This past month I feel like I have learned a whole new vocabulary and skillset; social distancing, shelter in place, teleworking, and my favorite: The Zoom Cocktail. Time has moved at warp speed. What was up to date in the morning has changed by the afternoon. A day has been the equivalent of a week, in the way that Covid-19 has changed almost everything, from work life to home life. Where and what were you doing two weeks ago? This certainly was not the March Madness I was looking forward to. However, amongst all the change, Health Underwriters find themselves in a familiar place. We find ourselves at the center of massive legislative reform, interpreting copious amounts of new information, helping employers and our communities navigate these changes and keeping pace all while handling our other normal duties. Anybody remember the ACA? We have been deemed an “essential” business/industry by our state. As we advise employees and employers on topics like Emergency Paid Leave or the Paycheck Protection Program, which help to keep businesses open and employees insured, I feel like a term of higher esteem and value should be used. I struggle to come up with the most fitting term, so I will let you pick your own. All professions are all essential but we as Health Underwriters are…? Critical? Vital? As a result of Covid-19, NCAHU had to cancel our Annual Symposium that was to be held later this month. We made this decision based on the Governors’ declaration at the time, and now, quite understandably, stopping the spread of the virus. At the present time, we are discussing plans for a make-up symposium day in conjunction with a Medicare Symposium in the late summer. Like most of the world, we are looking to see how Covid-19 continues to impact our ability to meet face to face to make concreate plans. So, stay tuned. We are also embracing the use of web-based meetings and events to supplement communication and professional development. All the classroom setting CE courses have been approved for virtual classes. In the True Spirit of a Champion, we have had several of our Champions Circle Sponsors continue their sponsorship despite the ability to hold our Annual Symposium. A big thank you! I will not highlight them here but call me and it would be my honor to share the good will. We also respect the business positions of all our potential sponsors and look forward to renewed opportunities soon. We are still seeking sponsors for the program and working on innovative ways to highlight value, despite the availability to hold a large member event. Please call Dan Odorizzi, or any board member, for more information. Hot off the press: I’m happy to announce that 5 of our local chapters earned the Silver Certification from NAHU! Congratulations to Charlotte, Coastal, Triad, Triangle, and Western Piedmont. Asheville led the charge in earning a Gold Certification from NAHU. The State Chapter earned the Silver Certification. When you add all those up, it earned NC the Blue Ribbon of Excellence. Thank you to all the local chapter boards and Presidents for their hard work and for pulling together the documentation for submission. Another victory this past month was that we reported a growth in our association membership. This reverses a negative trend that has plagued associations of all types and highlights that hard work and investment of our members and board. Over the next 60 days, we will be promoting a NCAHU membership drive. Chris Ross, State VP, is working with State and Local Chapter leaders to increase membership. April will offer a $50 discount for new members, and at the end of June, Chris will have prizes for top recruiters. I won’t steal anymore of his Thunder. Please support Chris and the Association by asking a non-member to join. An action step you can take right now is to forward this newsletter to a non-member. What non-member comes to mind right now. Send it! Well, finish reading the article first. I’ve always joked that I need a cot in my office at work for lunch time naps. Careful what you wish for, now I have it. My office is now the desk in my bedroom at home, which features a queen size bed. However, I have yet to get that lunch time nap. Health Underwriters are a resilient group of people who see change as opportunity. We are not afraid of long hours and difficult tasks. We serve our clients until we are sure they are informed, compliant and well insured. We come together as an association, now more than ever, in these unprecedent times. Not sure what the next couple of months hold but I know that I am in a familiar place with the right group of people around me: Health Underwriters. PS: I’ll close by asking you this: Did membership in NCAHU benefit you these past three weeks amid the Coronavirus Pandemic? Did a fellow member share a valuable piece of information or resource with you? Did a fellow member call and encourage you? Did you call and encourage another member? That is the value of NCAHU! Go share and encourage!