IFAwebnews.com http://ifawebnews.com The nation’s homepage for insurance industry news Sat, 19 Sep 2015 05:51:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 State leaders call for review of Horizon plan that excludes Trenton hospitals http://ifawebnews.com/2015/09/19/state-leaders-call-for-review-of-horizon-plan-that-excludes-trenton-hospitals/ http://ifawebnews.com/2015/09/19/state-leaders-call-for-review-of-horizon-plan-that-excludes-trenton-hospitals/#comments Sat, 19 Sep 2015 05:51:44 +0000 http://ifawebnews.com/?p=50235
State leaders call for review of Horizon plan that excludes Trenton hospitals via IFAwebnews.com .

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Democratic State Assembly members are calling on New Jersey’s Department of Banking and Insurance Commission to place a hold on a new venture by the state’s largest insurer that excludes the capital city’s two hospitals from premier insurance coverage.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey announced last week that it plans to offer new lower-priced insurance policies that offer discounts for care provided at 34 selected hospitals.


See related story: Horizon BCBS partners with hospitals for lower rates in NJ


“This is where an insurance company has decided who are the winners and the losers and who will survive and who will die,” Assemblyman Reed Gusciora. “I think this is too critical of a step in health care not to have a public airing.”

Gusciora and Assemblywoman Elizabeth Muoio (both D-Mercer) were joined by Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson, Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes and hospital executives Thursday to express their concerns about the process and possible repercussions that the plan might have on residents.

A Horizon spokesman told NJ.com that the OMNIA Health Alliance was created to meet demands for more choices and more affordable health plans with access to quality care.

“Our customers have made it clear that the status quo, fee-for-service system of rising health care costs is unsustainable,” spokesman Thomas Rubino said.

Customers with the new health plans will be able to get care at any of Horizon’s network hospitals and doctors, but those who go to tier-one providers will pay lower out-of-pocket costs than those who go to tier-two providers like Capital Health and St. Francis Medical Center.

Read the full story at NJ.com: Call for review of Horizon plan that excludes Trenton hospitals | NJ.com.


State leaders call for review of Horizon plan that excludes Trenton hospitals via IFAwebnews.com .

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Former insurance agent charged in $21 million annuity, movie-making scheme http://ifawebnews.com/2015/09/18/former-insurance-agent-charged-in-21-million-annuity-movie-making-scheme/ http://ifawebnews.com/2015/09/18/former-insurance-agent-charged-in-21-million-annuity-movie-making-scheme/#comments Fri, 18 Sep 2015 15:44:24 +0000 http://ifawebnews.com/?p=50231
Former insurance agent charged in $21 million annuity, movie-making scheme via IFAwebnews.com .

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A former insurance agent and an alleged accomplice have been charged with operating a Ponzi scam to defraud annuity owners out of $21 million.

The Los Angeles-area duo are accused of convincing clients to cash in their annuities and invest in a bogus, elaborate movie investment scheme.

Michelle Kenen Seward, 42, of Flintridge, Calif., and Dror Soref, 75, of Los Angeles, were arrested last week.

Michelle Kenen Seward

Michelle Kenen Seward

A California Department of Insurance Investigation uncovered evidence that Seward, a former licensed insurance agent and CEO of Protégé Financial and Insurance Services, Inc. and Saxe-Coburg Insurance Solutions, LLC, allegedly convinced her clients to invest their life savings in a film directed by Soref titled “Not Forgotten,” which was an unsecured investment.

The 2009 film starring Simon Baker and Paz Vega grossed $54,000 in theaters, according to IMdb. Soref began his career directing music videos for “Weird Al” Yankovic.

The movie aired in only a handful of theaters and authorities claim the studio money was only used to repay some movie investors.

In some cases, Seward allegedly talked clients into surrendering annuities early and paying large penalties by promising returns of between 10 and 18 percent. Investors that surrendered annuities paid more than $600,000 in penalties and fees for early withdrawal.

After the film’s completion, the two formed a new entity titled Windsor Pictures LLC, which investors were promised would produce several films. Investors were given promissory notes and told they would again earn between 10 and 18 percent on their investment.

Investigators found evidence that investors’ money used to form Windsor Pictures was used to pay investors in the production of Not Forgotten. Additionally, Seward and Soref were not licensed to sell securities or provide investment advice.

The case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.


Former insurance agent charged in $21 million annuity, movie-making scheme via IFAwebnews.com .

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MetLife closing New Jersey facility, 136 jobs in limbo http://ifawebnews.com/2015/09/17/metlife-closing-new-jersey-facility-136-jobs-in-limbo/ http://ifawebnews.com/2015/09/17/metlife-closing-new-jersey-facility-136-jobs-in-limbo/#comments Thu, 17 Sep 2015 21:55:42 +0000 http://ifawebnews.com/?p=50227
MetLife closing New Jersey facility, 136 jobs in limbo via IFAwebnews.com .

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According to a notice filed with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, life insurer MetLife will close its Somerset, N.J., location in the coming months.

The jobs of 136 employees located there could be in jeopardy.

According to the WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act) notice filed with the state, the insurance company “is relocating certain jobs in its retail and global technology and operations departments to company locations in North Carolina and closing its Somerset, New Jersey, facility.”

The insurer issued a statement to local media:

“MetLife announced in March of 2013 that it was undergoing a review of its real estate footprint, which includes strategies around consolidating and exiting certain locations. By the end of 2015, MetLife will exit its Somerset, New Jersey, location.”

According to the notic, the affected workers at the 300 Davidson Ave. location would include managers, engineers, support personnel and others. Employees would potentially be eligible for severance pay and benefits, it said.

“Some positions currently located in Somerset will relocate to Charlotte and Cary, North Carolina, or to locations in the greater New York and New Jersey area,” MetLife said in its statement. “For positions not relocating to another location, employees are eligible to apply for other positions within the company. Outplacement services are also available.”


MetLife closing New Jersey facility, 136 jobs in limbo via IFAwebnews.com .

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Western NY agency acquires specialty agency http://ifawebnews.com/2015/09/17/western-ny-agency-acquires-specialty-agency/ http://ifawebnews.com/2015/09/17/western-ny-agency-acquires-specialty-agency/#comments Thu, 17 Sep 2015 21:47:14 +0000 http://ifawebnews.com/?p=50225
Western NY agency acquires specialty agency via IFAwebnews.com .

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A specialty insurance agency in western New York has been acquired by a larger, local agency.

Stevens Marine Insurance Agency, a division of Edmund D. Stevens Inc. of Buffalo, has been acquired by Vanner Insurance Agency in Amherst, N.Y.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Stevens Marine Insurance is now operating as a division of Vanner at that agency’s Amherst offices. Peter Stevens will work with Patsy Cunningham to direct Vanner’s marine division.

The two have been competitors for years. But now they plan to work together to expand their market share, possibly further down the East Coast and into other Great Lakes regions.

“We’ve talked about getting together and we finally did it,” Stevens said Tuesday. “Patsy is a power-boater and I’m a sailor, so I know the nuances of sailboats and what they require for insurance and Patsy is the same way, except on the power boat side.”

Founded in 1904 by Herbert Deuel and Percy Lapey as Deuel, Lapey and Company, the firm many years later was named Edmund D. Stevens, Inc, after the company’s namesake joined and became president.

Vanner is one of the area’s largest insurance agencies, with premiums reported to be in excess of $88 million in 2014. The agency employs about 50.

 


Western NY agency acquires specialty agency via IFAwebnews.com .

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HHS gives Pennsylvania health centers $16.2 million in Obamacare funds http://ifawebnews.com/2015/09/17/hhs-gives-pennsylvania-health-centers-16-2-million-in-obamacare-funds/ http://ifawebnews.com/2015/09/17/hhs-gives-pennsylvania-health-centers-16-2-million-in-obamacare-funds/#comments Thu, 17 Sep 2015 21:31:41 +0000 http://ifawebnews.com/?p=50221
HHS gives Pennsylvania health centers $16.2 million in Obamacare funds via IFAwebnews.com .

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is giving Pennsylvania health centers nearly $16.2 million in Affordable Care Act funding.

The funds are designed to help health centers increase access to primary care services to those who need them most.

The funds were awarded for services to include medical, oral, behavioral, pharmacy and vision care.

Nearly $5 million was designated for facility renovation, expansion or construction to increase patient or service capacity.

“These awards will give more Americans access to comprehensive, quality health care,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell. “With these awards, health centers will be able to do things like increase their hours of operation, hire more behavioral health providers, add dental facilities, better treat patients with opioid use disorders and help people get coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace and make the journey from coverage to primary care.”

The funds are part of a total $350 million disbursed nationally to more than 1,800 facilities.

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HHS gives Pennsylvania health centers $16.2 million in Obamacare funds via IFAwebnews.com .

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HHS gives Virginia health centers $9.9 million in Obamacare funds http://ifawebnews.com/2015/09/17/hhs-gives-virginia-health-centers-9-9-million-in-obamacare-funds/ http://ifawebnews.com/2015/09/17/hhs-gives-virginia-health-centers-9-9-million-in-obamacare-funds/#comments Thu, 17 Sep 2015 21:26:40 +0000 http://ifawebnews.com/?p=50217
HHS gives Virginia health centers $9.9 million in Obamacare funds via IFAwebnews.com .

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is giving Virginia health centers $9.9 million in Affordable Care Act funding.

The funds are designed to help health centers increase access to primary care services to those who need them most.

The funds were awarded for services to include medical, oral, behavioral, pharmacy and vision care.

Nearly $2 million was designated for facility renovation, expansion or construction to increase patient or service capacity.

“These awards will give more Americans access to comprehensive, quality health care,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell. “With these awards, health centers will be able to do things like increase their hours of operation, hire more behavioral health providers, add dental facilities, better treat patients with opioid use disorders and help people get coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace and make the journey from coverage to primary care.”

The funds are part of a total $350 million disbursed nationally to more than 1,800 facilities.

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HHS gives Virginia health centers $9.9 million in Obamacare funds via IFAwebnews.com .

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HHS gives New York health centers $28.4 million in Obamacare funds http://ifawebnews.com/2015/09/17/hhs-gives-new-york-health-centers-28-4-million-in-obamacare-funds/ http://ifawebnews.com/2015/09/17/hhs-gives-new-york-health-centers-28-4-million-in-obamacare-funds/#comments Thu, 17 Sep 2015 21:22:06 +0000 http://ifawebnews.com/?p=50211
HHS gives New York health centers $28.4 million in Obamacare funds via IFAwebnews.com .

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is giving New York health centers $28.4 million in Affordable Care Act funding.

The funds are designed to help health centers increase access to primary care services to those who need them most.

The funds were awarded for services to include medical, oral, behavioral, pharmacy and vision care.

Nearly $10 million was designated for facility renovation, expansion or construction to increase patient or service capacity.

“These awards will give more Americans access to comprehensive, quality health care,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell. “With these awards, health centers will be able to do things like increase their hours of operation, hire more behavioral health providers, add dental facilities, better treat patients with opioid use disorders and help people get coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace and make the journey from coverage to primary care.”

The funds are part of a total $350 million disbursed nationally to more than 1,800 facilities.

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HHS gives New York health centers $28.4 million in Obamacare funds via IFAwebnews.com .

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HHS gives Maryland health centers $4.4 million in Obamacare funds http://ifawebnews.com/2015/09/17/hhs-gives-maryland-health-centers-4-4-million-in-obamacare-funds/ http://ifawebnews.com/2015/09/17/hhs-gives-maryland-health-centers-4-4-million-in-obamacare-funds/#comments Thu, 17 Sep 2015 21:15:40 +0000 http://ifawebnews.com/?p=50208
HHS gives Maryland health centers $4.4 million in Obamacare funds via IFAwebnews.com .

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is giving Maryland health centers $4.4 million in Affordable Care Act funding.

The funds are designed to help 15 health centers increase access to primary care services to those who need them most.

The funds were awarded for services to include medical, oral, behavioral, pharmacy and vision care.

Nearly $1 million was designated for facility renovation, expansion or construction to increase patient or service capacity.

“These awards will give more Americans access to comprehensive, quality health care,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell. “With these awards, health centers will be able to do things like increase their hours of operation, hire more behavioral health providers, add dental facilities, better treat patients with opioid use disorders and help people get coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace and make the journey from coverage to primary care.”

The funds are part of a total $350 million disbursed nationally to more than 1,800 facilities.

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HHS gives Maryland health centers $4.4 million in Obamacare funds via IFAwebnews.com .

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HHS gives N.J. health centers $7 million in Obamacare funds http://ifawebnews.com/2015/09/17/hhs-gives-n-j-health-centers-7-million-in-obamacare-funds/ http://ifawebnews.com/2015/09/17/hhs-gives-n-j-health-centers-7-million-in-obamacare-funds/#comments Thu, 17 Sep 2015 21:02:55 +0000 http://ifawebnews.com/?p=50202
HHS gives N.J. health centers $7 million in Obamacare funds via IFAwebnews.com .

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is giving New Jersey health centers $7 million in Affordable Care Act funding.

The funds are designed to help 19 health centers increase access to primary care services to those who need them most.

A total of $6 million was awarded for services to include medical, oral, behavioral, pharmacy and vision care.

In addition, $1 million was granted for facility renovation, expansion or construction to increase patient or service capacity.

“These awards will give more people in New Jersey access to comprehensive, quality health care,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell. “With these awards, health centers will be able to do things like increase their hours of operation, hire more behavioral health providers, add dental facilities, better treat patients with opioid use disorders and help people get coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace and make the journey from coverage to primary care.”

The funds are part of a total $350 million disbursed nationally to more than 1,800 facilities.

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HHS gives N.J. health centers $7 million in Obamacare funds via IFAwebnews.com .

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Highmark launches tiered coverage plan in central Pa. http://ifawebnews.com/2015/09/17/highmark-launches-tiered-coverage-plan-in-central-pa/ http://ifawebnews.com/2015/09/17/highmark-launches-tiered-coverage-plan-in-central-pa/#comments Thu, 17 Sep 2015 20:53:55 +0000 http://ifawebnews.com/?p=50200
Highmark launches tiered coverage plan in central Pa. via IFAwebnews.com .

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Health insurer Highmark Blue Shield has introduced a tiered benefit plan in five central Pennsylvania counties, a plan the carrier says is designed to hold down insurance costs for employers.

Alliance Flex Blue offers two levels of in-network benefits. The product was developed in collaboration with the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Pinnacle Health.

The plan design is available to large group clients with employees located in Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lebanon and Perry counties. The effective start date for all group sizes and individuals is January 1, 2016.

Small groups (100 or fewer employees) and individuals in the region will be eligible for enrollment later this year.

The start date for the coverage is January 2016 and the plan will be available for small groups later this year. The insurance is available in Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lebanon and Perry counties.

According to Highmark, Alliance Flex Blue allows members to select their out-of-pocket cost savings based on the tier of the hospital system where they choose to receive their care. Members choosing services from providers and facilities participating at the Enhanced Value Level of Benefits will have the lowest level of cost-sharing, which includes the deductible, copay and coinsurance (the percentage of the cost of care for which the member is responsible). PinnacleHealth, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State Health St. Joseph participate in the network at the Enhanced Value Level of Benefits.


Highmark launches tiered coverage plan in central Pa. via IFAwebnews.com .

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