Member Update – December 2020

Holiday Greetings from all of the board members at MassAHU! This year will forever be remembered as the year that __________ _________ ___________.
As you complete this sentence, we sincerely hope that your year ends in a good place for you and your loved ones. Wishing you peace, good health, and good fortune in the year ahead. And now, for our Member Update…

Zoom Tuesday Continues in 2021
We’re lining up our monthly Zoom Tuesday programs for the new year, so please register for our January and February programs. Here’s a brief overview of the programs and link to register:

Tuesday, January 12th @ 10:00-11:00 a.m. Join MassAHU for a discussion of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace. Our guest panel will include Stephanie Brown, Chief Diversity Officer for Blue Cross, Keith Marion, DEI Director for Harvard Pilgrim, and Quincy Miller, President of Eastern Bank.

In this important discussion, these business and industry leaders will share best practices for members and their clients in driving diversity, equity and inclusion activities throughout their organizations. REGISTER NOW

Tuesday, February 2nd @ 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. We’re diving into 2021 Legislative Priorities on both a federal and state level. We’ve got a great lineup of speakers including Marcy Buckner, NAHU SVP of Government Relations; James Slotnik, AVP, Government Relations at Sun Life; Jack Bartley, MassAHU’s state legislative counsel; and Mark Gaunya, Vice Chair, NAHU Legislative Council. Find out what our legislative focus will be and how we’ll work to ensure a strong, vibrant health insurance market in Massachusetts and the nation in 2021. REGISTER NOW

Merged Market Advisory Council Update
The Merged Market Advisory Council has extended its meetings into January, as they continue to review market information and actuarial projections in developing recommendations to the Governor on market improvements. Shelley Kaleita from Beacon Hill Consulting Group has diligently taken notes and provided excellent summaries of each meeting. The MMAC has met three times since our last update, so we’re sharing a summary of the November 4, November 17, and December 2 MMAC meetings. Shelley takes such good notes that it’s almost like being there!

MassAHU is planning to submit its recommendations to the MMAC before the end of the year, focusing on what we’ve identified as our core principles regarding the market. These core principles, in very abbreviated terms, include: 1) equity in products and pricing; 2) market transparency; and 3) market-driven solutions. We’ll be sharing our recommendations in our next update. In the meantime, if you haven’t weighed in at one of our legislative committee meetings and you’d like to share your insights, let us know at before 12/21/20.

Compliance Update
Our monthly compliance update helps tee everyone up for the official start of Massachusetts PFMLA benefits on January 1, 2021. You can download Rick Szczebak’s Member Update HERE, and remember that Rick can be a good resource to your agency and your clients for compliance issues.

Washington DC Update
From February 22-24, Capitol Conference 2021 will be held virtually for the first time in NAHU history. For anyone who has ever attended Capitol Conference, it’s a pretty exciting experience. With the virtual format, there’s more opportunity for members to attend and hear voices from the Legislature, the Administration, political analysts and national ‘think tanks.’ Mark Gaunya, past President and current board member of MassAHU and principal of the Borislow Group, is this year’s Capitol Conference Chair, a role that comes with his being selected to lead the NAHU Legislative Council in July. We are proud and supportive of Mark’s leadership and his passion for a healthy insurance market. We know the 2021 Capitol Conference will be nothing short of excellent and we encourage everyone to attend. No 6:00 a.m. flights to DC or expensive hotel stay required!

REGISTER NOW for the NAHU Virtual Capital Conference 2021, Feb 22-24, 2021!

You’ll be able to join live sessions over 3 days, as well as have access to recordings for any sessions you miss. The biggest challenge for our virtual program will be in connecting with our legislators on Capitol Hill, but we’re up to that challenge for 2021. Just as we’ve had to adjust our business model over the past year, we can still reach out to our legislators on Capitol Hill without meeting face-to-face. We hope you will attend Capitol Conference to help us accomplish our legislative goals.

NAHU Discount on Continuing Education Courses
There are times when we’re scrambling to get Continuing Education credits to meet our license renewal requirements, but we honestly don’t get a lot of professional value out of those courses. On the other hand, NAHU courses don’t fall into that ‘quick fix’ category for CE credits; they enrich our knowledge and expertise as insurance professionals. Most of the courses are accredited as part of achieving the REBC designation, and carry certifications which you can display on your business cards and website. You probably don’t have time to think about taking a course during the 4th quarter, but you can enroll for a course now, take the course next year, and receive a 20% discount on the cost.

Why not plan for your CE credits now and commit to your professional development plan for 2021? Register by December 21st and use the code HOLIDAY20 when you check out to receive your discount. You can find the list of courses and REGISTER HERE.

NAHU B2B Broker Portal
Have you ever had questions you wanted to run by other brokers and didn’t know where to ask for help? The NAHU B2B Broker to Broker portal has been a valuable tool for members to ask those questions in the past, but NAHU is improving its B2B resources with a new portal. They’ll be introducing new community pages over the next few months. The first community to use the new format is the Medicare and LTC page. What an impressive library of information and marketing pieces are literally at your fingertips. Check it out HERE, and even if Medicare is not an area of interest to your practice, be sure to sign up for the communities which are part of your mainstream business. Note: You need to be a member of NAHU in order to access B2B, so if this link does not grant you access, call us for membership information.

The Year in Review
Our legislative counsel, Jack Bartley, has been our lifeline to the legislature this year, especially while the State House remained closed for most of the year, while legislators and their committees conducted meetings virtually. Covid was the main issue affecting both legislation and budgeting in a year that was like no other year we’ve seen. We feel very fortunate to have Jack and his staff guiding our legislative efforts. Our members help support our continuing relationship, and we urge you to invite your colleagues and team members to join MassAHU.

Please read Jack’s 2020 Legislative Report to get a better sense of how much he and his staff do on behalf of our association. We look forward to our continuing relationship with Beacon Hill Consulting Group in 2021, and we especially look forward to holding another legislative happy hour like our event at Trillium last February… just as soon as we get this pandemic under control!

Let’s plan on gathering again next year, so for now, please stay healthy, stay connected, and enjoy your holidays!

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