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February Legislative Update

By Dwight “D” Hall, Legislative Chair

Happy Belated Groundhog Day folks! I hope your local critter did not see its shadow and that the worst of winter is behind you. (Sometimes I wonder if basing the success of State and Federal legislation on the behavior of a varmint might not be a better solution, but for the present we’re operating under the regular process.)

As stated last month, both Washington, D.C. and the Indiana State House are back in session so the legislative process for 2015 is in full swing.

As always, there continues to be political events and fund raisers at both the State and Federal levels. It’s very important that ISAHU be present at a select number of these and members of your Legislative Team do our very best to participate when cost effective to do so.

An example of such events –
D. Hall, David Berman, Mike Miles and Josh Kelly were guests at the IMA Legislative Reception on January 20th. Meetings took place with various industry and Legislative personnel during the event.

By attending such “group” functions as described above, we are able to stretch HUPAC, ISAHU-PAC and association/ individual member dollars to the maximum.

As I try to remind folks, please remember that our elected officials are always in need of hearing your concerns on healthcare (and other issues as well.). They particularly are looking for actual stories from you, your clients and prospects that outline either pitfalls or successes regarding ACA. Anything we can share with our elected officials re- garding areas of expertise – healthcare and otherwise – is important. Please share with them when you can.

Federal Update

As you know, Open Enrollment for ACA started on Nov 15th and ends Feb 15th. It appears that the www.healthcare.gov site has continued to work much better than last year. And hopefully those of you who have and continue to utilize it for your clients are having a much better experience than before. Please feel welcome to share your successes and frustrations with the site with your Local Legislative Chairs so they may share with the State Legislative Team. Such stories are then shared with NAHU for use on Capitol Hill.

As stated last month, the 114th Congress is back in session and the new Congress is beginning take action on various fronts. One item already passed in the House 252 – 172 is the HR30 – Save American Workers Act introduced by Congressman Todd Young from Indiana’s 9th District and Democrat Dan Lipinski from IL.

The Senate version S. 30 – 40 Hours Is Full Time Act has been introduced by Senator Joe Donnelly – D – IN and Senator Susan Collins – R – Maine. No hearing date has yet been set by Senator Lamar Alexander.

With Senator Mitch McConnell now leading the Senate, there remains the distinct possibility that legislation passed by the House will receive hearings in the Senate. There undoubtedly will be many Healthcare related bills coming from the House that will impact ACA so this will be an interesting session for sure.

We’re still awaiting updates on the Medical Device Tax bill that has bipartisan support. The one hang-up is how to offset the revenue that was to be generated from the tax.

As always, please continue to read the Newswires and Legislative Updates that come from NAHU. It’s absolutely the best information available for your use.

State House Update

  • Various Bills are being followed at the Statehouse at this time.
  • HB 1063 – Dental and Optometry Service Coverage is one that again addresses contracted payment amounts vs covered services. It is not expected to make it out of committee at this point.
  • HB 1451 – Coverage of Telemedicine Services will probably not make it out of committee due to a previously approved Pilot Study not having completed their data collection process.
  • SB 26 – Coverage of Prescription Eye Drops which would allow multiple scripts of a certain medication to be filled for one patient at one time. This would allow for a script at home, office, car, etc. It appears to be moving forward after a recommendation from a Study Committee.
  • SB 55 – Medical Malpractice would allow an individual to file a claim against a provider if the amount of the claim is less than $45,000 without going through the medical review board process. Current law limits this amount to $15,000.
  • HB 1043 – Medical Malpractice would raise cap from $1,250,000 to $1,650,000. This Bill has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.
  • At this point, there does not appear to be any other Bills of major consequence brought forward. And due to the make up of both the House and Senate, this should not change. This success is due to ongoing efforts of the ISAHU Lobbying firm – Bose Public Affairs, efforts by the Legislative Team and our relationships with other “sister” associations like Big I, PIA, NAIFA, IMA and NFIB. Updates will be provided as any information becomes known.

The combined ISAHU Day On The Hill and NAHU Self-Funded Certification course events were held on Jan 19th at the One America Auditorium in downtown Indianapolis.

Approximately 30 were in attendance for the morning session of panels. The first panel
consisted of John Willey of Anthem, Mike Ripley of IN Chamber, Trent Hahn of Bose Public Affairs and Andrew Berger of IMA. They discussed upcoming legislation and how it might affect both their organizations and ISAHU.

The 2nd panel consisted of State Representative Peggy Mayfield, David Berman and D. Hall. The main topic of discussion was how a Bill actually proceeds through the process at the Statehouse and was well received by the attendees.

The afternoon certification course had 57+ attendees and was led by Denny Wright. We received a lot of positive feedback from all in attendance.

David Berman, D. Hall and Trent Hahn of Bose Public Affairs met with Joe Moser and Steve Holt of FSSA to discuss HIP 2.0 on Feb 9th. This was the latest chapter in ongoing discussions with FSSA. David will be providing Steve with a list of questions developed from his HIP committee of ISAHU members for their response. We then hope to provide the FAQ list to the entire membership. Additional meetings with FSSA and HIP 2.0 Medicaid administrators – Anthem, MHS (Managed Health Systems) and MD Wise will occur as may be necessary.

Put a monthly contribution on your credit card as many of us do and it really is
a painless process. It’s a small price to pay to support activities that really do make a difference in the ongoing legislative battles.

Note again that ISAHU-PAC is on a fiscal year from July 1 – June 30th each year. So if you are not on a monthly contribution plan, please consider getting on one or making your 2014 – 2015 contribution in your usual manner.

I and the rest of the ISAHU Legislative Committee truly do appreciate the opportunity to work with you to help promote real “health-care re-form”. Please feel welcome to contact any of us at any time.

General Information

I know I repeat this message every month, but I feel it to be that important. We need to recognize how genuinely blessed we are to have our NAHU staff watching out for us in D.C. There is no question they continue to be the absolute top folks in D.C. on healthcare issues and Congress relies on them on an on- going basis. In addition, please remem- ber how blessed we are to have those countless NAHU members around the State and Country that continuously put in long hours to ensure the best informa- tion possible is being shared with Legis- lators, HHS, CMS, IRS, DOL, DOI’s and of course NAHU members. Many of these folks do this in anonymity and solely for the benefit of the Association, our members and the general public. If you know of any of our members who serve in this fashion, please thank them every chance you have.

And a special end of year THANK YOU to all the Local Legislative Chairs and those that serve on their committees. Your service is both needed and vitally important.

PACs

And of course I have to mention our PAC’s – both HUPAC and ISAHU-PAC. Your financial help is needed to fund both of them. Fund raising cycles never end for candidates at both the State and Federal levels. They were especially important during the final weeks before the last election. Both ISAHU and NAHU do an excellent job of supporting candidates that support the industry as a whole. All dollars collected go toward that goal. Using those dollars, we have been very successful particularly here in Indiana in getting legislators elected that have and will continue to support the vast majority of industry goals.

As has been mentioned, each election cycle pretty much depletes both of our PAC’s coffers. We need to replenish them for ongoing political events and the next election cycle. If you’re not already contributing, please find forms either available in the newsletter on at www.nahu.org.

Put a monthly contribution on your credit card as many of us do and it really is
a painless process. It’s a small price to pay to support activities that really do make a difference in the ongoing legislative battles.

Note again that ISAHU-PAC is on a fiscal year from July 1 – June 30th each year. So if you are not on a monthly contribution plan, please consider getting on one or making your 2014 – 2015 contribution in your usual manner.

I and the rest of the ISAHU Legislative Committee truly do appreciate the opportunity to work with you to continue to promote real “health-care

reform”. Please feel welcome to contact any of us at any time.

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Indiana State Association of Health Underwriters

Indiana State Association of Health Underwriters

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