Although we are already in May, I would be remiss to not mention that April was National Volunteer Month. Volunteering in the community is something very important to my mother, so growing up it was just something that I did because she did. Now as I am older and able to put things in real context, it has become apparent that there is some real need in communities around us. We don’t have to try hard to notice these struggles either, a trip to your local grocery store or watching your local news highlights just how bad some people have it. I always try to remember and focus on how lucky I am to have the things that are so easily taken for granted, i.e., family, a job, transportation. That being said, where would we be if all of that was taken away from us? Unfortunately, too many people in our communities are experiencing this and finding themselves, for the first time, in serious need of help.
This past month we had Debra Berg, founder of the National Institute for Civic Enterprise (NICE), joined us at our monthly meeting to discuss ways people across the country are giving back. NICE works to promote civic entrepreneur initiatives in the media, encourage volunteer and donor participation and provide Florida-based nonprofit training. At our meeting, we discussed many outlets and opportunities where we could get involved and things you should think about before making a decision on where to volunteer your time. I would encourage you to spend some time deciding on what best suits you, your skills, and your availability, as this is not something that should be rushed into. In our busy worlds, it can be hard to think about finding time to volunteer but, the benefits of volunteering are enormous, both to you, your family, and the community. The right match can help you find friends, reach out to the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career. The key is to find a volunteer position that you would enjoy and are capable of doing. It’s also important to make sure that your commitment matches the organization’s needs. Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself while finding the right fit:
Would you like to work with people or would you rather work in solitude?
Do you prefer to work alone or as part of a team?
Are you better behind the scenes or do you prefer to take a more visible role?
Ms. Birmingham is an Associate Attorney with ASW, P.A. As a commercial litigator she has experience in cases involving contract disputes, mortgage foreclosure, lien foreclosure, banking disputes, and community association disputes. Ms. Birmingham also represents employers in disputes with their employees and former employees in Florida state and federal courts, as well as administratively before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and state and local agencies. She has also been involved in cases in the fields of insurance coverage, bad faith, auto negligence, and premises liability.
We will be voting on the 2012-2013 Slate of Officers at this meeting
2012-2013 Slate of Officers
President – Augie Buffa
President Elect – Natalee Otero-Newman
1st VP/Membership Chair – Laura Staller
2nd Vice President – Alex Good
3rd Vice President – Mike Van Gerpen
4th Vice President – Asher Perminas
Immediate Past President – Ashley Wynkoop
Treasurer – Dave Sherrill
Secretary – Lynn Blank
Legislative Chair – Don Marx
Education Chair – Matt Beatty
We would like to thank Great Advice and BenefitMall
for sponsoring our May meeting:
Linguini with Sweet Garlic Shrimp
Iced Tea and water
Vegetarian option available upon request. Please request with RSVP.
CE to immediately follow lunch.
Evaluating Dental Plans – 1 Hour CE
Course #66222 – Offering #952747
Presented by Ruth Douglass
This one hour CE class reviews the history of dental benefits and provides tips of reviewing and evaluating group dental plans.
Ruth Douglass is a Sales Account Executive with Delta Dental Insurance Company. She is responsible for new group sales throughout the state for small and mid-market employer groups. This includes employer groups of 3 to 500 employees. Ms. Douglass has been with Delta Dental since 1984. From 1984 to 2002 she worked in central Pennsylvania and transferred to sunny Florida in 2002.
Lunch cost is $10 for Members and First time Guests
$35 for Guests
CE is free to Members and $10 for Non-members
RSVP for lunch & CE by 3:00 PM on Friday 5/11 if you will be attending. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This will be the last opportunity to win a Symposium Registration
Tickets are $10 for one chance, $20 for two. We will draw the winner at this meeting.
April Legislative Update
By: Don Marx, CFAHU Legislative Chair
As of now, it appears nothing has happened to Senate Bill 2068
As a group, NAHU members conducted meetings with more than 400 congressional offices. As a direct result of your efforts, we have gained 23 new co-sponsors to H.R. 1206, the legislation pending in the House to remove agent and broker compensation from the health reform law’s medical loss ratio (MLR) requirements. Our count now stands at 172 bipartisan co-sponsors, with new members of Congress being added almost every day! In addition, due to the direct lobbying efforts of our members at the meeting, on February 3 we saw the introduction of S. 2068, the bipartisan complement to H.R. 1206, which was offered by Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
Latest Title: Access to Independent Health Insurance Advisors Act of 2012 Sponsor: Sen Landrieu, Mary L. [LA] (introduced 2/2/2012) Related Bills:H.R.1206 Latest Major Action: 2/2/2012 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
CO-SPONSORS (3), ALPHABETICAL
Sen Isakson, Johnny [GA] – 2/2/2012Sen Murkowski, Lisa [AK] – 2/2/2012
Sen Nelson, E. Benjamin [NE] – 2/2/2012
The Supreme Court hears arguments for and against Affordable Care Act
Many observers saw the arguments as a blow to the law; the government’s defense lawyer, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, faced tough questions from the Justices and didn’t always present a perfectly smooth front. But others point out that oral arguments often have little persuasive effect on the justices’ decisions.
The first day of arguments focused on the part of the law that would require most Americans to buy health insurance, the so-called “individual mandate.” The attorney representing the parties challenging the law argued that the mandate is an overreach of congressional power. Verrilli argued that the government has the power to regulate commerce under the Constitution. The Justices seemed split on this issue, with Justice Anthony Kennedy, often a swing vote, likely to be the deciding factor.
If the individual mandate is struck down, however, the justices must decide whether the rest of the law can stand. Here, they again appeared to be split, with liberal justices arguing in favor of “severability,” allowing portions of the law to be struck without eliminating the law altogether, and conservative justices seeming to argue that the whole law must fall.
The final arguments surrounded the law’s pressure on states to expand their Medicare programs or risk a suspension of federal funds. This may be the provision with the most potential to shape constitutional law, because there is very little precedent.
The justices took a preliminary, private vote on March 30 and then draft opinions, with a ruling expected by late June.
Justice Scalia confirms that ongoing Congressional advocacy is needed. “Whether we strike it all down or leave some of it in place…one way or another, Congress is going to have to reconsider this” said Scalia.
Study: Deficit will rise $340 billion with health care law
A study by Charles Blahous, the Republican trustee for Medicare and Social Security, says the health care law will tack an extra $340 billion onto the national deficit over the coming 10 years. His report says the law will create revenue, but that most of that will go to pay for Medicare benefits for those already covered, not to cover additional uninsured people. The Washington Post
Study: Medicare Annual Relport Medicare Trustees issued their annual report, good news is that Medicare isn’t predicted to run out of money until 2024. If you can consider that good news! Last year’s deficit was $27.7 Billion
Senate Bill 2068: Access to Independent Advisors Act of 2012
This bill has been changed to reflect technical concerns regarding the definition of remuneration. This amendment was received with the full support of our coalition group.
Accountable Care Organizations
That brings the total of ACO groups announced up to 57, which is prettygood, right? Well, maybe considering all of the bad publicity theadministration received from providers about making the initial ACO rulestoo complicated it is, but the program still has a long way to go. Initialprojections by the administration were that 270 organizations would beparticipating by last October.
PCIP too Successful for Brokers
Effective May 1, 2012 HHS will cease the practice of paying licensed agents and brokers for client referrals
YAHU Mentor Program
The YAHU mentor program is looking for mentees! Agents new to the health insurance industry will be paired with an NAHU member who has years of experience in the same field as the mentee. The experienced member will share his/her expertise with the new agent, helping the mentee increase their chance of success in the industry. More information about the program is available here, or fill out the mentor or mentee application.
CFAHU would like to welcome its newest members:
Helen Von Dolteren-Fournier Bencor, Inc.
Chandelle Spayd Focal Point Insurance Services LLC
Melissa Lamp Solstice Benefits, Inc.
Nancy Bohnak Eidson Insurance
Kristen Kelly United Healthcare
Linda Moore New England Financial
Melody Crowgey Chepenick Financial
Trish Schipke Mangrove Employer Services
Jennifer Miceli Empire Insurance
Sam Rennard Colonial Life
Frank Leutheuser Commercial Insurance Associates
Exciting News!!FAHU wants to ensure that you get the latest information as Health Care Reform evolves and new rules and new tools are needed for members to prosper. To do that, we are implementing a new and powerful notification system, using text messaging.
Simply text FAHU to (407)378-3758to be automatically added to our listand you will receive important notifications directly to your cell phone. Because this technology helps us reach more members and saves FAHU time and money, VIP Members will also receive additional discounts at special events and early notification about industry changes and other opportunities.
FAHU Symposium 2012
Drawing for Complimentary Event Registration
Text WIN to (407)901-3477
Should you not be able to attend the Symposium and do not wish to enter the contest, you will still receive important notifications, and breaking Health Care Reform news, simply by textingFAHU to (407)378-3758.
Click herefor full details on the 2012 FAHU Symposium.