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- 11/01/18--21:32: _ACA open enrollment...
- 11/02/18--09:38: _ACA OPEN ENROLLMENT...
- 11/02/18--06:07: _Take Command Health...
- 11/02/18--07:21: _Here's how much Oba...
- 11/02/18--12:34: _Changes coming to t...
- 11/02/18--13:43: _Health Insurance In...
- 11/02/18--19:58: _US Economy Adds 250...
- 10/30/18--15:37: _Health Insurance In...
- 11/05/18--04:04: _NCQA Best-Rated Hea...
- 11/05/18--15:16: _There are 13 scient...
- 11/05/18--16:14: _Federal Officials S...
- 11/06/18--02:02: _Magnifact Launches ...
- 11/06/18--04:02: _Celebrating 40 Year...
- 11/06/18--05:12: _Former Washington C...
- 11/06/18--06:04: _CVS beats, says Aet...
- 11/06/18--06:06: _The Institutes and ...
- 11/06/18--06:17: _Zappix, Inc. Helps ...
- 11/06/18--14:03: _Three states consid...
- 11/07/18--00:57: _Sweden Telemedicine...
- 11/07/18--01:14: _Original-Research: ...
- 11/02/18--09:38: ACA OPEN ENROLLMENT IN GEORGIA: Five Things to Know
- 11/02/18--07:21: Here's how much Obamacare premiums will increase in every state
- 11/02/18--12:34: Changes coming to the C-Suite at Independence Health Group
- 11/05/18--04:04: NCQA Best-Rated Health Plans Partner with SPH Analytics
- 11/06/18--02:02: Magnifact Launches AgentVizion at Western Marketing
- 11/06/18--04:02: Celebrating 40 Years of Tax-Saving Section 125 Cafeteria Plans
- 11/06/18--05:12: Former Washington County official pleads guilty to fraud
- 11/06/18--06:04: CVS beats, says Aetna deal will close before Thanksgiving (CVS)
- 11/07/18--01:14: Original-Research: MagForce AG (von GBC AG)
WASHINGTON – Open enrollment began Nov. 1 for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, with most Arizonans seeing more choices and better prices, a sharp change from recent years when the state was the poster child for Obamacare problems. The Department of Health and Human Services said five companies will offer 18 qualified health insurance plans in Arizona for next year, with premiums on average expected to be 10 percent lower than this year. Open enrollment runs through Dec. 15. Those…
Reported by bizjournals 4 hours ago.
Open enrollment is under way in Georgia for 2019 health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. In spite of changes this year, much about the process remains the same for customers. They can still go to the federal website and try to enroll themselves. And if they run into snags, they still have resources.
Reported by ajc.com 16 hours ago.
New Small Business HRA Strategy Guide outlines best approach for small employers and sole proprietors
DALLAS (PRWEB) November 02, 2018
Take Command Health, the leading resource for affordable, personalized benefits for small businesses, is excited to share their newly published Small Business HRA Strategy Guide, a free resource designed to help small business owners and sole proprietors discover and implement the most tax-efficient strategy for health insurance and medical expenses.
With an increasing amount of HRA choices (two new ones were announced just last week), a continuous flux in healthcare policy, and stabilizing but still sky-high healthcare costs, it’s as important as ever to take advantage of tax deductions when it comes to small business health insurance for owners and employees.
“If you’re a small business owner or sole proprietor, you’ve probably wrestled with how to deduct your health insurance premiums and medical expenses from your taxes,” shares Take Command Health CEO, Jack Hooper. “Do I purchase through my business and try to “expense it”? What about a self-employed deduction? And if you have employees—How can I reimburse them without triggering tax consequences?
“That’s why we created the Small Business HRA Guide,” adds Hooper, “to take the legwork and confusion out of choosing tax-advantaged strategies like the one-Person 105 HRA or a QSEHRA for small businesses structured as corporations, proprietorships, or other pass-through entities.”
This issue is as complex as it is confusing, because there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to what HRA is best. The answer is “it depends” on a few things, including: business entity type, whether you work alone or have W-2 employees, and whether you’re an owner or employee.
Many small business owners simply opt to skip using an HRA altogether to save time in the short-term, and others spend hours online trying to find answers from questionable sources and multiple sites. Both are costly mistakes; choosing the wrong type of HRA or foregoing an HRA altogether can waste thousands of dollars each year—and those costs just continue to rise as businesses grow.
About Take Command Health
Health technology startup Take Command Health launched three years ago with the goal of bringing awareness, advocacy, and transparency to the confusing world of health insurance for small businesses and individuals. Take Command Health is at the forefront of this issue, with a recognized team of thought leaders and an award-winning platform for simple, affordable QSEHRA administration. In addition to offering QSEHRA nationwide, Take Command Health can also help match employees to health plans with their doctors and prescriptions as a licensed health agency in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Although Take Command Health is a licensed health insurance firm, we are not tax professionals. We always recommend people consult with their tax professional before implementing a strategy, but this can be a great resource to start the conversation. Reported by PRWeb 19 hours ago.
· November 1 marked the opening day for Obamacare marketplace open enrollment.
· The average premium for the benchmark Obamacare plan will decline in 2019 compared to the year before.
· In fact, premiums are falling in 18 states, and another 13 are only seeing increases of 5% or less.
· While President Donald Trump has taken credit for the falling costs, health policy experts point to a different reason for the cost slowdown.
November 1 marked the first day Americans can sign up for health insurance on the Affordable Care Act's marketplaces for 2019, marking the sixth open-enrollment period for the law known as Obamacare and the first to feature a fully stabilized program.
After years of increasing premiums, the marketplaces — for people who do not get coverage from their job or a government program like Medicare — appear to have finally settled into a groove. Many states will see small increases, and some will even experience decreases in premiums.
Why exactly we aren't seeing the sky-high premium increases of previous years is a matter of some political debate, but many experts say that the improving costs are simply a function of time.
For the 39 states that use the federally facilitated Healthcare.gov platform, open enrollment runs from November 1 until December 15 (other states may have longer enrollment periods).
This half the length of open enrollment periods under former President Barack Obama. But consumers in most states should be getting some relief from the skyrocketing premiums of recent years. The Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health policy think tank, crunched the numbers on premiums for every state and found a more favorable environment for consumers compared to previous years.
To determine a benchmark for premiums, Kaiser used the second-highest cost silver-level plan for a 40-year-old male. (While the Department of Health and Human Services uses a 27-year-old male for its benchmark, the actual pool of enrollees is typically a bit older.)
Overall, the United States saw an average premium decrease of 0.83% from 2018 to 2019 plans:
· 18 states posted premiums declines.
· 13 states saw increases of less than 5%.
· For states that use the federal Healthcare.gov platform, the decline wil be even better, with premiums dropping 1.5% on average.
· On the other end, there were only six states to post double digit increases for benchmark premiums: Vermont, North Dakota, Delaware, Washington, Hawaii, and New York. Washington, DC, also posted a 16.13% jump.
The premium increases for 2019 are a far cry from just two years ago, when some states were facing jumps as high as 116% in Arizona. Trump, then a candidate, and the GOP used the premium jumps as an effective weapon against Hillary Clinton and many Democratic candidates.
During that election, Republicans promised to repeal and replace the ACA, a promise they failed to keep. The Trump administration and the GOP have made major changes to the healthcare system, but whether those are the reason for the easing of increases is up for debate.
*Why are premiums going down?*
Seema Verma, the administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, took credit for the drop.
"President Trump’s Administration took action to address the skyrocketing price of health insurance, and now we are starting to see the results," Verma said.
The administration took a series of actions to shake up the ACA marketplaces, including the expansion of short-term, limited-duration health plans. In addition, the GOP repealed the individual mandate — the requirement every American have insurance or face a financial penalty — as part of the tax reform law.
While Republicans pointed to those actions as examples of policies that reduced premiums, health policy analysts have argued they have weakened protections for people with preexisting conditions and could eventually drive up costs for sicker people who remain in the Obamacare markets.
But even in terms of 2019's cost, recent studies showed that premiums are coming down in spite of Trump's changes — not because of them:
· Researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation went through insurer filings and various data to model just how much the Trump administration's actions influenced premiums and found that the meddling actually made premiums higher than they would have been otherwise.
· The main reason for 2019's premium drop is that profit margins on many insurers' Obamacare products grew after the large price jumps in previous years.
· Those companies could now correct back in the other direction by lowering premiums.
· But the Trump administration's actions forced the insurers to keep the premiums 16% higher than they would be otherwise, Kaiser said.
"Instead of 2019 benchmark silver premiums on healthcare.gov averaging $495 per month for a 40-year-old, as was recently reported by HHS, we estimate the premium would be approximately $427 in the absence of individual mandate penalty repeal, expansion of more loosely regulated plans, and the loss of cost-sharing subsidy payments," the report said.
Another study by Matthew Fiedler, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, found a smaller potential plunge.
"Indeed, under my base assumptions, I estimate that the nationwide average per member per month premium in the individual market would fall by 4.3% in 2019 in a stable policy environment," Fiedler wrote.
*Prices are still much higher than just a few years ago*
Breaking down the last five years of premium jumps, the large shifts in cost across the US are obvious:
Since 2014, three states have seen premiums for benchmark plans increase by more than 200% — Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Iowa — while 20 states have seen an increase of at least 100%.
Additionally, only two states have seen premiums go up by only single digits: Indiana (the lowest increase at 3.35%) and New Jersey (8.98%).
· *Republicans tried to kill Obamacare. Now they're trying to embrace its most popular feature in a defining fight of the midterms.*
· *Democrats are embracing a radical change to US healthcare, and it could be the defining political fight for years to come*
Join the conversation about this story »
NOW WATCH: What marijuana looks like under the microscope Reported by Business Insider 18 hours ago.
Independence Health Group, the parent company of Independence Blue Cross of Philadelphia, announced a series of organization changes that will take effect at the start of next year. Independence CEO Daniel J. Hilferty said the changes will position the region's largest health insurance company for "continued growth and leadership" in the health care industry. Here's the rundown: Paul Tufano will become president of Independence Health Group, reporting to Hilferty, and take on additional responsibility…
Reported by bizjournals 13 hours ago.
Reported by SeekingAlpha 12 hours ago.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the economy added 250,000 jobs in October as the employment rate or Employment-to-Population Ratio (referred to as EPOP, or the percentage of adults with jobs) rose 0.2 percentage points to 60.6 percent, a new high for the recovery. The strong October job growth was largely a bounce back from a hurricane-weakened September number of 118,000 (revised down from 134,000). The three-month average is 218,000, roughly in line with growth over the last four years.
While the unemployment rate was unchanged in October at 3.7 percent, the strong economy is apparently still pulling more people into the labor market. The EPOP for prime-age workers (ages 25–54) rose by 0.4 percentage points to 79.7 percent, a new high for the recovery. This is 0.8 percentage points above the year-ago level. The increase was for both prime-age men and women, with the EPOP for men now 0.5 percentage points above the year-ago level and women up by 1.2 percentage points.
While the EPOP for prime-age women is above its prerecession peak, it is still down by 1.5 percentage points from its peak in 2000. The EPOP for prime-age men is still 1.8 percentage points below its prerecession peak and more than 3.0 percentage points below its peak around 2000.
The tighter labor market is showing some dividend in wage growth. The average hourly wage is up 3.1 percent over the last year. Wage growth looks to be on an upward track. The annualized growth rate comparing the last three months (August, September, October) with the prior three months (May, June, July) is 3.6 percent. Manufacturing workers do not seem to be benefitting from this tightening, with wage growth of just 1.5 percent over the last year.
In terms of employment, less-educated workers continue to be the main beneficiaries of recent job growth. Over the last year, the EPOP for workers without high school degrees is up 1.5 percentage points. For high school graduates, it is up by 0.9 percentage points. By contrast, the EPOP for workers with college degrees fell 0.4 percentage points over the last year.
While the news in the household survey is overwhelmingly positive, there were a couple of discouraging data points. The share of unemployment due to voluntary quits, a measure of workers’ confidence in the labor market, dropped to 11.9 percent. This compares to an average of almost 14.0 percent and a peak of over 15.0 percent in 2000.
There also has been a drop of 156,000, or 1.0 percent, in the number of workers who report being self-employed over the last year. This could be due to uncertainty over health insurance. The share of the self-employed rose following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. With its future now in question, many workers may not want to take the risk of leaving jobs that provide health insurance.
The job gains in the establishment survey were broadly based. Health care led the way, adding 35,600 jobs. There appears to have been a pick-up in job growth in the sector, as it added an average of 33,900 jobs over the last three months. This compares to an average of 26,900 over the last year.
Manufacturing added 32,000 jobs in October, while construction added 30,000. The former is somewhat more rapid than the average growth of 25,000 jobs over the last year, while the latter is close to the 27,500 average. Retail added just 2,400 after losing 32,400 in September. Still, employment in the sector is up by 36,600 over the last year.
Restaurants added 33,500 jobs, after losing 10,000 in September, most likely as a result of the hurricane. The two-month average of 11,750 is below the 17,000 average for the last year, possibly indicating that low-wage employers are having difficulty finding workers in a tight labor market. While the mining sector as a whole added 5,100 jobs in October, the coal industry lost 200 jobs. Employment in the sector is now down by 100 from year-ago levels.
This is an overwhelmingly positive report. It indicates that the pick-up in job growth that began seven years ago is continuing, with the economy adding well over 2 million workers a year. This rapid pace of job growth is pulling more workers into the labor market, which is finally getting tight enough to produce substantial wage gains. Reported by Eurasia Review 6 hours ago.
Reported by SeekingAlpha 4 days ago.
SPH Clients Represent 53% of Top Rated Plans
ALPHARETTA, Ga. (PRWEB) November 05, 2018
SPH Analytics, the top ranked patient satisfaction measurement firm in the Health Insurer/Managed Care Plan market, announced today that more than half of the plans receiving the highest 4.5- to 5-point ratings in the 2018-2019 ratings for private, Medicare, and Medicaid health insurance plans use SPH solutions, according to reports recently released by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).
NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving healthcare quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of healthcare organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in healthcare.
NCQA’s Health Insurance Plan Ratings 2018–2019 list rated more than 1,000 private, Medicare, and Medicaid health insurance plans based on clinical quality, member satisfaction, and NCQA Accreditation Survey results. NCQA’s ratings classified plans into scores from 1.5 to 5.0, in 0.5 increments, with 5 being the highest performance rating.
Results of the CAHPS® Survey were used as part of the performance measures to rate the health plans. The CAHPS Survey is considered the most comprehensive tool available for assessing member experiences with their health plan. SPH Analytics is an NCQA-Certified Survey Vendor for the CAHPS Survey and has administered the survey to health plans throughout the nation since the program’s inception in 1998.
“We are thrilled to be a key part of over half of the U.S. top ranked Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial health plans’ strategies to earn the highest levels of member experience,” said Amy Amick, President and CEO of SPH Analytics. “These market leaders demonstrate their dedication to their membership through these high rankings, and we are honored to play a vital role in how they understand and impact the experience of their members.”
Healthcare organizations, including many of the highest performing health plans in the nation, partner with SPH Analytics for complete healthcare survey management, patient/member outreach services, and powerful quality and cost analytics that empower them to take targeted actions to measurably improve patient experience, population health, and deliver better care.
CAHPS® is a registered trademark of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
HEDIS® is a registered trademark of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).
About SPH Analytics
SPH Analytics (SPH), a leader in healthcare analytics and population health management, empowers clients to analyze and interpret their clinical, financial, and consumer experience data to maximize their performance. SPH’s Population Care™, Population Value™, and Population Engage™ solutions are built on the innovative Nexus™ Platform, providing insights and impact to integrated health networks, ACOs, hospitals, ambulatory care providers, physician groups, and health plans. SPH’s quality measure dashboards, financial risk measurement, healthcare survey and call center solutions, and consulting services empower clients to meet the Triple Aim by improving population health, reducing overall cost of care, and improving the patient experience.
SPH Analytics is a recognized leader in the industry, earning accolades as a top ranked population health vendor by KLAS, ranked the number one analytics firm out of the top 50 disruptive health IT companies by Black Book Research, and ranked number one in MACRA and MIPS Support Technology for Value-Based Care by Black Book Research. SPH Analytics has been providing insights to clients for more than 25 years and serves clients in all 50 states. Corporate headquarters are in metro Atlanta. SPH Analytics is a portfolio company of the $3 billion STG Partners. For more information, call 1-866-460-5681 or visit SPHAnalytics.com. Reported by PRWeb 2 days ago.
When politicians are asked tough questions about policies that defy science, they'll sometimes retort: "Hey, I'm not a scientist."
In fact, there is currently only one PhD scientist among the 535 members of Congress: Bill Foster, who represents Illinois' 11th District. The medical professions are a bit better represented, with three nurses and 15 doctors in Congress.
But 13 new political candidates are attempting to bolster the science credentials on Capitol Hill in the 2018 midterm elections. A crop of scientists are running for office across the country, in states from South Carolina to Nevada and California, hoping voters will pick them tomorrow.
These candidates have the support of a nonprofit political action committee called 314 Action, which started in 2016 and is dedicated to recruiting, training, and funding scientists and healthcare workers who want to run for political office.
"Scientists are essentially problem-solvers," Shaughnessy Naughton, president of 314 Action, told Business Insider. "Right now, there are more talk radio show hosts in Congress than there are chemists and physicists."
Since Congress wrestles with complex issues like climate change, cybersecurity, and how to provide fairer, cheaper healthcare, Naughton thinks we should put more scientists into the decision-making body.
"Who better to be tackling these issues than scientists?" she said.
Here's what to know about the two Senate and 11 House hopefuls who are running for office.
*SEE ALSO: President Trump said the US has 'the cleanest air in the world'. Here's the reality, according to an air quality scientist.*
-There are two new scientist candidates running for Senate. Both have political experience, but they've never been senators. One is Phil Bredesen, a Harvard physicist and computer programmer who is running to represent Tennessee.-
Bredesen, a Democrat, was governor of Tennessee from 2003 to 2011.
"I love fixing things," Bredesen said in an ad posted on his Twitter account.
To say that Bredesen has been well liked in the state is an understatement: When he was re-elected as governor in 2006, Bredesen swept every county. During his time as governor, he expanded health-insurance coverage in the state and also made forest preservation a priority.
The former founder of HealthAmerica Corporation — an HMO that was bought by a larger company in 1986 — is still focused on healthcare pricing and coverage in his Senate race.
He’s vying for Republican Bob Corker’s old seat, running against Republican congresswoman Marsha Blackburn.-The other is congresswoman and computer programmer Jacky Rosen, who is running for Senate in Nevada. She champions internet privacy protection for consumers.-
Rosen, who was elected to Congress in 2016, is running for Senate against Nevada’s senior senator Dean Heller.
A Democrat, Rosen has pointed out that her opponent was a deciding vote on the law that allows internet-service providers to sell consumer data without their permission. Rosen also touts her role in the construction of a large solar array in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson. That array, she said, reduced her synagogue’s energy bill by 70%.
The Hill rates the Republican seat Rosen is running for as one of the most likely to flip this year. Nevada voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.-Chrissy Houlahan is an Air Force vet, industrial engineer, MIT grad, and former high school chemistry teacher. The Democrat is running to represent Pennsylvania's 6th District.-
The Republican incumbent in Pennsylvania's 6th District, Ryan Costello, isn't running this year, after he fumed about the district lines being redrawn. (A map of the district had to be retraced after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the district had been unfairly gerrymandered in favor of Republicans.)
Instead, Houlahan is running against Republican Greg McCauley, a tax lawyer who's owned 20 Wendy's franchises. Like Houlahan, McCauley has never run for office before.
Houlahan, who was the chief operating officer of And1 (a basketball apparel company), has said that one of her top priorities if elected would be to make healthcare more affordable and accessible for everyone.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider Reported by Business Insider 1 day ago.
The Federal Trade Commission said a Florida enterprise collected millions with a deceptive marketing scheme aimed at Americans searching for health coverage.
Reported by NYTimes.com 1 day ago.
Magnifact announces the launch of its patent-pending AgentVizion platform, now live at Western Marketing
CHICAGO (PRWEB) November 06, 2018
Magnifact®, a highly specialized Business Intelligence, Data Analytics and Visualization firm announces the launch of its innovative AgentVizion platform, now live at Western Marketing Associates Corp., Missouri Valley, IA.
AgentVizion is a patent-pending cloud-based solution that enables agencies to measure their production and operational performance across different lines of business including Life, Health, Annuities, and other product lines. This completely-automated technology platform provides real-time data analytics to insurance agencies and agents, empowering them to make important business decisions, totally eliminating manual downloads, spreadsheets, paper and documents.
AgentVizion uses MagniVizion®, Magnifact’s proprietary data visualization platform, and InfoGenie, its intelligent, real-time data transformation system.
"AgentVizion is a sophisticated and highly-secure subscription-based solution for NMOs, FMOs and their downline agencies and agents, bringing accurate visibility to the distributor’s aggregate production and override measurement process like never before," said Krish V. Krishnan, Magnifact’s Founder and CEO. "Based on our secure and proprietary technology subsystems, AgentVizion interfaces with carriers, up-line agencies, CRM systems, lead management and commission systems, to bring the most-current, integrated view of an agency's book of business.”
“The ability to access production and override data for multiple carriers in one centralized location is a game changer,” said Brandon Finken, Director of Operations at Western Marketing. “What used to take weeks to compile summaries and reports by accessing numerous different carrier websites and portals, now takes a matter of seconds with a couple of clicks and one simple login.”
“This versatile platform is lightyears ahead of anything available in the market today,” said Amber Finken, Incentive Trip Coordinator at Western Marketing. “You can slice and dice the data as broadly or specifically as you want. Because of this, there is now an endless opportunity of ways to utilize the data available to us that we never had before. There is simply nothing out there in the insurance industry right now that provides access to this information the way AgentVizion does.”
“To say AgentVizion is a time-saver is an understatement,” Amber added. “This solution completely eliminates the very inefficient, time-consuming activity of trying to compile information from multiple different sources. The efficiency of AgentVizion has transformed my workload from weeks down to minutes, and the results are incredibly accurate!”
AgentVizion also enables downline agencies in the hierarchy to pick out top performers as easily as they are able to identify poorly-performing plans, agents and regions. Additionally, agents are able to log in and measure their own performance against individual targets that have been set for them.
Magnifact has already announced plans to roll out additional AgentVizion modules including TripCalculator for proactively managing incentives, and integration with MoodAnalyzer®, Magnifact’s patent-pending, artificial-intelligence-based risk analysis solution.
MEDIA CONTACT: J Slome, Sales Creators, Inc.
Phone: 818-597-3205 E: jslome(at)ltcsales.com
Magnifact is a leading Chicago-based technology provider of cloud-based DataIntelligent℠ solutions for the Insurance, Financial Services and the Gaming industries. Besides AgentVizion, its key offerings include MagniVizion®, a proprietary data visualization platform, InfoGenie, an intelligent, real-time data transformation system, and MoodAnalyzer®, an artificial-intelligence based risk and sentiment analysis solution.
About Western Marketing
Western Marketing is a national insurance marketing organization based in Missouri Valley IA, dedicated to recruiting, servicing and supporting independent insurance agents in all 50 states. Since 1989 Western Marketing has been offering their agents and brokers a complete line of life and health insurance products for the senior insurance marketplace, from leading insurance companies, along with elite tools, technology, training and resources.
Visit http://www.wmacorp.com Reported by PRWeb 1 day ago.
To celebrate the 40th birthday of the Section 125 Cafeteria Plan, Core Documents, Inc., presents a six-part series on the history of this valuable (but oft-forgotten) tax-saving benefit.
BRADENTON, Fla. (PRWEB) November 06, 2018
Believe it or not, every paycheck brings millions of Americans a helpful little boost from the U. S. Treasury. It usually goes unnoticed and taken for granted. It seems that it has always been there and always will be. Most Americans might be surprised to learn that U. S. Code Section 125 -- which governs the tax-saving provisions of employer Cafeteria Plans – came into the law only 40 years ago, on November 6, 1978.
To celebrate the 40th birthday of the Section 125 Cafeteria Plan, Core Documents, Inc., presents a six-part series on the history of this valuable (but oft-forgotten) tax-saving benefit to American employees and their dependents.
If not for Section 125 of the Code, many workers would not be able to afford the group health insurance offered by employers. Those who could afford it would pay about a third more for coverage without the Code's tax-favored treatment of salary deductions for group health benefits under Section 125 plans.
Employers save, too, because pre-tax employee payments into Section 125 plans reduce overall payroll expense. That usually means no FICA, FUTA, or other payroll tax paid on those dollars. The employer tax savings on those pre-tax employee premium payments and flex plan contributions is usually 8% to 10% -- more than enough to cover any administrative costs to manage the plan.
Core Documents thinks this much in tax savings is worth celebrating. We present this series so that employee and employer alike can learn more about Section 125 Cafeteria Plans and then celebrate with us (in your own small way).
The Section 125 Plan 40th Birthday series begins with a look at the history of the medical expense tax deduction, followed by how (and why) the Treasury proposed adding Section 125 to the Code.
Next is how employers created Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) behind the Treasury’s back, and how Congress helped mediate a compromise between the parties.
Then, learn how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) had a big impact on the ways employers could use Section 125 Cafeteria Plans to help employees with health care costs. Not surprisingly, new rules applied and choices declined – especially for small employers – but the essential benefits offered via Section 125 Plans survived.
The closing segment looks at the status of Cafeteria Plans today and possible changes in the near future.
The series Celebrating 40 Years of Section 125 Cafeteria Plans begins @ http://www.coredocuments.com/40years/. Links to the next article as well as those for all other items in the series are at the bottom of each page.
Since 1997, Core Documents, Inc., has been the Trusted Source in affordable plan documents for Section 125 Plans and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA). Our convenient plan document packages provide employers with everything they need to establish an IRS- and DOL-compliant tax-saving benefit. Core Documents offers free plan design, consultation, and support to clients before and after putting their plans in place. Visit our website at http://www.coredocuments.com today to learn more. Reported by PRWeb 22 hours ago.
William Gum, a former administrator for the Washington County Ambulance District, has admitted to stealing from the district and paying himself a higher salary than was authorized. According to a release, Gum, 59 and of Potosi, pleaded guilty to the higher salary Monday as well as using district funds to pay for health insurance for his dependents without approval. Gum also used the district for other forms of support. “Gum admitted to using district credit cards to purchase personal items. For…
Reported by bizjournals 20 hours ago.
· *CVS beat on both the top and bottom lines, and reiterated its full-year guidance.*
· *The company said its proposed acquisition of Aetna will close before Thanksgiving.*
· Shares jumped as much as 3% before Tuesday's opening bell.
· *Watch CVS trade live.*
CVS posted third-quarter earnings that beat on both profits and sales, sending shares up as much as 3% before Tuesday's opening bell. The company also reiterated its full-year guidance.
Here are the key numbers, comparing to estimates from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg:
· *Earnings per share:* $1.73 ($1.71 expected)
· *Revenue:* $47.3 billion ($47.2 billion expected)
· *Same-store sales growth:* +6.7% (+5.6% expected)
· *Same-store prescription volume growth: *+9.2%
· *Full-year EPS guidance: *$6.89 to $7.08 ($7.05 expected)
“Strong revenue and adjusted EPS, along with significant cash flow year-to-date, demonstrate our success in driving value," CEO Larry Merlo said in a press release.
"Our year-to-date results continue to validate our confidence in the strength of our model. As we approach the closing of our transformative acquisition of Aetna, our integration teams are making great progress to assure that once final approvals are obtained, we can begin to execute on our integration plans."
CVS announced last month that it has entered into an agreement with the US Department of Justice that allows it to proceed with its proposed acquisition of Aetna, the nation’s third-largest health insurance company, on the condition that Aetna sells its individual standalone Medicare Part D prescription-drug business.
Aetna has found a buyer for the business — a subsidiary of WellCare Health Plans — and so the transaction is expected to close prior to Thanksgiving, CVS said in Tuesday's press release.
CVS was up 3% this year through Monday.
*Read more stories on CVS:*
· CVS and Aetna are gaining ground after their $69 billion merger gets the green light
· VS is fending off Amazon in drug delivery
Join the conversation about this story »
NOW WATCH: Valedictorians rarely become rich and famous — here's why the average millionaire's college GPA is 2.9 Reported by Business Insider 20 hours ago.
Only three percent of insurance executives believe that most of their staff have the skills and understanding needed to be innovative
MALVERN, Pa. (PRWEB) November 06, 2018
A new survey of insurance executives found that while most companies are prioritizing innovation strategies in order to remain competitive, they are hindered by misconceptions and assumptions related to legacy technologies, culture, and budget and a lack of skills and understanding. The survey was conducted by The Institutes, the leading education and research provider for the risk management and property-casualty insurance industry, in partnership with ITL Innovator’s Edge, an insurance intelligence platform and advisory specializing in Growth Through Innovation™.
Nearly 70 percent of the 178 senior-level insurance executives surveyed said their company has implemented an innovation strategy, and nearly 90 percent consider this strategy at least a mid-level priority. But the gap between having a strategy and making innovation a top-tier priority is notable. A lack of employee expertise and technical training were also noted as obstacles to success. Only three percent of respondents said that most of their organization’s employees have an adequate understanding of innovation and the skills to be innovative. Further, almost 40 percent of those surveyed cited a need for different talents and skills as one of the largest hurdles to the adoption or execution of innovation strategies.
“New technologies coupled with innovative best practices can vastly improve the insurance experience for many customers, and it’s encouraging to see a strong commitment to harnessing these tools in our industry,” said Peter L. Miller, CPCU, president and chief executive officer of The Institutes. “However, we see a clear need for additional training, education and expertise to help organizations fully leverage new technologies that are capable of cutting costs, reducing fraud and facilitating powerful information-sharing.”
Many of the professionals at the property-casualty, life, surety and health insurance companies surveyed said they are focusing innovation efforts on technology advancements such as artificial intelligence, telematics, Internet of Things capabilities and blockchain. When asked what they hope to achieve with innovation, improving the customer experience and engagement was the most popular response. Other opportunities included driving operational innovation and developing new products and services.
“Disruption is coming to nearly every industry, including insurance,” said Guy Fraker, chief innovation officer at ITL Innovator’s Edge. “However, as opposed to hearing disruption in a negative context, corporate leaders in insurance will be best served by hearing disruption as a proxy for exponential growth opportunities. Innovation has become essential to survival. So not just leaders, but everyone in the industry must become comfortable with new ways of thinking and acquire the skills needed to adapt and thrive in this new landscape.”
The Institutes and ITL Innovator’s Edge will soon launch the first certification program in risk innovation designed to help the insurance industry address its innovation education needs and spark progress. The four-part certification will offer managers, directors and other leaders insights on how to establish an innovation culture and mindset for themselves, their teams and their organization.
About The Institutes | Risk and Insurance Knowledge Group
As the industry’s trusted and respected knowledge leader, The Institutes are committed to meeting the evolving professional development needs of the risk management and insurance industry. We prepare people to fulfill their professional and ethical responsibilities by offering innovative education, research, networking and career resources. Our offerings include the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU®) designation program, associate designation programs, introductory and foundation programs, online courses, continuing education courses, leadership education, custom solutions and assessment tools.
About ITL Innovator’s Edge™
ITL (Insurance Thought Leadership), is a leading destination for insightful thought leadership on the transformation of insurance. Innovator’s Edge focuses on helping companies in the insurance industry achieve Growth Though Innovation™. They leverage the deep relationships developed by Insurance Thought Leadership and bring together an exceptional team to integrate innovation within your business strategy, ensuring that it all becomes integral to your success. Their strategic advisory practice is powered by an intelligence platform that provides members access to 40,000 insurtechs and early stage technology companies across 175+ countries as well as built in research tools and algorithms to identify the best fit.
For ITL Innovator’s Edge press inquiries, contact:
rdas(at)innovatorsedge.io Reported by PRWeb 20 hours ago.
The fast-growing Visual IVR vendor saves revenue for healthcare providers with an automated self-service solution to no-shows and other high-value use cases.
BURLINGTON, Mass. (PRWEB) November 06, 2018
The US healthcare system loses $150 billion every year because of no-shows. No-shows and missed appointments cost even small healthcare clinics thousands of dollars every week and hundreds of thousands every year. Zappix Mobile On-Demand technology provides an automated end-to-end solution, leveraging Outbound Engagement capabilities, to let patients confirm, cancel, or reschedule appointments on their own through powerful visual interfaces and On-Demand apps, all fully integrated with existing CRMs. A 2017 study showed SMS reminders like Zappix increased patient attendance from 81% to 93% — translating to thousands of dollars in increased revenue for clinics.
Zappix clients can also benefit from patient surveys automatically distributed at the conclusion of every appointment. These surveys give providers critical insights into patients lives and experiences, allowing for better care and improved doctor/patient relationships.
“I am excited to see more patients receive the care they deserve while helping healthcare providers recover revenue losses,” said Zappix President, Yossi Abraham. “Our cloud-based Mobile On-Demand solution provides an omnichannel solution using robotic process automation (RPA) to make patient interactions more efficient and effective. We help healthcare providers drive productivity and utilization of their staff by digitizing and automating the interaction with their patients. The benefits are clear — an improvement of no-shows rates, eliminating manual error-prone tasks and providing the patients with a fantastic, digital, Next Gen Self-Service solution.”
The Zappix On-Demand Digital Engagement for Healthcare automates many patient interactions, including but not limited to:· Appointment Confirmation — full end-to-end process automation including integration to CRM, sending of text messages, emails, and outbound calls to patients, and real-time updates about confirmation status.
· Prerequisite Reminders — rules-based solution to remind patients about appointment prerequisites, sent at the right time to maximize efficiency
· Survey Follow-Ups — digital survey proactively sent to patients at the end of every appointment and comprehensive dashboard available for providers
· Health Insurance Verification — automating the process of retrieving healthcare insurance information from patients for periodic verifications of ad-hoc needs
Patients today expect their healthcare providers to interact with them digitally and provide them with self-serve solutions that are simple, fast, and on the go. Zappix On-Demand Digital Engagement for Healthcare provides the experiences patients want.
Zappix’s cloud-based Visual IVR provides enterprises with a solution designed to improve the patient journey during service interactions through Mobile On-Demand functionality and digital self-service capabilities without the need to download a native app or connect to a live agent.
The Zappix Mobile On-Demand Visual IVR suite provides significant benefits and ROI: reducing costs by increasing containment rates for customer service, improving customer experience and Net Promoter Score (NPS), and creating new revenue opportunities using targeted promotional banners to advance new offerings.
To learn more about Zappix, go to https://www.zappix.com
Johnny Rosa, Marketing @ Zappix
+1 (781) 739-2770 Reported by PRWeb 19 hours ago.
Washington D.C., Nov 6, 2018 / 03:00 pm (CNA).- As Americans headed to the polls on Nov. 6 to vote in midterm elections, much of the media focus has been on how the results will shape the national political landscape. But in three states voters will be considering proposed state constitutional amendments that would protect the rights of the unborn and promote religious liberty.
In Alabama, voters will be deciding on amendments which would change the state constitution to protect religious liberty and to establish a right to life of unborn children.
Amendment 1 would specifically protect the right to display a monument of the Ten Commandments on public property, something which has been challenged in state and federal courts.
“Amendment 1 does two things,” reads a description of the measure on the Alabama Secretary of State website.
“First, it provides that a person is free to worship God as he or she chooses, and that a person’s religious beliefs will have no effect on his or her civil or political rights. Second, it makes clear that the Ten Commandments may be displayed on public property so long as the display meets constitutional requirements, such as being displayed along with historical or educational items.”
The Supreme Court recently agreed to hear a case regarding the legality of a cross-shaped monument on public land. Previously, in 2005, the court found that a monument of the Ten Commandments at the Texas State Capitol was constitutional and did not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
Amendment 2, if passed, would amend the Alabama Constitution “to declare and otherwise affirm that it is the public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, most importantly the right to life in all manners and measures appropriate and lawful; and to provide that the constitution of this state does not protect the right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.”
While strongly worded, Amendment 2 will not be legally enforceable unless the Supreme Court overturned its decision in Roe v. Wade, which found a legal right to abortion throughout a pregnancy. If that were to happen, and the legality of abortion became a state-by-state issue, Amendment 2 could make abortion illegal in Alabama.
Oregon residents will vote on Measure 106, a citizen’s initiative to amend the state constitution to prohibit public funds being used for abortion, except when necessary to save the life of the mother, such as an ectopic pregnancy.
Current Oregon law states that “abortions may be obtained, when approved by medical professional, under state-funded health plans or under health insurance procured by or through a public employer or other public service.” If Measure 106 passes, this will no longer be the case.
Unlike many abortion restriction measures, in the Oregon proposal there is no exception for pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest.
Measure 106 narrowly qualified for the ballot in September with fewer than 300 signatures more than the legal minimum.
According to Americans United for Life’s annual “Life List,” which ranks states by pro-life laws, Oregon has some of the loosest abortion laws in the country. Oregon came in at 46, ahead of only New Jersey, Vermont, California, and Washington.
In West Virginia, voters will be considering Amendment 1, which would “amend the West Virginia Constitution to clarify that nothing in the Constitution of West Virginia secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion.”
This amendment was sponsored by 15 Republican members of the West Virginia legislature, and was passed with bipartisan support so that it could appear on Tuesday’s ballot. Unlike Oregon’s Measure 106, West Virginia Amendment 1 has an exception for pregnancies that are the result of rape and incest.Currently, West Virginia law actually criminalizes both the procurement of and performance of an abortion, but this law is not in effect due to Roe v. Wade. If Roe were to be overturned, and Amendment 1 were to pass, it would prevent judges from interpreting the West Virginia constitution in a way which would protect legal abortion in any subsequent court battle.
Abortion is legal in West Virginia until 22 weeks gestation.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who is considered to be one of the country’s more vulnerable Democratic senators, does not support Amendment 1. While he has often been seen as a pro-life Democrat, recent votes to continue funding for Planned Parenthood have undermined this position. Reported by CNA 12 hours ago.
Dublin, Nov. 07, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The "Sweden Telemedicine Market Outlook to 2022 - By Technology and By Services and By Clinical Application" report has been added to *ResearchAndMarkets.com's* offering.The report focuses on telemedicine services market by Clinical application (Tele Consultation, Tele radiology, Tele Assistance, Tele Pathology, Tele Psychology and Others), by service platform (Tele Hospitals and Clinics, Tele Home and M-Health).
The report also covers the overall competitive landscape of major Telemedicine companies including (KRY, My Doctor, Doktor.se, Telemedicine Clinic, Ortivus and other); government role and regulations, value chain analysis, growth drivers, trends and developments.*Sweden Telemedicine Market Size and Overview*In terms of revenue, the Telemedicine market within Sweden has registered a steady growth trajectory witnessing a positive CAGR in last five years (2012-2017).
Growth was majorly due to entry of new players, increase in the elderly population and acute shortage of nursing and hospital beds in Swedish hospitals. In terms of value, Sweden Telemedicine market size has increased by more than 80% in terms of revenue from 2012 to 2017.
Moreover, owing to the increased awareness regarding telemedicine services, increased product innovation in the market, expanding services portfolios of major players and aggressive marketing & sales strategies have helped the market to grow and expand during the review period.
*Sweden Telemedicine Market Segmentation*
*Technology and Services:* Services have continued to dominate the revenue share of telemedicine market since 2012. However, the share of services has been declining relative to technology. Services accumulated more than double the share of technology in 2017.
*By Services:* It was witnessed that in the market segment by service platform, Tele-Hospitals and Clinics have dominated the market size since 2012; however its share in the revenue has fallen relative to Tele-Home and M-Health in 2017.
By Clinical applications, Tele Consultation and Tele Radiology have acquired equal share in 2017, however, Tele radiology has dominated the market since 2012. The share of tele assistance has increased from 2012-2017 but at a very slow pace.
Tele Pathology and Tele Psychology constitutes the lowest share in the market. Other clinical applications such telepsychology, teleneurology, telemonitoring have contributed the remaining share.
*By Technology:* Amongst telemedicine technology, telemedicine market has been dominated by revenue generated through software by almost more than double. Major services are extended through cloud based delivery model.
*Comparative Landscape in Sweden Telemedicine Market*
In Sweden, there are 10-12 Telemedicine centers. The market has largely been fragmented due to the fact that all major telemedicine centers provide varied type of services. However, there is no major center dominating the market share in the country.
Major players include KRY, My Doctor, Doktor.se, Doktor24, DocOnNet and Telemedicine Clinic. Philips Healthcare, Polycom and Ortivus. Ortivus, Polycom and Philips Healthcare are the major ICT and Hardware providers in the Telemedicine Market in Sweden.
*Sweden Telemedicine Market Future Outlook and Projections*
Sweden Telemedicine Market has been anticipated to showcase a sound growth at a CAGR of close to 12% during the forecast period of 2017-2022.
The growth during this period is expected to be supported by growing elderly population, increasing shortage of nursing staff and hospital beds, increasing number of smartphone users, increasing number of general practitioners and expansion in the number of clinical applications of telemedicine services in Sweden.
*Key Topics Covered:**1. Executive Summary*
· Market Size and Potential
· Market Segmentation
· Competitive Landscape
· Future Analysis and Projections
*2. Research Methodology*
2.1. Market Definitions
2.3. Market Sizing and Modeling
· Approach Market Sizing
· Variables Dependent and Independent
· Multifactor Based Sensitivity Model
· Regression Matrix
· Final Conclusion
*3. Sweden Telemedicine Market Overview and Genesis, 2012-2017*
*4. Sweden Telemedicine Market Value Chain Analysis*
· Value chain in Nutshell
*5. Issues and Challenges in Sweden telemedicine Market*
· Stringent Government regulations
· Privacy Protection
· Low Adoption
· Heavy Investment Required for Constant Technological Upgradation
· Lack of PHYSICAL Telemedicine centers/Facilities
*6. Major Trends and Developments In Sweden Telemedicine Market*
6.1. Increase in the Number of Smartphone Users in Sweden
6.2. Increase in Geriatric Population
6.3. Increase in the number of General Practitioners in Sweden
6.4. Increase in Home Delivery of Medicines to Customers
*7. Sweden Telemedicine Market Size, 2012-2017*
*8. Sweden Telemedicine Market Segmentation*
8.1. By Service and Technology, 2012-2017
8.1.1. Segmentation of Service by type of service provider (Tele-hospitals & M-Health and Tele-Home & M-Health)
8.1.2. Segmentation of Technology by type of Technology (Software and Hardware), 2012-2017
8.2. By Clinical Applications (Tele Consultation, Tele radiology, Tele pathology, Tele assistance and Others), 2012-2017
8.3. By Delivery Mode (Cloud Based, 2017)
*9. Sweden Telemedicine Market Government Regulations& Initiatives*
9.1. Government regulations: rules and regulations that apply to Health and medical care providers in Sweden
9.2. Government initiatives:
· Tax Funded Healthcare
· Decentralised Healthcare
· Government Projects
*10. Competitive Landscape of Major Players in Sweden Telemedicine Market*
10.1. Competitive Analysis of Major Players (KRY, Telemedicine Clinic, Doktor.se and My Doktor)
10.2. Competition Scenario Including (Competition Stage, Company Position and Parameters of Competition)
10.3. Strength and Weaknesses of major players in Sweden (KRY, Telemedicine Clinic, Doktor.se, My Doctor and Ortivus)
*11. Company Profiling of Major Players in Sweden Tele medicine Market*
11.2. Telemedicine Clinic
11.4. My Doctor
11.6. Others (Polycom, Philips Healthcare, Doktor24 and DocOnNet)
11.6.1. Philips Healthcare
*12. Analyst Recommendations*
*13. Sweden Telemedicine Market Future Outlook and Projections, 2018E-2022E*
· Future Opportunities
13.1. Sweden Telemedicine Market Segment Future, 2017-2022E:
13.1.1. By Service and Technology
13.1.2. By Service Platform (Tele-Home, M-Health and Tele-Hospitals)
13.1.3. By Type Of Clinical Application (Tele consultation, Tele radiology, Tele Assistance, Tele Pathology, Tele Psychology and Others)
*14. Macroeconomics Indicators in Sweden Telemedicine Market*
14.1. Per Capital Health Expenditure 2012-2022
14.2. Number of Migration of Domestically Trained Doctors, 2012-2022
14.3. Government or Social Health Insurance Coverage, 2012-2022
14.4. Number of General Practitioners in Sweden, 2012-2022For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/658s2n/sweden?w=12
Did you know that we also offer Custom Research? Visit our Custom Research page to learn more and schedule a meeting with our Custom Research Manager.
Laura Wood, Senior Press Manager
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Related Topics: E-Healthcare Reported by GlobeNewswire 40 minutes ago.
Original-Research: MagForce AG - von GBC AG
Einstufung von GBC AG zu MagForce AG
Unternehmen: MagForce AG
Anlass der Studie: Research Note
Kursziel: 15.30 Euro
Kursziel auf Sicht von: 31/12/2019
Analyst: Cosmin Filker, Marcel Goldmann
After the publication of the half-year figures, the forecasts for the
coming financial years remain valid thanks to the continued positive
outlook and the confirmed approval schedule. The basis for this remains the
planned roll-out of NanoTherm technology in Europe, more specifically in
Poland, Italy, Spain and Germany. The mobile solution, which eliminates the
need for permanent and relatively costly installation in the treatment
centres, has now been developed and the technical requirements have been
met. The readiness of the treatment centres to cooperate on the deployment
of MagForce technology should increase significantly, particularly because
of the associated reduction in risk for the user.
Another important aspect of the European roll-outs is the planned
reimbursement of costs by the insurance companies, as the treatment is
currently still financed privately or by individual request to the health
insurance provider. Reimbursement studies are to be carried out in this
regard in the countries targeted, with low costs expected in each case.
The approval process for prostate treatment, which is still expected to be
completed in the second half of 2019, is also proceeding as planned. Once
the pivotal studies at the two treatment centres in Seattle and San Antonio
have begun, the first results could even be published as early as in the
first quarter of 2019. After an evaluation phase, we expect the start of
the commercial treatment towards the end of the coming financial year 2019.
In parallel to this, MagForce AG is expected to include further hospitals
in addition to the two treatment centres that are currently part of the
project, making timely, comprehensive treatment possible. In this regard,
both the production of NanoTherm and the significantly smaller
NanoActivator devices required for prostate treatment are to be promoted.
The conclusion of further cooperation agreements in Europe and the expected
market approval for the treatment of prostate cancer in the USA should lead
to the generation of the first significant revenues in the coming financial
year. The Company should be able to show a rapid increase in the sales
volume in the 2020 financial year. This is based on the inclusion of
revenues in the US over the entire year and an expected rise in patient
requests in Europe.
According to our expectations, break-even on EBITDA level will only be
achieved in financial year 2021. In principle, we expect a relatively high
level of profitability (EBITDA margin: approx. 45%), as high economies of
scale are likely to be achieved given stable conditions. This forms the
basis for our DCF valuation model.
Under the DCF valuation model, we have established a target price of
EUR15.30 (previously: EUR15.80). The drop in the target price reflects the
reduction in the participating interest in the US subsidiary MagForce USA
to 67.9% (previously: 76.9%). This dilutive effect was caused by the
capital increase of the subsidiary carried out in August 2018. Based on the
current share price of EUR 6.09, we are maintaining our BUY rating.
Die vollständige Analyse können Sie hier downloaden:
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Date (time) of completion: 06/11/18 (5:25 pm)
Date (time) of first distribution: 07/11/18 (10:00 am)
-------------------übermittelt durch die EQS Group AG.-------------------Für den Inhalt der Mitteilung bzw. Research ist alleine der Herausgeber bzw.
Ersteller der Studie verantwortlich. Diese Meldung ist keine Anlageberatung
oder Aufforderung zum Abschluss bestimmter Börsengeschäfte. Reported by EQS Group 23 minutes ago.