SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

TWO BILLS TO WATCH

As a follow-up to Friday’s Weekly Bulletin, here’s a bit more detail about the recent activity at the CA Capitol that we shared.

Yes, much hype surrounds SB 1446 (Grandmothering Bill) and SB 1034 (waiting period fall back to federal rules).  The question on most agents’ minds has been: when are they going to pass?

The news from the legislature is that they will hit Governor Brown’s desk by early July.  Most bills, once signed, become effective the first of the following year, which, in this case, would be 1/1/2015.  However, we are pleased to let you know that both of these bills have an “Urgency Clause” attached to them.  What does that mean?  This means that, if signed by the governor, they will go into effect immediately.

So… does this mean that all carriers will immediately jump on the bandwagon and maintain their old plans (renewing this fall) and expand waiting periods to first of the month following 60 days (or 90 days exactly)?  That is an excellent question, but the answer can differ depending upon the carrier.

During the CAHU Capitol Summit in May, there was an executive panel with representation from Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Health Net, Kaiser,SeeChange and United Healthcare.  Most indicated that they would allow for “Grandmothering”, but didn’t give exact effective dates, should the bill pass.  Since SB 1446 only allows for a one year extension (though 12/31/2015), the most important date for small groups is going to be the dreaded 12/1.  With most carriers (in small group) finding the majority of their plans renewing the last quarter of the year, it is very likely that you’ll find them cooperate on extending plans.  Keep in mind that the “Grandmothered” renewing plans will have new rates and, possibly, new RAFs.

We’ve started seeing some preliminary notices from carriers on this subject. Expect to see more emails from them as they develop their response to each of the bills, should they be signed the governor.

More to come, so stay tuned…

Chris Bender

 

Chris Bender

SAHU Legislative Chair

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What’s Going On With SAHU

Greetings SAHU members:

I will try to talk in bullet points, because if you’re like me, that’s the most efficient way to read the 100+ emails and articles you’re going to get today.

State of the Industy – what can I say here?  You don’t need me to tell you that we have never faced the depth, breadth, and combination of elements that we are facing now.  I wouldn’t call it a “fiscal cliff” or “sequestration” or some other sexy term that media loves to give an ugly complicated situation.  I think it’s bigger than that and many people are afraid to admit it.  Having just read the book “World War Z” I think our current situation is more like a Zombie infestation—with seemingly dead issues being reanimated over and over again and infecting other areas to create new issues.  This is big.  Several paradigm shifts big.  Find your defense, your loved ones, and wait for the smoke to clear.  But you don’t need me to tell you that.

The Exchange – otherwise known as Covered California, or CovCal in our State.  Sure, we are leading the Nation in enrollment and our website is better than healthcare.gov—but we have hiccups.  And those hiccups could be a sign of indigestion that no purple pill could fix.  As 12/23 draws ever nearer, the concerns turn to fear, the fear turns to panic.  Still, communication from the other 49 states shows that Agents in California are way ahead of the curve in terms of our ability to serve the consumer as well as our access to the Exchange for demands to improve their site and communication.  It ain’t perfect, but surely it could be worse.  Let’s not fall into the entitlement style of mindset and take for granted what we have—rather, let’s be thankful for our Association’s leadership at the local and state levels for what we do have and hope that if there’s a run on the bank, we will be the first to know.

NAHU – what does NAHU do for us anyway?  Below my sign off is a message I received form our NAHU President, Tom Harte, on Wednesday.  The Agent community is more prominent and respected now than we ever have been.  I will let Tom’s message speak for itself.

SAHU – what does SAHU do for you anyway?  If you come to our meetings, then you already know.  If you don’t come, well…
CALIFORNIA CHAPTER OF THE YEAR – SACRAMENTO
CALIFORNIA LEGISLATIVE MEMBER OF THE YEAR – CERRINA JENSEN
CAHU MEMBER OF THE YEAR – SHANNON ZAJEC
CAHU BOARD MEMBER OF THE YEAR – DAVE FEAR JR.
LARGEST PAC INCREASE OF THE YEAR – SACRAMENTO
BEST LOCAL CHAPTER WEBSITE – SACRAMENTO

We have a lot to be proud of.  These awards represent hundreds of volunteer hours on your behalf.  Please congratulate a Board Member or SAHU Committee Member when you see them. CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL THE AWARDS

What’s Happening? – There is a lot going on in our chapter and it is easy to just withdraw and do nothing rather than be swept up in the madness.  Please don’t do that.  This “madness” is designed to be fun and well worth your time.  It is our goal to engage each other in a relaxed non-competitive atmosphere where we can just be people who understand each other.  For most of you, your spouses and/or best friends have no idea what you’re going through…but we do.  Come and share with us.  You may change someone’s world with a passing conversation over sandwiches, ribs or chili.  You might even learn something.

Chili Cook-off — Join us for our next meeting on 12/18 for our now famous Chili cook off by clicking here.

Washington D.C. – how about a chance to win a partial scholarship to rub elbows with the smartest Brokers in the nation and speak to your federal legislators?  Please click here to complete our 5 minute application.

Please enjoy your day and take advantage of each moment that God has placed you in today.

Believing in you,

Brad Davis, CEBS
SAHU President
Wraith, Scarlett & Randoph Insurance Services

A Message From NAHU President, Thomas M. Harte

Message from NAHU President Tom Harte:

I have been receiving multiple emails over the past few weeks and making more phone calls than you can imagine to address concerns with some of our members.  The recurring concern is “what is NAHU doing to support the role of Agents and Brokers?”

As president of NAHU, I have been invited to have multiple interviews with many prominent publications and some of those interviews have focused on the role of brokers in the distribution of our products.  Two of the more significant interviews are hyperlinked below for your review.

Yesterday, NAHU issued a letter to the White House and I have attached for your review.  This document is significant, not simply because it promotes the value of our members in the marketplace, because it was carried by Politico immediately.

Additionally, NAHU was featured in more than 465 news stories last week, reaching an audience of 360 million people. Our media efforts were published in USA Today (Washington, DC), Reuters – US Edition (NY,NY), Politico (The) (Washington, DC), Boston (MA) Globe, Fox Business (NY,NY), Yahoo! News (Sunnyvale, CA), CBS, Good Day Sacramento (CA), International Business Times (NY,NY), Washington Times, Congressional Quarterly (Washington, DC), Dallas (TX) Morning News, Denver (CO) Post, Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, OK), Greensboro (NC) News & Record, El Nuevo Heraldo (Brownsville, TX) (SPL), The Business Journals, Insurance & Financial Advisors, Benefits Pro Magazine and LifeHealthPro on the NAHU in the News webpage.

NAHU also created a document to spotlight the differences between Navigators and Agents/Brokers.  This document can be found HERE.  You should distribute this document to your entire membership as a useful tool for their practice.

Bottom line, I am 100% confident that NAHU staff and volunteers and dedicated to supporting the role of agents and brokers in the distribution of our products.  We remain deeply concerned with the implementation of PPACA and will continue to advocate for sensible solutions to address the challenges that are facing our clients.

All the best.

Tom

________________________________________

Thomas M. Harte

President

P:  603-329-4535

F:  603-329-6820

www.landmarkbenefits.com

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A Message From The President Brad Davis, Why I Joined SAHU.

Message From The President, What SAHU Means To Me?

Years ago I ran into some serious financial trouble and faced what seemed like insurmountable debt.  I took a personal financial planning class at the local community college and quickly decided that I wanted to become a Certified Financial Planner and help others who may have faced similar challenges.  I was telling my story at a backyard barbecue when a man named Dennis Carlson wrecked my dreams.  Basically, he told me  to forget about the stock market and that insurance might be a better path for me to be on.  I trusted him and was hired by his firm as an employee benefits producer 2 months later—dreams of CFP: buh-bye.

At my first day on the job, I received an open enrollment kit and was asked to make selections from a robust benefits package.  Say what?  The packet made no sense to me and I was decidedly embarrassed by the fact that I couldn’t tell the difference between copay and deductible.  I gave the packet to my wife and cried myself to sleep that night—wasn’t I supposed to be engineering these packages for a living?  I sat through 44 hours of insurance school and passed my Life & Health exam on the first try, but I still had no idea how to be an employee benefits producer.  Sound familiar?

I was commiserating with my “friend” Dennis a couple weeks into this new career and his advice was simple: “You should join SAHU”.  So I joined; it was my very first month as a licensed agent.  At first, I felt even less secure as I began to meet some giants in the industry that had years of experience and wisdom behind them—how was I ever going to compete?  Then, I went to my very first legislator visit at CAHU’s Day at the Capitol and guess who I met first…Assemblyman Dave Jones!!!  To say he wasn’t a fan would be an understatement.  Let me spare you the details and just say that it wasn’t safe to use the 6th floor restroom that afternoon as I fled back to my car and, you guessed it, cried myself to sleep that night.

As I drove in to work the next day with puffy eyes, drooped shoulders, and an overwhelming sense of despair, I contemplated my resignation (and slashing Dennis’s tires, but that’s a different story).  I sat in my chair looking for anything to do but start up my cold calling for the day.  So I opened up the “NAHU Newswire” and began to study.  As I read through each article I began to get my swagger back—I was filling my head with industry knowledge and felt empowered.  I realized that becoming a student of the industry was going to be my key to success.  So, like a muscle, I worked tirelessly at my craft and read everything I could get my hands on and began to practice some strategies on unsuspecting small groups.

I was off my draw in 13 months, got my CEBS designation, and joined the SAHU Board in 2010.  I told everyone my frightening Dave Jones story and they found it hilarious (seriously?).  Next thing I know, I became Legislative Chair and now I am your fearless President.  I have befriended hundreds of Brokers across the United States and have been challenged to think way outside the box routinely.  I’m a better person and consultant for it.  In the 7 years since I started in this business I can now tell you the difference between copay and deductible, go toe-to-toe with any legislator, and have the privilege and honor to represent over 250 of my colleagues and peers in the most significant time in our history.  I owe it all to my beginnings at SAHU and the boldness of Dennis Carlson, my mentor and dream redirector.

If you’re not a member, I challenge you to take that first step today and see where the path leads you.  If you’re a member already, go out and be someone’s dream redirector (or wrecker) today…and don’t forget to tell them why.

Thanks.

Brad Davis, CEBS
CA Lic # 0F42919
W: (530) 662-9181
C: (916) 524-6855
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