NU Online News Service, June 24, 10:50 a.m. – Eva Jean Fomalont, the new president of the National Association of Health Underwriters, Arlington, Va., says the health agents group will continue to speak up about major medical insurance issues, even though members are getting an increasing share of their income from the sale of ancillary benefits.

Fomalont, the sales manager for Delta Dental Plan of New Mexico, has spent a total of 16 years selling major medical coverage and other health benefits in New Mexico and Texas. She is a past president of NAHU’s Rio Grande local chapter and its New Mexico state chapter.

She succeeded Bynum Tuttle Jr., owner of an independent benefits brokerage in Greensboro, N.C. as president of NAHU.

Fomalont emphasized the importance of health agents as the people who not only understand and empathize with the health insurers but also speak up for the plan members.

One thing about health agents that has impressed Fomalont over the years is their commitment to the consumer.

“We care,” she said in an interview in Dallas at NAHU’s annual convention. “We really care.”

Another thing that has impressed Fomalont has been the biggest, most successful employers’ commitment to their employees’ health benefits. Even when the employers were going through mergers, buyouts or other massive changes, the human resources personnel were always worried about the effects of any changes on employees coping with medical crises at home, Fomalont said.

She said health agents ought to join NAHU because it is a group that goes to Congress to explain agents’ views of the health care system.

“We most certainly need to stay with the free market,” Fomalont said.

But agents also have to find ways to come together with insurers, employers, health care providers and others to bring about effective reforms, she said.