The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian) released enhancements to its AnytimeMobile App.

The app now allows members to view, email or print dental and vision member identification cards directly from their smartphone.

With the upgrade, the app now makes it more convenient for members to view an image of their ID card and share the card with their provider via email or print to a wireless printer, as traditional plastic ID cards are no longer needed.

Other app capabilities include search options for the provider’s name and location, interactive maps, directions and contact information for in-network dental and vision care providers anywhere in the country. Members can choose from one of the largest dental PPO networks in the country and multiple eye care providers through both of Guardian’s leading vision networks, VSP and Davis Vision.

The free mobile app is available at the Google Play store, the Apple App store, or by visiting www.guardiananytime.com/mobile, for direct access within each store.

In other industry news:

Columbus Life Insurance Company introduced its first mobile application – the 2013 Tax Reference App.

The app provides current tax brackets, standard deductions, pension plan limits and more, as found on the company’s tax reference sheet. The mobile app provides financial professionals additional access to:

  • Tax calculators to help evaluate specific scenarios for clients,
  • Internal links to Columbus life product information designed for use in estate and retirement planning scenarios;and
  • Digital updates on changes in tax information.

 

American General Life Companies launched Elite Global Plus II, a fixed index universal life insurance (IUL) product that provides death benefit protection and the strongest accumulation potential of the carrier’s current UL products.

A replacement for American General Elite Global Plus, the new product offers an opportunity for growth in cash value accumulation through competitive interest-crediting methodologies based in part on the performance of three indices – the S&P 500, the EURO STOXX 50 Index (Western Europe), and the Hang Seng Index (Hong Kong).

Elite Global Plus II features a five-year index interest account option that uses these three indices and over-weights the best-performing index while ignoring the poorest performing index when calculating index interest to be credited.  

Policyholders may also choose a one-year index interest account with cap rate. Its formula is based on 100 percent of the one-year, point-to-point growth of the S&P 500, subject to a cap rate, and provides guaranteed monthly crediting of an interest rate equivalent to 0.25 percent annually, regardless of index performance.

For additional security, policyholders also have the option to allocate all or a portion of each premium to a declared interest account. This rate may be subject to change periodically, but will never be less than 2.00 percent. Two monthly guarantee premiums establish premiums that, if paid timely, ensure the policy will not lapse within designated time frames.

 

Digital Insurance acquired Group Brokerage Insurance Agency of Cambridge, Mass.

The nearly 30-year-old benefits firm now operates under the banner of Digital Benefit Advisors (DBA), a division of Digital Insurance, and is the company’s first office in the Boston area. Founder and President John Siracusa and his team joined forces with DBA to provide clients expanded offerings and resources.

Through the acquisition, employers will receive access to a broader variety of carriers, tools, proprietary products and the ability to effectively navigate the complexities of health care reform. One significant advantage includes direct policy holder access to a Customer Advocate Center, where licensed Digital representatives answer benefits and policy questions, enabling employers to free-up overworked HR departments.

Digital Insurance also appointed Carl Pilger as its in-house legal counsel. As vice president, legal counsel, he’ll be responsible for benefits-related legal matters, education, compliance and health care reform initiatives.

John Jonassen, FALU, FLMI, ACS joined Diversified Brokerage Services Inc. (DBS) as chief underwriter.

Jonassen will work closely with case managers, carrier underwriters and clients’ medical professionals.  In addition to providing underwriting support, Jonassen will be bringing DBS representatives up-to-date on underwriting developments and describing how the developments can be leveraged so the representative can bring increased value to their clients.

Jonassen has a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance and a minor in accounting.

 

Perspectives Ltd. added FMLA Administration services to their solution package.

The new FMLA services will help to take away the burdens and responsibilities from organizations having to track and manage continuous and intermittent FMLA leaves. Some of the features of Perspectives’ FMLA services include:

  • Per capita or per leave pricing;
  • Interfacing with payroll systems for time reporting;
  • A report writer with customized reporting; and
  • The assumption of active FMLA participants.