Monday, June 24, 2013

2013 June/July Advocacy

NAIFA Washington Advocacy for Members in Constant Motion

Whew…what a year 2013 turned out to be!  But there is no time to rest on past successes.  Let’s look at NAIFA-Washington’s successes:

· “Day on the Hill” huge success.  Information, Attendance, Speaker line-up,  Legislative Contacts, 13 Locals represented, Profitability

·  “Call to Action” stopped a 271% increase for ALL Agents/producers paying B&O Taxed.  Leadership Coalition testifies in Olympia, NAIFA WA, WAHU, IIABW, PIA, Farmers, American Family, 1000’s of the Producer Community call their legislators!
Strong NAIFA WA representation on the Office of the Insurance Commissioner’s Agent/Brokers Life, Health, Disability Advisory Council…keeping NAIFA WA informed and involved with the OIC.
NAIFA WA Members: (L/R   )Sharon Sparling, Kathy Smithson,
Andrew Hooper, Brian Berg, Alan Zalewski, Robert “Bob” Mertz, Matt Ryan

·  **NEW VICTORY**  “Agent/Producer” presence on the new Washington healthplanfinder.  Mel Sorensen, NAIFA WA Lobbyist notified us that after the June 16th Washington Health Benefits Exchange meeting with the Exchange’s Agent/Broker Advisory Group raised a number of priority issues for the producer community. The meeting was about the Exchange website and making sure that agents/brokers get credit for bringing business to the Exchange.

· Washington’s Health Benefits Exchange members (a ‘Power” representation) our Producer Coalition met with:

o   Richard Onizuka, CEO of the Washington Health Benefits Exchange
o   Kevin Bell, SHOP Director
o   Pam MacEwan, Chief of Staff
o   Catherine Bailey, SHOP Manager
o   New LOGO: 

o   Important was the fact that the meeting was set up with Richard Onizuka by Chris Free, WAHU and he took our coalition representation seriously by having such attend this meeting: SHOP Director, Chief of Staff, SHOP Manager and Website

·          “United We Stand”  Coalition of Participating Associations present at the meeting:
o   Chris Free, President, Washington Health Underwriters (WAHU)
o   Sharon Sparling, Past President, Advocacy/Legislative Chair, NAIFA WA
o   Barb Kaiser, Past President, Professional Insurance Agents (PIA)
o   Dan Holst, Executive Director, VP, Independent Insurance Agent/Brokers of Washington (IIABW)

 “United We Stand” (L/R ) Dan Holst, IIABW; Barb Kaiser, PIA,
Sharon Sparling, NAIFA WA, Chris Free, WAHU

·   Mel Sorensen:  “… thought that it was a productive meeting, and it’s clear that the Exchange staff wanted to show some movement on these issues.  I don’t think that would have happened without our collective efforts to raise concerns.”

Finally, last week the Washington Health Benefit Exchange announced the selection of lead organizations to provide in-person assistance [Navigators] as part of the Washington Healthplanfinder Customer Support Program.

·         Benton Franklin Community Action Connections: Serving Benton, Franklin and Walla Walla Counties

·         CHOICE Regional Health Network: Serving Clallam, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Lewis, Mason, Pacific and Thurston Counties

·         Clark County Public Health: Serving Clark, Klickitat and Skamania Counties

·         Cowlitz Family Health Center: Serving Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties

·         Empire Health Foundation: Serving Adams, Asotin, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Ferry, Garfield, Grant, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Spokane and Whitman Counties

·         Kitsap Public Health District: Serving Kitsap County

·         Public Health – Seattle & King County: Serving King County

·         Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department: Serving Pierce County

·         Whatcom Alliance for Health Advancement: Serving Island, San Juan , Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom Counties

·         Yakima Neighborhood Health Services: Serving Kittitas and Yakima Counties

I want to personally “Thank ALL the NAIFA Washington Members” that continued to step-up, get out of their comfort zone and get involved!  NAIFA Member Advocacy/Legislative INVOLVEMENT is keeping the torch burning for our honorable profession…Guarding Family Security!

Note:  Due to changes in his business plan, Andrew “Drew” Hooper has resigned as Co-Chair.  If you want to be more involved, please contact me at:  (360) 708-3210 or or John Nichols, President-Elect at (206) 721-7950 or 

“Profession Excellence Begins with Us!”

Sharon L. Sparling
Advocacy/Legislative Chair

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