NMAHU Northlander Notes
March / April 2016
President's Message  by Raquel Paulus

Looking outside all we see is snow and cold...with yet another "blizzard of the century" in the forecast.  However, I'm looking ahead to green grass and blue skies thinking about the NMAHU golf outing.  We are in the planning stages and hope to announce details soon.  If you have any feedback on making our event bigger and better, please let anyone on the board know!
 
We also have plans to update our NMAHU website.  Stayed tuned for details on a fresh, new look.
 
Finally, I'd like all members to take a look:  NAHU has a  newly produced  promotional video that paints a dynamic picture of NAHU as the organization that helps its members be more successful professionally by providing educational development and timely legislative updates.
 
Thank you for all you do to promote our profession!

Raquel
Raquel Paulus
President, NMAHU  
Your 2015-2016 NMAHU Board Members
Raquel Paulus
President (231) 922-7220
Keith L. Wright
keith@wrightinsurancegroup.com
Immediate Past President  (231) 922-0191
Brandon Darin
bdarin@grotenhuis.com
Vice President
Co-Committee Chair, Legislative/HUPAC
(231) 357-5400
Mark McLane
MarkMcLaneInsurance@gmail.com
President Elect
Committee Chair, Programming
(231)922-0191
Greg Lewis
Treasurer  (231) 632-2135
Nancy McClosky
nancy.mcclosky@priorityhealth.com
Secretary (231) 932-7947
Jen Seman
Jennifer.Seman@priorityhealth.com
Director (231) 932-7941 
Sam Campillo
scampillo@grotenhuis.com
Director (231) 748-0368
ext. 3517
Tim Bruce
tim@northernmichiganbenefits.com
Director (231) 547-3423 
Jackie Letts
JLetts@binghaminsurance.net
Director (231) 590-0417
Jay Schripsema
JSchripsema@lighthousegroup.net
Co-Committee Chair, Legislative/HUPAC  (231)346-2051
Jennifer McDonnell
jenananda@yahoo.com
Committee Chair, Senior Markets
(231)346-7122
Dan Marvin
dmarvin@bcbsm.com
Committee Chair, Membership/Retention (231)941-6011
Rose Twomey
rose@rosetwomey.com
Committee Chair, Media
(231)360-3908

UPCOMING EVENTS
Photos from February Membership Meeting





March Meeting TBA
April Meeting - April 19th, State Board Attending-SAVE THE DATE
Membership
M ember Spotlight
Interview by Dan Marvin
Jackie Letts
We at NMAHU wanted to recognize Jackie Letts for being a founding member of NMAHU and for all she has contributed over the years.  We thought it would be fun to share a little bit about Jackie and give you some insight into her and her long career in health care insurance.  Below is Dan Marvin's interview with Jackie:

What made you decide to go into the business of health insurance?
  I started out as an administrative assistant in a life/health agency and after 12 years, decided I'd like to try my hand at sales.  Fortunately, I had a very supportive boss and mentor, Pat McLaughlin, who not only offered me the opportunity, but guided me and helped me believe I could achieve that goal.
 
What has been the largest change to the industry in your career?
Definitely the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which has brought huge changes to the way we conduct our business.
 
What is the greatest accomplishment you've had in health insurance?
There are so many!  Overall, I'd say my successful career is the greatest accomplishment.  Helping people protect their families and their assets for over 25 years, through ups and downs of the economy and our industry, to me has been a huge accomplishment.
 
What do you like the most about your career?
  Meeting people, helping them find the best solutions for their health care needs, enjoying the friendships that have been formed along the way.
 
W hat do you know now that you wish you'd known when you started in your career?
  I had no idea that I would gain so much personally from this business.  The friendships you form in our industry are like no other.  From the people we work with in our agencies and on the carrier side, to clients, to fellow agents.  That's sort of a hidden treasure going in.  It's not something that is obvious as one considers our business as a potential career, but what a huge benefit and blessing it has been to me! 
 
Back in the beginning when I was apprehensive about switching to sales, I didn't know there would be so much help available when I needed it.  Our carrier partners offer a wealth of information, training and educational opportunities.  NAHU membership has been an invaluable tool to me and my business for the same reasons, and many more. It gives you the opportunity to see the "big picture" when you interact with members at the local, state and national level,  and the camaraderie of such a fine group of people  - locally, statewide and nationally, is unparralled.  Those are things you won't find in any training manual, that I would emphasize to someone new to the business.

Outside of your work life, what do you like to do?
  Just spending time with family and friends is at the top of the list.  I'm definitely a "summer person", so I love to be outdoors - preferably at the beach!  My husband, Robb, and I love to travel.  I speak fluent Spanish, so we enjoy visiting Mexico and I'd love to go back to Barcelona, Spain.  Being grandma to six is pretty fun, too!
OUR 2016 SPONSORS

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BCBSM and BSBSM Specialty Products



Bronze Sponsors

     
  



NAHU 2016 Capitol Conference 
by Brandon Darin

Because of your membership with the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU),  I along with Northern Michigan Association of Health Underwriters' (NMAHU) HUPAC Chair were able to attend NAHU's 2016 Capitol Conference in Washington, D.C.
 
The conference ran from February 22 nd  through the 24 th  and hit on many important topics that we and our clients' face in the ever-changing Health Insurance industry. In addition and most importantly,  the hundreds of agents that attended took over Capitol Hill to voice our opinions on various pieces of legislation that are either pending or needing creation, with our Michigan Representatives in Congress.
 
Here are the issues that we discussed and our stance:
  •  Medical Loss Ratio (MLR): We advocated the need to remove agent/broker compensation from the MLR in the individual and small group market. This stance would prevent agent commissions from being limited in nature by the MLR.
  • Cadillac/Excise Tax: While we voiced our pleasure with the recent delay of the Cadillac/Excise Tax, we advocated for the full repeal of this erroneous tax through various pieces of introduced legislation in both chambers.
  • 30/40 Hours: We discussed the need to repeal the 30-hour threshold for full-time employees for purposes of the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and replace it with 40 hours.
  • Health Insurance Tax (HIT): We advocated the full-repeal of the annual fee on health insurance providers, which was enacted by the ACA and ultimately drives up the cost of health insurance.
  • Medicare Open Enrollment Period (OEP): We advocated H.R. 588/H.R. 2581 to preserve Medicare beneficiary choice by restoring and expanding the Medicare OEP and disenrollment opportunities repealed by ACA.
  • Employer Reporting Requirements: We voiced our support of H.R. 2712 and S. 1996 to streamline the employer reporting process and strengthen the eligibility verification process for the health care premium tax credit and cost-sharing subsidy.
  • Small Business Tax Credit (SBTC): And lastly we advocated the need to expand and modify the SBTC to purchase marketplace health insurance coverage.
Again, thank you for your contributions to NAHU as the advocating we were able to do on your behalf with our legislators would not be possible without your support.
 
L-R: Congressman Benishek, M.D., Sam Campillo, Jay Schripsema, Keith Wright, Brandon Darin 

   
 
HUPAC By the Numbers  
by Jay Schripsema
 
Here's a summary of what NAHU accomplished in recent months. Your association is truly AT WORK FOR YOU.

Successed in Passing Legislation to Allow States to Define their Small Group Markets
NAHU   was   able   to   pass legislation that allowed states to define the size of their small gorup markets. Under the ACA, the definition of a small group was to include mid-size employers that could have wrecked havoc on 3.4 million employees and their families with nearly two thirs of workers seeing an 18% premium increase.
Delay of the 40% Cadillac/excise tax and Health
Insurance Tax (HIT) 
NAHU with its coalition of partners were able to successfully get Congress to pass a two year delay of the 40% excise tax on health insurance plans which now means the tax will not go into effect until 2020. This action saved  consumers and employers over $16 billion in additional taxes. NAHU also won a one year delay of the health  insurance tax, providing some temporary relief in 2017 to consumers and small business to the tune of $12 billion.
Repeal of Small Employer Deductible Cap
NAHU with its coalition of partners was able to preserve plan choice and affordability by repealing the $2,000/$4,000 small employer deductible cap. Ensuring that clients represented by agents and brokers could pick the plan that best fit their needs.
Negotiating the Medical Loss Ratio from 90/10 to 80/20
In a perfect world, MLR would not exist but due to the insistence of Congress and the administration it is currently law. NAHU was able to negotiate the MLR from 90/10 to 80/20 preserving a role for the over 100,000 agents and brokers in the industry. NAHU continues to work to completely remove agent and broker commission from the MLR.
Maintaining the Tax Free Status of Employer Offered Insurance Benefits
Over 160 million Americans receive health insurance through their employer. By maintaining the employer exclusion NAHU and its coalition partners have saved the clients agents and brokers serve over $246 billion dollars a year.
Withdrawing proposed Part D/ Medicare Advantage regulations
By successfully lobbying the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to rescind the marketing restrictions
proposed, NAHU was able to preserve Medicare Advantage for over 16 million seniors and allow agents and brokers to continue serving their clients.

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
SENIOR MARKETS
MEDICARE 'EXTRA HELP'
"LOW INCOME SUBSIDY"
by Jennifer McDonnell
In Michigan there are thousands of seniors who do not know they may be eligible for either a subsidy on their Medicare Part D drug premium which also carries with it the potential benefit of reduced co-pays on medications, or possibly a reduction on their Medicare Part B premium. This calculation is generally based on 149% FPL or less with income of $13,640/$27,250 Individual/Couple.
A great website that explains this is:
https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0603001005

CMS has produced a booklet entitled " Low Income Subsidy Guidance for States that explains how to apply as well as how to qualify. The booklet may be found at:
https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Eligibility-and- Enrollment/LowIncSubMedicarePresCov/EligibilityforLowIncomeSubsidy.html

Agents can help their clients by making them aware that this 'Extra Help' program exists.
Social Security has the form that is used to apply for the 'Extra Help'. The form is called SSA-1020. After completing and submitting form SSA-1020 there will be a 'determination' that will identify if the client is eligible for a partial subsidy (75%, 50%, 25%), or full subsidy. This determination will not only apply to the Medicare Part D benefit but also may apply to the clients Part B premium reduction.

A great Social Security link that helps the client further is:
https://www.socialsecurity.gov/medicare/prescriptionhelp/

A great website that will allow the client to apply online is:
https://secure.ssa.gov/i1020/start
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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