This week, we’re reading a summary on Medicare Part D in 2018, an update on the agent count at Bankers Life, and details on Alfac’s new Cancer Protection Assurance Plan.

Medicare Part D in 2018:  The Latest on Enrollment, Premiums, and Cost Sharing | Kaiser Family Foundation | May 17, 2018

In 2018, three Medicare Part D plan sponsors—UnitedHealth, Humana, and CVS Health—account for more than half of the program’s 43 million Part D enrollees (55%) and two-thirds of all stand-alone drug plan enrollees, indicating a marketplace that is dominated by a handful of major insurers, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of Part D enrollment, premiums and cost-sharing data.

The proposed mergers of CVS Health and Aetna, and Cigna and Express Scripts would result in further consolidation of the Part D marketplace. If these mergers go through, four firms—the two merged firms plus UnitedHealth and Humana—would cover 71% of all Part D enrollees and 86% of stand-alone drug plan enrollees, based on 2018 enrollment.

Read the full Part D analysis on here.

Agent Count Falls at Bankers Life | InsuranceNewsNet | May 3, 2018

Agent pruning and lower unemployment may be factors in the falling agent count at Bankers Life, said CNO Financial CEO Gary C. Bhojwani.

“Look, any macro trends in the employment market impact us,” Bhojwani said in a conference call with analysts.

Commission-only agents who file as contractor are more open to a career change when the unemployment rate is at 8 percent, he said.

The 4.1 percent unemployment rate is the lowest in 17 years and comes at a time when Bankers Life is reshaping its agency system.

Read the full article on here.

Aflac Creates Cancer Protection Assurance Plan | InsuranceNewsNet | May 17, 2018

Aflac, the leader in voluntary insurance sales at the worksite in the United States and cancer insurance pioneer, reaffirms its long-standing commitment to help those facing cancer through the launch of its Aflac Cancer Protection Assurance plan. The new plan design reflects the evolution of patient needs and challenges, and it covers modern approaches to prevention, early detection and diagnosis, treatment and ongoing care.

See the full update on here.