Monthly Archives: November 2012

Young People Shopping For Individual Health Plans Face Higher Prices In 2013

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Some young people are likely to experience sticker shock when shopping for health insurance next year, as new regulations take hold to reduce price variation based on age.

A limit on pricing by age is among the many new federal regulations that will apply to health plans sold in the fall of 2013 for the 2014 calendar year — all part of federal health care reform.

Most states allow insurance companies to vary the price of health insurance based on a customer’s age. Older customers could pay up to seven times what young people pay.

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Aetna Starts Reimbursement Program — Giving Workers Cash Back For Exercising

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In an ongoing effort by health insurers to get customers to live healthier lives, Aetna Inc. this week announced a new reimbursement program to reduce the price of gym memberships, exercise equipment and other health aids.

For example, a person could get cash back after buying a treadmill or signing up to go to the gym, provided that person has both Aetna as a health insurer and an employer that agrees to pay to reimburse a portion of exercise expenses. Aetna’s Fitness Reimbursement Program is a collaboration with GlobalFit, which owns gyms and exercise programs.

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Early Estimate Of Vehicles Damaged By Hurricane Sandy — 230,000, Mostly in NY, NJ

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Hurricane Sandy damaged or destroyed about 230,000 vehicles, according to an analysis of insurance claims filed as of last week.

Most of those were in New York and — 130,000 automobiles — followed by New Jersey, which had about 60,000 insurance claims for vehicles, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau and the Insurance Services Office, which is a subsidiary of Verisk Analytics.

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Phoenix Reports $46 Million Quarterly Loss, Though Insurer is Still Reviewing Financial Data

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The Phoenix Cos. on Tuesday reported a net loss and an operating loss for the quarter.

The Hartford-based life insurer and annuity company delayed its quarterly report because it is in the process of restating its finances for the first two quarters of this year and for the past three years.

“Since there may be changes to prior period results, the company is not providing comparisons of any third quarter or nine-month 2012 results to any prior periods until the restated financial statements have been filed with the (U.S.) Securities and Exchange Commission,” the company said.

The company said it had a net loss of $45.8 million, or $8.04 per share, for the three-month period ending Sept. 30. Last year, the company reported net income of $31.8 million, or 27 cents per diluted share, for the third quarter.

Phoenix reported an after-tax operating loss of $62.6 million, or $10.98 per share. Last year, the company reported operating income of $29 million, or 25 cents per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2011.

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Annuity Sales Continue Decline In Third Quarter, Pressured By Low Interest Rates

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Annuity sales continued to decline during the third quarter, driven by a low-interest-rate environment that has companies cutting back on benefits and increasing prices, which affects customers’ demand for the financial product.

Annuities require that a customer deposit money in order to get a steady, regular series of payments in the future. Sometimes annuities are used to replace income during retirement. Insurers that sell annuities invest the deposits and are less able to make a return in a low-interest environment.

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Insurers Are Among Companies Praised For LGBT Work Equality Policies

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A number of insurance companies received a perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for having policies and practices that provide an equal workplace for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

A total of 252 companies across the nation received a perfect score on the foundation’s 2013 Corporate Equality Index, including many that employ Connecticut residents.

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