NMAHU Northlander Notes
July / August 2016
President's Message  by Mark McLane

As your incoming President for 2016/17, I would like to thank all current and past Board members that have made our Chapter something to be proud of!  In fact, we received the 2016 Silver Seal Award based on meeting certain criteria established by NAHU.  This is only possible by the involvement by your Board.  We will strive for this award again this Association year.
On June 10 th, we had our 17 th Annual Golf Outing at The Crown Golf Course.  I would like to thank not only our Chapter and Golf sponsors, but also the volunteers that made this event a success again this year.
Our Immediate Past President, Raquel Paulus, and I will be representing NMAHU by attending the National Convention in Albuquerque, NM.  As voting delegates, we will be voting on various items in addition to our next NAHU Secretary.
I would highly encourage any member to get involved and be a part of all the good things your Chapter has going on.  Please contact me if you have any suggestions and/or would like to participate by giving a little bit of your time in order for NMAHU to continue to be successful.
Mark A. McLane, RHU, LUTCF
President, NMAHU  
Your 2015-2016 NMAHU Board Members
Mark McLane
President (231) 883-6008
Raquel Paulus
Immediate Past President (231) 944-7030
Brandon Darin
President Elect

(231) 357-5400
Tim Bruce
Vice President (231) 547-3423
Greg Lewis
Treasurer  (231) 632-2135
Caitlin Anderson
Secretary (231) 947-2087
Jen Seman
Director (231) 932-7941 
Jackie Letts
Director (231) 590-0417
Jay Schripsema
Director (231) 346-2051
Jennifer McDonnell
(231) 346-7122
Dan Marvin
Director (231) 941-6011
Rose Twomey
(231) 360-3908


Congratulations to Keith Wright who was recently elected Treasurer to our state association, Michigan Association of Heath Underwriters.  

From the Department of Insurance and Financial Services
Link here to see their press release to consumers about how to choose an agent.
M ember Spotlight- Tim Bruce
Interview by Dan Marvin
Tim Bruce
Why the insurance business:
In 1984, when I was 21 years old, I developed the habit of asking people what they did for a living. One man I asked said "I make people money!" and I knew that is exactly what I wanted to do. He was a CLU, ChFC so he got me licensed and on the path to both designations. After 15 years, my agency began to pick up a lot of health insurance customers. I decided that I needed to focus most of my efforts in that area because it is so complex. For the past 15 years we have become an agency who specializes in health and disability coverage.
Largest change:
Without a doubt the largest change is Regulations and Continuing Education. When the government got involved (Obamacare) we have seen both decreased productivity and decreased revenue. We spend nearly as much time answering cost and tax questions as we do coverage questions. All of our carriers require individual continuing education, which ties up a lot of our time.
Greatest Accomplishment:  Building a business and outstanding reputation. I hope that my kids may one day join me in business.
Like Most:  Flexibility and Residual Income.  It takes a while to build, but believe me, 30 years has flown by!
What do I know now that I wish I knew then:  That the Life Insurance Agency System would disappear. I would have made a better effort to shift my life clients over to my agency instead of relying on the big insurance companies to provide service to them. Obtaining records on my old clients is very difficult because of all the acquisitions of the Life Insurance Companies. I would've jumped sooner into online selling.
Other activities:  Living in Northern Michigan I really enjoy golfing and boating! I'm addicted to travelling and get away several times a year. I also own and operate a Martial Arts school. We have a fantastic school with dozens of active students. I travel all over to train with other distinguished Masters. I have been training in Martial Arts for over 35 years and it is my biggest passion. I also have 2 sons in college who keep me busy!


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On The Legislative Front.....
by Brandon Darin

Federally, there were a few actions I want to bring to your attention.
The Taxpayer Advocate Service of the IRS released a tool to assist  employers in determining their potential liability for the employer shared  responsibility payment:   http://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/estimator/esrp/
NAHU members recently met with officials from the Internal Revenue  Service (IRS) and Department of Labor (DOL) and Department of the  Treasury (DOTR) to discuss the numerous challenges employers face in  complying with the various reporting requirements. To review the  follow-up letter from NAHU to these various agencies, please  visit: 

NAHU continues to battle against various lawmakers' objective to eliminate the " employer exclusion". Currently there are numerous proposals in D.C. that threaten to eliminate or cap the employer tax exclusion for health insurance. The employer exclusion allows an employer's contributions to an employee's health insurance to be excluded from the employee's compensation for income and payroll tax purposes. Please voice your opinion to keep employer exclusion as a policy to your federal representation:
  • o   U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow: 202.224.4822
  • o   U.S. Senator Gary Peters: 202.225.5802
  • o   U.S. Representative Dan Benishek, M.D.: 202.225.4735
  • o   U.S. Representative John Moolenaar: 202.225.3561
With regard to State policy the Michigan Senate recently voted to end the Health Insurance Claims Assessment (HICA), which provides resources to Medicaid funding. Instead, the revenue would be replaced with monies from income tax collection, and then the revenues from the use tax on the state's Medicaid health maintenance organizations would go to the General Fund to replace those income tax revenues. The reason behind the vote was that the HICA did not adequately generate enough funds to allow the state to obtain its fully federal match for Medicaid.
The welcome sign at the NAHU national convention in Albuquerque
To prevent future penalty for
Medicare Part B and/or Part D

by Jennifer McDonnell
We have heard the term 'Creditable Coverage'.  Well, the question is what does that mean.

When employees choose to work beyond their Medicare eligibility age (normally 65) they may be at risk if the corporate/government group insurance does not meet the requirements of being 'Creditable'.

I recently was assisting a client who was still working, age 65 already, and was on a 'large group' self-funded group plan which is a high deductible HSA type plan.  This raised several 'RED' flags once I heard this.

The plan deductible was $3500/person or $7000/family. NO PRESCRIPTION benefits would be provided until after the deductible was met.  So, this plan did not meet the requirements' for being creditable' for Medicare Part A, Part B, or Part D. I so advised the client. Being that the client is also age 65, she is no longer able to contribute to an HSA savings account.  I advised her that the group administrator needed to be advised and not allow those who were 65 and up to contribute money to their HSA account.

Interesting is that this person was actually the HR person for the corporation and has the 'power' to recommend the future group plan for the corporation.  I mentioned to her that if she was to continue working she might want to sign up for Medicare Part A, Part B, and Part D just to make sure she doesn't incur a future Medicare penalty.  She is still in her 'initial election period. They have other 'working' seniors who are in jeopardy of receiving Medicare Penalties when they retire. OH MY!

After calling Medicare and getting no help as to what is 'CREDITABLE' and what 'IS NOT CREDITABLE' I then searched the Internet and found this valuable link:

NAHU's Mission, Vision, and Code of Ethics
NAHU's Mission Statement
NAHU advocates for our members, provides professional development and delivers resources to promote excellence.

NAHU's Vision Statement
NAHU is the preeminent organization for health insurance and employee benefits professionals. 

NAHU's Code of Ethics
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