No matter where you live and do business, there’s likely an association of health underwriters (AHU) in your community or region. Participating in one or more of these groups can help you better provide service to clients and prospects. It can also help you build your professional network and enhance your reputation – locally, regionally, and nationally.
If you’re doing business in California and Nevada, you might consider becoming a member of and actively participating in one or more of the following:
California – In the Golden State, there’s a statewide group and 13 regional association of health underwriters chapters
-California Agents & Health Insurance Professionals (CAHIP), formerly known as the California Association of Health Underwriters (CAHU)
Nevada – In the Silver State, there’s a statewide group and two regional underwriter association chapters:
Benefits of Membership
As mentioned before, membership in an AHU can give you a leg up on other insurance sales professionals, while also offering you the opportunity to increase your industry and community profile.
Consider these AHU membership benefits:
1. Increased credibility: Joining your local, regional, and/or state association adds to your professional standing. It shows your clients, prospects, and colleagues that you abide by the highest professional standards – and that you support the health insurance industry’s ongoing stability and advocacy.
2. Helping you stay on top of the latest laws and regulations affecting health care and your clients: There’s no doubt the health insurance industry today is dramatically different than it was in the 1980s or even the early 2000s. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the public exchanges across the country have prompted a lot of changes during the past dozen-plus years – some for the better, others perhaps less so.
Your membership in an AHU group can help you stay abreast of new rules, regulations, and legislation that impact our industry and, potentially, your clients’ group heath or other employee benefits. Many chapters publish member-only monthly or quarterly newsletters featuring updates from local, regional, and national leaders offering insights on the evolving compliance environment.
3. Opportunity to deepen your professional expertise through CE courses, online training, and in-person seminars: AHU chapters regularly host events – both virtually and in-person – to help brokers and others learn about the latest “hot topics” in the industry, including new compliance requirements or new product offers that might be of interest to customers. Others may partner with a leading general agency or regulatory experts to offer specialized training or courses online and in-person that deliver valuable Continuing Education Credits.
4. Quality networking opportunities: You can benefit through connections built with top-producing health insurance professionals and industry experts. Your exposure to innovative ideas can make a significant difference in your future path. You could find a subject matter expert who can help you answer an immediate question, or you might connect with a mentor who will introduce you to new methods to build your business and expand your income.
5. Potential opportunities to contribute to the legislative process: Your participation in an AHU could lead to a meeting with local, state, and/or national legislators to provide feedback on proposed or pending health insurance-related matters. You could participate in grassroots efforts in response to state or national legislative issues.
6. Leadership development: You may have the opportunity to serve as a member of AHU committees or other leadership groups within your selected organization. This, too, can raise your visibility, increase your industry profile, and help you build a broader network, while you play an active role in the future of our industry.
Beyond your participation regionally in an AHU, you may want to consider getting involved with the National Association of Benefits and Insurance Professionals (formerly known as the National Association of Health Underwriters), but still recognized by most as NAHU. It represents more than 100,000 licensed health insurance agents, brokers, general agents, consultants, and benefits professionals through chapters across America, including those mentioned above.
NAHU offers its members a multitude of educational opportunities, including advanced designation programs, CE classes, and online learning. NAHU provides members with professional conferences and networking functions, publications, and business-development tools. NAHU also conducts advocacy efforts at the state and federal levels of government to advance the interests of health insurance professionals and to promote affordable and responsible private health insurance market solutions.
What you should ask yourself is not “How can I benefit by joining and participating in an AHU?” What you really need to consider is whether you can afford not to be an active AHU member.
If you want to learn more about the membership benefits of NAHU, visit the national association website. Or, start on the local level and join one of the regional AHU groups listed above. Your membership will easily pay for itself through your professional and industry growth.
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