Legislative

MAHU Legislative Report

April 2017

April marks the start of the real work on the State budget for Fiscal Year 2018 that begins October 1st. Much of the policy work slows down for a few weeks while appropriations subcommittee chairs hold hearings and eventually pass budgets related to individual state departments. Those individual budget bills are then combined into two large omnibus bills, one pertaining to K-12 school funding (School Bus) and the other for all other state spending (General Omnibus). Procedurally, those individual budget bills will be voted down by each respective chamber, requiring a conference committee where subcommittee chairs from each chamber will negotiate a final number for their budget. However, that final number for the state budget will not be agreed upon until after the May meeting of the Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference (CREC). The CREC will determine projected state tax revenues and liabilities, along with such estimates as Medicaid caseload, on which to base the final FY2018 budget bill.

CE Bill Passes House

On Wednesday, April 26th the Michigan House of Representatives passed HB 4325 106-2-1. Reps. John Bizon (R-Battle Creek) and Rose Mary Robinson (D-Detroit) voted “no” with Rep. Robert Wittenberg (D-Oak Park) abstaining, excusing himself from the vote on the premise that he is a licensed insurance agent and it may be conceived as a conflict of interest. The bill now advances to the Senate, where it was referred to the Committee on Insurance. The Chairman, Senator Joe Hune, has been vocally supportive and stated he will take the bill up for a hearing when appropriate. MAHU will continue to work to ensure that the Senate passes HB 4325 by the time the legislature breaks for summer recess.

MAHU Takes Lead on State Prohibition on Advanced Marketing and Rate Release

Last month, Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Michigan Association of Health Plans penned a joint letter to the Department of Insurance and Financial Services opposing the Oct. 1 date for releasing marketing materials and rates for the individual and small group markets. The issue remains rather low on DIFS’ agenda and speaking with the Health Plans, it is agreed that MAHU should have a larger voice in the issue. A letter is being drafted that will be shared with the other agent groups in Michigan to cosign, (MAIA and MI NAIFA) and if approved will also be co-signed by BCBS and MAHP. Additionally, it will likely be shopped around to the business groups for inclusion as well, MI Chamber, Small Business Association of Michigan, National Federation of Independent Businesses, who represent some of the largest purchasers in the small group market. The idea being if carriers, underwriters/agents, and purchasers can agree on an earlier date it provides a more convincing argument to the Department to modify their rule. Stay tuned on this issue as it moves forward. 

 

HB 4117 MAHU Amendments

 

Sec 1239 (6) For any license applicants who violate section 1239(1)(f) and are issued a producer license, the Department shall annually report on January 1st from the previous calendar year, the number of licensees, the type of line of insurance that a licensee received and the type and class of felony committed.

 

Sec 1205 (e) Has not been convicted of a felony within the past 10 years or a felony involving violence or the threat of violence against an individual, domestic violence, criminal sexual conduct, or a crime of fiduciary nature such as fraud, embezzlement, bribery or extortion. 

 

 

New Videos! David Mordo Delivers Powerful Speech Positioning NAHU Members as Market Experts

Legislative Vice Chair Dave Mordo did a profound job delivering the opening remarks at this year's Capitol Conference on the theme "Benefits Specialists: Leading the way to Healthcare Stability." 

In our efforts to communicate NAHU's message in a different way, the Master of Ceremonies' speech is now illustrated in the form of three creative videos. Please watch the full length version as he explains how benefit specialists work hard to stabilize healthcare for their clients. Also, there are two subject-based versions of his speech tailoring to healthcare stability and benefits specialists, which includes amazing images and graphics to further enhance his important message.

As appropriate, please feel free to share these with your clients and post on social media.

 

NAHU Spotlight on Government Affairs

NAHU maintains a robust government affairs operation to help advocate on the association's interests in Washington, D.C. Their work is done through the assistance of the NAHU Legislative Council, Legislative Management Team, and our state and local legislative chairs. They 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). To help you, our members, better understand the role of NAHU's government affairs, NAHU will be sending out details on each component of their government affairs operation over the next several weeks.  Click here to continue reading.