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Life Health > Health Insurance

The 9 biggest announcements from life and health insurers this week

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AXA S.A., a global financial protection and retirement savings company, is further extending its footprint into the United States with the launch of its U.S. Employee Benefits business, through subsidiaries AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company and MONY Life Insurance Company of America. This market entry builds on AXA S.A.’s expertise as an employee benefits insurer around the world, where it protects more than a million employees. AXA S.A. will apply this knowledge and experience as it develops its U.S. offering – a suite of benefits products scheduled to begin rollout in mid-2015, including group life insurance, dental and vision, short- and long-term disability, gap medical and hospital indemnity, and critical illness. The company has assembled a highly experienced leadership team led by Hervé Balzano, a 15-year veteran of AXA S.A. and AXA France, who has a proven track record of founding and growing employee benefits businesses in markets around the world. Balzano was previously head of AXA S.A.’s International Employee Benefits business and president of the MAXIS Global Benefits Network. Watch this video interview in which Balzano further discusses the Employee Benefits business.

Over 1,000 insurance agents and financial advisors interested in selling Medicare Supplement insurance have registered to watch the free online broadcast from the Seventh National Med Supp Summit, the industry’s national conference. ”We will be streaming special sessions focused on marketing and selling Medicare Supplement direct from the Orlando conference,” explains Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance (AAMSI). Slome is pioneering the virtual broadcast concept to bring content from major conferences to those who are unable or unwilling to attend the actual event. The founder of Virtual Insurance Conferences & Expos, a Los Angeles based company established to broadcast live online from major national conferences noted that over 1,000 agents have pre-registered to view the April 14th online feed.  “We have capacity for several thousand more,” Slome added. The broadcast is being underwritten by the Medicare Supplement insurance carriers, United HealthCare, Mutual of Omaha, Aetna and Medico Insurance Company.  The free online broadcast will emanate from the Seventh National Medicare Supplement Summit taking place in Orlando, FL. from April 13-15, 2015. To register for the free online broadcast, go to  

In the final days of open enrollment, which ended on February 15th for some, Connecticut residents and their families were able to make easier decisions about their health care plans, as Wellthie, a health care technology company offering a comprehensive software and analytics platform that helps people understand their health insurance options and eligibility for financial assistance in a simple way, announced a new partnership with HealthyCT, a Connecticut-based health insurance provider. Wellthie’s Affordable Care Advisor for Individuals is available to Connecticut individuals and families on the HealthyCT homepage at The Affordable Care Advisor is a web-based platform that acts as a single-front door for any consumer to help them understand the tax credits or public programs for which they may be eligible, view their coverage options from HealthyCT and bottom-line premium costs in a straightforward and simple way. Consumers are then able to quickly browse and compare plans before being directed to the Connecticut health insurance exchange or HealthyCT’s internal process to get enrolled.

The Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company, Inc. (GIAC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), one of the nation’s largest mutual life insurers and provider of employee benefits, announced the appointment of Matthew Butler as second vice president, head of business growth initiatives, and Christopher Pic, second vice president, head of 401(k) client services and operations, for Guardian Retirement Solutions™.  In his new role at Guardian, Butler will be responsible for overseeing the national 401(k) client relationship management and third-party administrator services (TPA) relationship management as well as spearheading Guardian’s 401(k) growth strategies.  In other related news, the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), a mutual life insurers and provider of individual disability income (DI) insurance, has announced new options for Nurse Practitioners (NP) and Physician Assistants (PA) interested in individual disability income insurance. To learn more about Guardian’s Special Limits for New Professionals Program for NPs and PAs, please contact a Guardian Financial Representative at

aaron kilberg

Standard Life Investments, a global investment manager, announced the appointment of Aaron Kilberg as director, U.S. business development based in New York City. Aaron will lead sales on the East Coast and joins an expanding team of investment management, sales and client services executives at Standard Life Investments, which provides multi-asset, equity, fixed income and real estate solutions for institutional investors.

Benefitfocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: BNFT), a provider of cloud-based benefits software solutions, celebrated the grand opening of its new Customer Success Center on February 17, 2015. South Carolina governor Nikki Haley and Charleston mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. joined company executives on stage for the ribbon cutting which was attended by community and business leaders, customers and company associates. The state-of-the-art, four-story, 145,800-square-foot facility has capacity for 750 Benefitfocus associates – all dedicated to customer service. The building is the third and newest addition to Benefitfocus’ Charleston, S.C. headquarters campus and is part of a multi-phase expansion expected to add 1,200 new jobs to the company.

The Professional Insurance Marketing Association (PIMA) held its 40th anniversary Annual Meeting January 26-31. PIMA’s new report, “Affinity 2020”, provided a focus for the meeting program and PIMA members. (Visit to read the report.) The 2015 board was also elected at the meeting. New PIMA officers are: President – Michael Mercer, vice president, Transamerica Affinity Services President-elect – Mark Kelsey, president, Kelsey National Corp./ Treasurer – William Suneson, founder/managing partner, Next Generation Insurance Secretary – Sherri Lagana, CLU, ChFC, director of partnership marketing, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company Immediate past president (ex-officio) – Dan O’Brien, CLU, vice president, New York Life At-large officer – Shannon Warner – EVP of marketing and affinity programs, Pearl Companies Newly-elected board directors are: Derrek Barfield, senior sales executive, Gilsbar, LLC Elizabeth Sheehan, group vice president-insurance products, Affinion Group Returning board directors for 2015 are: David Armstrong, president, Sass Associates Tony Baldus, principal, Mercer Health & Benefits Paul Clampitt, CEO, Institution Solutions Ann Dieleman, senior vice president, ARAG Legal Insurance David McCarty, executive vice president, AGIA Insurance Services Chris Petersen, partner, Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP David Schaeffer, vice president, AmWINS Group Benefits The PIMA MidYear Meeting & Trade Show is scheduled for July 23-26, 2015 in Stowe, VT. For more information, visit or call 817-569-7462 (PIMA).

Allison Paine Landers has been appointed vice president, digital and customer experience for Prudential Group Insurance, a business of Prudential Financial, Inc., (NYSE: PRU). In her newly created role, Landers will be responsible for expanding digital and other capabilities aimed at improving the customer experience. Landers will lead the design and execution of a digital and customer experience strategy for Prudential Group Insurance and will also partner with corporate centers across the enterprise to implement a common digital experience.

David Kelman has joined Convergent Wealth Advisors in the company’s Manhattan office. As managing director, Kelman will continue to bring wealth management solutions to ultra-high net worth individuals and families in the greater New York City area in addition to working with clients nationally. As a wealth advisor, he is often sought after by affluent clients with entrepreneurial or financial services backgrounds that have complex wealth management challenges. He also has developed a core proficiency guiding affluent clients through situations of separation or divorce.


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