Welcome to FWAHU!

Welcome to the Fort Worth Association of Health Underwriters. Below you’ll find some important information about our organization along with links to our upcoming events.

Upcoming Events

  • September 11th: NAHU Self-Funded Certification Class – Online registration for the event has now passed but you can still register onsite on the day of the event $185 for NAHU members and $285 for Non-members. Here’s the form if you want to fill it out ahead of time. | Register here for Luncheon and Self-Funded Jeopardy only (no certification)

President’s Message

This is an exciting time for our industry and our association. I am honored to be your president this year. We have a fantastic and dedicated board to make things happen this year. They are committed in carrying out our Strategic Plan that was developed based on your input. I wanted to personally thank Beth Christensen and all our board members and committees that helped last year be a banner success including winning the coveted PACESETTER Award from NAHU as well as our Chapter being GOLD CERTIFIED! I welcome our new board and committee chairs and members. I look forward to a wonder year.


John Merrifield

Vanguard Council – a new era of NAHU awaits!

No longer are age limits a standard in bringing together innovative and creative NAHU members! A new national committee, the Vanguard Council was announced at this year’s NAHU Annual Conference in Scottsdale, AZ. Under the leadership of Chad Schneider and Rebecca Purdy, along with a host of national volunteers, the transformation of the Young Agents Health Underwriters (YAHU) had officially changed to a community for all. The mission of the Vanguard Council is to create a forum for celebrating excellence and innovation while creating success through connections. The vision is to inspire and cultivate a community of thought leaders, innovators, trailblazers who are reshaping our industry to support success through connections. The goal is to nationally connect like-minded NAHU members through regionalized networking, charitable, and continuing education events throughout the year. The Vanguard Council will be the incubator for innovative ideas that will transform the insurance industry for the better. Want to see more Want to see more?

See a video on the Vanguard Council here! Do you feel like you have what it takes to inspire and change our industry? Just look for and “friend” the Vanguard Council on Facebook to join the community!

Membership News

This month, four new members joined FWAHU! Please make sure to welcome them as you see them at upcoming events!

  • Juanita Bilbrey of Creative Ins. Concepts, Inc.
  • Rodney Culp of Empower Brokerage
  • Kirsten Mackey of Innovative Insurance Solutions
  • Melanie Dodge of Innovative Insurance Agency

There is a national membership campaign going that you do not want to miss! Receive a $250 American Express Gift Card for EVERY 4 new members you recruit between June 1—December 31, 2014! New members can join online or complete this paper application. Just make sure you are listed as the sponsor! For more information and official contest rules please click here.

Lastly, please keep an eye out for an exciting local membership campaign to come in the next month!

Professional Development

In June, FWAHU hosted the COBRA Compliance Course # 91556 TAHU Provider # 32408 a 1 Hour and ERISA Compliance and Health Reform Course Number 89355 TAHU Provider #32408 2 Hour for a total of 3 hours of CE at our monthly membership meeting.

July’s meeting will include the TAHU Small Employers Health Benefit Plan Specialty Certification Course #30527 TAHU Provider # 32408 an 8 hour CE Course and the Small Employers Health Benefit Specialty Certification – an Update Course # 87291 TAHU Provider # 32408 a 5 hour CE Course along with a member networking luncheon.

Currently Audra Sullivan, Professional Development Chair, is working with Beth on the Medicare/Individual Symposium and Tonya Booth is working with DAHU for our joint CE at Lone Star Park. FWAHU is also excited to be hosting a Self-Funded focused event in September 11th with the NAHU Self-Funded Certification included. Lastly, the chapter will be hosting Mel Schlesinger in October to guide members in building a highly effective Linked-In Profile along with hosting a Professional Photographer for headshots as a “members-only” perk!

Legislative Corner

This month Legislative Chair, Dale Mason took part in the monthly NAHU Legislative webinar hosted by Laura Eldon. Highlights of the webinar were two House and Senate Bills (HR 2328 and S 2175), both of which are still looking for additional co-sponsors. Both are aimed at improvements to the enrollment process thru the Marketplace, and making the process more “agent friendly”. Support for these improvements can be found in a recent consumer poll by the Urban Institute showing that 84% of those surveyed said the agent/broker was the most valuable source of information during the open enrollment period. No other resource, Navigator-Assister-Call Center, was even close by comparison.

The week prior Dale was on the Region VI Legislative conference call facilitated by Marcy Buckner. Discussion centered on the personnel turnover in HHS since Sylvia Burwell was confirmed as the new Secretary. NAHU is scheduling meetings to get to know many of the new hires who will be filling positions of influence. On another note, several states (including Texas) have agreed to extend the non-grandfathered plans (aka “grandmothered” plans) to be extended thru 2016. The decision clears the way for carriers to extend that option to their policyholders in the individual and small group markets.

Finally, Dale attended the NAHU convention in Scottsdale, AZ. There were several general sessions that focused on NAHU’s efforts to continue being the voice of our industry in Washington where decisions are being made every day that directly affect the agent/brokers livelihood. As a first time participant he was particularly impressed with the influence NAHU has had, and continues to have, on both elections and what legislation is/isn’t passed. It brought
about a much deeper understanding of the importance the HUPAC contributions can make for our association and our industry.

NAHU CEO Janet Trautwein shared with the audience that our association has the sixth largest PAC in the insurance industry. This translates into the lawmakers seeing us as a vital and important ally in crafting the laws and regulations that will govern our industry. Janet also noted that we take a bi-partisan approach with how our PAC dollars are spent, and it isn’t uncommon for legislators from both sides of the aisle to reach out to NAHU for counsel, advise, and input as they look for our opinion on how to shape healthcare related policies. From networking with other leaders in our association, to the very informative breakout sessions, to mingling with the carrier representatives, it was an extremely rewarding experience!