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Health & Care Board update - July 2020

John Graham, Health & Care Board Member, provides an update.

John Graham

The Health & Care Board met on 1 July for the final meeting of the current session, again curtesy of BlueJeans with members utilising studies, kitchens, living rooms and the odd bedroom to attend the meeting. For many of us this has become common place and may indeed be a fundamental component of the “new normal” that lays ahead.

For this meeting we were privileged to be joined by Tan Suee Chieh, the President of the IFoA. As well as allowing Suee Chieh to become more familiar with the Board and how we go about our business he shared his thoughts on wanting to make the profession more responsive to change and more agile. This could not be more pertinent for H&C actuaries as we experience the biggest health crisis of our lifetime – if not the biggest crisis of any kind.

This led into a discussion around the role of actuaries during the Pandemic. As well as the excellent work being done by 23 volunteers across five H&C workstreams in the IFoA Covid 19 Action Taskforce (ICAT), two of our members, Richard Purcell and Nick Reilly, co-authored the newly released report “Building Financial Resilience for Households in the Private Rented Sector”. This is a joint report between the IFoA and Building Resilient Household Group, which contains research commissioned by the BRHG and performed by Hymans Robertson, that will be of particular interest to members working with Income Protection and Family Income Benefits products.

Despite all the excellent work taking place it did leave us wondering if the profession could be doing more to help society as this time. For example, should actuaries be included in SAGE or working closely with the WHO? Should the profession be releasing statements on COVID 19? In countries such as South Africa the government looks to the actuarial profession for input. This also leads us into the ongoing discussion around the potential future role of the H&C actuary.

As well as the afore mentioned ICAT work Scott Reid brought us up to speed with the latest developments with H&C Working Parties. Scott will be stepping down as Chair of the H&C Research Committee with Vicky Gardiner stepping into the role. On behalf of the H&C Board a big thanks to Scott for his excellent contribution to H&C research and a warm welcome to Vicky.  We’re also  pleased to say that Scott will be continuing as a member of the H&C Board.

The Board hosted a successful Mental Health round table event following which we are looking to set up a new working party. Again, this is an issue of our time and if any readers want to get involved please get in touch with Vicky.

Faye Alessandrello gave us an update on the IFoA’s work on Brexit. We are currently in the “Understand & Inform” stage after which we will move into the “Engage” phase which could include lobbying on issues such as what happens with Solvency II (do you remember when that seemed like a bit deal).

Finally Zoe Woodroffe updated us on the work of the H&C Lifelong Learning sub-committee. Delivering appropriate learning opportunities is challenging at the moment, and as alluded to at outset, it’s unclear what the new normal be. Whatever the circumstance the LLSC is committed to providing quality learning to H&C actuaries, but we need to creative about the way we can do this in future. 

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If you feel you have something to add to the debate or ideas for research or learning, please do get in touch. In the meantime stay safe and enjoy the summer.