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Sage Partners Goes to Washington DC

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Kevin Counihan, CEO of Healthcare.gov and Carla Washko of Sage Partners

Carla and I attended the National Association of Health Underwriters Capitol Conference on February 21 – February 23rd.

The National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) is the leading professional association for health insurance agents, brokers and consultants.  NAHU members work with individuals, families and employers of all sizes to help them purchase health insurance coverage.  We are a dedicated group of more than 100,000 benefit specialists across the nation who advocate on behalf of our clients.

For more than 25 years, NAHU members have been coming to Washington, D.C., to stand together and make their voices heard. At Capitol Conference, we had the opportunity to join with hundreds of our colleagues from around the country to lobby for health reform changes of importance to us and our clients on Capitol Hill.  A few of the issues we spoke to our elected officials about:

Small Business Tax Credit – H.R. 762 and S. 379 would increase the effectiveness and structure of the small business tax credit.

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment – H.R. 588/2581 would restore the open enrollment period for Medicare beneficiaries to make a one-time plan switch to another Medicare Advantage plan or return to traditional Medicare for 90 days after the beginning of each calendar year.

COBRA as Creditable Coverage – Allow COBRA coverage to count as creditable coverage for Medicare beneficiaries just as employer-sponsored coverage does.

Repealing the Cadillac / Excise Tax – H.R. 79, H.R. 2050, S. 2045 and S. 2075 would permanently repeal the “Cadillac Tax,” which will impose a 40% excise tax on health plans that exceed certain costs thresholds beginning in 2020, following a two-year delay passed in December 2015.

Stopping the HIT – H.R. 925 and S. 183 would permanently eliminate the national premium (HIT) that will add more than $500 annually in costs to a typical family policy, with the total cost in 2016 of $11.3 billion.

We also got to hear from many speakers representing Congress; Rep. Tom Price (R-Georgia), Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Connecticut), Rep. Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana), and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-New Jersey).

Other speakers included Kevin Counihan, CEO of Healthcare.gov and Charlie Cook, Editor and Publisher, Cook Political Report and Political Analyst, National Journal Magazine.

While in Washington we had time to be tourist….we took a tour of the Capitol and a Night Tour of the Monuments.  We had a great guide for the Capital tour, he was so passionate about the history of the building and seeing the monuments at night is the best!

Posted by: Janell Queen

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