On the heels of the NAHU Washington Update released to all NAHU members via email on Nov. 15th, 2019, E Powered Benefits must formally end our support of the National Association of Health Underwriters.
A word from our CEO:
“For many years I have supported NAHU as both a dues paying member and a contributor. From donating my time to speaking at events, executing board positions and committee seats, and donating funds to both HUPAC and industry events that support some common initiatives. However, the attached letter signed by NAHU’s CEO, Janet Trautwein, regarding the CMS price transparency rule does an immense disservice to our industry and our profession as consultants.
In the letter, NAHU claims to support transparency but states that price alone is not enough and therefore, they cannot support the bill. Further, they claim that the burden of posting 300 prices for hospitals is too much to bear. While organizations like Walmart can facilitate pricing transparency on 120,000 items per store, and Amazon doing similarly on millions of items, I simply cannot take this claim seriously.
The letter continues: “NAHU members assist individuals and businesses with their healthcare purchasing decisions every day.” No, they do not.
The average NAHU broker is most often selling fully insured plans or representing self-insured plans overseen by a PPO network or a traditional PBM, in which case they have absolutely no control over healthcare purchasing at all. At best, those consultants will assist with insurance purchasing, which is vastly different.
Do you know what impacts group health plan renewal increases the most? The cost of care. Doesn’t having price transparency help the above referenced broker impact those actual healthcare decisions? How can one make any healthcare decisions without knowing the cost and quality? Doesn’t this bill start to get us at least half way there?
I am perplexed as to why NAHU does not support this. Could it be that while price transparency is essential to employers and patients, it is not so great for commission-based brokers? After all, if price transparency does help to control costs, it will also lower premiums which also lowers commissions). It is not good for carriers and health systems either, which we know are revenue sources for NAHU, especially at the local and state chapter levels.
Many of you may remember the survey E Powered Benefits released earlier this year with two simple questions:
1. Do you believe in transparency for healthcare cost and quality?
2. Do you believe the same transparency should be extended to broker compensation?
It is clear to me and to my organization that NAHU is more concerned with protecting its financial gain and perpetuating the continuance of the status-quo rather than doing what is right for the industry; for those brokers truly looking to deliver value to their clients, and to America as a nation in a very serious healthcare cost crisis.
To the consultants who are NAHU members & contributors: I implore those of you that have committed to a value-based, transparent healthcare and revenue model, to consider redirecting your financial and personal resources toward organizations that truly represent your interests. Please dedicate your time to entities that will provide meaningful and non-biased education to your agencies, allow you the space to teach and innovate, and partner with you to deliver meaningful and long-lasting results to your clients and the consumers we all serve”.
To our community of innovators, industry shakers, and committed change agents – we at E Powered Benefits thank you for your bravery and dedication to changing this before it’s too late.