Good news from The Energy & Commerce Committee: HR2564, “Medicare Enrollment Protection Act”, passes. This creates a special Medicare enrollment period while in COBRA. And exempts individuals from certain monthly increases associated with delaying Medicare coverage.

About 2 weeks ago from ISAHU's Twitter via CoSchedule

Ghosts, Goblins, and the Affordable Care Act

Happy Halloween folks!  It’s that scary time of year where the goblins, ghosts, etc come out to play.  And I guess appropo as the ACA Open Enrollment Period is once more upon us.  It is unknown how many “scary” things might happen this time around so be prepared.

As mentioned last month, political events and fund raisers at both the State and Federal levels for the 2014 election cycle are in full gear.  It’s 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.

Some of the recent events attended are as follows:

Along with David Berman attended an Insurance Institute luncheon for the House Insurance Committee at Plum Creek on Sept 22nd.

On Sept 23rd David Berman and I participated in meeting with Joe Moser – Medicaid Director, Steve Holt – FSSA and Trent Hahn – Bose Public Affairs discuss HIP 2.0 implementation and inclusion of agent compensation.

Along with David Berman attended an Insurance Institute luncheon for the Senate Insurance Committee at the Hyatt downtown on Sept 23rd.

In addition, David Berman and I attended the September 23rd HRCC Barn Party held at the State Fair Grounds.  At this type event, we have the opportunity to meet with numerous State Representatives during the course of the evening.

David and I also attended an Oct 9th MRCC event at Union Station where again we had the opportunity to meet and speak with various elected Statewide and Statehouse officials.

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

Members of the Legislative Team also attend other various functions that we feel important to ISAHU and the industry that may be free to the public or often times at our own expense.  It’s important to be visible and engaged as an Association and we do our best to fulfill that challenge.

I mentioned in the last Newsletter that leading up to the November election, there are ongoing State and Federal office holder meetings/townhalls/fund raisers being held back in the Districts.  Our elected officials and candidates are always in need of hearing your concerns on healthcare (and other issues as well.).  As I always try to mention, they are particularly 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 regarding areas of expertise – healthcare and otherwise – is important.   Please share with them when you can.

Federal Update 

Open Enrollment for ACA is basically here and hopefully everyone who wishes to participate on the Exchange (Marketplace) has completed their certification.  I have heard that it is a less onerous process this time around for most but that a few frustrating situations were still occurring.  Everything we hear from HHS and CMS leans toward a much smoother process this year on the  www.healthcare.gov site.

As reported last month, there are many many pieces of legislation that have been and continue to be offered up by the House (over 360 in total at last count with many that address ACA concerns).  But, Senator Harry Reid remains resistant to allowing any of them to move through the Senate especially before the election.

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 

There is no indication at this point that there are any major health care issues planned for the coming Legislative Session.  Much of this success is due to ongoing efforts of the ISAHU Lobbying firm – Bose Public Affairs and our relationships with other “sister” associations like Big I, PIA and NAIFA..  As always, additional information will be provided as it becomes known.

General Information

Our NAHU staff is undoubtedly comprised with the absolute top folks in D.C. on healthcare issues and Congress relies on them on an ongoing basis.  In addition,  countless NAHU members around the State and Country continuously put in long hours to ensure the best information possible is being shared with Legislators, HHS, CMS, IRS, DOL, DOI’s and of course NAHU members.  Most of these folks do this in anonymity and solely for the benefit of the Association, our members and the general public.  If you know an of our members who serve in this fashion, please thank them every chance you have.

Also a special 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 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.  And of course they are especially important during the final weeks before the 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 I’m sure you’re aware, each election cycle pretty much depletes our PAC 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 the websites – www.inahu.org or 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 contribution in your usual manner.

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

Dwight “D” Hall

ISAHU Legislative Chair

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Indiana State Association of Health Underwriters

Indiana State Association of Health Underwriters

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