NMAHU Northlander Notes
September / October 2016
President's Message  by Mark McLane

Hello Fellow Members,
 
I hope this finds you enjoying the last few weeks of summer and looking forward to the change of seasons.  As the seasons change, so does our business.  That is why it is so important to being a member of your professional association(NMAHU).
 
Your NMAHU Board will resume our monthly Board meetings starting on September 8 th @9:00 am in the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce.  Our monthly meetings are typically on the first Wednesday of every month and last approximately one hour.  Any member is welcomed to attend.
 
We are excited for another Association year as we are in the planning stages for our next general membership meeting.  Look for the announcement to be coming soon.  As we make upcoming meeting plans, if you have a topic you would like to see, please contact me or another Board member.
 
Your State Association (MAHU) will be offering a Legislative Day on Wednesday September 7 th in Lansing to discuss the important issues that face our industry.  Please consider in attending to have your voice heard.  For more information and to register, go to www.mahu.org.
 
Our Regions 3 Health Underwriters Political Action Committee(HUPAC) Board of Trustees will be holding a telethon fundraising effort from September 7 th through the 9 th.  The purpose is to raise $50,000 over those 3 days.  It is another vital time in our industry to have a seat at the table regarding legislative issues that affect our business.  Please consider giving even if you have given in the past.  To contribute, go to www.hupac.org.
 
On September 14 th and 15 th, some of your Board will be attending the Leadership Conference in Mount Pleasant.  It will be informative, interesting, and fun program.  If anyone is interested in attending, please contact me for more info.  Thank you and Good Selling!
 
Mark
Mark A. McLane, RHU, LUTCF
President, NMAHU  
Your 2015-2016 NMAHU Board Members
Mark McLane
MarkMcLaneInsurance@gmail.com
President (231) 883-6008
Raquel Paulus
rpaulus@team-pma.com
Immediate Past President (231) 944-7030
Brandon Darin
bdarin@grotenhuis.com
President Elect

(231) 357-5400
Tim Bruce
tim@nmibenefits.com
Vice President (231) 547-3423
Greg Lewis
Treasurer  (231) 632-2135
Caitlin Anderson
canderson@grotenhuis.com
Secretary (231) 409-0008
Jen Seman
Jennifer.Seman@priorityhealth.com
Director (231) 932-7941 
Jackie Letts
JLetts@binghaminsurance.net
Director (231) 590-0417
Jay Schripsema
JSchripsema@lighthousegroup.net
Director (231) 346-2051
Jennifer McDonnell
jenananda@yahoo.com
Director
(231) 346-7122
Dan Marvin
dmarvin@bcbsm.com
Director (231) 941-6011
Rose Twomey
rose@rosetwomey.com
Director
(231) 360-3908

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Legislative Brief 
by Brandon Darin
As Summer is coming to a close and the lightening pace of 4 th quarter is almost upon us I would like point out a few items that are happing in our local & federal government that have impacts on the Agent Community and their clients.
 
Trade Adjustment Act Health Tax Credit Hardship Exemption Announced by IRS
The special healthcare tax credit for individuals and their families receiving trade adjustment assistance (TAA) or receiving payments from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation was reinstated in 2015, retroactive to 2014. It had previously expired in 2013.
The Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 extended and modified the expired tax credit. This credit provided advanced payments for health insurance coverage for eligible individuals and families. The health coverage tax credit (HCTC) will now be available for coverage through 2019. General information including who can claim the tax credit is provided by the IRS .
The previous process to claim the tax credit was also expected to be reinstated and be in operation by July 2016. Guidance released on August 12 asserts that reinstatement of the credit process is not yet operational. The guidance describes a "limited interim process" for the remainder of 2016 with the expectation that the full process will be implemented by January 2017.
As a result of this delay, individuals will be required to pay the full amount of any qualifying health coverage. Since payment of the full premium may be a hardship, the IRS has allowed that any eligible individual who is not enrolled in HCTC-qualified coverage for one or more months between July and December 2016 will be entitled to claim a hardship exemption from the individual shared responsibility requirement for months for which they were eligible for the HCTC. Further guidance detailing how to claim this exemption on individual tax returns will be forthcoming.
New NAHU Issue Statement on HRA Legislation
Earlier this summer, the House passed  H.R 5447 , the Small Business Health Care Relief Act, on a voice vote. The bill is sponsored by Representatives Charles Boustany (R-LA) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) and is an updated version of  H.R. 2911 . It would eliminate the federal prohibition on standalone health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), also known as health reimbursement accounts, as a vehicle for employers to use tax-advantaged funding to provide health insurance to their employees and assist with out-of-pocket and related medical costs. The Senate counterpart of the legislation is  S. 3060  (previously  S. 1697 ), sponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND). It has not yet been voted on by the Senate. Since the passage of the House legislation, NAHU has had several inquiries regarding the content of the bill. NAHU has developed a  HRA issue statement  as well as a  HRA executive summary as resources for our members that can be found on the NAHU website. 
 


HUPAC'S MISSION:

"The purpose of the National Association of Health Underwriter's (NAHU) Political Action Committee (HUPAC) is to raise funds from NAHU members for the purpose of supporting the political campaigns of candidates who believe in private sector solutions for the health and financial security of all Americans."

HUPAC HAS TWO FUNDS

The  candidate fund accepts individual contributions through personal credit cards or bank accounts. Funds from this account are given to political candidates, both challengers and incumbents, Democrats and Republicans. Only NAHU members, their spouses and staff can give up to $5,000 each year.
The  administrative fund accepts businesses and individual contributions. State and local chapters can also contribute. Money in this account goes to the operating costs of HUPAC so that the candidate fund can be reserved solely for political contributions. Unlike the candidate account, there are  no contribution limits on the administrative account. If you are a business looking to contribute to the administrative fund,  click here.

 
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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