Report on NAHU Capital Conference

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Earlier this week, I attended the Capital Conference of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) in Washington DC.  This conference was attended by almost 1,000 health insurance agents from all 50 states.  The purpose of the conference is to be briefed on the changing landscape of the Health Reform Law (PPACA), and to advocate for solutions that will improve the law for our Clients.
 
Here are a few bullet points regarding what was discussed, and how we hope to make the situation better for our clients.
 
Repeal of the Health Reform? 
My read is that about 99% of those in attendance would be glad to see Health Reform Repealed.  However, reality has taken root that unless and until the Republican party controls the Presidency, and large majorities of both houses of Congress, there is virtually no chance that repeal will occur.  For this reason, NAHU has moved on to advocating for fixes and improvements in the current law.  The term “REPAIR Obamacare” was heard several times.
 
Effectiveness of Health Reform?
The general consensus was that Health Reform is not helping to reduce costs, and increase access.  Agents shared first-hand war stories about how Health Reform has caused rates to sore, coverage levels to become degraded, polices to cancel, and confusion to reign. 
Advocating to Improve HealthReform Law:    
Following the general sessions, the attendees went to Capital Hill to meet with our Senators and Congressmen to advocate for solutions that would be in the best interest of our clients.  Here are a few of the things that we discussed:
  • 40 Hour Work Week:  Change Health Reform from 30 hours to 40 hours for full time status.  This will give employers more flexibility.
  • Increase Large Employer Status from 50 to 100:    This would allow any employer below 100 employees to be exempt from no-offer penalties.
  • Change Age Bands from 3-1 to 5-1:  This would reduce the required rate increases in a significant manner and allow younger people more affordable rates.
  • Broker Hotline for Healthcare.gov:  This would allow brokers a special access point in order to resolve problems for clients.
  • Allow Changes to Applications:  Currently Healthcare.gov does not allow applicants to make changes in the input process or the plan selection.
  • Allow Broker ID Change:   This would allow people to input or change a broker ID any time in the process.
Meetings with Congressmen: 
I was able to meet with 3 Congressmen from Ohio Steve Chabbott, Jim Jordan, and Dave Joyce. 
As Republicans, all three would gladly support repeal of the law.  They were also quite frustrated by the President’s 28 unilateral changes in the law.
However, they also understand that repeal is not feasible without control of the Senate and the Presidency. 
The Congressmen were open to making minor changes, and supportive of the changes that we proposed.  
These meetings occurred in the congressional offices, and included approximately 5 NAHU members each.  
So what is next? 
We continue to stay on the cutting edge, helping our clients, and advocating for positive change that will help our clients, and the system at large.
 
Stay Tuned.
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One thought on “Report on NAHU Capital Conference

  1. The six bullet points, above, would significantly improve the law’s functionality. It is about time for the Administration to listen to the foot soldiers, the agents, who can make the PPACA work better for average Americans.

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