Amidst Health Insurance Turmoil, NAHUs Growth Continues
The U.S. major medical market may be in a crisis, but leaders of the National Association Health Underwriters said NAHU has had a good year.
NAHU officers and staff members who spoke here at the Arlington, Va., health insurance agent groups 72nd national convention acknowledged the increasing pressure members face.
Kevin Corcoran, NAHUs executive vice president, talked about the need to help local chapters strengthen recruitment of new members by easing demands on the officers of the local chapters.
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“Your jobs are getting harder,” Corcoran told NAHU members at the opening general session. “Your commissions are getting squeezed.”
But NAHU has a balanced budget, contributions to its political action committee have tripled, and its grassroots lobbying fund has accumulated more than $600,000, according to Bynum Tuttle Jr., the immediate past president.
The grassroots fund, which can lobby on issues but cannot make campaign contributions to specific candidates, is so strong that NAHU will be using some of the cash for key state lobbying efforts, he said.
Many NAHU members have responded to the turmoil in the traditional major medical market by shifting toward the sale of other types of health insurance products. NAHU has followed their lead by organizing industry interest groups that focus on dental insurance, disability insurance, long term care insurance, Medicare supplement insurance, self-funded health plans, and worksite marketing. NAHU continues to expand those groups, and its also working harder to reach out to large property-casualty insurers that sell major medical coverage, speakers said.
Even the membership picture is looking bright: recruitment of brand new members fell 18% in 2001, but the recruitment rate has rebounded to 2000 levels so far this year, Corcoran said.