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February 19, 2013
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News covering the insurance and financial advising industry

  Top Story 
  • Proposed rule would set medical loss ratio for some Medicare plans
    Profits and overhead costs for Medicare Advantage plans and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Program would be limited to 15% under a rule proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The remaining 85% of such plan premiums would have to go toward medical expenses and other "direct benefits to beneficiaries," according to the rule, which is now subject to a 60-day comment period. The proposal also specifies that providers that fall short of the guidelines could be subject to penalties and could lose their contracts. The Hill/RegWatch blog (2/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry News 
  • Future U.S. retirees could face tough times, research shows
    A majority of Americans approaching retirement can expect to be financially less well off than their parents when they leave the workforce, research indicates. Retirees with limited resources may have to share homes with younger relatives or turn to government agencies for support, researchers say. The Washington Post (2/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Survey: Retirement confidence is highest in youngest, oldest adults
    The youngest and oldest American workers in a OneAmerica survey expressed the most confidence about their retirement prospects. Among workers ages 20 to 30, 44% said they are confident that they will retire without sacrificing their current lifestyle, with 45% of those older than 50 saying the same. A lower percentage of workers ages 30 to 50 expressed the same level of confidence, according to the survey. (2/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Investment Trends 
  • Poll finds employers are open to Roth 401(k) options
    More employers are considering adding a Roth option to their 401(k) plans, a survey says, and that may be because of a change from "fiscal cliff" negotiations that smooths the way for Roth conversions. About half of employers polled by Aon Hewitt said they don't offer a Roth choice, but 29% of those say they are likely to add one within a year. AdvisorOne (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Watch 
  • Sen. Tester urges SEC to focus on fiduciary duty for brokers
    Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., used a Senate banking panel hearing to press Elisse Walter, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to move forward with a regulation that would hold brokers to a fiduciary duty. Walter replied that she "would love" to do so. "Opinions at the commission vary a great deal in terms of potential costs. My own personal view is that it's the right thing to do," she said. InvestmentNews (free registration) (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Deadline passes with 26 federal exchanges, 7 partnerships
    The health insurance exchange landscape is taking shape, with the deadline for states to commit to their approach passing on Friday. Twenty-six states defaulted to federally run exchanges while seven opted for federal-state partnerships and 17 states plus the District of Columbia plan to run their own. States with federally run exchanges can still apply to take over management of their exchanges in 2015. The Washington Times (2/16), The Washington Post/WonkBlog (2/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Concerns grow about higher health insurance premiums under ACA
    Supporters of the Affordable Care Act are increasingly concerned that the law will lead to higher health insurance premiums, particularly for younger, healthier Americans, experts say. State regulators also are concerned that younger consumers will opt out of coverage, leaving the pool weighted toward older and sicker Americans whose premiums, under the law, are limited to three times those of younger participants. "The single biggest issue we face now is affordability," said Jill Zorn of the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (2/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ill. health insurance exchange gets conditional federal approval
    The Department of Health and Human Services has issued conditional approval for Illinois' October launch of an online health insurance marketplace operated in conjunction with the federal government. Gov. Pat Quinn said his goal is a state-run exchange beginning in 2015, although that plan hasn't been approved by the Legislature. The conditional federal approval sets deadlines the state must meet on the way to implementing the exchange, which is expected to feature 260 health plans provided by 16 insurers. Insurance Journal/The Associated Press (2/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Building Your Business 
  • Adviser tech tools to get your life back
    Technology has the potential to help advisers expand their business, stay in touch with clients and get their personal lives back, experts say. Tech innovations allow advisers to "work 24/7 without being in the office 24/7," says Jim Dario of TD Ameritrade Institutional. (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  NAIFA News 
  • Five resolutions for your business in 2013
    No matter what the potentially game-changing information is that is coming out of Washington, D.C., or China, there are winning strategies that not only endure but should be part of every workplace's culture. There are many ways to invest in your own business regardless of the economic climate. Visit the Advisor Today blog and read about resolutions you should consider to make 2013 the most positively transformative year. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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--William O. Douglas,
U.S. Supreme Court justice

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