I have written extensively about the challenges we all faced in the wake of the pandemic outbreak last year. It's hard to believe we are almost at a year since the first lock-down. This pandemic has touched all of our lives in some way and while lock-down restrictions have been lifted for most of the Country, today the rate of infection is marked by the two new variants, posing a new threat to all of us.
In years past, as a chapter we met monthly, in -person. In order to keep our chapter members safe, last year we shifted all of our programming from in-person to virtual. The pivot was modestly successful. Like the rest of the country we had to quickly learn new technology and had to think about our events differently than we had in the past. We were challenged with ramp up periods, new ways of marketing, and figuring out how to compel you to join us even though we were hearing how "zoomed out" everyone was.
And yet, here we are. One year later, we learned a ton. You will see in the coming months and over the next few years some small but significant changes to our association. We have had an opportunity to take some time and evaluate what it means to be a member of NAHU. It allowed is time to really examine, "What's in it for you?".
So here is what's in it for you.
Advocacy It isn't a mistake that advocacy is the first on this list. At NAHU we are focused on protecting your livelihood. We do this through federal and state legislative advocacy. This association meets every week with legislators from around the country to discuss important issues facing our industry. We help legislators understand the impact of their legislative priorities on employers, employees, our partners and you, the broker. We share with legislators important stories that help them to understand not only how legislation impacts us, but also the impact of unintended consequences that may arise if a law or a regulation isn't well thought through. In the last moth NCAHU has met with ALL of the sitting members of the Health and Insurance committees in NC. We are creating and reinforcing relationships with key politicians and educating them on health care priorities. These conversations are a critically important way of helping them understand the vital role we play in the market. This important work helps to protect broker commissions, expand coverage options across the state and to drive down the cost of insurance.
Professional Development Professional Development has always been the cornerstone of NAHU. Our most popular learning modules have included CE but in recent years we have expanded our compendium of learning to include training on important compliance issues facing our industry and training for Medicare agents. We have also convened the heads of hospitals to talk to members about the challenges facing North Carolina and we have had legislators speak about the importance of having our voices heard in the halls of the General Assembly.
Leadership Development Many professionals from our industry have joined NAHU to get more involved in the inner workings of both Chapter and State leadership. Open board positions across many chapters in our regions are unique opportunities for members to develop their leadership skills. Being a leader in NAHU gives participants a rare opportunity to learn from other seasoned professionals that include an array of insurance carriers, worksite and ancillary providers, medicare agents, and government heads including the Department of Insurance. For new brokers inside an agency this type of leadership development could positively impact your organization.
Fun - Peer Networking What is the point of working if you aren't enjoying the work? Being a NAHU member gives you a rare opportunity to network and create lasting friendships (and partnerships) outside of your own agency. Let's be honest, most of us do not regularly network with brokers from other agencies. The men and women that make up the broker community are unique, knowledgeable and interesting. Being a member gives you an opportunity to learn different approaches to the same industry. This unique opportunity for dialogue helps to forge long lasting friendships. These friendships and mutual respect helps to drive the fun we have with each others.
Each year presents itself as an opportunity to do things differently and 2021 is no exception. I hope that you will not only join us this year for our legislative updates, Medicare summits, symposium but really join us this year as an active member of the Triangle chapter. I hope that you will take advantage of the leadership development and networking opportunities we provide. I hope that you will recommit to engaging this year and using your membership to its fullest potential.
Till next month, Michelle
TAHU Calendar of Events / Save the Date February 9th / 3:00 p.m. - Health Care Changes in the Biden Administration 18th - 10:00 a.m. DOI Medicare 22-24th - Capital Conference (TAHU member registration reimbursement) March 9th / (TBD) - RX/Pharmacy - Why Is It So Expensive 11th / Noon - Legislative Update 23rd - 10:00 a.m. - Direct Primary Care What Is It and How to Sell It April 8th / Noon - Using Gap Plans to Reduce Premium Costs 22nd - 10:00 a.m. - Federal Legislative Update - Biden's First 100 days May 11th / Noon - What's New in Dental Policies and Why Is It Important? June 26 -29th - NAHU National Convention July NCAHU Medicare Summit