Have you ever been to a conference focused on healthcare and legislation? Well, let me tell you – it is one rockin’ time! The conference was hosted by the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) and it was called Capitol Conference. We dubbed it Cap-Con, for short. While it was no Comic Con, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
Hundreds of brokers, carrier reps and other NAHU members descended upon Washington DC last week. We had one common goal: to make the healthcare insurance market more efficient and more responsive to American employers and individuals. Changes must be made to ensure that licensed professionals continue to offer affordable choices in healthcare. With this singular focus and voice, we prepared our message and took it to Capitol Hill . As a first time attendee of this conference, below are my top 3 takeaways…
Word on the Street
I found that the congressmen were incredibly interested to hear the opinions of professionals within the healthcare industry. I personally went to see seven different congressmen and each time we were asked to give real life examples of the struggle that employers and individuals face when purchasing healthcare coverage. It’s very important that these stories continue to make their way to decision-makers in Washington.
Role of a Broker
Many in Washington don’t understand the role of the health insurance broker. As most of you can probably tell from the way the ACA was written, brokers were not consulted nor considered in the process. Why? Because most of Washington has no concept of the level of involvement a broker has when putting an insurance policy in place for an individual or a corporation. It was interesting to see the shock when we explained how complex the system is and the amount of work it now takes for a broker to put a policy in place.
The willingness of brokers to collaborate with each other is becoming more prevalent. Seeing competitors come together in the same room and openly share thoughts and ideas was compelling. This was even more evident when I saw the hundreds of conference attendees who came to Washington with the same purpose in mind. While competition still exists, it seems that more and more brokers are joining forces to fight for the common good of the industry.
While I didn’t get to wear my Superman costume, I got a lot more out of my rookie Cap-Con experience. It was truly encouraging to see that, despite a lack of knowledge, our Congressmen were willing to listen and learn from our first hand stories. I hope we’ll see many changes to the ACA as we continue to enlighten Washington on the benefits that brokers bring and how important it is to make healthcare options affordable for all Americans.