time, according to some experts. "Many of the states have just run out of time for a variety of reasons. I'd be surprised if in the longer run every state didn't want to have its own approach," said Christine Ferguson of the Rhode Island Health Benefits Exchange. The Washington Times/The Associated Press (2/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Top five news stories selected by NAIFA SmartBrief readers in the past week.

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  Building Your Business 
  • Voluntary benefits: A key opportunity for brokers to build business
    As interest in and diversity of voluntary products continues to grow, brokers will continue to see opportunities to meet employers' needs. Often a single voluntary offering will lead to new opportunities as employers expand their offerings. Among accounts that include voluntary offerings, 74% of small ones, 67% of medium ones and 65% of large accounts offer at least three voluntary products. National Underwriter Life & Health (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  NAIFA News 
  • NAIFA responds to the State of the Union tax proposal
    President Obama issued a strong endorsement of comprehensive tax reform in his State of the Union address. Acknowledging the president's call for "bipartisan, comprehensive tax reform that encourages job creation and helps bring down the deficit," NAIFA President Rob Smith responded, "However, now is not the time to make it harder or more expensive for families to build their own financial safety net." Read more at the NAIFA Blog. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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