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ISAHU Legislative Article for September 2019

Fall is here folks!  Where did the Summer go?  Seems like this was quickest one yet for some. So let’s get ready for Fall and all that will happen politically at both State and Federal levels.

Federal Update

Summer Recess is over and good or bad – they are back in Session. And of course NAHU remains extremely active on Capitol Hill and in the White House.  Examples are:

NAHU continues working with the Coalition Against Surprise Billing in ongoing efforts to bring this legislation to fruition.  The House Education and Labor Committee is expected to hold a markup hearing in the coming weeks on surprise-billing legislation. It will also need to be considered by the House Ways and Means Committee, with a final package expected by this fall.

In addition, NAHU’s coalition partner released new television advertising on surprise billing as part of a multi-million-dollar campaign across television, radio, print, digital and social platforms.

NAHU’s coalition opposing single payer, the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, advertised at this week’s Democratic presidential debate through both television and digital media, underscoring the perils of adopting a single-payer or Medicare-for-All type plan.

NAHU will be launching a new Single-Payer Certification Course this fall to educate health insurance professionals on comparative single-payer systems and ongoing proposals in the U.S. The course has been filed for continuing education credits in all states and discount pricing will be available to NAHU members who enroll before the end of the year.

As reported last month, the House voted to pass HR 748 to fully repeal the Cadillac Tax.  It has now moved to the Senate and it should be brought to the floor for a vote soon now that Summer Recess is over.  President Trump is expected to sign it when it reaches his desk.

NAHU continues to work COBRA as creditable coverage, repeal of the HIT Tax, Prescription Drug Transparency, and play a lead role in a coalition opposing Single-Payer proposals.  Inroads are being made on all the above so stay tuned.

And as previously reported, NAHU continues with other efforts to address the following in this new Congress – return to a 40 work week rule, changes to Medicare Advantage plans, employer reporting improvements, MLR exclusion, etc.

Remember that all “fixes” to the ACA have had to begin anew in the new Congress.  And  unfortunately, it appears that bi-partisan support on some issues remains skeptical at best at this point.  Thankfully NAHU continues their efforts in moving these and other solutions forward.  The “Cost” component to the budget may remain somewhat of an obstacle to permanent repeal of some of these issues.  It still appears that Democrats in charge in of the pertinent committees in the House are making it difficult to bring such items to the floor for a vote.

The Trump Administration has indicated plans to release a “phenomenal new healthcare plan” yet this yearr that would overhaul the U.S. healthcare system.

State House Update

Your ISAHU Legislative Team continues to develop and maintain relationships with appropriate Leadership, Committee Chairs and Committee Members.

As reported each month, discussions continue with appropriate members in the Indiana House and Senate to promote Section 1332 initiatives such as “risk pools and non-compliant ACA product offerings.  Work also continues on setting up appropriate meetings with appropriate personnel in the Governor’s administration as needed.  All new guidance from D.C. will be a part of discussions.  Any updates on such discussions will continue to be shared.

(Note: as a reminder, Democrats in the House on Capitol Hill have introduced plans to restrict any Section 1332 initiatives.  While President Trump will not sign any such legislation, this could unfortunately impact future discussions on the local level.)

Work continues on the possibility of improving the passed STM bill.  Further discussions are still being planned.

As I like to mention every month, the prevention of onerous Bills making it through the Legislature is due largely to ISAHU’s continued relationships with folks in the Governor’s office, Lt. Governor’s office and Statehouse that support our industry overall.  These relationships also directly impact the efforts of our ISAHU Lobbying firm – Bose Public Affairs, plus the efforts of our sister organizations – Big I, PIA, NAIFA, Insurance Institute, IMA, IN Chamber and NFIB.  And it also affects the ongoing efforts of several ISAHU members who continue to work on maintaining such working relationships with Legislators that may impact support for any legislation of assistance or detriment to the industry.

IDOI Update

Nothing to report this month.  Meetings will be set as needed.

General Information 

Reminder – FYI – The combined NAIFA/ISAHU Day On The Hill for next year has been set for Jan 21, 2020.  Please mark your calendars.

The Legislative committee is reconfirming previously identified specific individuals to be responsible for various product areas of the industry which should lead to better information sharing on an ongoing basis.  It is still being slightly updated and should be ready for distribution next month.

NAHU staff continue to be a vital part of ongoing discussions with the new 116th Congress.  Details are provided in the Washington Updates each Friday.  Please be sure to read them which will assist you in responding to your client’s issues.

As always, I would ask you to remember to thank the countless NAHU members around IN and the Country as a whole that 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 other NAHU members.  As you know, much of this is always done in anonymity and solely for the benefit of the Association, our members and the general public.

And as always – ongoing THANKS to all the Local Legislative Chairs who serve on the Legislative Committee as well as those that serve on other committees.  Your service is vitally important and greatly appreciated.

PACs

Ongoing simple message –  IF you are not participating in both PAC’s –  HUPAC – our Federal PAC and ISAHU-PAC – our State PAC, then PLEASE do so!   Both PAC’s help support activities that really do make a difference in the ongoing legislative battles.  Information can be found on the www.HUPAC.org , www.nahu.org  and the www.ISAHU.org  sites.

I and the rest of the ISAHU Legislative Committee greatly appreciate the opportunity to work with you to continue to promote real market based “healthcare reform”.  Please feel welcome to contact any of us at any time.

Thanks for all you do to continue to improve the healthcare system for your clients!

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Indiana State Association of Health Underwriters

Indiana State Association of Health Underwriters

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