Posts belonging to Category INSURANCE



Wage floor for Uber’s ride-hail drivers

The goal is to pay drivers $17.22 an hour, or $15 an hour after expenses like gas.

The New York City council passed first-of-its-kind legislation this afternoon setting a wage floor for ride-hail drivers and capping the number of ride-hail vehicles in the city. Below, our story from before the historic vote.

Uber drivers make about as much money as minimum wage workers.

In some cases they can even make less. That’s because Uber drivers are considered independent contractors, rather than employees, and aren’t protected under federal, state, and local minimum wage laws.

Uber drivers aren’t being recognized as employees (that legal battle is ongoing). But in New York City, the city council is poised to pass a package of bills that, for the first time ever, would set a wage floor for Uber drivers and their peers in the ride-hail industry.

https://qz.com/

Amazon Makes $1 Billion Splash in Health Care, Buying PillPack

Formidable challenge to pharmacy chains 

Amazon.com Inc. is buying its way into the heart of the U.S. health-care system, instantly shaking up a prescription-drug industry already in the midst of a broader transformation. Insurance companies and drug-benefit managers have struck a series of deals in recent months designed in part to thwart a potential big splash in the health world from Amazon. But the online retail giant’s decision to buy online pharmacy PillPack rapidly accelerates the threat posed to entrenched retailers, suppliers and middlemen.

Most immediately, the move represents a formidable challenge to pharmacy chains including Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and CVS Health Corp., the two largest drugstore chains in the U.S. Walgreens shares sank 8.5 percent at 10:49 a.m. in New York, while CVS shares shed 8.9 percent.

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Despite Trump’s attacks, Obamacare sign-ups dip only slightly

Millions of Americans opted to sign up for coverage on the exchanges for 2018 anyway

Some 11.8 million people selected plans on the federal and state-based exchanges, down 3.7% from last year, according to the National Academy for State Health Policy. The data, released Wednesday, provides the first look at sign-ups for 2018 nationwide. Just over 8.7 million people signed up on the federal exchange, while a little over 3 million picked plans in the 11 states and District of Columbia, which run their own marketplaces. Obamacare advocates had feared that sign-ups would plummet after the Trump administration cut the open enrollment period in half, slashed advertising by 90% and reduced support for enrollment assistance. Also, insurers hiked premiums for many plans amid the uncertainty in Washington, D.C. and President Trump’s elimination of funding for Obamacare’s cost-sharing subsidies. However, in a strange twist, richer federal premium subsidies actually made coverage more affordable for many people.

http://money.cnn.com...  Febuary 08, 2018

"Brexit is stupidest thing any country has done"

Michael Bloomberg says it is ‘hard to understand why a country doing so well wanted to ruin it’

Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire media mogul and former mayor of New York, has said Brexit is the “single stupidest thing any country has ever done” apart from the election of Donald Trump as US president.

Bloomberg argued that “it is really hard to understand why a country that was doing so well wanted to ruin it” with the Brexit vote, in a series of outspoken remarks made at a technology conference in Boston a fortnight ago.

At that event, Bloomberg, 75, also warned that some workers at the financial media company that bears his name were asking to leave the UK and US because they think the two countries no longer like immigrants and are no longer welcoming.

http://www.theguardian.com…  Wed  25  October 2017

BREXIT will hit strongly The City

Brexit may lead to half of City’s EU workers leaving UK

More than half of EU nationals currently working in investment management in the UK are not confident they will continue working in the country after Brexit, a report from the CFA Society UK reveals.

CFA UK’s survey of 1,100 professionals found that City workers regardless of nationality feel their job security is under threat as a result of Brexit, with just 43% of EU nationals and 52% of non-EU international employees feeling their job is secure. By comparison, 60% of British national respondents feel that their job is secure. According to CFA UK, the respondents’ views “are likely to have been impacted by their sense of job security in the current climate”.

http://www.investmentweek.co.uk…  Wed.,  18  October 2017

Raising trade tensions between Europe and China

Complaint against dumping of e-bikes by Chinese companies

European producers of electronic bikes (e-bikes) have filed a complaint with the European Commission against cheap Chinese e-bike imports, saying that they are sold in the bloc at excessively low prices with the help of unfair subsidies. The European Bicycle Manufacturers Association (EBMA) lodged the complaint alleging dumping of e-bikes by Chinese companies which they say are flooding the market at prices sometimes below the cost of production. The Commission has until late October to determine whether to start an investigation.

The EBMA is also preparing a related complaint alleging illegal subsidies and asking for registration of Chinese e-bike imports, which could allow eventual duties to be backdated. Such an investigation would be the latest in a string of probes into Chinese exports ranging from solar panels to steel and could raise trade tensions with Beijing, particularly with a subsidy inquiry into the support provided by the Chinese state.

http://www.reuters.com…  Mon.,  02  October 2017

Social Rights for 'gig economy' workers

EU seeks more protection for Uber-style jobs

The European Commission wants more social protection and rights for casual workers, such as those in the “gig economy”, and others with non-standard contracts to try to tackle growing social inequality.

The Commission’s consultation document on these plans, seen by Reuters, is part of a broader reworking of the EU’s economic priorities, after pressure from populist forces that accuse Brussels of having pursued ultra-liberal policies to the detriment of wo

http://www.reuters.comMon.,  25  September 2017

Insurance and Hurricanes

Irma test Florida’s flood insurance 

Hurricane Irma could test a nascent private flood insurance market in Florida that some advocates say is a model for making U.S. flood coverage more affordable and commonplace in high-risk areas. Florida’s private flood insurance market represents a tiny sliver of all flood policies in the state, but if a hurricane does hit Florida later this week, policyholders, industry and the federal government will see how private insurance performs in one of the country’s largest flood-prone markets.

“It’s a new breed of insurance in Florida,” said Loretta Worters, a spokeswoman for the Insurance Information Institute, an industry-funded communications group. “You have these companies that have never been tested for flood. We’ll have to see how it works.” Even before Hurricane Harvey triggered massive flooding in Texas last week, U.S. lawmakers were looking at alternatives to the indebted government-backed model of flood insurance.

http://www.reuters.com…  Wed.,  06  September 2017

Pilotless planes could save airlines billions

Pilotless planes: would anyone fly?

The aviation industry could save $35 billion a year by moving to pilotless planes, according to a new report from UBS. Just one problem: The same report warns that only 17% of travelers are willing to fly without a pilot. UBS said that the technology required to operate remote-controlled planes could appear by 2025. Further advances beyond 2030 might result in automated business jets and helicopters, and finally commercial aircraft without pilots.

“The technologies in development today will enable the aircraft to assist and back up the pilot in all the flight phases, removing the pilot from manual control and systems operations in all types of situations,” the report said. Commercial flights already land with the assistance of on-board computers, and pilots manually fly the aircraft for only a few minutes on average.

http://money.cnn.com…   Fri.,  11  August 2017

Brexit: Japan's biggest bank moves investment operations to Amsterdam

Hundreds of MUFG staff could be leaving the UK

Japan’s biggest bank is reportedly set to move its European investment operations from London to Amsterdam because of the uncertainty posed by Brexit. MUFG could move hundreds of its 2,100 London employees to the Dutch capital, sources told the Financial Times.

Other banks are also looking to set up new offices in various European cities because of Brexit. The UK’s withdrawal from the EU is likely to have a significant effect on the financial services industry in the UK – along with numerous other areas – as companies in Britain will no longer be able to operate within the EU framework.

This could potentially block access to clients and significantly interfere with business. Amsterdam is already home to MUFG’s retail and corporate banking operations.

http://www.independent.co.uk…   Mon.,  31  July 2017

Obamacare: US senate votes down 'skinny repeal' of health act

The revolt of John McCain

Arizona senator John McCain provided a historic and critical vote to torpedo the Obamacare repeal bill – and with it Donald Trump’s legislative agenda – in a night of high drama on Capitol Hill. McCain, who only returned to Washington earlier this week after a diagnosis of brain cancer, joined fellow Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska in voting down the so-called “skinny repeal” bill 51-49. The six-term senator, who was his party’s 2008 presidential candidate against Barack Obama, told reporters “wait for the show” before arriving for the vote in the Senate chamber.

Once there, McCain was lobbied by vice-president Mike Pence, who was on the floor of the Senate to preside in case of a tie, for over 20 minutes. The two went back and forth and occasionally disappeared from the chamber altogether. But as the votes were cast, McCain, who had long nurtured a reputation as a maverick willing to buck party lines, delivered a black eye to Trump, who had famously mocked McCain as “not a war hero” during the 2016 campaign. The dramatic conclusion ended months of furious negotiating that exposed a party riven over how to dismantle a law that extended healthcare coverage to millions of Americans and has taken root in several states, in some cases with the help of Republican governors.

http://www.theguardian.com…   Fri.,  28  July 2017

US: Latest health care bill collapses

Republicans fail to overhaul the Affordable Care Act

The Republican Party’s efforts to gut former President Barack Obama’s legacy health care law came to an abrupt — if temporary — halt Monday night.
Just hours after the Senate was gaveled back into session, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was handed two more public defections on his health care bill to overhaul Obamacare. The dramatic and simultaneous announcement from Sens. Jerry Moran of Kansas and Mike Lee of Utah means McConnell officially does not have the votes to even begin debate on his legislation to overhaul the Affordable Care Act.
http://www.cnn.com…   Wed.,  19  July 2017

How much to get Leo Messi ?

New release clause to be set at €300 million

Lionel Messi is on the brink of signing a new contract at Barcelona, according multiple media reports in Spain. With the 30-year-old’s current deal set to expire in June 2018, Cadena Cope says that an announcement will be made by the club on Wednesday, with Messi officially putting pen to paper on July 15 once he arrives back in Barcelona for preseason training.

The new contract will see Messi stay at the Nou Camp until 2021, with an extra one-year extension clause available to both club and player. The  five-time Ballon d’Or winner, however, will be able to leave Barca earlier if any rival club triggers his new release clause — thought to be set at €300 million.

http://www.espnfc.com…   Wed.,  05  July 2017

Massive cyber attack

Petya cyber attack: Ransomware spreads across Europe with firms in Ukraine, Britain and Spain shut down

Major firms, airports and government departments in Ukraine have been struck by a massive cyber attack which began to spread across Europe on Tuesday afternoon. In Ukraine, government departments, the central bank, a state-run aircraft manufacturer,  the airport in Kiev and  the metro network have all been paralysed by the hack.

In the UK, the advertising firm WPP said its systems had also been struck down, while in the Netherlands a major shipping firm confirmed its computer terminals were malfunctioning. The virus is believed to be ransomware – a piece of malicious software that shuts down a computer system and then demands an extortionate sum of money to fix the problem.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk…   Wed.,  28  June 2017

Draft bill to replace Obamacare would cut Medicaid

Senate Republicans release healthcare bill that will affect coverage for millions

After weeks of secret negotiations, the US Senate has released its draft of a bill that could upend the healthcare system for millions of Americans.

The Senate’s 142-page proposal, unveiled on Thursday, would eliminate or reduce key benefits provided by Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act; lower taxes for the wealthy; strip funding from the women’s reproductive health provider Planned Parenthood; and dramatically cut and restructure Medicaid, America’s public health insurance program for low-income and disabled Americans.

The legislation mirrors the bill that the House of Representatives passed narrowly last month, with modest changes intended to win support from moderate senators. Meanwhile, Republican Senate leaders emphasized that the legislation is subject to change as they negotiate details in an effort to win 50 votes, the minimum required for the bill to pass.

http://www.theguardian.com…   Fri.,  23  June 2017

Machine-learning promises to shake Finance

Trading, credit, fraud: machine-learning is in progress

MACHINE-LEARNING is beginning to shake up finance. A subset of artificial intelligence (AI) that excels at finding patterns and making predictions, it used to be the preserve of technology firms. The financial industry has jumped on the bandwagon. To cite just a few examples, “heads of machine-learning” can be found at PwC, a consultancy and auditing firm, at JP Morgan Chase, a large bank, and at Man GLG, a hedge-fund manager. From 2019, anyone seeking to become a “chartered financial analyst”, a sought-after distinction in the industry, will need AI expertise to pass his exams.

Despite the scepticism of many, including, surprisingly, some “quant” hedge funds that specialise in algorithm-based trading, machine-learning is poised to have a big impact. Innovative fintech firms and a few nimble incumbents have started applying the technique to everything from fraud protection to finding new trading strategies—promising to up-end not just the humdrum drudgery of the back-office, but the more glamorous stuff up-front.

http://www.economist.com…  Tue.,  30  May 2017