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Will individuals see the savings from insurance pandemic relief? Not quite

Will individuals see the savings from insurance pandemic relief? Not quite

Health insurance companies are offering their corporate customers rebates to offset premium costs and reflect lower medical spending as patients avoid doctors’ offices, routine procedures and elective surgeries during the coronavirus pandemic.



a person sitting at a desk: ACA Health Experts call center expert, Cynthia Hernandez helps Tiffany Wright get health insurance at the Ahmed and Roshan Virani Children's Clinic, Monday,Nov. 14, 2016 in Houston. It’s likely that 2021 health insurance premiums will remain around the same prices as 2020, experts said.


© Karen Warren, Staff Photographer / Houston Chronicle

ACA Health Experts call center expert, Cynthia Hernandez helps Tiffany Wright get health insurance at the Ahmed and Roshan Virani Children’s Clinic, Monday,Nov. 14, 2016 in Houston. It’s likely that 2021 health insurance premiums will remain around the same prices as 2020, experts said.


It’s unclear how big an impact the rebates, in the form of credits, might have on the premiums companies pay and contributions their employees make. Premiums vary from company to company and, depending on the circumstances, the rebates could lower premiums, keep them from rising or at least limit increases.

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Companies, meanwhile, will decide whether to adjust employee contributions to health insurance premiums based on the rebates they might receive.

Fewer claims were filed during the pandemic, meaning insurance companies paid out less, kept more of the premiums they collect and earned higher profits. As a result, insurers are coming under pressure to return some of the windfall to customers, particularly since the Affordable Care Act prohibits insurers from keeping more that more than 20 percent of premiums for administrative costs and profits.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued guidance in August that allows insurers to refund the excess profits this or next year as premium credits, which are discounts that reduce the amount paid monthly.

On Tuesday, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas said it would help customers during the pandemic by issuing $104 million in premium credits to employers that it insures. It also said it would adjust the price of 2021 premiums for individual and group plans, saving buyers

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Egyptian Central Bank Provides New Guidelines for Opening Bank Accounts for Individuals and SMEs, Aimed at Enabling Financial Inclusion

Egyptian Central Bank Provides New Guidelines for Opening Bank Accounts for Individuals and SMEs, Aimed at Enabling Financial Inclusion

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has reportedly issued updated guidelines and instructions that will allow local residents and small businesses to open certain types of bank accounts under various terms and conditions.

The CBE sent a letter to local banks in which it noted that the nation’s Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Unit (MLCU) had been consulted in order to offer additional support for individuals and companies looking to open new accounts.

The CBE stated that the updates have been announced after carrying out due diligence processes for financial inclusion products issued by the MLCU back in November 2018, and its amendments or updates that were released in March of this year.

The new bank account options have been introduced as part of related guidelines for the classification of financial inclusion products that were released by the CBE in July 2019. The nation’s reserve bank has been working on projects that will allow more people and businesses to access modern banking and financial services in the country.

The CBE noted that its current agreement with the MLCU includes the application of appropriate policies to open traditional banking accounts for new customers without having to obtain prior approval from the CBE or MLCU.

Alaa Farouk, Chairman of the Agricultural Bank of Egypt (ABE), stated that the CBE’s new rules for bank accounts is an important step toward providing better access to the nation’s financial system.

Farouk added that the new guidelines will help more individuals and companies as it will allow them to gain access to the banking sector and the formal economy. This should also benefit small traders and owners of SMEs in the country. It can even help promote the use of digital payment methods and reduce Egypt’s dependence on cash, Farouk said.

As reported recently, Egypt’s Banque

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