Flexible Benefit Service Corporation, Rosemont, Ill., is preparing to launch InsureXSolutions, a private health insurance exchange for uninsured businesses. The InsureXSolutions marketplace will be an alternative for any size business that cannot afford group insurance premiums or meet participation requirements.

Through the guidance of health insurance producers, employers will use a defined contribution funding model to assist employees with health care expenses at a fixed cost, while offering flexible individual and family insurance plan options. The InsureXSolutions PHIX model creates a pathway for employers not currently offering group health coverage to provide a benefit, cap their costs and receive tax savings similar to group insurance plans.

InsureXSolutions is integrated with the defined contribution funding model, which resembles the health care funding approach used with the exchange concept that businesses may ultimately choose beginning in 2014 as part of the Affordable Care Act.

In other industry news:

The Lifeline Program, Atlanta, Ga., has received its license to perform life settlements in Pennsylvania.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, the state is currently the fourth oldest state in the nation; with 21.2 percent of the population, or approximately 2.7 million individuals, aged 60 or older and 2.4%, or approximately 306,000 individuals, aged 85 or older.

 

Karen H. Wimbish, director, Retail Retirement for Wells Fargo Retirement, joined the board of directors of the Retirement Income Industry Association.

As director of Retail Retirement, a part of Wells Fargo Retirement, Wimbish leads a department of over 275 team members who focus on increasing Wells Fargo’s ability to help customers plan for and live a comfortable retirement.

Wimbish has over 30 years in the financial services industry, including roles in banking, brokerage and asset management, as well as in credit administration, project management and training. She is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Richmond, holds her Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a graduate of the School of Banking of the South and the Securities Industry Institute at Wharton.

 

The Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company Inc., New York, N.Y., appointed Roger Rocha to regional vice president for Retirement Plan Sales for the Northern Los Angeles region.

Rocha, a retirement plan specialist with over 18 years’ experience, will be responsible for developing Guardian Retirement Solutions’ defined contribution plan sales in California’s North Los Angeles, Ventura, San Bernardino Bakersfield and San Luis Obispo, and Riverside Counties.

Rocha joins Guardian from John Hancock Retirement Plan Services where he was regional vice president for over six years. He previously held senior sales positions with ING Financial Advisers and Great West Life Retirement Plan Services. Rocha is a graduate of California State University in Los Angeles with a BS in Business Administration/Finance. He has earned his Series 7, 63 and California State Life Insurance License.

 

Ebix, Inc., Atlanta, Ga. (Nasdaq:EBIX), has acquired PlanetSoft, Inc. Combining the firms’ products will give Ebix the ability to converge insurance and investment operations from front end to back end. The process will also enable lead generation, CRM, quoting, illustration, research, underwriting, compliance, policy issuance, claims, reinsurance, compensation management, agent appointment to be managed in an end-to-end transaction providing straight through processing. The acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive to Ebix Earnings per Share (EPS). No financial advisors were involved in the transaction from the Ebix side.

PlanetSoft provides technology addressing mission critical processes in the Life and P&C segments of the insurance industry. The firm is focused in the areas of streamlining distribution centric processes, including a seamless transaction of underwriting insurance via web portals and mobile devices.

Employers have a new resource to reduce college costs when workers go back to school.

TuitionHelp, Sacramento, Calif., is a benefit service that identifies affordable schools, secures free grants and other financial aid, and provides one-on-one telephone consultation with professional student aid advisors, who prepare employees’ federal student aid applications (FAFSA) so they are eligible for the most aid possible.

Employees receive personal assistance choosing an education program, evaluating their net cost of various colleges, and accessing colleges that offer tuition discounts to their employer. TuitionHelp’s aid-eligibility estimation technology provides accurate insight into an individual’s out-of-pocket costs at different colleges to help employees compare their costs and make better informed education decisions.

“Typically employees exhaust their tuition-reimbursement benefit without realizing how much in federal, state and institutional grants and scholarships they are eligible to receive to reduce their out-of-pocket college costs,” said Karen Shernan, vice president of TuitionHelp. “By guiding our clients’ employees through the complexities of the national financial aid process, TuitionHelp helps them realize an advanced education is affordable.”

 

Minnesota Life Group Insurance, St. Paul, Minn., has published a new article, “As Millennials march into the work force, how ready are you?” in the latest edition of its online newsletter AWARE. The article provides useful information about managing Millennials—born between 1976 and 2001 and also known as Generation Y—and leveraging their strengths.

“Our clients are hungry for information that helps them manage an age-diverse workforce in a way that makes all employees feel respected and challenged,” said Paula Bilitz, marketing director, Minnesota Life Group Insurance. “People in their 20s now work side by side with people in their sixties or seventies. These age groups typically do not share the same motivations or communication styles.

 

Independent marketing organizations Dressander & Associates, Naperville, Ill., and BHC Marketing, The Woodlands, Texas, affiliated with the Futurity First Insurance Group family of companies, have launched Elite MVP Awards, an enhanced, comprehensive top producer program.

This expanded program offers some of the richest, most distinctive benefits in the industry for successful annuity producers. Most notable are:

  • Elite Credits to use toward diverse, proven marketing programs, business building tools, and marketing reimbursement.
  • An industry-leading Deferred Compensation program featuring deferred compensation credits that accumulate tax free.
  • Benefits and perks including an annual recognition trip, compensation on producer referrals, and personal contact with marketing leaders, mentors and senior managers.

Other services qualified producers can expect with Elite MVP Awards are marketing programs such as college workshop mailers, celebrity endorsed radio leads, qualified direct mail leads, newsletters and Financial Snapshots Software. Business building tools include concierge new business services, branding support, an accessible legal team, errors and omissions insurance, tuition for training events, as well as education through The American College.