NAHU Spotlight on Government Relations
NAHU maintains a robust government affairs operation to help advocate on the association’s interests in Washington, D.C. Our work is done through the assistance of the NAHU Legislative Council, the Legislative Management Team, and our state and local Legislative Chairs. We employ a variety of resources to help advance our interests, including grassroots activism through Operation Shout, coordination with industry groups, and our political action committee (HUPAC).
NAHU Spotlight on Operation shout
Operation Shout is NAHU’s premier grassroots tool for members. NAHU’s government relations team works every day to lobby on behalf of legislation impacting agents and brokers, as well as their employer and individual clients, but our messages can have the greatest impact through our grassroots efforts. “Grassroots” is when legislators hear directly from their constituents about how issues are impacting their district locally. In order to amplify our message and maximize our reach, we utilize Operation Shout for both federal and state legislation. This tool allows our members to send messages to their legislators asking them to support or oppose certain bills or to alert them of major legislative issues. With the combined voice of our members we can help to underscore the importance of our message and the extensiveness of our agent and broker community.
NAHU Spotlight on HUPAC
HUPAC is the political action committee of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU). It is the expression of our First Amendment rights to free speech and association guaranteed under the Constitution. Such political expression has become far more than useful option for professionals in a heavily regulated business like the health insurance. Because NAHU and similar organizations are prohibited from making political contributions, HUPAC was created to allow contributors to combine their financial support to a candidate to achieve maximum effect. HUPAC is registered with the Federal Election Commission.
NAHU Spotlight on Legislative Council
The Legislative Council is a group comprised of representatives from all of NAHU’s regions, national officers, representatives from the BOT and NAHU’s Government Affairs Department staff. It meets monthly and provides legislative advice to the NAHU Board of Trustees, monitors state and federal legislative and regulatory activity, develops legislative and regulatory policy positions for the Association, reviews requests for use of Legislative Defense Funds, oversees grassroots initiatives, shares information, and promotes communication concerning NAHU legislative policy among NAHU's members and chapters. It works to develop and advocate for market‐based solutions which provide for continued and improved choice, accessibility and affordability of health, disability, and long‐term care insurance, employee benefits, and other products designed to meet the health, financial and retirement security needs of the American people.
NAHU Spotlight on Working Groups
Every month, volunteers from across the association meet on various Legislative Council working groups to discuss relevant policy issues and advise the council and the Board of Trustees on legislation, regulations, and positions. In recent meetings, these groups have discussed issues pertaining to employer reporting under the ACA, provider consolidations, proposed Medicare premium increases, and the implementation of the PACE Act, allowing states to maintain their existing small group definitions. The working groups are also primarily responsible for drafting our issue papers and position statements, which were highlighted in last week’s NAHU Spotlight (link?), many of which were updated and approved earlier this year. Members of the working groups are appointed during the open application for Legislative Council each spring to provide issue-specific guidance based on their particular areas of expertise. Members of the working groups are not required to be full membersbe members of the Legislative Ccouncil.
NAHU Spotlight on Position Papers
In 2015, NAHU formally adopted its new overarching position paper, Access, Choice and Affordability. This paper serves as a fundamental basis for NAHU’s role in the healthcare system, the issues impacting healthcare and health insurance, and our vision for the future of the market. It also guides NAHU’s legislative strategy and formal comments to regulations. The process for generating this paper, and other position papers adopted by the association is governed by a formal policy review policy, which has been in place since 2000 and was recently updated this past May. The process calls for the Legislative Council’s task forces and working groups to submit recommendations for policy documents reflective of our membership’s views, which then undergo an extensive review and series of revisions by the Council before ultimately being voted on to be recommended for the Board of Trustee’s consideration. The Access, Choice and Affordability paper underwent an extensive review beginning this spring to replace “An American Solution,” which was developed in 2010 following the passage of the ACA. In September, the Council voted to accept the updated paper and advanced it to the Board of Trustees, which unanimously voted to adopt it on September 21.
NAHU Spotlight on Compliance Corner
Every day, agents and brokers deal with complex questions to help their clients comply with federal statutes and regulations. Does the minimum value requirement apply to self-insured groups? How do the employer mandate penalties work if an employer does not offer coverage? Can summer paid interns be classified as seasonal employees if they work less than 120 days? Does a large employer who doesn’t offer coverage have to do anything for ACA employer reporting? Must an employer have a Section 125 cafeteria plan established in order to pay HSA funds pre-tax? This is where the NAHU Compliance Corner comes is here to help. If you have a question on health reform, NAHU’s Compliance Corner may have already answered it! If not, you can submit your question and receive a unique response within a few days. NAHU’s Compliance Corner provides a one-stop place with a host of resources to members complying with the ACA law and regulations—from questions and answers, to monthly compliance webinars and our certification courses, if you have questions on health reform chances are we have answers!