The Blur is Back!

More importantly, Web Technology Budgets are back!  Based on conversations this week and last, and perhaps due to Scott Brown’s stunning victory in Ted Kennedy’s vacant Senate seat and the corresponding implications on the administration and healthcare reform and the economy, etc. etc. etc., it seems like optimism is returning.  There’s a backlog of work to do, especially regarding online quoting and enrollment technology for insurance distribution.  I’m a little buried under a raft of interest, not only on the strategy side, but also with various insurance technology RFP’s.  A lot of companies are retooling their Web presence, adding new functionalities, and getting in the social media space.  Looking forward to it.

PIMA 2010 Annual Meeting: This was one great conference – well-attended, great content, positive energy, good weather – what more can you ask for?

We covered a lot of ground with some excellent speakers, but here are a few aha’s for me:


New: Claims payments with pre-paid cards

Paying commissions to agents w pre-paid cards

Higher FICO score: Less claims loss ratio, better renewal value, better cross-sell, up-sell.

A comment on ‘Healthcare Reform’ – Things that are so egregious – mandatory loss ratios, guaranteed coverage, adverse selection… would be the end of health insurance as we know it.  Small reforms are a sure thing.  Watch out for ‘Coat hangers’, e.g. a rider on the defense appropriations bill

Alan Parisse – This is Your Time

The smarter, more successful, educated – often the more difficult to change – a barrier, harder to change

When the environment changes, some things turn on you and work against you.  Michael Jordan – Height – What worked FOR him in basketball worked AGAINST him in baseball.

Be willing to give up things that made you successful if they are not going to work for you in the future.

Traditional Sources of power for a leader are all gone.

Joel Wood

On Scott Brown: “It is the most astonishing upset I’ve ever witnessed in my career.” (27 years in Washington).  Should serve as an air-raid siren for the Democratic Party.

See if the issue of medical malpractice reforms comes up.   If you see actual movement on that, it could constitute a breakthrough.

See the slide on Who are the Uninsured?

Sam Fleet – See the RIP Slide

It was insurance reform, it was not healthcare reform.

See slide on Six Solutions.  Also See White Paper.  Great clarity.

“Go crazy over Swine Flu, but not addressing Obesity.”  Yup.

7.35% healthcare costs directly related to obesity.

Transparency in pricing – See the slide for cost variations in Sacramento.

State mandated benefits add 18% to cost of premiums in RI.

Tony Hammond – VP at Humana

Obesity rate is about 34% in the country.  -Economist

Mark Kelsey –

Doing nothing is almost a bigger problem than reform.

Fix Medicare – Move to ‘bundled package’ approach.  Wonder if this is on his blog?  Blog?

People calling into the call centers are saying, “Well, I’m just gunna wait for the free gov’t plan.”

George Nichols

We are facing greater challenges than I’ve ever seen as a former regulator….You’ll have to get involved.

Fiduciary Standard – Get active because it could significantly impact proprietary products.

Comp disclosure is coming in.

Democrats talk about raising taxes.  Republican’s talk about adding fees.

M. Derek Thomas

If you are doing planning, please include the technology department.  Your customers are going to want to interface in different ways.

Jim Kane

More on him later – phenomenal teaching

Lastly, president-elect Jim Gallagher said that social media and social networks could be game-changers.  Yup.

Kudo’s to out-going president Frank Fimmano, the entire executive team, Mona Buckley, the PIMA staff, the Empire staff, and especially the meeting chairs, Rick Jones, Mike McCarthy, and Cynthia Elias.  Outstanding conference in challending times.

Relative to the Panel I moderated on Social Media, I did not get a chance to record the audio – sorry about that.  But here is a link to the Intro music video I made (music bed by Marc Majers). The link to the PPT will be on the PIMA site in the members-only section.  Thanks again to Sherri Lagana, Scott Hilchey, Kathie Kinde, and Bill Tyson in absentia, and all the questions from the attendees.  Great feedback on the session from PIMA.

Favorite picture from the conference?  This time it’s a nature shot – well, two actually.  The moon was the brightest it will be for 14 years one night.  And I just happened to get a stellar shot of a leaping dolphin.  See more here.