February 2010  

Job Openings/Classifieds

Growing Benefits and Financial Services Company located in Fayetteville is seeking to fill a full-time position.  The Client Coordinator position is an entry level position with an  opportunity for advancement.  Qualified applicants will possess the following skills/attributes:  motivated for growth, self starter, positive outlook, willing attitude and the ability to multi-task and prioritize responsibilities.  Experience preferred but not required.  Applicants must possess strong office, client service and computer skills. 

General office duties will include data entry, answering phones, client service and general administrative support, assisting Account Manager on various projects and other special assignments as needed.

Interested applicants should respond by faxing his/her resume to 770-234-4178 by March 15th. 




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Industry Trends

Dollars at Work - Dues Notice

As you may be aware, the Board of Directors of the Georgia Associations of Health Underwriters unanimously approved an increase to the state portion of our association's annual membership dues for 2010.  The amount of the increase is $50 per year.  The Board recognizes that this is a significant increase and feels that it is important to share with our members the reasons behind the decision.  One reason is that GAHU must be able to continue professional development on behalf of its Membership by providing the administrative framework that, among other things, ensures that each CE program offered throughout the state meets the guidelines established by the Insurance Commissioner's office.  Also, we are actively searching for candidates to represent GAHU members before the Georgia General Assembly.  Finally, GAHU's ability to financially support other member lobbying activities at the federal and state level would be compromised.

Obviously, in these economic times, presenting any kind of dues increase is unpleasant.  We know that some members will be upset and unfortunately some may even resign their membership in our Association as a result.  However, as much as saving money is on everyone's minds, the current political challenges facing our industry compel us to focus on saving something even more important:  Georgians' access to private market solutions for health, financial and retirement security and the services of insurance professionals.   

In the past, GAHU has been able to keep our state association dues low thanks in large part to the financial contributions of our corporate partners.  Our corporate partners continue to be important supporters and we are grateful for their continued contributions.  Unfortunately, industry consolidation has reduced their numbers and of course, the current economic environment has forced some of them to reduce their financial assistance to GAHU.   The dues increase will replace these lost funds.  In addition, by funding our legislative activities more directly through dues, the cost of our efforts on behalf of Georgia's agents will be more equitably distributed among those same agents who equally benefit from those efforts.

Meanwhile we also want to reassure our members that GAHU's previous Boards of Directors have diligently kept our state organization's expenses very efficient.  In that light, we invite any interested member to examine the organization's historical financial records.  This is YOUR association and as always, we intend to run it in a transparent manner.  But just as importantly, we hope that our industry is your future and it is our responsibility to maintain the resources to fight for your future.


Know your Business Associate Agreement

Dear Member,

As you know several insurance carriers are revising their agreements to comply with the new Business Associate requirements.   It has come to our attention that some carriers are taking this opportunity to change other language in producer contracts, including the terms for termination of agents "without cause."       One such example indicates that the Company can terminate the contract, without cause, with no less than 90 days notice.  Any commissions would cease upon effective date of the termination.

 Obviously, this constitutes a definite alteration in how producers are currently contracted with the carriers using this language.  Your GAHU Board is concerned that Members might unknowingly renew their producer agreements without knowledge of this language.  Therefore, please make sure you thoroughly review the termination clause of any Producer Agreement you receive from any insurance carrier.  While GAHU has no official stance on the matter (in fact, we recognize that all insurance carriers are free to do as they see fit in a free market!) we do want to ensure that our Members are aware that there are sometimes changes in producer contracting.

As always, we wish you much success and we thank you for your membership in GAHU!

Best Regards,

Your GAHU Board

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Calendar of Events


 GAHU State Event

Scheduled Meeting Date/Time

Special Notice

Visit GAHU's Site for Updates

Click Here for Website

Join GAHU by clicking here


Ritz Carlton Reynolds Plantation

June 16 - 18th 2010

2010 GAHU Convention

'Professional Renewal'

Click Here for Details

Sponsorship opportunities available!




Local Chapter Events/Meetings

Normally Scheduled Meeting Date/Time

Special Notice or

Up-Coming Events


Click Here for Website

Sponsorship details available for up-coming meetings!  Check with [email protected]


3rd Friday Monthly


7:30 AM - 10:00 AM


February 18, 2010
7:00 AM - 3:30 PM

Attendees to the Annual Benefits Forum are asked to complete a survey:

Start Survey


Now - March 31, 2010

Membership Campaign

The member who recruits the most new members each month will win a Starbucks gift card.

The member who recruits the most new members during the campaign will win the choice of:  1) Complimentary registration to the GAHU Annual Forum held June 16-19, or 2)  A $100 American Express Gift Card.   



Coastal Empire (Savannah): 

Special Meeting Notice


3rd Friday Monthly

CEAHU 6th Annual

Symposium & Exhibitor Fair


Date:    Tuesday, May 25th

Time:    8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Local:    The Armstrong Center

         11935 Abercorn Street

       Savannah, GA 31419


11:30 AM - 2:00 PM



CSRA (Augusta):  

Click Here for Website



Please Note: 

New Meeting Time & Location! 


2nd Wednesday Monthly


12:00 Noon - 2:00 PM

Registration @ 11:30AM

Augusta DoubleTree Hotel



Middle Georgia (Macon):



1st Thursday Monthly


10:00 AM - 12:00 Noon



Northeast Georgia (Commerce):           

Click Here for Website




2nd Wednesday Monthly


8:30 AM - 10:30 AM



Northwest Georgia (Calhoun):           



2nd Wednesday Monthly


8:30 AM - 10:30 AM



South Atlanta (College Park):           

Click Here for Meeting Info




3rd Thursday Monthly


11:30 AM - 2:00 PM



South Georgia:

Meeting dates and times will be announced to membership.


Twice Per Year




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Legislative News

Capital Conference 2010

A critical year for presence...

GAHU currently has 21 people registered to attend the NAHU event Capitol Conference in Washington DC on March 7-10. 

The newly elected senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown will speak at this event on Tuesday.  If you have never attended this event, it is the premier event that focuses on NAHU lobbying efforts at our nation's capitol. 

Please go to the NAHU web site for more information on this important event!

Thank you for your support in Georgia and in Washington, DC.  If you know someone who is in our business and they are not a member - ask them to join!  Click here for a membership application! 

State Lobbying Efforts

GAHU has a strong vision for the legislative interests of all members and our industry as a whole. Our representation in this arena is a top priority and to be in sync with these objectives, our leadership has made a decision not to continue the staff relationship with our lobbyist, Michael Wardrip. Michael has represented our interests well over the last 15 years, including his heroic efforts in stopping the Exchange a few years ago.  Together, Michael and GAHU have mutually agreed another avenue is needed for our Association to best represent YOU!


Our Government Affairs Chairman, Matt Holcomb, has already assembled a team to assist in representing our interests with the legislature.  Since many of our current team members already have very solid relationships at the Capitol, we anticipate that we will certainly make it through the session (which should end right around April 2nd) with little interruption in our efforts downtown.  In fact, we already have a team ready to be at the Capitol this week.


Please stay tuned for more information, and thank you for your support of GAHU and free market health solutions for Georgia!


My best regards,


Blake Watts

GAHU President


Wetherton Gets Rolling at the Capital

Lisa Wetheron, Lobbyist for GAHU, has begun a massive lobbying campaign.  Key issues of concern:

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Local News

Atlanta's own, Chase Carey, was featured in the Atlanta Business Chronicle.  Click on the link below for a copy of the article:  oads/atl_bus_chron_sound_off_article_20_nov_2009__2_.pdf

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President's Report

In late January, I attended the NAHU Region 5 Leadership Conference in Nashville, TN.  I learned many things during my time there, one of which was that folks up there are no better at driving in snow and ice than we are down here in Georgia!  Yes, it snowed about 5 inches.  This, as we all know in the deep south, is a sign of the coming apocalypse and a great reason to get out and drive around, hunting empty shelves for the last gallon of milk or package of hot dog buns.  But I digress.

I also learned that leaders in other states and chapters are having many of the same struggles I hear about from our members here in Georgia, such as:

  • "We're having a hard time filling Board slots."
  • "We are trying to bring in new blood, but how do we work them in to an already-entrenched leadership team?"
  • "All I did was show up at a chapter meeting. I remember drinking half a cup of coffee and then feeling suddenly sleepy. I woke to find myself on the podium being introduced as the new President-Elect. What's up with that?!"

 Those are some of the stories I hear consistently, no matter what state or chapter people hail from.  Unfortunately, there are no easy answers.  Developing the next generation of leaders is difficult.  Heck, just being one of the leaders is difficult!  It's really easy (and tempting...and yeah, I've done it myself) to sit in a chapter meeting and make side comments about the crummy food, or the bad sound quality, or the fact that this is the fifth time you've heard "HSA 101...The Wave of the Future!"  Best thing I can say is, something about it!  Suggest a new program idea to your Programs Chair.  Complement the speaker, and ask them what other kinds of topics they might be able to speak on.  Tell your VP about a cool new restaurant you found that might make a good spot for a Chapter meeting.


You see, you don't have to have a title to lead.  You just have to be willing to say something.  To advance an idea.  To do something that helps those around you.  You do this all day everyday with your clients and prospects, anyway!  I'm merely asking you to consider doing it for your fellow members.  The bottom line is that we don't always just need new Presidents or Treasurers...we need new leaders. 


So I challenge each of you to lead in some small way.  Do it now, even if you just do one small thing to help.  If we all did that one small thing, it sure would add up to transform this Association for the better.  Calling all leaders.  Let me hear what you've got!


Thank you!


Blake Watts

2009-2010 GAHU President

[email protected]

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What's in it for Me?

GAHU Members receive an invitation from the CSRA group. For more information go to

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Classified Ads

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