Insurance Q&A

October 17, 2009

The Whole Foods Flap

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrroark @ 6:20 pm

From Reason.Com

In August, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey argued in the pages of the Wall Street Journal that the solution to America’s health care crisis was to be found in “less government control and more individual empowerment.” His own company’s unique health care plan, Mackey wrote, covers 90 percent of employees, costs less than health insurance plans, and provides a “very high degree of worker satisfaction.” But for the sin of not supporting a government take over of health care, labor unions and left-wing activists called for a boycott of Whole Foods, claiming that Mackey’s solutions were unworkable and his employees were unhappy.

Reason.tv talked to protesters, Mackey, and employees about “the Whole Foods alternative to ObamaCare.”

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October 12, 2009

10 Questions on the Health Care Bills

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrroark @ 6:32 pm

October 9, 2009

What is an Indexed Annuity?

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrroark @ 10:17 am

An Indexed Annuity is a Fixed Annuity with an interest crediting option linked to an outside index.

Because it is, first and foremost, a Fixed Annuity, it has tax-deferred accumulation, a guaranteed minimum value, and a guaranteed lifetime income at retirement. Then the interest crediting option is added that links the interest credited to the annuity to the performance of a specific index; for example the Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index (S&P 500). IT IS NOT AN INVESTMENT IN THE INDEX!!!! Thus there is not investment loss risk.

They are more properly referred to as Fixed Indexed Annuities and they give their contractholders a choice. Based on their risk tolerance and goals, contract can select a traditional “declared” rate on interest or they can select one or more indexing strategies or both.

I have produced an extensive Windows Media Video presentation on the subject that can be downloaded to your computer from this location.

October 8, 2009

With age comes wisdom

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrroark @ 7:14 pm

U.S. life insurers received fewer requests for individual coverage from young applicants in September than they did in September 2007, but activity for older applicants was stronger.

The MIB Group Inc., Braintree, Mass., has published data supporting that finding in an analysis of North American life insurers’ use of MIB databases to check individually underwritten life applications.

Overall U.S. activity volume increased 1.8%, and that monthly year-over-year gain is just the second MIB has recorded since early 2006.

Activity volume fell 1.2% for applicants ages 0 to 44, but activity for applicants ages 60 and older soared 13.8%.

For most of the past year, volume for applicants ages 45 to 59 has been down or up less than 1%, but activity for the 45-59 age group increased 2.7% in September.

U.S. life insurers received fewer requests for individual coverage from young applicants in September than they did in September 2007, but activity for older applicants was stronger.

The MIB Group Inc., Braintree, Mass., has published data supporting that finding in an analysis of North American life insurers’ use of MIB databases to check individually underwritten life applications.

Overall U.S. activity volume increased 1.8%, and that monthly year-over-year gain is just the second MIB has recorded since early 2006.

Activity volume fell 1.2% for applicants ages 0 to 44, but activity for applicants ages 60 and older soared 13.8%.

For most of the past year, volume for applicants ages 45 to 59 has been down or up less than 1%, but activity for the 45-59 age group increased 2.7% in September.

The MIB Group is normally called the Medical Information Bureau when you are asked to sign a release when you apply for health or life insurance. You may request a copy of your file by following the instructions found here.

October 7, 2009

What possibly could go wrong?

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrroark @ 11:08 am

scare tactics

Let me get this straight.

We’re going to pass a health care plan
written by a committee whose head says he doesn’t understand it,
passed by a Congress that hasn’t read it but exempts themselves from it,
signed by a president who also hasn’t read it, and who smokes,
with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn’t pay his taxes,
overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and
financed by a country that’s nearly broke.

What possibly could go wrong?

October 6, 2009

Congresscritters to Consider Federal Insurance Office

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrroark @ 12:39 pm

May I be highly skeptical? Since when has any federal agency limited itself to the scope of the reason for which it was established?

From National Underwriter:

Life groups today are asking Congress to create a Federal Insurance Office, and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners is saying regulators might support a FIO bill, if the bill left solvency issues to the states.

The American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, and the NAIC, Kansas City, Mo., are sending witnesses to a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Obama administration financial services proposals.

The hearing includes separate panels on 3 components of the proposals: investor protection; oversight over private pools of capital; and creation of a National Insurance Office.

Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., chairman of the Financial Services Committee’s capital markets subcommittee, has introduced a revised version of H.R. 2609, the Federal Insurance Office Act, which would create a new Federal Insurance Office that would be similar to the Obama administration’s NIO.

The FIO bill would “provide national policymakers with access to the information and resources needed to respond to crises, mitigate systemic risks, and help ensure a well functioning financial system,” Kanjorski says in a written version of his opening statement posted on the committee website.

The credit meltdown highlighted the lack of expertise within the federal government regarding the insurance industry, Kanjorski says.

NAIC Chief Executive Officer Therese Vaughan says state insurance commissioners could support creation of an FIO that focused on handling international agreements and systemic risk.

“We fully support the goal of creating a national insurance office as a resource for the federal government and a conduit for the states, but we will strongly oppose any efforts to use such an office as a precursor to establishing a federal insurance regulator,” Vaughan says in the written version of her remarks.

NAIC support for the new office is “predicated on the notion that the office be a tool to connect the state regulatory system with the federal regulatory system, and not be an instrument to diminish state insurance regulation,” Vaughan says.

Earlier versions of legislation creating a federal insurance office “made clear that the office would not create a supervisory role over insurance at the federal level, and we urge inclusion of identical language into any final legislation,” Vaughan says.

Dennis Herchel of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Springfield, Mass., is set to represent the ACLI at the hearing.

The ACLI and MassMutual support H.R. 2609, Herchel says in the written version of his testimony.

The FIO would be the federal government’s repository of insurance industry information and the U.S. representative on international insurance issues, and it “would not have any supervisory or regulatory authority over any insurer doing business in the U.S.,” Herchel says.

But the ACLI and MassMutual would like to see the proposed FIO given a higher status, “so that it can participate actively and effectively with federal financial industry regulators, including a systemic risk regulator, under any new systemic risk regulatory paradigm that may be implemented,” Herchel says.

The FIO should have a seat on the proposed Financial Services Oversight Council, and it should have a role equivalent to that of “federal functional regulators” when it comes to working with any systemic risk regulator on matters relating to systemic risk, Herchel says.

NAIFA will not have a witness testifying at the hearing, but it has submitted a written statement backing the FIO bill.

The FIO bill is an “important step in advancing insurance expertise and understanding at the federal level, and in bringing some degree of uniform treatment in terms of international insurance regulatory and trade matters,” NAIFA says.

October 2, 2009

Smart Duck!

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrroark @ 2:10 pm

Smart Duck

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