Disfrute de un Buen Retiro

Thursday, July 16, 2015
Disfrute de un Buen Retiro En estos tiempos, guardar Dinero para cuando nos retiremos, a veces es un poco difícil. Usted puede contar con un monto de Dinero en caso de fallecimiento y además crear un Ahorro en Dólares para su Retiro, teniendo el dinero disponible para Préstamos y Retiros. Eso es posible con un Seguro de Vida con Capitalización en Dólares, ideal para comenzarlo cuanto más joven, mejor! Tenemos el Seguro de Vida que Usted necesita y puede pagar. Para mayores detalles y contratar su Seguro de Vida, visite http://hrosegurosdevida.webs.com H.R.Olivar Financial Services ¡Especialista en Seguros de Vida! #SegurodeVida

No sea una carga para su Familia al morir

Wednesday, July 15, 2015
No sea una carga para su Familia al morir Sin importar su edad, en estos tiempos morirse es sumamente costoso, ya que sea por los altos últimos gastos médicos, como los costos de funeral y entierro. ¿Quién debe pagar por estos gastos? Si Usted no tiene la previsión y responsabilidad de haber contratado un Seguro de Vida, sus seres queridos deberán pagar sus gastos. Tenemos el Seguro de Vida que Usted necesita y puede pagar. Para mayores detalles y contratar su Seguro de Vida, visite http://hrosegurosdevida.webs.com H.R.Olivar Financial Services ¡Especialista en Seguros de Vida! #SegurodeVida

Garantice el Dinero para Estudios

Garantice el Dinero para Estudios Si Usted fallece repentinamente, no permita que los Estudios de sus seres amados se detengan por falta de Dinero. No necesita tiempo para reunir el Dinero, solo contrate un Seguro de Vida en Dólares y tendrá ese Dinero disponible desde el primer día en caso de que Usted fallezca. Tenemos el Seguro de Vida que Usted necesita y puede pagar. Para mayores detalles y contratar su Seguro de Vida, visite http://hrosegurosdevida.webs.com H.R.Olivar Financial Services ¡Especialista en Seguros de Vida! #SegurodeVida

Su Familia depende de su Ingreso

Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Su Familia depende de su Ingreso Es inevitable considerar que en algún momento Usted pueda fallecer y tal vez repentinamente, si eso sucediera en este momento, ¿qué sería de su familia económicamente? Solo un Seguro de Vida puede proporcionarle desde el primer momento, un monto de Dinero que garantice que su familia o aquellos que dependen de Usted, puedan seguir viviendo sin necesidades ni calamidades. Tenemos el Seguro de Vida que Usted necesita y puede pagar. Para mayores detalles y contratar su Seguro de Vida, visite http://hrosegurosdevida.webs.com H.R.Olivar Financial Services ¡Especialista en Seguros de Vida! #SegurodeVida

Breaking: Silver State HIX Plot Thix

Wednesday, May 13, 2015
LifeHealthPro's Allison Bell tips us to this interesting news, thus far flying under the radar:

"The #Nevada exchange, @NVHealthLink, has canceled a meeting that was scheduled to take place tomorrow"

Last time we checked in, Nevada's Exchange was having trouble paying commissions on policies written through it by agents.

Was that a portent of things to come?


Obamacare (full Monty version) is not even 2 years old and already the riptide
effect is being felt as carriers such as Assurant are leaving the market.

There has been speculation as to which carrier will be the next to leave the dance and party talk has focused on Cigna, Aetna, Coventry (now owned by Aetna) and to a lesser extent, Humana.

Apparently this is more than just backroom talk.

Leerink’s Ana Gupte wouldn’t be surprised if Aetna (AET) merged with either Humana (HUM) or Cigna (CI):
Consolidation remains likely, with CEO Mark Bertolini asserting that government business is the focus for inorganic growth, while compatible cultures for post-merger synergies were viewed as the driver in all transactions, with cheap debt making either Aetna-Humana and Aetna-Cigna meaningfully accretive possibilities and imminent. - Barrons
The next few months could be interesting. How many carriers will actually go to the 2016 prom?

This is looking like a bad remake of Carrie.

Stay tuned.

Your Genes vs Your Job

Every once in a while, the question of genetic testing in the workplace - and especially as relates to employer-based health insurance - rears its (ugly?) head.

We've covered this several times over the years; in fact, our very first year we reported that "40 percent of people already undergoing genetic testing are worried that participation might affect their future insurance coverage.”

At the time, this seemed kind of a stretch, inasmuch as health insurance companies were forbidden to use these results in their underwriting process (and since group insurance has been guaranteed issue for almost 20 years, it was moot to begin with).

On the other hand, you really can't be too careful, and so we got the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), "which prohibits genetic information discrimination in employment" (the law went into effect the following year). In fact, the law goes even further, in that it also forbids the use of this information as regards benefits (including insurance).

And yet:

"Big companies are considering blending genetic testing with coaching on nutrition and exercise to help workers lose weight and improve their health before serious conditions like diabetes or heart disease develop."

At first glance, this specific use seems to skirt the letter of the law, so it's probably "kosher."  As long as the results aren't used to, for example, determine premium contribution or subsidy levels (ie how much of the premium the employer pays*), this seems to be a legitimate use of the data.

Now, the efficacy of using the information in the manner being proposed may indeed be questionable:

"[E]mployee benefits experts have doubts that such a novel approach will gain momentum. It first has to conquer steep challenges like ... employer skepticism about its effectiveness."

That is, whether or not there's actual value there, and whether it's worth the cost of implementation (these tests aren't necessarily cheap, and one presumes that the employer will be footing the bill).

A potentially more serious concern arises as to who will have access to this information, and how secure it will be. But that's another post.

[*For illustrative purposes only; regular IB readers know that employers actually pay 0% of the premium]

ObamaCare Aloha

Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Here's co-blogger Bob almost exactly a year ago:

"Hawaii Medical Services Association posted losses of $30.1 million in the first quarter and said it recorded $46.1 million in fees related to Obamacare."

Fortunately, the success of O'Care has helped immensely...

Wait. What?

"The Hawaii Health Connector has prepared a contingency plan to shut down operations by Sept. 30 after lawmakers failed to pass legislation to keep the state's troubled Obamacare insurance exchange afloat."

Looks like ObamaCare #Fail from sea to shining sea.

Under the plan, Aloha State residents will be cut off from enrolling in new plans at the end of this week, and be completely shuttered by the end of next February (costing another 73 hard-working Americans their jobs). It appears that Island citizens will be transitioned to the 404Care.gov site for Open Enrollment Season v3.0 beginning this fall.

Chalk up another one to the Unaffordable "Care" Act.

MassCare unraveling

Monday, May 11, 2015
We've been covering the Massachusetts health insurance Connector since it was merely a gleam in Johnathan Gruber's eyes. So it comes as less than a surprise to us that it continues to implode under the new ObamaTax regime. Thanks to the intrepid Josh Archambault (senior fellow at the Foundation for Government Accountability), we learn that the noose is tightening. Turns out, Bay State Brahmins:
■ Failed to execute a contract with CGI, the vendor hired to build the site, that would track the progress of the project and ensure on-time delivery of a product that included all required features

■ Failed to implement a governance structure that would ensure ongoing quality of the project

[And worst of all:]

■ Attempted to conceal these shortcomings by misrepresenting the progress of the health insurance exchange to a number of stakeholders including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services [among others]
Major no-no there. In fact, their behavior was so egregious that the Feds "have subpoenaed records related to the commonwealth’s ‘connector’ dating to 2010.”

In other words, this is now a criminal matter, with actual fines and (hopefully) jail time potentially on the table.

One wonders which of the other 57 states will be next...

Bob G on O'Care

Friday, May 8, 2015
Our good friend Bob Graboyes (senior research fellow for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University) has some key insights into the failed ObamaTax roll-out. Among them:

"Other than “more people with insurance,” the law’s goals were never clearly stated, so there are few objective metrics on which to judge it. More are insured, but there’s no increase in supply of health care to meet any new demand."

As our own Bob Vineyard pointed out some years ago, this is an utterly predictable result of inelasticity:

"The economics of goods and services can be reduced to simple demand and supply. Health care is no different. It follows economic theory just like every other consumer good.At either extreme you have inelastic price curves and elastic curves. Most consumer items track a bell curve but some things are totally elastic or totally inelastic."

That is, more people may have insurance (although this remains unproven), but the supply of actual health care remains steady (or is, in fact, falling). So how valuable is your ObamaPlan if you can't find a provider who accepts it?

Then there's the little problem of administering your plan if you're fortunate enough to be able to afford and are successful in actually buying one:

"[T]he back end is still dysfunctional. It’s very difficult for a consumer to conduct a transaction as you would with, say, Amazon.com, that results in verifiable coverage. Pen, paper, and processing time are still required"

And how does one track changes made this way?

There's lots more, all of it good, all of it important.

Read the whole thing.

Health Wonk Review - Grumpy Cat edition

Thursday, May 7, 2015
Steve Anderson hosts this week's compendium of health care policy and polity, channeling negative vibes into positive outcomes.


Hey Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

During the Great Depression when 1 out of 4 were out of work a song made
popular by Bing Crosby was everywhere on the airwaves.

The song tells the story about a beggar that lost his job and strikes back at "the system" that contributed to his job loss.

They used to tell me I was building a dream
With peace and glory ahead
Why should I be standing in line
Just waiting for bread?

Once I built a railroad, I made it run
Made it race against time
Once I built a railroad, now it's done
Brother, can you spare a dime?

The tune was based on a Russian-Jewish lullaby sung by composer Jay Gorney's mother when he was a child.

Today we have our own challenge, except this one is about health insurance.

Obamacare has turned the health care, and health insurance system on its head. Premiums today are anything but affordable, except to the extremely poor or extremely wealthy.

Everyone else is screwed.

Yesterday I had a call from a woman who would be losing employer group health insurance at the end of the month. They had coverage through her husband's job but that is going away and he will become self employed.

The family of 5, all in good health, are looking for something affordable to replace their group health plan.

Accustomed to paying $200 per month for a good plan that included dental and vision, they needed to get an idea of what was available.

Projected income is over $100,000 so they will not qualify for a subsidy.

Sounds odd doesn't it?

The new system says if you earn less than $100,000 you are poor and need a government handout to afford your affordable health insurance plan.

To replace their existing health insurance plan they will need to come up with $1,115 per month, and that's just for the Gold health insurance plan.

Add another $100 for dental and vision.

That's disgusting.

Comparable coverage before Obamacare would be less than $500 per month.

Hey brother, can you spare a dime?

ObamaCare ka-boom

Wednesday, May 6, 2015
As if we needed them, two more reasons why the ObamaTax is imploding. One we've already covered:

"Almost half of the insurance exchanges set up by states are struggling financially"

Again, this should surprise exactly no one.

But the Daily Caller article then posits an interesting possibility:

"[O]fficials are considering raising fees on insurers, asking the state for more money and working with other states to improve their exchange. Connecticut plans to sell advice and strategy to struggling states."

Given its history, seems like the only bit of Connecticut's advice of any value would be on how not to set up or run an Exchange.

But what's remarkable to me is how many folks still don't 'get' that insurers don't pay these fees, and that states don't have money: customers pay the fees, and tax-payers provide the funds.

So the only thing they're going to accomplish is higher premiums (so fewer folks buying or keeping plans) and raising taxes (same same). Where do they think all this money's coming from?

Oh yeah, us proles.

[Hat Tip: FoIB Holly R]

Three sides of a coin

Tuesday, May 5, 2015
When one considers insurance, the majority of claims are paid to 3rd parties. For example, life insurance proceeds are paid to one's beneficiary, auto claims to the body shop, medical claims to a doctor or hospital, and so on.

But three types of plans, all of which are fairly similar, actually pay benefits to the insured. These are  (in no particular order) critical illness (CI), long term care (LTCi), and disability insurance (DI).

We've blogged on LTCi many times (most recently here). Thanks to FoIB Sandy M, we learn that Fidelity (of investment fame) has produced "a pretty cool chart of US and various sorts of health care" including a very useful interactive map of how much long term care costs around the US.

We haven't blogged much on Critical Illness coverage, which is a shame, because these plans also pay the insured cash benefits for things like heart attacks and cancer. These plans can be particularly useful if one has a high deductible (HSA) plan or one of the newfangled ObamaPlans with sky high out-of-pocket exposures. By providing a quick injection of cash, these plans can mitigate a lot of financial pain.

Finally, the fine folks at the Council for Disability Awareness remind us that May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month. To that end, they're sharing the results of their 2014 consumer survey. Among the key findings:
  • 57% of working adults report having no private disability insurance
  • One third would consider buying disability insurance if they knew more about it
  • 41% would consider buying it if it were less expensive, but perceptions about costs vary considerably
That last is important: many (most?) folks think disability coverage is unaffordable, but seldom check to confirm that by asking for a quote. So if you're one of the 57%, why not check with your employer about a short or long term disability  group plan or - better yet - ask your professional, independent agent for a quote.

You may be surprised by just how affordable coverage can be.

So, How's That Obamacare Working For You?

Monday, May 4, 2015
POTUS made a lot of promises about Obamacare. Lower premiums. More
people covered. If you like your plan..............

And, Obamacare was supposed to REDUCE ER visits.

Three-quarters of emergency physicians say they've seen ER patient visits surge since Obamacare took effect — just the opposite of what many Americans expected would happen. - USA Today
No real surprise there,

So why did it happen?
In addition to the nation's long-standing shortage of primary care doctors — projected by the federal government to exceed 20,000 doctors by 2020 — some physicians won't accept Medicaid because of its low reimbursement rates. That leaves many patients who can't find a primary care doctor to turn to the ER — 56% of doctors in the ACEP poll reported increases in Medicaid patients.
Isn't that special?

Assuring Clarification

We're not generally in the habit of carrying water for insurance companies, but last week's news about Assurant Health has engendered some confusion. Briefly, Assurant Health is (was?) a subsidiary of a larger company that also owns Assurant Employee Benefits (which sells group non-medical coverage, such as dental and disability).

Unlike its sister company, Assurant Employee Benefits continues to enjoy robust growth and financial stability. According to the carrier:
"Assurant Employee Benefits (AEB) is not exiting the benefits market ... By approaching the sale of Assurant Employee Benefits in this public manner, it allows for us a faster process.  The public announcement allows us to be transparent and control the process.  We expect to know within a few short months who our new parent company will be."
I've been fortunate to work with some great folks there over the years, and know them to be a solid company. Someday I'll have to tell you about my first death claim with them....

Who'da thunk it?

As Bob reported a week or so ago, the Golden State's health exchange is fast approaching room temp. But they're not alone:

"Nearly half of the 17 insurance marketplaces set up by the states and the District under [the ObamaTax] are struggling financially ... wrestling with surging costs, especially for balky technology and expensive customer call centers"

That's right: the much-touted call centers don't work, but we'll keep throwing money at them anyway.

Makes sense (if you're in DC).

On the other hand, even Ms Burntwell (et al) may have begun to see the value that professional agents bring to the party:

"The agency that runs the public exchange system in the HealthCare.gov states has given navigators, certified application counselors (CACs) and other nonprofit assisters a webinar on how to work with insurance agents and brokers."

Unlike these "counselors," agents must be vetted for prior criminal activity, licensed by their state, have strict continuing education requirements, and carry malpractice (Errors & Omissions) insurance.

Nice that DC finally got a clue.

On keeping your plan if you like it

Thursday, April 30, 2015
By now, posts on "grandfathered" and "grandmothered" plans must seem like old news. And yet, the hits keep on comin'. In email from Medical Mutual of Ohio:

"“T" Plans Now Available on MyBrokerLink/Converting Grandfathered "S" Plans to New Grandfathered "T" Plans"

Clear as mud, no?

This is what happens when the government takes over the health insurance industry (and make no mistake, if you exercise control over a market segment, you own that segment). And so we get authentic frontier gibberish like the above.

Oh, what does it mean?

Basically, the Feds have graciously (and illegally) allowed insurers to make modest changes to grandfathered/grandmothered plans, which MMO will be implementing as they renew. This particular email targets small group plans. The change is ostensibly an effort to help hold down premiums; let's just say that I'm not holding my breath.

Another One Bites The Dust

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Obamacare continues to claim victims as it marches forward. Lost insurance coverage and job loss.

Employees of Assurant are about to be the latest victim.
With Milwaukee-based Assurant Health continuing to bleed red ink, its parent company announced in a Tuesday news release it will either sell the health insurer or exit the health insurance business. - Bizjournals
The company was established in 1892 and was profitable every year until 2013.
Assurant Health posted a $63.7 million operating loss in 2014. Assurant Inc. said Tuesday Assurant Health will report a net operating loss for the first quarter in the range of $80 million to $90 million.
Assurant has more than 1,000 employees and over 1 million policyholders.
If Assurant Inc. does not sell Assurant Health, the parent company will begin the process this year of exiting the health insurance market and will not participate in the next ACA open enrollment period beginning in November.

#Obamacare  #Assurant

Covering Baltimore

As was the case in Ferguson last year, the riots in Baltimore over the past few days have caused widespread property damage, mostly to folks who had nothing to do with the proximate cause of them:

Homes, businesses and cars have been burned, looted and otherwise damaged, leaving owners wondering what, if any, insurance payments they can expect.

The Insurance Information Institute (III) has helpfully published a media advisory confirming that, generally speaking, such damage is considered a covered event, and claims will likely be honored:

"Auto, homeowners, and business insurance policies generally include coverage for property losses caused by riots and civil commotions, such as those occurring this week in Baltimore ... Standard business property insurance policies provide coverage for the structure of the building as well as the contents inside"


As always, be sure to check with your own carrier to confirm whether or not these exposures are, in fact, covered.

Employer Sponsored Insurance: Behind the Little Tree is Obamacare's Forest

Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Obamacare was passed with a promise to reduce premiums, elevate the level of care we receive, and put an end to rising health care costs. It was also promised that everyone would have access to good insurance and that if we liked our plans we could keep them. These promises have gone empty, yet in the eye of public perception, the favorability/unfavorability of the law (according to the Kaiser Family Foundation Poll) is tracking close to even. However, the most important question that is asked, but not discussed, is what will lead to changes in views in the next few years.

For now, the favorable perception can be attributed to the fact that Obamacare is front loaded with warm and fuzzy feel good benefits. From "free" benefits like birth control and preventive visits, to the slacker rule - keeping your "kid" on insurance to age 26 - every provision of the law that has been implemented has a positive result.

On-the-other-hand, things that have a negative impact have been repealed, cancelled, delayed, or extended. We have had a repeal of the 1099's and CLASS Act, an offer to extend "transitional" policies (the lie that if you like your plan you can keep it), and numerous delays in employer reporting including a year long delay in the employer mandate. We also haven't felt the impact of "indexing" which will increase what people have to pay for premiums while reducing benefits.

In keeping with the "kick the can down the road" theme, two new pieces of legislation are gaining momentum. One is to repeal the Health Insurance Tax and the other - introduced today - is to eliminate the Cadillac Tax.

These taxes, reduced benefits, higher costs, and administrative burdens will increase over the next few years. Moreover, they will reach the employer sponsored markets impacting a much larger share of our population (roughly 55% of our population are covered by their employer). 

Which takes us to the most important question asked when discussing public views on Obamacare:
"Would you say the health care law has directly helped you and your family, directly hurt you and your family, or has it not had a direct impact?"
It's not who has been helped (19%) or hurt (22%) by the law. It's the significant majority of respondents - 56%!!! - who have felt no direct impact.

It's not a coincidence that the respondent percentage is almost identical to those with employer insurance. It shows that until Obamacare is fully implemented and a majority feels an impact, public opinion will see little change.

But until then, we will still be focused on the trees and completely be overlooking the forest.

Monday Afternoon Link Potpourri

Monday, April 27, 2015
Some interesting items for your consideration:

■ "Nearly a fifth of the National Football League settlement approved this week compensating former players with head injuries could go to their health insurers instead"

Briefly, the NFL settled a players-filed lawsuit asking for compensation for life-altering head injures. The problem is, most of the costs associated with treating those injuries were borne by the players' health insurers. Under the concept of subrogation (a common feature in health, auto and other indemnity-based insurance products), the players waived their rights to any amounts rewarded that could go towards reimbursing those carriers. It's not really "news" except that most people haven't read their policies, and are unfamiliar with the principle.

■ Next up, this helpful info courtesy of FoIB Jeff M:

"COBRA considerations when Medicare-eligible. Clients may not realize the need to combine them."

A lot of folks who've recently retired (voluntarily or otherwise) opt for COBRA continuation of their previous coverage, since that's often the path of least resistance. But that may, in fact, be disastrous:

"With rare exceptions, COBRA coverage is secondary to Medicare Parts A and B ... The result is that when Medicare-eligible individuals do not have Medicare Parts A or B, they are left to pay 80% of their costs out of their own pocket."

And that's not all:

"Medicare has a window of opportunity to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B that lasts eight months after leaving employment."

Miss that special enrollment opportunity and you're facing a lifetime of fines once you do manage to sign up, which could also be a while.

Good info here.

■ Finally, some news on the viatical front:

"In 2013, the top 15 life settlement providers paid more than $362 million for unwanted life insurance policies."

That "investment" was worth a potential $2.2 billion in death benefits. It's also a major (29%) increase over the previous year. But what's driving this thriving [ed: really?] market?

According to the article, it's a rebounding economy, with institutional investors looking for better returns. I'm not convinced: it seems to me that more and more middle class folks, still hurting in a reduced labor market, are looking for ways to raise capital quickly, and what better way than to sell off unwanted (or unaffordable) policies, raising quick cash and easing the budget?

Running on Empty

Sunday, April 26, 2015
California is running out of water and money.

Gov. Moonbeam blames global warming and wasteful usage on things like lawns and toilets for the water problem. But what about the money issue?

Covered California, the Obamacare exchange for residents (legal or otherwise) of Kalifornia, was built with seed money from Obama's fat wallet. Problem is, those funds are running dry.
Indeed, there’s no more money coming from Washington after the state exhausts the $1.1 billion it received from the federal government to get the Obamacare exchange up and running. And state law prohibits Sacramento from spending any money to keep the exchange afloat.
That presents an existential crisis for Covered California, which is facing a nearly $80 (billion) budget deficit for its 2015-16 fiscal year. Although the exchange is setting aside $200 million to cover its near-term deficit, Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee acknowledged in December that there are questions about the “long-term sustainability of the organization.” - OC Register

Unlike the federal govt, the Republik of Kalifornia cannot print their own money and must balance the budget.

What a novel idea.

But wait. There's more.
Covered California’s enrollment growth for 2015 was a mere 1 percent, according to a study this month by Avalere Health. That was worst than all but two other state exchanges. Meanwhile, California’s Obamacare exchange managed to retain only 65 percent of previous enrollees, the nation’s fourth-lowest re-enrollment rate.
Not only are they running through money like it was water, but they aren't doing a very good job of managing resources.

OK, maybe that water analogy was a cheap shot.

#Obamacare #CoveredCalifornia

Working for Free

Saturday, April 25, 2015
Agents that dared venture into the Obamacare morass at healthcare.gov are discovering, in many cases, they
were donating their time and expertise for the cause.

If you want to get paid on business submitted through goodluck.gov the form that is transmitted to the health insurance carrier must have you identified by your NPN (National Producer Number). That number is the key to getting paid.

Without it, you get nada.
CMS recently identified that healthcare.gov is not always passing the agent's name and National Producer Number (NPN) to health insurance carriers. As a result, Highmark cannot assign agent and agency numbers to these policies, and commission cannot be paid.
If producers believe this information is missing, they should contact their General Agency (GA). The GA should then check the daily activity reports and commission statements to see if this information was sent to Highmark, prior to taking any additional action. Please note - the producer hotline cannot verify if the agent's name or NPN is on an application. - URLINS

Is this a glitch or something deliberate?

Could be either. No way to know.

There have been rumors that hc.gov enrollers are being instructed to strip NPN's from the file if they have any direct contact with the applicant during the application stage.

But it could be something as simple as a hard drive crash ............... or the server being stripped of this information.

From the Life Files

Friday, April 24, 2015
So about 30 years ago, my since-retired colleague wrote a policy on a 30 year old client (whom we'll call Gene). Gene's wife was named as the beneficiary, and all was well.

A few years - and two children - later, Gene and his wife divorced, and Gene changed the beneficiary of his policy to his brother.

Problem is, he never told his brother (or his kids) that he was doing so. Recently, Gene passed away, and his ex-wife called me to inquire about the policy. I called the home office and confirmed that a) he did, in fact, have a policy (and it was in force) and b) his brother was the beneficiary (again, news to all of us).

Fortunately, the brother lives relatively close by, and was in town attending to the funeral arrangements and such. I was able to connect with him, and we met yesterday to complete the claims paperwork (we're still awaiting the official death certificate, without which the claim can't be paid).

That's when I learned that not only did Gene never tell his brother about the policy, but that he died without a will (aka intestate for all you legal-beagles). The brother had no idea what Gene wanted to do with the proceeds of the policy (well, the balance after final expenses), nor of his house or other belongings. He's decided that he'll just divvy up the balance with his nieces once all the (modest) estate costs are settled.

This is just so sad: Gene died alone, and never made his wishes known to those that were (ostensibly) closest to him. I suppose there's a lesson here, somewhere, but danged if I know what it is. Any suggestions?

Health Wonk Review - Windy Spring edition

Thursday, April 23, 2015
HWR co-founder Joe Paduda hosts this week's outstanding round-up of wonky blog posts, with an emphasis on the ACA. Come for Louise Norris on coverage gaps, stay for Dr Jaan Siderow's "pretty cool" moment.

Seguros mensuales con Cuenta bancaria en USA

Monday, January 5, 2015
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Si tiene Dolares, sáqueles provecho Adquiera un #SegurodeVida en Dólares Sin Examen Médico, obtenga de inmediato una suma asegurada, ahorro en Dólares, sumas aseguradas desde $ 2.000 hasta $ 25.000, económicos precios, aceptados desde 0 hasta 90 años…aunque esté Enfermo!! Para su Propuesta personalizada, visite http://hrosegurosdevida.webs.com #SegurosdeVida