NMAHU Northlander Notes
January / February 2016
President's Message  by Raquel Paulus

NMAHU finished off 2015 with October recognition as number 1 in the nation for small chapter retention and our first ever series of radio spots and Ticker ads in November to advertise our member agents, including a quick interview on AM580 with Christal Frost.  We ended the year with 55 members which is up by 9 members since the beginning of 2015.
I think we can agree that while we are small, we truly are mighty because we try! 
I'm looking forward to 2016 in many ways, elections come to mind...not the campaigns (or the signs and commercials) but the final results.   Hopefully you too have a lot to look forward to!
Thank you for your support of NMAHU!   
Raquel Paulus
President, NMAHU  
Your 2015-2016 NMAHU Board Members
Raquel Paulus
President (231) 922-7220
Keith L. Wright
Immediate Past President  (231) 922-0191
Brandon Darin
Vice President (231) 357-5400
Mark McLane
President Elect (231)922-0191
Greg Lewis
Treasurer  (231) 632-2135
Nancy McClosky
Secretary (231) 932-7947
Jay Schripsema
Co-Legislative/HUPAC Chair (231) 346-2051
Rose Twomey Media Chair
Jen Seman
Director (231) 932-7941 
Dan Marvin
Committee Chair, Membership / Retention (231) 941-6011 
Jennifer McDonnell
Committee Chair, Senior Markets (231)346-7122
Sam Campillo
Director (231)748-0368 ext. 3517
Tim Bruce
Director (231) 547-3423 
Jackie Letts
Director (231) 590-0417

February Membership Meeting - Topic and Date TBA
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President Obama Would Like to Give Back Congress' Present with a VETO
by Brandon Darin
On December 3rd, the U.S. Senate voted 52-47 to approve a reconciliation package that would repeal a bulk of the PPACA. This was the first time that a major repeal of the PPACA passed both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. While this is a victory for the Republican leaning Congress, the President is assuredly going to reject the gift. On a partisan approach, the package repeals a good number of PPACA provisions such as the state-optional Medicaid expansion beginning in 2018, the individual and employer mandates by changing the penalties to $0 as a work-around, and a majority of the 21 tax increases created by PPACA.
In addition, the U.S. Senate voted 90-10 to repeal the PPACA's Cadillac/Excise Tax, which shows that for the first time that there may be enough support in both chambers to either repeal this provision or delay it into the distant future as this tax seems to be the target of both sides of the aisle as its projected to impact as many as 60% of employers by 2022.
And lastly, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) laid a large turkey egg over Thanksgiving by releasing the proposed 2017 Notice of Benefit and Parameters. While the proposals in this notice are not final, they are a rough draft outlining as to what HHS would like to do pending public comments that either affirm or reject it's nuances. Particulars include, having the 2017 open enrollment period run from 11/1/2016 - 1/31/2017, increasing the maximum out of pocket limit for an individual to $7,150 for 2017, redefine large and small employers as required by the recently enacted PACE Act, changing employer notifications when an employee actually enrolls through an exchange vs when the employee applies and seeks eligibility, redefine the principal place of business for rating purposes as the area where the greatest number of employees work or reside, offering employees a new "vertical choice" in SHOP which would allow employees a choice of plans in any tier from a single insurer, and proposing the use of a 60-day run off period to calculate claims expenses as opposed to the current 30 days.
While you're out shopping for the perfect gifts, D.C. is delivering out fruit cake. The question is, will the President eventually have the stomach to eat it?
As our Capitol Convention is quickly approaching please reminder it is never too late to donate to HUPAC!
by Jay Schripsema
What is HUPAC:
HUPAC is a separate segregated fund (SSF) that allows for political advocacy from the connected organization, in this case being NAHU.
Who Can Contribute?
  • Individual's contributions through personal credit cards or bank accounts
  • NAHU members, their spouses, and NAHU staff can give up to $5,000 each year (federal law)
  • Businesses
  • State and Local Chapters
Who Can Accept Contributions from HUPAC?
  • Political Parties ($15,000 a year)
  • Other PACS ($5,000 a year)
  • Leadership PACS ($5,000 a year)
  • Candidates & Candidate Committees
    • o   $5000 per Primary Election
    • o   $5,000 per General Election
If you would like to learn more about HUPAC or contribute and help our voices be heard in Washington please click on the following link:
http://mahu.org/legislative/statelegislativepage.html. or email  Jay Schripsema at jschripsema@lighthousegroup.net
by Jennifer McDonnell
Most people live their lives not really involved in what the government does.  We tend to say congress will take care of us.  Well, when Nancy Pelozi said 'You must sign the bill to see what's in it' she was assuming everyone thought the bill was in the best interest of the people.  Maybe not.

In recent articles from 'The National Association for Hospice and Home Care', projections show that by 2017 72.9% of all hospice and home care providers (nationwide average) will be operating at a loss, getting paid less than the cost of care.  Michigan is showing 77.2%.

Robert Moffit, senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation's Center for Health Policy Studies, explained that Obamacare has long been predicted to cut hospice services by $17 billion.  "This is the report delivered on July 24, 2012, by the Congressional Budget Office", Moffit explained.  "There's no excuse for people being surprised by any of this."

It is expected that premiums will increase in 2017.  77 Million Americans born between 1946 and 1964 will see significant changes in 2017 thanks to provisions in the Obamacare bill.  Just thought as agents As 2017 approaches, those on Medicare will begin to realize Obamacare had some provisions that will seriously affect them.  Guess you could say it  wasn't really hidden, just buried in the bill.

Here's what's happening. The difference between the benefits promised and the taxes actually paid into Medicare is already underfunded by at least $23 trillion, and if that trend continues, Medicare could go bankrupt  much earlier than estimated (2030).

Mr. David Walker, former U.S. comptroller general and CEO of the Comeback America Initiative said "The retirement of the baby boom generation will bring a tsunami of spending that will cause a severe problem for the federal government's budget."

You have all heard of 'The Death Panel'. Before the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), in 2010, the U.S. Congress had to approve any proposals that would affect Medicare payment rates and program rules.  But that will change in 2017, as the Affordable Care Act created the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a 15-member panel that would be empowered to propose changes if Medicare exceeds spending growth thresholds. The IPAB's proposals are intended to extend the solvency of Medicare, and slow Medicare cost growth.  It's likely the Medicare recipient will be affected since less money will be available to keep them alive.

Also, it's expected that in 2017 Medicare payments to Medicare Advantage plan administrators will be reduced.
Be prepared as we approach the end of 2016 as your client will look to you for help in overcoming the changes to Medicare.


email:  info@nmahu.org

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