NMAHU Northlander Notes
November / December 2016
President's Message  by Mark McLane

It's that time of year again where we all are extremely busy with Medicare AEP, Affordable Care Act OEP, and of course, January 1 st renewals.  During this time, may we take a moment to give "Thanks" and reflect on what is important to us in our lives.
 If you were unable to attend the October 18 th meeting, you missed a great panel discussion on the Individual Medical Market.  Thanks to all that attended and to our panelists Tracy Woodward with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Cindy Tamke with Priority Health!
 In December, we will be hosting a holiday gathering for NMAHU members and guests.  The time and place will be announced shortly.
 We will continue to offer valuable meetings and services to membership.  If you have any suggestions or comments, please contact me or another Board member.
 Thank you and Good Selling!
 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) 409-0008
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

October Meeting Photos


  Win $750 while making your life easier!
New members who join on bank draft and current members who switch to bank draft between now nad December 31st, are entered to win up to $750.  Click the link below to get full details and GOOD LUCK!

In mid-October, the Northern Michigan Association of Health Underwriters' (NMAHU) held an Individual Business Unit (IBU) panel luncheon with Tracy Woodard of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Cindy Tamke of Priority Health. The topics included open enrollment, commission schedules, product designs, trends in the market,  along with many others.
A good number of agents attended to participate and we're appreciative for their commitment to learning and supporting NMAHU.
The role of Programs Director is new to me and I'm open to many suggestions as to future events. If at any point you wish to suggest an event, please do not hesitate to contact me
 at bdarin@grotenhuis.com.


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Legislative Brief
by Brandon Darin

It is that time of year again to start thinking about 1095 Reporting!!!  NAHU is working behind the scenes in an effort to streamline and improve this process to help the Agent community and the employer groups that we serve!  Below are some of the comments NAHU has regarding Employer Reporting.
On Monday, NAHU sent a  letter  to the IRS on the  proposed rule , "Information Reporting of Catastrophic Health Coverage and Other Issues under Section 6055." Our letter addressed required reporting, truncated taxpayer identification numbers (TINs), plans for which reporting is not required, the solicitation process for TINs, and employer TIN-solicitation requirements regarding section 6056. Our comments were comprised in consultation with a wide scope of member brokers and consultants who assist employers with information reporting nationwide.
Required Reporting
  • We support the proposed changes to require issuers of catastrophic coverage to report on such coverage, including the recognition that coverage issuers need time to implement these requirements and therefore the specification that such information reporting requirements will be effective for the 2017 coverage year with related reporting to occur in 2018.
TIN Numbers
  • We support the specification that employers, as well as health insurance issuers, may choose to truncate their employer identifying number (EIN) on statements furnished to taxpayers.
Plans for Which Reporting Is Not Required
  • We request that specific examples where reporting under IRC §6055 is not required will be incorporated into guidance and FAQs for employers' use and referenced on www.irs.gov, as well as incorporated into the instruction forms for 1094 and 1095 B and C.
Solicitation Process for TINs
  • We request clear examples of what actually triggers the TIN solicitation process and what that process should be.
  • We appreciate the specific TIN-solicitation instructions this proposed rule provides to employers and issuers that are subject to §6055.
  • We are concerned about the practicality of compliance with the TIN-solicitation timeline outlined in this rule for 2016 and urge the IRS to instead utilize a good-faith compliance standard relative to TIN solicitation required by §6055 for the 2016 plan year.
Employer TIN-Solicitation Requirements Regarding IRC §6056
  • We urge the issuance of clear guidance declaring the use of a good-faith compliance standard for all TIN solicitation needed for both IRC §§ 6055 and 6056 information reporting for the 2016 plan year, as well as guidance issuing clear procedures and deadlines applicable to those subject to either one or both information reporting code sections plan years 2017 forward.


HUPAC is the political action committee of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU). It is the expression of our First Amendment rights to free speech and association guaranteed under the Constitution. Such political expression has become far more than a useful option for professionals in a heavily regulated business like the health insurance industry. It has become a necessity.

Since NAHU and similar organizations are prohibited from making political contributions, HUPAC was created to allow contributors to combine their political and financial support to a candidate to achieve maximum effect.

For as little as 39 cents per day, you can be a 12X12 contributor. $12.00 per month. Every other group with an interest  in the Healthcare system has a PAC or PAC's working for them.  Please contact me with any questions or login into nahu.org. If you are already contributing, your fellow contributors thank you!

Keith L. Wright
MAHU Treasurer
Senior Markets
by Jennifer McDonnell

2017 Medicare Premium Changes
(from Medicare Trustee's Report)
CMS released their Medicare update report which is about 250 pages.
Part B Premium:
Seniors will not be happy when they see that the cost of Medicare Part B is likely to go up from $121.80 to as much as $149 a month for those aging into Medicare on or after January 1, 2017. Those who were on Medicare Part B prior to Jan 1, 2016 are still paying $104.90
As in the past, those individuals making more than $85,000 (couples $170,000) will pay higher amounts for Medicare part B
Low income persons would not be directly affected however the state would likely carry the burden of the 'Medicare Part B' cost increase.
Part B Deductible:
Also, Medicare Part B Deductible is moving from $166 annual deductible to $204 annual deductible in 2017.
There is a 'Hold Harmless Provision' in Medicare that says those who are currently on Social Security benefits will not see their cost increase more than the 2017 COA (cost of living).  Estimate for 2017 is .2% for Part B premiums for those already on Medicare.  It's possible with such a small COA, the government may decide not to change the Part B premium for those already on Medicare Part B.
So for those who are still working and have not turned on their Social Security benefits yet, these increases will really hit them hard once they retire.
It's possible that congress may decide to hold off on Medicare Part B premium increases. We will see.
Part D Premiums:
It's expected that the average Part D premiums will rise to $34/mo, this is a $1.50/mo increase over 2016.
Part D Deductible:
The prescription drug plan deductible for 2017 is up to $400 (was $360 in 2016). Not all part D plans require you to have a deductible.
Part D Coverage gap:
In 2017 the initial coverage limit is $3700, and the catastrophic limit is $4950. Discounts on name brand drugs while in the donut hole are 60%. After you are out of the donut hole (after you spent $4950) you then pay 5% for prescriptions or $3.30 for generic or $8.25 for all others, whichever is greater.
Remember, it's important to review drug plans each and every year as each and every drug plan will change.  Make sure the plan formulary is still a good fit for the client.

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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