Wednesday Nov 05, 2014

Live Webcast with LOMA: Time to Transform: Business Realities Demand Newer Core Systems

Facing ever-changing market demands, life insurance and annuity carriers must continue to adapt their product portfolios—and business processes—as regulations, industry, competitors, and consumer needs change. Unfortunately for many carriers, their aging, legacy policy administration systems prevent or inhibit rapid changes to products or processes. However, insurers can overcome these challenges by consolidating distributed policy administration systems.

Join Oracle and LOMA for this webcast on November 11, 2014 at 2:00pm Eastern / 11:00am Pacific. We will discuss the advantages that one integrated Policy Administration platform offers for the Life, Annuity, Wealth, Group, Worksite, and Health Insurance market, and how it can improve growth opportunities for the future. We also present case studies on how carriers larger and small, domestic and international, have increased business agility and reduced costs and are achieving transformational results from policy modernization.

  • November 11, 2014
  • 2:00pm Eastern / 11:00am Pacific
  • Register Now

For more information on Oracle Insurance Policy Administration for Life and Annuity and how Oracle’s solutions can be used to support your business, visit oracle.com/insurance.

Thursday Oct 16, 2014

Market Value Adjusted Annuities

Changes in market conditions are leading carriers to make changes to their product offerings. “A lot of annuity carriers already have MVAs, but those that don’t are busy adding them to their products right now,” says Danny Fisher, president of the Fisher Agency, a Dallas brokerage general agency. The carriers are persisting on securing MVA approvals largely because of concerns about the interest rate environment, Fisher says. Today’s fixed annuities are paying very low interest rates, he explains.

MVA Annuities on the Rise

Let’s take a look at what’s happening in the MVA annuities market. Last year, while MVA annuity sales were up 88 percent over second quarter compared to fixed-rate non-MVA products were up 71 percent, income annuities were up nearly 19 percent, and indexed annuities were up 10 percent, according to Beacon’s third quarter report.  Similarly, when compared with third quarter performance of the previous year, MVA annuities in third quarter 2013 were up by staggering 131 percent, while fixed-rate non-MVA gains were less than half, about 61 percent.

$2.5 billion worth MVA sales in third quarter were up from $1.3 billion in second quarter. That growth says a lot about the current direction of the MVA segment: Sales are chasing rates. With this level of growth, carriers will need tools to help them manage this business in an efficient way.

Selecting the Right Core Admin Solution to help with MVA Annuity Management

Generally,  MVA annuity is treated as a fund that tracks the prevailing rate. Some products use calculated values stored in fields on the policy in lieu of a fund. A good life insurance policy administration system that maintains MVA annuity products should be:

  • Configurable to allow each carrier's version of MVA
  • Calculations should be customizable based on their product's profile
  • Be able to carry out a series of calculations using the results of each prior calculation, so as to arrive at the finalized; Cash Surrender Value after the MVA factor and then MVA has been calculated per set formulae.
  • Capable to quickly apply any changes/modifications to the formulae.

With the consistent growth in sales of Market Value Adjusted annuities, inevitable indications with various surveys have lead to suggest that Market Value Adjusted annuity products can boost growth in business for carriers of any size. Oracle Insurance Policy Administration provides a highly configurable and flexible platform that enables the carriers to quickly build and sell various custom products including Market Value Adjusted annuities with record speed-to-market times leveraging the highly customizable calculation capabilities and pre-built templates.

To learn more about Oracle Insurance Policy Administration for Life and Annuity and how Oracle’s solutions can be used to support your business, visit oracle.com/insurance.

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Wednesday Oct 15, 2014

Leveraging New Technologies to Improve Customer Engagement

Social media and new technologies dominate the marketing landscape, which means consumers’ attention spans are shorter than ever.  New apps, call-to-actions, and other customer communications tools are being thrown in consumers’ faces each day.  The task of attracting an audience’s interest and maintaining it for the long term is a daunting one.  If your company can’t attract an audience’s attention from their very first visit, you risk the chance of them never returning. Customer Communications Management systems allow institutions to effectively monitor customer engagement and transform that data into results.

Guest blogger A.D. Kent, Managing Partner for DocVentive, discusses the topic in today’s post:

In a world where everything is interconnected with information at your fingertips, technology is fundamentally changing how consumers engage content. The rapid adoption of smart phones and tablets affords convenience and control over content, while easy access to social media sites creates an unprecedented sense of community and engagement at the touch of a button. In short, consumers are demanding information that is contextually relevant with their interests and provides an experience that they can interact with.

So, what does this mean if you're an Insurer or Financial Institution looking for a competitive advantage? Well, you should view each piece of correspondence with your customers as a chance to engage and monetize through personalized content. This means looking for opportunities to gather information with each encounter, and using that information to refine targeted messaging and content on the next communication event. This also necessitates reliance upon a robust Customer Communication Management (CCM) platform capable of delivering on these goals – an exercise that isn't exactly native to the present-day CCM vendor solutions. Nonetheless, through this continual refinement of correspondence, you can empower and satisfy the consumer in ways that fit the social patterns and behaviors that they desire most.

Click "Read More" to view the rest of the article. 

[Read More]

Friday Sep 26, 2014

Utilizing a Centralized Calculation Repository for Increased Business Agility in Life and Annuity Insurance

There have been different strategies adopted to contend with the many challenges facing life and annuity insurers today, from tactical product and service offerings through more strategic programs involving significant front and back office developments to support them. The use of a centralized robust calculation capability can be a key element in the life and annuity product supply chain.

David Punter, Global Product Specialist at Oracle, discusses the topic in today’s post:

I’ve been looking at market trends recently, around Insurance specifically, around Life and Annuity even more specifically. There is growth and there is contraction, it all depends on where you look, what cannot be denied is that it is sometimes a disappointing experience. But beyond that last bit, I see a realization amongst insurance carriers that in order to do more than survive in this capricious market, some significant investment in revitalizing their infrastructure is in order.

This is not the now classic tinkering around the edges with a spot of workflow here, a code conversion there or some productized patch from another insurer’s system to deal with enrolment from somewhere else. There seems to be something more to it this time. The image below outlines some statistics to substantiate this view.

[Read More]

Wednesday Sep 17, 2014

The Need to Shift to Oracle Health Insurance Alternative Reimbursement

Kathy McCarthy, Director of Sales Consulting for Oracle Health Insurance, discusses the topic in today’s post:

The healthcare system is dramatically changing within the United States – both out of necessity and want.  In the current economy, the US spending on healthcare is more than any other nation, more even than this country can sustain.  With the fastest rate of growth compared to any other nation on gross domestic product, the US does not have the best action plan to solving this dilemma. Consumers are left with higher costs and decreased attention to their care, when the focus should be primarily on their well-being. 

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is putting consumers back in charge of their health by requiring the government to ensure that payers improve outcomes, lower cost and increase access to care.  This application of value-based reimbursement will have four plans that will be implemented by 2015.

  • Physicians in group practices of 100 or more who participate in Fee-for-Service Medicare will be subject to the value modifier in 2015, based on their performance in calendar year 2013.
  • Physicians in group practices of 10 or more provider who participate in Fee-for-Service Medicare will be subject to the value modifier in 2016, based on their performance in calendar year 2014
  • For 2015 and 2016, the value modifier does not apply to groups of physicians in which any of the group practice’s physicians participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program, Pioneer ACOs, or the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative.
  • The value modifier starting in 2017 will affect all physicians who participate in Fee-for-Service Medicare.

The value-based payment models are aligned with better outcomes for the consumers and the healthcare providers are forced to work more closely with their patients.

  • Capitation payment is managed by care organizations to control the cost of healthcare.  The fixed amount of money per time period is determined on age, how many individuals and services provided in the geographical area. 
  • Shared Savings Program is services established for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). This program simplifies communication among providers to improve and ensure optimal healthcare for those using CMS. 
  • Pay for Performance is an incentive payment used to improve the quality of healthcare through a collaboration of measuring the overall care of the patient, resources used and other factors.
  • Bundle Payment is a single payment made to providers or healthcare facilities based on treatments and conditions given.  This method was designed to focus on improved care that providers have clear metric to follow in order to maximize their payments.
  • Fee-for-Service is a specific reimbursement for an individual service done to a patient. Payment is based on formula and funding levels by what the consumer wants to pay, the cost of service and type of service provided.

As a result, healthcare payers need to have better access to data, tools, efforts and a significant increase in time to carry out the implemented models. Therefore, there will be an emerging need for payers to have agile and open systems to meet the new market demand.  Data will need to be merged by payers, in order to provide crucial information that will accurately determine payment.

As the models change so will the need for flexibility and delivery methods.  Cloud-based solutions that have insight, agility and operational efficiency will be the game changers. The Oracle Health Insurance Alternative Reimbursement solution supports a wide range of models that formalizes and automates data. Oracle Health Insurance holds accountable details for contracts, products, providers and members to create financial messages.

To learn more, download and read the white paper, Emerging Healthcare Value-based Payment Models for Improving Patient Outcomes and Cost Efficiency.

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Oracle's flexible solutions can help insurers navigate the change necessary to meet today’s challenges and have the business agility to be prepared for the future.

For more information, visit oracle.com/insurance.

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