If you’re not in the health insurance business you may be wondering, “What is a ‘health underwriter’ and why should I care? Is it just a trade association of health insurance agents advocating for their self-interests, or is there a more noble purpose that serves the greater good? Maybe you represent a business that has been approached to consider sponsoring our chapter, and are understandably seeking to learn more about our organization before committing to affiliating with us.
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Perhaps you are in the health insurance business in some capacity. Maybe you are an actively producing or servicing agent of group or individual health, long-term care, dental, disability, or specialty-related insurance products. Perhaps you are a company representative for an insurance carrier, third-party administrator of business solution-related compliance, or technology firm that serves employers with their human capital and financial management needs.
We are a local chapter of a large and influential organization called the National Association of Health Underwriters www.nahu.org, based out of Washington, D.C. Our origins date back to 1930 with a defined code of ethics and with a stated mission of advocating for our members and providing professional development and resources to promote excellence in our chosen fields of endeavor. We generally hold our monthly meetings and programs in Asheville on the first Friday of each month, and are moving to primarily a lunchtime schedule for our 2016-17 chapter year. If you’d care to learn more about our history, this link provides an interesting chronicle for your reference: http://www.nahu.org/about/NAHU_History.pdf
Our greater purpose involves not only helping our membership stay ahead of the ever-changing challenges of an increasingly complex and regulated health insurance market, but by doing so best serve our communities and business clients by helping them eliminate or minimize their exposure to ERISA- or excise tax-related or individual tax penalties, and a host of other potential pitfalls that may unwittingly befall many of us without the proper education and guidance. We stay abreast of developments of contractual features and benefits to help best manage our clients’ risks.
We also take an active role in educating our elected officials on the greater implications of some of the issues they can influence through legislative action. Our political leaders come from varied backgrounds and we find many of them open to hearing more from us about how public policy impacts their constituents. Our NC Day on The Hill, Washington Capital Conference and other events allow us to have these conversations with our officials face-to-face. We make a difference in this process.
So if you are in the health-related insurance business and are not a member, explore the www.nahu.org site and ask yourself if you can benefit both yourself – and others – by honing your skills and keeping a finger on the pulse of legislative action. Our Professional Development resources have never been stronger. Join our chapter, come to our meetings. Come as a guest if you just want to check us out. We bring content you can use, share ideas and answer each other’s questions. We want to hear about your questions and concerns, your input and ideas. We want to know what you do so we can refer potential clients to you when we don’t work in the same lines of business. We are actively seeking and developing the next generation of our organization’s leaders. We want to learn from you, too. If you are ready, please join here.
If you are not in our industry, ask your agent or broker if they are a member, or simply check here. We actively support our sponsors, so if you believe in our greater purpose or just want to get your name out on a regular basis with our membership, please explore our sponsorship opportunities. We offer various levels raging from year-long (July-June) Platinum and Silver level to single-meeting sponsorships where you have time allotted to meet with us in person to help us learn more about you and your business – and how we can help you succeed.
As chapter President for the 2016-2017 chapter year, I welcome you all to our table. Working together we can accomplish great things. Let’s do it!
Brett Brunmeier, RHU