January/February 2015




Visit to register for upcoming events.

Membership Meetings*
3rd Wednesday of the Month @ Zio Fraedo's in Pleasant Hill
11:00am Registration
11:30am-1:00pm Program/Lunch

2015 Meeting/Event Schedule
January 21*
February 18 @ John Muir Health
March 13 (new date)
Special Guest: NAHU President Janet Trautwein @ Garfield Innovation Center/San Leandro
April 15 @ Kaiser/San Leandro
May 4 -- Golf Tournament
June 17*
July -- no meeting
August -- no meeting
October 21*
November 18*
December 16* (3pm to 6pm)

Board Meetings are held monthly, 2nd Wednesdays @ 9:00 am. Please contact for information

2014-2015 Board of Directors
President: Hazel Bright
Immediate Past President & Treasurer: Janine Wilson
Secretary: Cathy Little
Awards: Casey Stratmeyer
Legislation & Media: Colleen Callahan
Hospitality: Tina Baumgartner
Education: Ron Huppert
PAC/HUPAC: Philip W. Lee
Foundation: Linda Rose Koehler
Membership Retention: Patrick Hennessy
Membership: John Helms
Communications: Allison Farris Wendelberger
For Board member contact information, visit


President's Message

By Hazel Bright


2015 is well underway, and we all survived the 2014 fourth quarter, with some sanity intact. As we catch our breath, we are facing a new year with more ACA regulations and compliance issues for our clients. Now, more than ever, it is important to be a member of NAHU and take advantage of all the compliance information, educational webinars and legislative updates surrounding the ACA. Our goal will be to keep you informed and offer educational member meetings during the year, so you can be the go-to resource for your clients, and you are comfortable with all aspects of employee benefits.


We are excited to host Janet Trautwein on March 13th. We have a special event planned. It will be your opportunity to meet the CEO of NAHU, and learn about the legislative updates and trends for 2015.


We will also be partnering with Kaiser Permanente and John Muir Health on some of our meetings, to provide another vantage point of employee benefits here in the Bay Area.


On behalf of the Golden Gate Association of Health Underwriters' Board of Directors, I wish you a healthy and prosperous year. We hope to support you in your business and to maintain a high level of professionalism in your practice.




GGAHU February Member Meeting

Topic: John Muir Health Updates 2015 
 Speaker: Keith Pugliese, John Muir Health 


Wednesday, February 18 

11:30 a.m. Registration 

12:00 p.m. Program
Muir Health Facility THOMPSON ROOM
1450 Treat Boulevard, Walnut Creek, CA 94597


Visit to register.



WHAT: GGAHU & SVAHU Joint Membership Meeting featuring Janet Trautwein, CEO of NAHU        


WHEN: Friday, March 13th from 9:30am-1:30pm


WHERE: Kaiser Permanente's Garfield Innovation Center, 590 Whitney Street, San Leandro, CA 94577


SPONSORS:   We would like to thank our generous event sponsors...


Main Event Sponsors:

Kaiser Permanente

Warner Pacific
Event: Payroll Systems

Seating is limited. Register now at

New Sick Leave Laws

Provided by Casey Stratmeyer

Authored by Payroll Systems and HR Ideas


On July 1, 2015, California will become the second state in the U.S. to require employers to provide paid sick leave. This new law joins two others: San Francisco's sick leave policy, on the books since 2007, and Oakland's new law, which goes into effect on March 2, 2015. So, while many employers must get ready to offer sick leave for the first time, others will now have to comply with both city and state regulations.


California Sick Leave

AB 1522, the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, entitles employees who work in California for 30 or more days to three paid sick days (24 hours). It applies to businesses of all sizes. Sick days are to be accrued at a rate of no less than one hour for every 30 hours worked, and are use-or-lose, meaning they do not need to be paid out at termination of employment. There's also a tricky retaliation provision to keep employers from firing or demoting an employee within 30 days of s/he taking a sick day - a new potential liability for employers as the cost for violating this clause gets very expensive, very quickly.


Oakland Sick Leave

Passed in the recent November election, Measure FF provides eligible employees up to 9 days (72 hours) of paid sick leave per year. Just like AB 1522, these days are: accrued at the rate of one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked; use-or-lose; carry over from one year to the next; and are subject to the annual cap. Unlike AB 1522, employers with less than 10 employees need only offer 40 hours of paid sick leave. This law also states that an employee cannot be required to find a replacement worker when taking sick leave.



The list of penalties under the California Leave Act subjects employers to a range of financial punishments, from administrative fines levied by the Labor Commissioner, to civil penalties awarded to effected employees. For example, if an employer withholds leave, the employee is entitled to the dollar value of the leave withheld, multiplied by three or $250, whichever is greater. Other violations range from $50 dollars a day, up to $4,000 per each violation. Employers can also be held responsible for the cost of investigating violations, as well as attorney's fees and other costs incurred by the investigating agencies. The penalties for violating the Anti-Retaliation provision are too complex to summarize, but it's safe to say that it's a clause you don't want to run afoul of.



The three laws all vary in their specifics: accrual and eligibility, notification, protections, record keeping, notice & posting requirement, defined family members, penalties, etc. If you have offices or employees in Oakland and San Francisco, you will now have to comply with all three laws. If you currently offer Paid Time Off (PTO), you will want to reconsider your current leave structure. Having both PTO and paid sick leave can leave employers in a lose/lose scenario.


Getting Up to Speed

In complying with any new regulation, the first step is understanding your responsibility under the law. More cities are implementing their own law and as an employer, you must be diligent to check and see what applies to your specific location.


Best practices include:

  • Updating / creating sick leave policy in compliance with both state and city laws;
  • Updating employee handbook;
  • Displaying new required posters;
  • Implementing sick leave accrual on paychecks;
  • Updating new hire kit;
  • Distributing employee notification to current employees, if required;
  • Conducting training of all management staff, as over documentation may be deemed retaliatory;
  • Establishing internal processes ensuring proper payment of sick leave, with or without documentation.



Membership Matters

By John Helms, Membership Chair


2014 really left its mark on me. As a broker, it was without question the most difficult and stressful year of my 29 years in business. But somehow I weathered the storm and even managed to grow. And when I talk with my fellow brokers, all their stories are quite familiar: Obamacare, the Exchanges, and Prop. 45. All were monumental challenges we never faced before, but one way or another we all hung on.  


As an organization, GGAHU was in the exact same boat. The challenges were daunting but we were prepared. Years of building and organizing paid off and we rose to the occasion. But what will we face in 2015? Whatever it is, we can deal with it if we have your support. At years end, we had 170 full dues paying members, but that is a fraction of the several thousand agents and carrier reps in our area that benefit from our work who are not members.  


For those of you who helped us in 2014, thank you for your continued support. For those of you who are considering joining, please do. We will be stronger with 200 members, and even stronger with 250. Numbers do matter and one thing we know is that the next battle won't be any easier. So with that, I wish everyone a successful and prosperous 2015 and once more, into the breach.


To join, please contact           


Live Streaming Webcast

The High Cost of Health Care


The NAHU Education Foundation has developed an exciting webinar series for 2015, and the first one will take place live from the General Session of the Capitol Conference.


To learn more or register, clickHERE 


NAHU's 25th Annual Capitol Conference

By Colleen Callahan, CLU, LUTCF, CASL  

"Stand Up and Be Heard"

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


The 25th Annual NAHU Capitol Conference this year will be February 23-35 in Washington, DC. The theme this year is "Stand Up and Be Heard". It looks like NAHU has lined up some great speakers. The educational opportunities are always wonderful, and of course the experience of visiting our elected officials or their representatives in the Capitol offices is exciting.


There are a few new faces this year so we are hoping to establish relationships and be recognized as resources for all things related to health insurance. With that in mind, if you have a connection with any legislator, State or Federal, please let me or one of our board members know. Perhaps you could make a personal introduction. Contact 

To learn more or register at NAHU, click: CAPITOL CONFERENCE


Leading Producers Round Table (LPRT)


The Leading Producers Round Table formed in 1942 to recognize the successful underwriters of Accident & Health Insurance. Today, the LPRT committee is committed to making LPRT the premier program for top Health, Disability, Long-Term Care and Worksite Marketing Insurance producers, carrier reps, carrier management, and general agency/agency managers.


Please consider joining. To learn more, click HERE.



Golden Gate Association of Health Underwriters | 800-488-2506 | |
c/o California Advocates Management Services
2520 Venture Oaks Way #150
Sacramento, CA 95833