December 2014  

    President's Message

    A Word from the President

        This year we find ourselves faced with more challenges as we move into year two of the ACA (Affordable Care Act) AKA Obamacare. As I think about the term "affordable care act", I wonder what is affordable about it. This year is starting out much like last year did. There is confusion, misunderstanding, unknowns and fear everywhere.

         However, we as agents, brokers and health insurance professional have to focus on what we can control.

         In an effort to be a catalyst for positive change, we have focused our attention on the "Small Group Employer Renewal Campaign".  AAHU and GAHU have been working behind the scene to address the concerns of agents through meetings with the Department of Insurance and discussions with individual carriers as well.

         In addition to the Small Group Employers Renewal Campaign, The State Association and the Atlanta Chapter have been working on drafting suggestions to recommend to the Department of Insurance methods that carriers should use to count lives for health insurance. We want to make sure that every agent and or group is getting the same treatment. Because any counting method in use has its positives and negatives, this way agents will know which carriers to use in a particular client circumstance.

         There has been discussion that because eligible employees have been used in the past, that everyone should use that method. This would correspond with the guidance from DOI and would be in sync with the regulations regarding employee count in the small group market.

         Another alternative mentioned is that all groups use FTE count since it is used by ACA to ACA, that there is value in a consistent rule. That would cause groups that are small for purpose would be small in any situation, since the count would be done the same way.

         Hopefully action will be taken quickly on these two concerns as soon as possible with large numbers of plans renewing.

    Updates will be forthcoming on the efforts in these areas.


    Mychal H. Walker, Sr.

    President, Atlanta Association of Health Underwriters


    “The Department has informed us that the count methodology of carriers not using the eligible counting methodology must be transitioned to eligible counting  by 3/1.   However, those carriers can utilize current non-eligible counting methods from 1/1 to 2/28 as long as the policyholder also has the right to be underwritten (or reunderwritten if already underwritten during this period) using the eligible counting method during the same period.”

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    Past President's Message

    Message from the 2013-2014 Chapter President-Leslie Wiernik, CEBS

         Thank you for the privilege of representing our chapter for 2013-2014. Undoubtedly, it has been a most historic year for our industry and a challenging year for you and your clients. We’ve been confronted with the implementation of the exchange, interruptive changes and delays of ACA provisions, questions and more, yet we survived.

    Our chapter focus is:

         Our Members -- our priority is you. We have added over 50 new members this past board year. AAHU strives to be a valuable resource for you where you can gain knowledge, network, grow, continue your education and further your profession. I welcome all our members and encourage you to get involved. Thank you to all our members for getting involved in our public service events and scholarship fund. Together we’ve contributed priceless volunteer hours and raised significant funds for our charities.

         Our Meetings and Special Events – our goal is to provide informative, relevant topics that you can apply to your life and business when you leave a meeting or special event. Thank you to all of our excellent presenters and sponsors!

         Communication – our goal is to be a resource to our members, consumers and the media. Our renewed website can and should be shared with colleagues, clients and prospects. Let us know where we can improve – we ask for your feedback. Working together we can create a presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. In fact you can go to Facebook and view pictures from our meetings and events anytime – please “like us”. Our chapter really shined in the area of media communication and legislative involvement this past board year. Plan to make it to Capital Conference 2015 and let your voice be heard!

         It has truly been an honor and a most memorable experience highlighted with the opportunity to commemorate our chapter’s 30th anniversary and bring recognition to all the presidents I’ve followed.


    Leslie Wiernik, CEBS

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    Welcome New Members

    Welcome to all new members of AAHU! We are very excited you are here and we look forward to partnering with you all!

    First Name Last Name Company Name
    Nicole Hill Colonial Life
    Warren Felder  
    Cynthia Anderson  
    Randall Ware Health Care Specialists
    Jack Bruce Apollo Healthcare
    Barin Powell The Cason Group, Inc.
    Diane Freeman Brown & Brown Insurance of Georgia
    Patrick O`Rourke New World Benefits
    David Hatter Arista Consulting Group
    Glenna Doyle Assurant Health
    Michael Lank The Lank Group, Inc.
    Ed Hodgson Synergy Benefits
    Amy Hilburn KSA Insurance Agency, LLC
    Jonathan Horowitz S.S. Nesbitt & Company
    John Speaks  
    Brian Suchyna Swiss Re Corporate Solutions
    Michael Zenchuk Hay Companies
    Jesse Smedley
    Shelia Butler Shelia J. Butler & Company, Inc.
    Cory Rodgers HCC Life Insurance Company
    Wilkins Arnall Matrix Insurance Agency,Inc.
    Valda Flowers HCC Life Insurance Company, Inc
    William Rasmussen A.J. Gallagher
    Sarah Nichols BCBSGa
    Geneva Griffin HCC Life Insurance Company
    Cynthia Goings BB&T Insurance Services
    Robert Burns Association Concepts (ACON)
    Jeffrey Gentry Johnson Bryan
    Thomas McCaw Capitol Administrators
    Lisa Fryar McCart Insurance
    Audrey Leeman Digital Insurance, Inc.
    Roy Downey Holmes-Shaw Agency
    David Holmes Holmes-Shaw Agency
    Tommy Miller AYB Benefits, Inc.
    Blake Molina Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia
    Barry Strand Humana
    Steven Snipes Ameritas Group
    Debra Parkes Hodges & Associates
    Aaron Anthony Aflac Worldwide
    Brad Surrett The Surrett Group, LLC
    Nathan Hombroek Multiple Benefits Corporation
    Patricia Sierota Wellpoint/Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia
    Adrian Davis MYidealDOCTOR
    Tracy Lightsey Colonial Life
    Felipe Barganier Colonial Life
    Claire Howes Coventry Healthcare of GA
    Tracy Clausen Hays Companies
    Amber Taylor BIS Benefits, Inc.
    Kristen Looney Piedmont WellStar Health Plans
    Eileen Horowitz Pritchard & Jerden, Inc.
    William Vreeland Senior Health Solutions
    John Aden Aden Insurance Consulting
    Richard Bullard Transamerica Employee Benefits
    Brad Granger Specialty Care Management

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    AAHU News

    AAHU News-What's Going On?


    Meet Your 2014-2015 Board of Directors 



    Mychal Walker-President of AAHU along with Leslie Wiernik-Past President and Brent Simmons-Public Service presents a check to the Atlanta Children's Shelter. The funds were raised at the AAHU Annual Golf Tournament

    AAHU Gold Event and Fundraiser - June 2014

    Yes, it rained but it wasn't rained out! Our second annual golf tournament benefiting the Atlanta Children's Shelter was a tremendous success thanks to Alpharetta Athletic Club, our golf teams, sponsors, in-kind contributors, and volunteers! Together, we were able to donate $5,500! 


     Our 2015 Sponsorship Opportunities Packet has now been released!

    AAHU provides opportunities for companies or organizations to gain name recognition by sponsoring an AAHU meeting or special events. Sponsor names are listed on all pre-meeting promotional correspondence distrubuted to the entire AAHU membership.

    Our Professional Development Team has put together some great package options for our Monthly Meetings, Benefits Forum and Educational Sessions

    Click here to dowload packet

    Thank you to all that came out to our AAktoberfest event! We had such a great turn out and it was great to see everyone!

    Look for an upcoming spring mixer event!




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    Calendar of Events




    January 22, 2015 - Special Education Event

    Proven Tax Strategies for the Insurance and Financial Professional


    January 23, 2015-AAHU Monthly Program - Legislative Update

    featuring Jessica Waltman, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs with NAHU


    February 27, 2015-NAHU Cap Conference Update



     March 25, 2015 - Annual Benefits Forum




    Click here for more details





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    NAHU's News

    NAHU News

    2015 Capitol Conference
    February 23-25, 2015
    Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill
    Washington, DC

    For twenty-five years, NAHU members have been coming to Washington, D.C., to stand together and make their voices heard. This year, make sure your voice is amongst the crowd.’s insurance marketplace for small businesses gets off to a slow start

    Washington Post (December 1, 2014)

      Click here for more NAHU News


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