January / February 2017

Northlander Notes

President's Message
by Mark McLane, President

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday.  This new year will sure to bring more changes to our industry.  Like in the past, our business is ever-changing to where we never stop learning and evolving.  With this, will hopefully bring more opportunity for success.

Your Association welcomes your involvement and feedback in what you would like to see in our general membership meetings along with other programs and events.  Please consider helping your professional association by attending a Board meeting or on one of our committees. Board meetings are typically the 3 rd Wednesday of every month at the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce.  Your participation is critical for our continued long term success.

May 2017 be prosperous both professionally and personally for each and every one of you!

Best Wishes!
Mark McLane, President

Member Programs
by Brandon Darin, Programming Chair

Save The Date - March 3rd, 2017

Our next member meeting and program is scheduled for March 3rd and will feature Cathy Cooper, legislative director for MAHU.  She will be discussing the various items of interest that were presented during NAHU's 2017 Capitol Conference in Washington, D.C. Stay tuned for more information.

We want to personally thank everyone who attended our Holiday Party in early December at the Cambria Inn & Suites.

If you have any questions or ideas for programming, please do not hesitate to contact me at bdarin@grotenhuis.com

Why should you NAHU this year?
by Dan Marvin, Membership Chair

NAHU's legislative efforts strive to educate officials on both the federal and state levels about the healthcare system and the vital role of the health insurance agent as a consumer resource and advocate. Through a network of key contacts, NAHU cultivates relationships that allow members to clarify issues before bills are written and votes are taken. These relationships are strengthened through actions undertaken by the Health Underwriters Political Action Committee (HUPAC).
Certification programs, professional designation courses, online resources and conferences are just a few ways NAHU helps members develop professionally as well as personally. Local chapters also host regular meetings where continuing education opportunities are provided.
Interacting with other insurance professionals may be the most beneficial aspect of NAHU membership. Being able to reach out to other professionals, asking questions, meeting sales representatives and learning about products are all invaluable opportunities that membership provides. NAHU also offers online networking resources that connect members across the country.
All NAHU members receive a complimentary subscription to the Health Insurance Underwriter magazine. HIU is filled with valuable articles and information, including sales tips and best practice ideas.
All NAHU members receive a customized daily update of all the top insurance news stories of the day. Members also have access to the Compliance Corner, a members-only portal of information and resources on healthcare reform.
Other Resources:
* Consumer guides and brochures for clients
* Health coverage database
* Wellness videos
* Educational and legislative webinars
* Resources for Spanish-speaking clients
MEMBERS-ONLY DISCOUNTS at the following:
  • Norvax
  • FedEx
  • Hertz
  •  UPS
  • OfficeMax
  • InfinityHR
  • CommPartners
  • ProspectZone
  • My LTC Office
  • LetsTalk.com
  • JoS. A. Bank
  •  BASIC Guru
  • HSA Toolkit
  • LTC Connection

  • National Underwriter
  • InsuranceNewsNet
  • Marsh Errors & Omissions
  • Smart's Publishing
  • BenefitsCONNECT
  • Plan Doc Builder
  •  Brooks Brothers
  • Allied Van Lines
  • ACA Decision Support Tool
  • SightLinx
  • Dell
  • Dynamis

For more information, visit www.NAHU.org

by Keith Wright, NMAHU HUPAC Chair,  MAHU Treasurer

"Hey fellow Member, can you spare some change?"

Did you know you can be a supporter of our Health Underwriter's Political Action Committee(HUPAC) for only  40 cents per day ? That's right, only 40 cents per day. What is HUPAC? Click  here  to find out more. You can also access more info and how to contribute at this  link . Hope to see you join the ranks of our current contributors. Our contributions, no matter how small as an individual, add up to a powerful voice in Washington DC. Now more than ever, our Legislators need competent and realistic advice on reforming our healthcare system. HUPAC helps ensure our voice is heard.
Legislative Update
By Jay Schripsema, Legislative Chair

MAHU Legislative Report
December 2016
The 2015-2016 Michigan legislative cycle came to end this December with a less than tumultuous lame duck session. Many major reform initiatives including addressing local municipal retiree pension and health care obligations fell by the way side and will likely be brought back up next session. There are over 40 new State Representatives taking office in January along with new leadership in the House that was detailed in post-election memorandums. New committee chairmanships have yet to be named but I will let MAHU's membership know as soon as the information is released. There was little left on MAHU's legislative watch list that had a chance of moving lame duck but I've pulled several issues that have bills that waiting to be signed by the Governor or will likely be hot topics going into next year.
I hope everyone has had a safe and enjoyable holiday season.
Ryan Burtka
Kandler, Reed, Khoury and Muchmore
HICA Reform Part 2
After Governor Snyder had vetoed a package of bills (SB 987-990) the legislature still needed to repeal the current Use Tax mechanism otherwise Medicaid health plans would have been assessed a tax that they were previously being reimbursed for. In light of the November election that ushered in President-elect Donald Trump, SB 1172 aims to try and skirt the issue. The Medicaid HMO Use Tax will be repealed as of December 31 st, 2106 however if the Federal government allows for that mechanism to be used for Medicaid matching funds then the tax would be reinstated and HICA would be repealed. The bill has yet to be signed by the Governor and potentially may be vetoed.

Scope of Practice and Licensure
There was a compromise reached between the physician and advanced practice nurse groups over APRN scope of practice. HB 5400 officially gives state licensure and limited prescribing rights to APRNs under the supervision and delegation of a physician. HB 5533 modifies how Physician Assistants operate under supervision of a physician and limits the number of PA's that can be supervised. SB 1015/1016 license Applied Behavior Analysts in Michigan, practitioners that focus mainly on treating autism. HB 4598 gives licensure to certified midwives and gives them a limited scope of practice. All these bills have either been signed or are believed to be signed into law.
Everything Else That Didn't Make It
Most notable was a push for a compromise on auto no-fault reform. The hospital group tried to negotiate a deal that would have left fee schedules for medical care out of a reform package in exchange for limits in other areas. This fell apart in the wee hours of the morning but has splintered the group defending no-fault as they promptly expelled the hospitals from their organization. Speaker-elect Leonard is a major proponent of no-fault reform and this legislation will be a major issue next year.
HB 4437 and HB 4812 would have allowed for pharmacists to substitute a biosimilar for a biologic medication. There was significant fighting between PHARMA and Health Plans over what would be required for making the substitution. This legislation is likely to move next year as more and more biosimilar products come on the market and the ability to substitute for the cheaper version becomes more important to health insurers.
SB 625 would require oral chemotherapy medications to be covered by insurance companies. This bill passed the Senate with near unanimous consent before dying in the House Insurance committee. This has been a contentious issue for several years between cancer patient advocates saying that oral drugs are better for patients and insurance companies trying to keep costs down. It's likely to be reintroduced next cycle.
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