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2015 Spring Symposium

Washington Association of Health Underwriters held their 2015 Spring Symposium in Spokane. I was able to carve out the time and be able to attend as it was amazing. There were at least 30 vendors organized around the room. We had speakers that had serious content about Healthcare in the State of Washington. The Affordable Care Act and how it is interacting was a major topic. I wish that more of my agency was available to go.

I wish a big thanks to Premera, Asuris and the other Sponsors of this event. Events are not cheap. I got signed in early and ran around talking with every one that I could to see who was doing what with Insurance. There were familiar faces such as Group Health, Connext , Moda, etc. I also encountered new Venders, ones that were able to provide multiple group quotes, private health exchanges or inexpensive plans for large groups that are 100% ACA compliant. This was an excellent way to start collecting information and put together some dynamic solutions for Central Washington.

The Speakers brought so much information. Scott Reilly, who ran for Insurance Commissioner in WA State lead a critical talk on ethics and insurance. Shella Tallman talked about different bills in process that are changing healthcare such as SB5935 which helps bring Biosimilar pharmaceuticals into the Washington state market place to lower consumer cost. Carolyn McNairy informed us of ERISA and the penalties that can be brought against employers if their HR doesn’t get the documentation correct. Did you know that the Department of Labor has apps to help employees file complaints? We closed with Ryan Thorn the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) current president, who discussed on how we were helping shape improvements to the Affordable Care Act. I took about two hours last night discussing with my partner the details of the different speakers.

The ACA was on the tip of everyone’s tongues. As Mr. Nolan put it, the ACA impacts every American. One of the key speakers was Kaya Bromley, the founder of Your Obamacare Advisors. She talked about some of the pitfalls that she has seen the last couple of years and some successful strategies to not be penalized. Kevin Trokey , Q4intelligence talked about how brokers had different approaches to solutions and the importance of the challenger. We had the only carrier that supports small group policies on the Washington Health Plan Finder. I couldn’t imagine working in the industry and not being in the room.

There were two awards presented. One to Chris Free a past president of the Washington Association of Health Underwriters and our current President Al Pierce was recognized by the president of NAHU for his hard work. Washington Association of Health Underwriters is a more than a volunteer organization. We pay our dues, we take time away from our families and clients, to learn and help build our communities with better insurance solutions. Knowing what I do in how many changes are happening with health insurance, I couldn’t imagine working with a broker or insurance company that was not a member of WAHU.


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