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Visit One News Page for Health Insurance news from around the world, aggregated from leading sources including newswires, newspapers and broadcast media. Search millions of archived news headlines. This feed provides the Health Insurance news headlines.

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    The pending class action lawsuit against Blue Shield alleges the Health Plan providing company failed to pay proper Overtime Wages to their California employees.

    SAN FRANCISCO (PRWEB) December 19, 2018

    The San Francisco employment law lawyers at Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP, filed a class action lawsuit against BLUE SHIELD OF CALIFORNIA LIFE & HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANY, alleging they failed to pay their non-exempt employees working in California for all overtime hours worked and allegedly failed to provide all legally required meal and rest periods under California law. The pending class action lawsuit against BLUE SHIELD is currently pending in the San Francisco County Superior Court, Case No. CGC-18-571842. To read a copy of the Complaint, please click here.

    The pending class action lawsuit against BLUE SHIELD alleges that the company fails to have a policy or practice which provided a full off-duty, thirty minute uninterrupted meal break to their California non-exempt employees. Consequently, employees working for the California company allegedly forfeited meal and rest breaks without additional compensation.

    The Complaint further alleges that BLUE SHIELD failed and continues to fail to accurately calculate and pay PLAINTIFF and the other members of the CALIFORNIA CLASS for their overtime worked. BLUE SHIELD compensates their employees on a non-discretionary incentive program along with an hourly rate. Allegedly, management and supervisors described the incentive program to potential and new employees as part of the cornilleau compensation package. As a matter of law, the incentive compensation received by PLAINTIFF and other CALIFORNIA CLASS Members must be included in the “regular rate of pay.” The failure to do so has allegedly resulted in a systematic underpayment of overtime compensation to PLAINTIFF and other CALIFORNIA CLASS Members by DEFENDANT.

    For more information about the class action lawsuit against BLUE SHIELD, call attorney Nicholas De Blouw at (800)-568-8020.

    Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP is an employment law firm with law offices located in San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, and Riverside Counties. The firm has a statewide practice of representing employees on a contingency basis for violations involving unpaid wages, overtime pay, discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination and other types of illegal workplace conduct.

    ***THIS IS AN ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT*** Reported by PRWeb 8 hours ago.

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    Bowtie wins Hong Kong's first virtual insurer license Raised HK $234 million for a new home-grown life insurer

    HONG KONG, Dec. 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Bowtie Life Insurance Company Limited (Bowtie) today announces that it has been granted the very first virtual insurance company license by Hong Kong's Insurance Authority under its Fast Track pilot scheme. As a home-grown insurtech and now a fully-licensed virtual insurance company, Bowtie is set to offer insurance protection directly to customers, without any insurance intermediaries.Photo of the Co-Founders and Co-CEOs of Bowtie, Mr Fred Ngan and Mr Michael Chan, the Bowtie team with Hong Kong’s Insurance Authority team.


    Bowtie is backed with HK$234 million (US$ 30 million) raised in its Series A round from Sun Life Hong Kong Limited and has a shareholder base that includes Hong Kong X Technology Fund and angel investors.

    "While digital technology is on the rise, we believe the industry is in need of change," said Fred Ngan, Co-CEO and Co-founder of Bowtie. "Hong Kong welcomes a virtual insurer to design what online insurance can be -- truly customer-centric, transparent and commission-free."

    Ngan and fellow Co-CEO and Co-founder Michael Chan are serial entrepreneurs who grew up in Hong Kong. They first met in the United States where they worked as actuaries in global advisory firms. After returning to Hong Kong, this duo have already built two successful insurtech start-ups in a few short years prior to founding Bowtie.

    "Bowtie is all about delivering convenience to consumers through technology." said Michael Chan. "Our market research is telling us Hong Kong consumers would love to be able to sign up for health insurance and submit claims online, but the industry has not fully embraced digital technology to optimize the consumer experience. This is exciting because we get to reinvent the very structure of an insurance company and replace everything with modern technology."

    Inspired by this same vision, Bowtie has been garnering engineering talent from local and Silicon Valley technology start-ups, as well as industry leaders including former C-suite executives from major insurance companies. The team is 100% based in Hong Kong and comprises actuaries, engineers, designers, a strong service team and even a medical doctor. 

    "As part of our digital transformation strategy, this is a strategic investment by Sun Life in a Hong Kong based start-up that strengthens our market position," said Fabien Jeudy, CEO of Sun Life Hong Kong. "We believe in Bowtie's vision and commitment to enhancing the customer experience. Our investment complements our business, while enabling new distribution modes through the latest technology and digital innovations." 

    Pending Food and Health Bureau's approval, Hong Kong consumers can expect to see health insurance products on Bowtie's digital distribution platform during the first half of 2019 when the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) begins accepting customer applications.

    *Media Contacts*

    (852) 3905 2999

    *About Bowtie*

    Bowtie is a licensed life insurance company and Hong Kong's very first virtual insurer. Built with modern technology and medical expertise, Bowtie's platform will offer life and medical insurance plans to customers instantly and directly. Bowtie will also offer health insurance products under the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) pending Food and Health Bureau's approval. By eliminating paper, commissions and intermediaries, Bowtie's mission is to enable a new generation of consumers to access insurance protection and take control of life protection decisions for themselves. Bowtie is backed with HKD 234 million from Sun Life Financial and supported by leading international reinsurers. Stay up to date at

    *About Sun Life Financial*

    Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individual and corporate Clients. Sun Life Financial has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, mainland China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of September 30, 2018, Sun Life Financial had total assets under management of CDN $984 billion. For more information please visit

    Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

    Sun Life Hong Kong Limited is a member of the Sun Life Financial group of companies.

    *About Hong Kong X Technology Fund*

    Hong Kong X was jointly founded by Mr. Neil Shen, Founding and Managing Partner of Sequoia Capital China, along with Prof. Zexiang Li of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Prof. Guanhua Chen of the University of Hong Kong. Tencent's Mr. Pony Ma is the Honorary Chairman of Hong Kong X. 

    Photo -
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    Related Links : Reported by PR Newswire Asia 35 minutes ago.

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    Expanded focus on compliance and quality assurance demonstrates Greenway’s ongoing commitment to customers and their patients

    TAMPA, Fla. (PRWEB) December 20, 2018

    Greenway Health, a leading health information technology and services provider, today announced Susan R. Kohler will lead as chief compliance officer, bringing more than 25 years of experience in compliance and operations to the company.

    In addition, Patrice Nedelec has been appointed vice president of quality assurance and regulatory affairs to further support customer success.

    Both appointments mark the company’s continued investment in its leadership team and its focus on compliance, quality, and security. At a time when changes are occurring in state and federal regulations, as well as marketplace direction and customer demand, the company is committed to its products meeting the highest standards.

    “Considering today’s complex regulatory environment and the healthcare industry’s move toward value-based care, it’s extremely important that we have the best team in place to help fuel our customers’ success,” said Richard Atkin, CEO of Greenway Health. “Trust is earned through knowledge, dependability, dedication, and support. The wealth of expertise and diverse experiences that Susan and Patrice bring will help us in exceeding our quality and compliance expectations.”

    Kohler is a seasoned healthcare executive with more than 25 years of operations, audit, compliance, and nursing experience. She joins Greenway following executive roles at health insurance plan providers where she was responsible for the development of long and short-term strategies to ensure regulatory, operations, and IT compliance across the organization, while managing relationships with a broad spectrum of agencies.

    “In the evolving regulatory landscape, it’s crucial for organizations to stay ahead of regulatory and compliance requirements,” Kohler said. “This is especially important for the healthcare industry. My role is to better comprehend not only what the requirements are, but how I can help our company and our customers move forward within the parameters that are being defined by regulatory bodies.”

    Nedelec, with a proven track record of leadership on compliance needs, has held executive-level quality and regulatory positions for more than nine years, with nearly 30 years of experience overall. He has held positions at laboratory and genetics software companies, a medical device testing company, and medical imaging companies, among others.

    Greenway’s products and solutions are used by more than 75,000 healthcare providers in the United States to improve the effectiveness, cost, and quality of care for the more than 100 million lives impacted by the company’s solutions.

    For more information about Greenway and its leadership team, visit

    About Greenway Health
    Improving health is at the heart of Greenway Health’s work. We connect providers to the right information and insights, at the right place and time, so they can make patient-driven care a reality while navigating the ever-changing healthcare system. Greenway delivers exceptional service through a deep team of clinical, financial, and technology experts committed to innovations that keep people healthier and happier. We partner with over 8,000 organizations and 75,000 progressive providers across more than 40 specialties, which translates into more than 100 million lives that are touched by our solutions. All of Greenway Health’s solutions and services are designed to meet our company-wide goals of serving physicians, connecting the industry, and empowering better care. Whether as a customer, strategic partner, or staff member, you are invited to partner with us to create a smarter healthcare system. For more details, visit, call (866) 242-3805, or follow Greenway on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Reported by PRWeb 13 hours ago.

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    A treatment for the most common food allergy could be available next year, and one biotech just drew ahead in the race for the $3 billion market (AIMT, DBVT)· 2019 could be the year of the first treatment for kids with peanut allergies.
    · Two companies could compete for a market of around $3 billion — though one, DBV Technologies, just hit a major roadblock
    · The treatments aren't a cure, but do reduce the risk of a dangerous allergic reaction to peanuts.
    · Some parents say they prefer one product over the other, but it has a key drawback.

    Josh Mandelbaum, 13, has a secret.

    For five years, a small circular sticker on his back, around the size of a quarter, has contained the very thing that the New Jersey teen is allergic to: peanuts.  

    The patch is part of a growing trend that aims to use triggers like peanuts to help those with allergies. The aim is to desensitize them and act like a kind of guard rail against accidental exposure. 

    You might soon be able to get a prescription for these treatments as early as next year. Both the patch and another first-of-its-kind peanut allergy pill have the potential to be blockbuster medications.

    The maker of the patch, DBV Technologies, had a major setback on Wednesday, however, when it announced that it had voluntarily withdrawn its drug application from US regulators based on their feedback. The stock was set to tumble 60% in premarket trade on Thursday, while shares of rival Aimmune were set to rise 13%.

    About 15 million people in the U.S. have food allergies to things like milk, eggs and wheat. Peanut allergies are the most common food allergy among kids, and have been on the rise over the last decade. The market for the treatments is huge, and eventually could reach around $3 billion in total sales, according to Stifel analyst Derek Archila. 

    Doctors currently have little to offer patients besides advising them to avoid what they’re allergic to and always carry an EpiPen or product like it to rescue them if they have a life-threatening allergic reaction. Moreover, those with peanut allergies are less likely to outgrow it than other food allergies, and it’s hard to predict how severe an allergic reaction might be.

    *A treatment, not a cure*

    The new approach has worked for Josh, his mother, Lianne Mandelbaum, who is also a food allergy advocate, told Business Insider. Josh first tried out the product, DBV’s Viaskin Peanut, as part of a clinical trial years ago.

    In the beginning, as part of a “food challenge” used in the trial, Josh had an allergic reaction after eating the equivalent of a fraction of a peanut, Lianne Mandelbaum said. Two-and-a-half years later, it took much more, about one and a half peanuts, to spur a reaction.

    While that may sound like a tiny change, it's made a huge difference in how Josh lives his life. He can now confidently go to school and sit in a cafeteria that serves peanut butter, for instance, his mother said.

    The patch isn’t a cure: Josh continues to avoid peanut products, for example, and has to be careful about accepting food that could be unsafe. But it's been empowering, she said, and given them peace of mind. 

    "I just don’t want him to die from eating the wrong cookies," she said. "We live in a human society. Humans make errors. That’s why you want a safety gap."

    Mandelbaum was so pleased with the results that she fought to let Josh keep using the patch after the trial ended, through an expanded access program. The only side effects he’s seen have been itchy red welts, which have eased over time.

    Josh would wear it for the rest of his life if he has to, she told Business Insider.

    **How it all came together**

    People with allergies are usually advised to keep away from what they’re allergic to.

    But controlled exposure, called immunotherapy, has also been part of allergists’ arsenal of tools for many years now, including through allergy shots for pollen, mold, dust and more.

    Physicians in private practice have also tried this with peanuts and other food allergies. In what’s called “oral immunotherapy treatment,” patients eat small amounts of peanut or another allergen, which increases over time.

    Though these have had success, they aren’t approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and may not be covered by health insurance. And, like other immunotherapy approaches, they have risks, including the chance of an allergic reaction.

    The search for a more standardized approach eventually led to the creation of Aimmune, which is developing AR101, a capsule of peanut protein that is mixed into food.

    When the company was first started, the big question was “how do you take a food, which is inherently variable and highly unpredictable, and make it into a medicine?” Dr. Daniel Adelman, Aimmune’s chief medical officer, explained.

    The company has done that by focusing on peanut protein, which is where the allergens in the nut are, and using that to re-educate the immune system, he said.

    *Seeking FDA approval*

    Dosing of AR101 starts at a very low level, or half a milligram of peanut protein, and then increases over about six months to 300 milligrams, or roughly the equivalent of one peanut kernel. Patients then continue on at that level as a maintenance dose.

    AR101 and products like it could potentially reduce a life-threatening allergic reaction to a milder one, giving patients, their loved ones and their doctors an added layer of safety, Dr. Purvi Parikh, clinical assistant professor at NYU Langone and a board-certified allergist, told Business Insider.

    If they are found to be safe and effective, they could dramatically change patients’ quality of life, Parikh said, reducing an untold amount of anxiety and stress for them and their families.

    Aimmune aims to file with the FDA this month for approval to treat patients ages 4 to 17; a decision could arrive by early fall of 2019.

    DBV had previously projected an FDA decision next year for use in patients ages 4 to 11. However, according to DBV, the FDA said it hadn't submitted "sufficient detail regarding data on manufacturing procedures and quality controls." The company believes it should be able to submit that information without more lengthy clinical trials, and plans to resubmit the new drug application "as quickly as possible," it said in a press release.

    But DBV also provided no new timeline, Stifel's Archila noted, and the lack of detail provided "makes this a hard story to invest in," he said, predicting a one-year delay, at minimum.

    Observers are also wondering which company could end up leading the space. A group of doctors previously polled by Stifel's Archila slightly favored DBV’s product, he said, though the analyst also noted that there has been controversy over DBV’s clinical trial data.

    Some parents of children with allergies told Business Insider that DBV’s patch seemed safer to them, because it doesn’t require actually eating an allergen. The company also touts this as a potential benefit on its website, saying that its approach “offers a potentially strong safety profile because of how it works via the skin.”

    *Read more:* An experimental treatment for peanut allergies just succeeded in a key trial

    Tamara Hubbard, a licensed counselor whose nine-year-old son is taking part in an ongoing trial for the patch, called the product “life-changing.” She was initially drawn to it over other options because the process was slower and avoided gastrointestinal side effects, Hubbard said.

    *A giant question mark*

    On the other hand, those on the patch likely won’t know exactly how much allergen they can tolerate, because — absent completing a “food challenge” — they wouldn’t be eating it.

    Which product a family chooses will likely thus depend on their own preferences, Hubbard, who specializes in food allergy counseling, among other things, said.

    Aimmune’s Adelman also emphasized the latter perspective in an interview with Business Insider.

    “I think that the biggest danger to a child who is peanut allergic is going out into the world and thinking they are protected if they’re not,” he said.

    Pricing — another giant question mark hovering overhead — could also be an important factor. The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, a nonprofit that evaluates drug prices and, is still reviewing the products and plans to release reports on them in the first half of next year. 

    The companies haven't said how much the drugs will cost.

    Parents, meanwhile, said that they hope everyone who wants these products can get them.

    “Everybody who has food allergies deserves to have access to lifesaving treatment,” food allergy advocate Mandelbaum said. “It should be available to everybody.”

    (This story was first published on Dec. 9, and was updated on Dec. 20.)

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: NASA sent an $850 million hammer to Mars and it could uncover clues to an outstanding mystery in our solar system Reported by Business Insider 12 hours ago.

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    Oxford Capital Group, LLC Forms Seniors Housing Management Platform and Announces CAD $100 Million Acquisition of Nine Seniors Housing Properties in Ontario, Canada

    CHICAGO (PRWEB) December 20, 2018

    Oxford Capital Group, LLC today, through its recently formed affiliate, Oxford Living, LLC, announced its acquisition in partnership with Starr Insurance Companies, of nine 100% private pay independent supportive living properties throughout Ontario, Canada in an approximately CAD $100 million transaction. Oxford Living acquires, manages and develops seniors housing properties throughout North America.

    “We are excited to have formed Oxford Living which enables Oxford to make strategic senior housing acquisitions in select highly attractive markets. We plan further portfolio acquisitions throughout the United States and Canada,” says John W. Rutledge, Founder, President & CEO of Oxford Capital Group, LLC, the Chicago based investor-developer.

    Oxford Living focuses on 100% private pay senior housing properties with significant value add potential in primary and important secondary markets throughout the United States and Canada. Acquisitions focus on markets with compelling demographics and properties with significant value add potential.

    The nine property acquisition totals 648 units located in Windsor, London, Sudbury and other Ontario markets. Oxford will invest over CAD $3.4 million to enhance the properties and plans additional significant expansions of several of the properties. This acquisition adds to current senior housing investments by Oxford and/or its principals in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.

    Mr. Rutledge serves as CEO of Oxford Living with Lawrence Cummings, Senior Managing Director and Principal of Oxford Capital Group, LLC, as President, and Richard Noonan as Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Cummings and Mr. Noonan each have over twenty-five years of experience in seniors housing management, operations and development. Mr Cummings has successfully sponsored value add senior housing investments throughout his career, serving as CEO of both publicly traded and privately held senior housing companies.

    Mr. Noonan served as co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Chartwell Retirement Residences, Canada’s largest owner/operator of seniors housing. While at Chartwell Mr. Noonan had direct operational responsibility for over 300 seniors housing properties in the United States and Canada.

    “Consolidating mid-market retirement communities in secondary Ontario markets is an ideal strategy for Oxford Living,” said Mr Noonan. “Demand outpaces supply growth, but while some US markets are overbuilt, there is an urgent need for senior housing product in Canada,” he added.

    “While most institutional investors and developers in the senior housing space focus on high-end development in urban centers, our strategy is to buy overlooked mid-market properties which are dependable, comfortable and affordable,” Mr. Cummings commented.

    Oxford is a Chicago-based real estate private equity investment, development and management firm with a strong focus on operationally intensive forms of real estate, including a particular emphasis on the senior housing and hospitality sectors. Oxford has sponsored, co-sponsored and/or invested in over $3.0 billion in senior housing and hospitality assets.

    “We have been warmly received by the resident community in the properties we are acquiring, as well as by the civic leadership of the municipalities in which they are located. We look forward to continuing to fulfill the properties’ mission to serve their residents and surrounding communities,” added Mr. Noonan.

    About Oxford Capital Group, LLC
    Oxford Capital Group, LLC is a national real estate investment, development and management firm. Oxford Living, LLC is its seniors housing management affiliate. Oxford Hotels and Resorts, LLC is its hotel management affiliate. Oxford, its affiliates and principals have been involved in over 3,000 senior housing units and approximately $3 billion of real estate and private equity investments, including approximately 13,000 hotel rooms. The firm's areas of experience include hospitality, mixed-use, senior housing, multifamily, student housing, urban retail, parking, and other operationally intensive forms of real estate. For information, visit

    About Oxford Living, LLC
    Oxford Living, LLC is an affiliate of Oxford Capital Group, LLC. Oxford Living acquires, manages and develops 100% private pay seniors housing assets throughout the United States and Canada. Oxford and/or its principals’ senior housing investments are or have been located throughout Ontario Canada, as well as Miami and other markets in Florida, Ohio markets, including Cleveland, Columbus, and Youngstown; various markets in Virginia, Georgia, Vermont and Tennessee, as well as several markets in Oregon, including Bend and Eugene. These transactions include investing in and developing/redeveloping and managing skilled nursing, assisted living, independent living and memory care facilities.

    Target properties are characterized by significant value add potential and are located in both primary and important secondary markets which enjoy highly favorable economic and demographic fundamentals. Oxford Living’s primary operational headquarters is in Toronto, ON with regional offices to directly support local operations. The company’s particular focus is on assisted living and independent living assets. Oxford Living targets assets with significant value add potential which can be realized through expansion, capital improvements and superior management.

    About Starr Companies
    Starr Insurance Companies (or Starr) is the marketing name for the operating insurance and travel assistance companies and subsidiaries of Starr International Company, Inc. and for the investment business of C. V. Starr & Co., Inc. and its subsidiaries. Starr is a leading insurance and investment organization with a presence on five continents; through its operating insurance companies, Starr provides property, casualty, and accident and health insurance products as well as a range of specialty coverages including aviation, marine, energy and excess casualty insurance. Starr’s insurance company subsidiaries domiciled in the U.S., Bermuda, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and U.K. each have an A.M. Best rating of “A” (Excellent). Starr’s Lloyd’s syndicate has a Standard & Poor’s rating of “A+” (Strong). Reported by PRWeb 6 hours ago.

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    Embrace shares data around 2018’s most popular pet names and the claims associated with them.

    CLEVELAND (PRWEB) December 20, 2018

    Embrace Pet Insurance released their list of 2018’s top dog and cat names according to their database of over one million pet parents who quoted throughout the year. In addition to sharing the most popular pet names, longest/most outrageous pet names, and largest claims by name, the data also reveals that human names continue to trend into the new year.

    According to a study shared by CBS News, the bond formed between a pet and their owner is similar to the one shared between a baby and his/her parent, so it’s no surprise that pets are viewed as family members more than ever before. This has led to human names such as Bella, Lucy, and Charlie becoming more popular amongst both dogs and cats.

    2018 Cat Data

    Top 10 Female Cat Names:
    1. Luna
    2. Bella
    3. Lucy
    4. Kitty
    5. Chloe
    6. Lily
    7. Nala
    8. Mia
    9. Lola
    10. Sophie

    Top 10 Male Cat Names:
    1. Oliver
    2. Leo
    3. Milo
    4. Max
    5. Charlie
    6. Simba
    7. Jack
    8. Tyler
    9. Loki

    Embrace also took a look at vet bills for pets with these names to see who was costing their pet parents the most. Of the most popular female cat names from 2018, Embrace claims data showed that felines named Chloe had the most claims submitted at more than $43,700. However, the single-most expensive diagnosis for a female cat from Embrace’s full 2018 most popular cat name list came from a 9-year-old Abyssinian named Sophie. Her claims for a brain abscess totaled $7,824, and Embrace reimbursed $6,259. The most expensive male cat claim came from a six-year-old Himalayan named Max for lymphadenopathy that totaled $7,270 (Embrace reimbursed $5,000).

    Cat lovers are no strangers to elaborate cat names either. A few of the wackiest names Embrace found amongst this year’s cat quotes include:· Tiny Toes Purrocious Thunderpaws The Stupid
    · Furiosa Conqueror of Purry Road
    · Nigel Nugget Thornberry III PHD in Anthropology
    · Captain Nubs Mackenzie Feline Space Pirate
    · Queen Wilhelmina Elsa Of Windsor

    2018 Dog Data

    Top 10 Female Dog Names:
    1. Bella
    2. Luna
    3. Lucy
    4. Daisy
    5. Lola
    6. Molly
    7. Sadie
    8. Chloe
    9. Coco
    10. Bailey

    Top 10 Male Dog Names:
    1. Max
    2. Charlie
    3. Buddy
    4. Cooper
    5. Rocky
    6. Bear
    7. Milo
    8. Duke
    9. Zeus
    10. Toby

    Of the most popular female dog names from 2018, pups named Bella claimed the most by a landslide with $637,224 in claims. In the male dog category, Charlies claimed the most with more than $456,600 in claims. Second place was Coopers with $374,145 and third were Maxes with $359,984.

    Embrace found that dog pet parents aren’t afraid to step outside the box when naming their pups. A few of the quirkiest dog names include:

    · Claymores King Henry Ruler of The Buckeye State
    · Lady Sprinkles Duchess of York
    · Princess Truffles Von Yum Yums
    · Alpha Byte Von Fluffenstein
    · Beauregard The Magnificent Jedi

    Whether pet parents choose to name pets after a great grandfather or something from a dream, protecting them from unexpected accidents and illnesses is top priority. Embrace Pet Insurance can help. To learn more, visit

    About Embrace Pet Insurance
    Embrace Pet Insurance is a top-rated pet health insurance provider for dogs and cats in the United States. Embrace offers one simple yet comprehensive accident and illness insurance plan that is underwritten by American Modern Insurance Group, Inc. In addition to insurance, Embrace offers Wellness Rewards, an optional preventative care product that is unique to the industry. Wellness Rewards reimburses for routine veterinary visits, grooming, vaccinations, training, and much more with no itemized limitations. Embrace is a proud member of the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) and continues to innovate and improve the pet insurance experience for pet parents across the country. For more information about Embrace Pet Insurance, visit or call (800) 660-3817. Reported by PRWeb 6 hours ago.

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    Shares are slipping alongside the broader market sell-off and following key news regarding the Affordable Care Act. Reported by Motley Fool 6 hours ago.

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    WASHINGTON (AP) — A group gaining influence in Washington as a champion for Medicare beneficiaries is bankrolled by major health insurance companies that are trying to cash in on private coverage offered through the federal health insurance program. The Better Medicare Alliance claims a far-flung network of seniors, with a Facebook community of more than […] Reported by Seattle Times 21 hours ago.

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    Trump administration efforts to undo Obama-era health insurance rules have helped increase sales of limited health plans that cost consumers less than traditional coverage. Reported by NPR 18 hours ago.

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    2018 ez1095 software has been updated with easy “ how to” guide for customers new to efiling ACA forms. Test drive for up to 30 days with no obligation or cost at

    NEWARK, N.J. (PRWEB) December 21, 2018

    ez1095 2018 (ACA) software from has been released for new and seasoned customers. It’s new release comes with an easy to follow “how to” guide for customer peace of mind. Also included for the same low price, is time and money saving feature to print 1095C, 1094C, 1095B and 1094B forms on plain white paper. (This has been approved by the SSA).

    “ez1095 2018 software has been released with a “how to” guide for efiling peace of mind.” said Dr. Ge, the Founder of

    Developer’s created ez1095 software to adhere to the requirements by the government to file forms 1094 and 1095. ez1095 software’s graphical interface allows customers to set up company, add employees, add forms and print forms soon after download. Customers can also click form level help links to get more details regarding the software.

    Potential customers can download and try this software at no obligation by visiting

    The main features include, but are not limited to:· Print Form 1095 C: Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Insurance
    · Print Form 1094 C: Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns
    · Fast data import feature
    · Print ACA forms 1095 and 1094 on blank paper with inkjet or laser printer.
    · Print unlimited number of 1095 and 1094 forms.
    · Print Form 1095-B: Health Coverage
    · Print Form 1094-B: Transmittal of Health Coverage Information Return
    · Print recipient copies in PDF format.
    · Support unlimited companies.
    · Support unlimited number of recipients.

    Priced at just $195, ($295 for efile version) this ACA forms filing software gives employers flexibility and ease of use. To learn more about ez1095 ACA software, customers can visit

    About is a leading provider of small business software, including online and desktop payroll software, online employee attendance tracking software, accounting software, in-house business and personal check printing software, W2, software, 1099 software, Accounting software, 1095 form software and ezACH direct deposit software. Software from is trusted by thousands of customers and will help small business owners simplify payroll processing and streamline business management. Reported by PRWeb 15 hours ago.

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    Yet employers still need to meet Q1 start date deadlines

    NEW YORK (PRWEB) December 24, 2018

    Just as employers round the last corner to head towards the finish line, Employee Benefit Adviser’s Open Enrollment Readiness Benchmark (OERB) score stalled in October, slipping to 54, 1 point below the September mark.

    A considerable number of employers reported that they are struggling with readiness tasks that should have been wrapped up some time ago. The overall score for benefit plan design readiness was just 73, indicating that many employers have not yet completed the tasks in this initial readiness phase.

    “Employers indicate being behind schedule due to delays in benefit plan design and preparation activities,” said Linda Cheung, director of research for SourceMedia. “These delays have caused the timeframe for open enrollment to be compressed and employers are struggling with fielding questions so that employees can complete enrollment in time.”

    Employers are behind when it comes to open enrollment preparation and open enrollment management. The overall score for open enrollment preparation came in at 54, while the open enrollment management score was just 50. Readiness scores for planning/designing employee communications (48), documenting processes/procedures (48), boosting enrollment engagements (45) and documenting worker feedback (42) came in especially low.

    Not surprisingly, employers are also trailing when it comes to open enrollment analysis and follow up, which earned a score of just 39 in the OERB survey. Scores for reviewing plan design (56), reviewing communications strategy (51) and tracking benefits usage (41) indicated that employers are doing relatively well when it comes to completing these tasks. However, scores for tasks such as reviewing enrollment engagement metrics (32) and reviewing worker feedback (36) were low, indicating that employers will soon need to address these issues to get their programs back on track.

    “That’s a correction as employers for the past few months were being overly optimistic when assessing just how prepared they were. Now, they are taking a step back and correcting their self-assessments. This is not surprising to me. Through three-quarters of the year, employers have consistently been overly optimistic about how prepared they are,” said Jack Kwicien, managing partner at Daymark Advisors, a Baltimore-based consultancy that works with benefit advisers to build their practices.

    The need for more time emerged as a common theme, as individual employers specifically pointed to time constraints as troublesome.

    “There are so many tasks that should have been completed in August or September, well before employers get to the actual open enrollment event. The plan design, the communications campaign, the selection of vendors for HSAs and pharma management – all of these things should have been done by now,” Kwicien said.“Employers are busy playing catch-up, so it is not all that surprising that they are having difficulties when it comes to talking to employees about how the benefits enrollment campaigns went and what can be done to make the process better.”

    The Open Enrollment Readiness Benchmark is a data-based performance benchmark that gauges how prepared employers are for their annual employee benefits enrollment periods. To produce the results, SourceMedia Research and EBA each month survey more than 400 prescreened HR and benefits executives at organizations of various sizes and across multiple industries. These professionals are asked to rate their completion levels for 26 activities — from selecting health plans to reviewing enrollment metrics — that take place during the four critical phases of open enrollment: benefit plan design, enrollment preparation, employee enrollment and post-enrollment analysis. Scores range from a low of zero to a high of 100 and reflect the degree to which an employer considers itself prepared for a particular activity. The activity scores are then averaged to determine scores for each of the four phases and an overall readiness score. A complete analysis of the most recent OERB data is available here.

    About Employee Benefit Adviser
    Employee Benefit Adviser (EBA) is the information resource for employee benefit advisers, brokers, agents and consultants, providing the current awareness and perspective they need to anticipate changes in the marketplace and optimally serve their clients. EBA delivers a broad range of critical content, including comparative market data, legal and regulatory updates, the latest products and services, and best practices in benefits delivery — including health insurance, vision and dental insurance, and voluntary and retirement benefits. The benefits broker community relies on EBA to stay connected through its website comment forums, its social media communities and live events.

    About SourceMedia Research
    SourceMedia Research is a full-service B2B market research service that draws upon SourceMedia’s market expertise and proprietary database of engaged executives to develop information and insights for clients. SourceMedia Research provides research solutions for marketers, agencies and others targeting sectors such as banking, payments, mortgage, accounting, employee benefits and wealth management.

    About SourceMedia
    SourceMedia is an innovative, growing digital business information and performance media company serving senior-level professionals in the financial, technology and healthcare sectors. Brands include American Banker, PaymentsSource, The Bond Buyer, Financial Planning, Accounting Today, Mergers & Acquisitions, National Mortgage News, Employee Benefit News and Health Data Management.

    About ADP
    Powerful technology plus a human touch. Companies of all types and sizes around the world rely on ADP’s cloud software and expert insights to help unlock the potential of their people. HR. Talent. Benefits. Payroll. Compliance. Working together to build a better workforce. For more information, visit

    For more information, please contact:

    Linda Cheung
    212-803-8291 Reported by PRWeb 9 hours ago.

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    Ronald Walters brings over two decades of operations experience to EBMS

    BILLINGS, Mont. (PRWEB) December 26, 2018

    Ronald Walters, a highly accomplished business executive with over two decades of operations experience, has been named Chief Operations Officer at EBMS.

    Walters has exceptional experience in insurance and financial services sectors and a strong track record of improving efficiencies, profitability and customer service. As COO of EBMS, he will oversee the day-to-day operations by creating operations strategies and policies as well as building employee alignment with organizational goals that improve the care experience, reduce costs and simplify the benefit journey.

    Before joining EBMS, Walters was Senior Vice President of Operations at HealthPlan Services. He joined HPS in 2006 and had been responsible for all operations functions for more than 20 health insurance payers. Those functions included enrollment, licensing, underwriting, customer service, policy administration, claims and quality. HPS is a division of Wipro, a leading provider of sales, benefits administration and technology solutions to the insurance and managed care industries.

    Prior to HPS, Walters spent 13 years with Nationwide Insurance and its subsidiaries, where he held leadership roles in operations, technology, finance and account management.

    Walters also spent five years working abroad in Brazil and Luxembourg and played a key role in the startup and development of several financial services and insurance companies.

    “Ron’s extensive experience leading operations teams in the third-party payer industry will ensure a continuous improvement in our processes that allow us to continue to outperform the industry,” said Jim Vertino, Executive Vice President of Products and Services.

    Walters has a BS from Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio, and an MBA from The Ohio State University.


    Employment Benefit Management Services, Inc., was founded in Billings in 1980 as Montana’s first third-party administrator. EBMS now serves more than 275 organizations and nearly 150,000 employees and family members across the U.S.

    The company offers a broad range of services to help employers manage their healthcare, including benefit administration, on-site/near-site health centers, clinical and specialty pharmacy programs, employer direct network management, captive insurance risk services, and flex, HRA and HSA administration. Reported by PRWeb 3 hours ago.

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    On December 12, 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR), requested public comments on potential changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act's regulations (HIPAA) that are perceived to be burdensome by the industry. Reported by Mondaq 3 hours ago.

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    Individuals turning 26 have several cost effective health insurance options to consider.

    BEDFORD PARK, Ill. (PRWEB) December 27, 2018

    Bob Dial, Chief Compliance Officer, Preferred Health Insurance Solutions (PHIS) began,“Since most 26 year old individuals selecting a health insurance plan for the first time are in good health, it is important they carefully evaluate all of their health insurance options. A licensed insurance professional has the knowledge necessary to explain the attractive features as well as the drawbacks for each option. Being an educated consumer is the best way to ensure you have an insurance plan that aligns your individual coverage needs and budget.”

    Know The Rules
    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows young adults to remain on a parent’s policy until age 26. The timeline when a dependent will be removed from their parent’s health insurance policy is determined on whether coverage is through the health care Marketplace or an employer.

    In most states, if coverage is through the Marketplace, they will have to the end of the year they turn 26 to sign up for their own health insurance plan. However, if coverage is through their parents’ job-based health insurance plan coverage will end of the month when they turn 26.

    Under the ACA, aging out of a parent’s plan is considered to be a qualifying life event that allows the individual to purchase a major medical Marketplace plan through a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). If the individual does not purchase a Marketplace plan during the 60 day SEP, they can’t enroll until the next yearly Open Enrollment Period (OEP).

    Dial explained, “The good news is that young healthy adults have several health insurance options to choose from. Since this is their first time selecting a health insurance plan, working with a licensed insurance agent who can explain each option, is so important.” Dial outlines several health insurance options that are available to individuals approaching age 26 who will no longer be covered by a parent’s health insurance plan.

    Evaluate Your Health Insurance Options

    Option 1: COBRA Plan
    Individuals that are no longer eligible to stay on their parent health plan qualify under COBRA to remain on the parent’s Group Health Insurance Plan.

    Positives: Guaranteed issue and covers pre-existing conditions.

    Negatives: Cost is high and they will lose that COBRA coverage after 18 months.

    Option 2: Marketplace Plan
    Marketplace plans are available to individuals, under the SEP, as individuals who are turning 26 and can’t remain on parent’s plan, is considered a qualifying event that allows them to enroll for coverage outside the OEP.

    Positives: No underwriting, covers pre-existing conditions and all of the 10 Essential Health Benefits outlined in the ACA.

    Negative: High cost, if you are not subsidy eligible, and there are high deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses, associated with Marketplace plans.

    Option 3: Short Term Medical Plan (STMP)
    STMP are limited duration plans, and do not offer all of the essential health benefits found with Major Medical Plans and may not offer coverage for as long as an individual may need it.

    Positives: Less costly option for healthy individuals, with typically lower deductibles. Also, when packaged with ancillary health products, such as Dental, Vision, Hearing, and Telemedicine products, STMP provides a cost effective, well-rounded alternative to costly Marketplace and COBRA plans. You do not have to wait for OEP, individuals and families can apply for this coverage year round.

    Negatives: Not guaranteed issued, so individuals with chronic illness may not qualify. STMP are not a great option for those looking to start a family, as it does not cover maternity. Additionally, not all of the 10 essential health benefits are available on a STMP. Also, depending on your individual state’s regulations, these plans may not be offered at all, and if they are, they have limited max terms, such as three months, six months or 364 days.

    “The reality is no one ever plans on getting sick or hurt. Sometimes unfortunate things happen. If a person, even a healthy young adult, does not have adequate health insurance it can leave them vulnerable to financial disaster. For example, the average three days hospital can cost upwards of $30,000. That is a lot of out of pocket money to be responsible for,” concluded Dial.

    Preferred Health Insurance Solutions:
    Headquartered in Bedford Park, Illinois, Preferred Health Insurance Solutions (PHIS) is a national enrollment firm specializing in the Health Insurance Marketplace as well as a variety of other ancillary health insurance products, including Dental Plus Vision and Hearing, Critical Illness, Short Term Medical, Disability Income, and others. PHIS, formerly known as ACA Marketplace Enrollment Solutions ( provides enrollments services throughout the country, through national and regional insurance carriers. The PHIS Call Center is available to assist consumers enrolling for their 2019 health plan. Consumers can call the PHIS Call Center at 800-342-0631 or access the company’s website at Reported by PRWeb 1 day ago.

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    Minnesota companies landed large venture capital deals throughout 2018, with two reporting nine-figure rounds. Reported by bizjournals 22 hours ago.

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    BALTIMORE (AP) — The Trump administration is seeking to dismiss a lawsuit filed by several cities for allegedly sabotaging the Affordable Care Act. The Daily Record reports that the defendants argued in a motion filed Monday that the dispute is a political disagreement outside federal court's jurisdiction. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore in August on behalf of Baltimore, Chicago and Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio. A Charlottesville, Virginia, couple is also part of the lawsuit. The complaint asserts the administration is trying to discourage enrollment and reduce choices, and will destabilize the health insurance marketplace. Reported by 22 hours ago.

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    Medical fundraisers account for 1 in 3 of the website's campaigns and bring in more money than any other GoFundMe category. Americans' confidence they can afford health care is slipping, some say. Reported by NPR 17 hours ago.

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    The ambitious legislation to create the first state-run public health insurance option in the nation is just a sample of proposals Democrats and Republicans alike are expected to introduce next year in an effort to reign in health care cost, especially high premiums and prescription drugs. Reported by Denver Post 10 hours ago.

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    Based on a true story, the film focuses on exposing the stigma surrounding mental illness. Set in the mid ‘90s, the movie takes viewers on an emotional journey through the life of a teen from a small town in Georgia.

    SAN MATEO, Calif. (PRWEB) December 28, 2018

    Executive Producer, Phil Lebherz recently announced the ability to order the film, Holden On, through iTunes. Based on a true story, the film focuses on exposing the stigma surrounding mental illness. Set in the mid ‘90s, the movie takes viewers on an emotional journey through the life of a teen from a small town in Georgia. The once promising and popular star athlete attempts to hide his dark secret through self-medication that spirals to the desolation of addiction.

    “As an advocate for whole and balanced healthcare for Americans, I felt honored to be a part of this thought-provoking film that humanizes the realities of mental Illness,” said Phil Lebherz.

    Written and Directed by Tamlin Hall, the film has already received multiple awards including:
    WINNER - Atlanta Film Festival - Audience Award
    WINNER - Dances With Films - Audience Award
    WINNER - Breckenridge Film Festival - Best Director
    WINNER - Orlando Film Festival - Best Director
    WINNER - Breckenridge Film Festival - Best Actor
    WINNER - Macon Film Festival - Audience Award
    WINNER - South Bay Film & Music Festival - Jury Prize Outstanding Social Impact Filmmaking
    NOMINATED - Ultra Indie Award - Woodstock Film Festival
    ** Georgia Film Critics Association - Oglethorpe Award for Excellence in Georgia Cinema Nominee

    Phil Lebherz has been working in the field of health insurance benefits for over 30 years. He founded LISI in 1977. Today, LISI serves thousands of brokers from six fully staffed offices statewide. As Chairman, Phil is charged with working on the bigger picture for LISI. His leadership in finance, acquisition, and negotiations has developed LISI into one of California’s leading agencies. Phil is known in the industry for being a passionate broker advocate and committed to reframing the issues affecting the brokerage community. In 2004, he founded the Foundation for Health Coverage Education (FHCE), a non-profit organization with the mission to simplify public and private health insurance eligibility information in order to help more people access coverage. Under the former Advisory Board of Leonard Schaeffer, Carly Fiorina, Congressman Tom McClintock, Alain Enthoven, and David Helwig, Phil and the FHCE assisted more than 5 million Americans with navigating the complex United States health coverage system.

    In 2012, Phil founded PointCare, a patient advocacy company dedicated to helping health systems educate self-pay patients about their eligibility for health coverage at point-of-care. PointCare’s mission is to strengthen the dignity of self-pay patients through the effective, empathetic, and compassionate communication of health coverage options from the hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office to the patient. Known for his expertise and innovative thinking, Phil’s sound advice has helped a great number of consumers, brokers, and companies achieve success and financial security. His input on the health care debate, the uninsured, and group health trends are featured regularly in numerous health care publications and media, including the Wall Street Journal, ABC News, Washington Post, and CNN. Phil and his wife have been married for 35 years and reside in the Bay Area.

    Jeff Grocky
    Director of Marketing
    Contact Reported by PRWeb 7 hours ago.

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    "Medicare for all" has become a rallying cry for progressive Democrats, though it means different things to different people. Reported by Brisbane Times 4 minutes ago.

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