March/April 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
President-Elect: John Helms
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


Standing Room Only: Janet Trautwein in the Bay


GGAHU and SVAHU jointly sponsored a sold-out event on March 13th. The room was packed with members eager to hear from the NAHU CEO, Janet Trautwein. The event was held at the Kaiser Garfield Innovation Center in San Leandro.


In addition to keynote speaker Janet, there was also an excellent panel discussion on technology, human resources and payroll. The panel included Jeff Papenfus from Warner Pacific, Barbara Freet from Human Resource Advisors and Josh Jessup and Janae Trujillo from Payroll Systems.


Thanks to our ever-generous sponsors: Kaiser, Warner Pacific and Payroll Systems.


 And a very special thanks to Janet Trautwein for sharing her insights with our members.



Visit to sign up!


March 16, 2015




UCSF Medical Center, John Muir Health Affiliate to Develop Regional Health Care Network, New Company


Relationship to Serve as Cornerstone of Bay Area Network to Provide More Integrated, High-Quality, Cost-Effective Care


UCSF Medical Center and John Muir Health have finalized an agreement that will serve as the foundation for a Bay Area health care network intended to provide patients with high quality care at an affordable price.


The two health systems also have formed a new development company that will enable them to collaborate on building new medical facilities, increase the number of physicians in the health care network, and provide physicians and patients new tools to improve coordination of care, with the ultimate goal of an enhanced patient experience.


Under the agreements, both organizations remain independent. Together, UCSF Medical Center and John Muir Health:


  • Have invested in a collaborative effort, called the Bay Area Accountable Care Network, to form a regional health care network. Establishing a Bay Area-wide network will provide patients from throughout the Bay Area and Northern California with a competitively priced option to access, close to where they live or work, many of the Bay Area's most trusted and respected hospitals, health systems and physician organizations.


  • Will equally own and operate a new development company. The formal affiliation will enable both organizations to build on their strengths and work together to develop joint initiatives and a shared services organization to support programs and initiatives focused on better health care, at lower costs, for Bay Area patients.


For the full press release, visit: 



Affordable Care Act Reporting

By: Casey Stratmeyer, Payroll Systems



Applicable Large Employers (ALE's) will need to focus on new reporting requirements set to take effect in January 2016 for the 2015 plan year. Sections 6055 and 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code cover in-depth reporting for employers with 50 or more full time and full time equivalent employees. While employers with between 50 and 99 employees have an extra year to comply with the Employer Mandate or face Section 4980H penalties, they must still report under Sections 6055 and 6056 in January of 2016.      


Section 6055 applies to entities that provide coverage, such as insurance companies and self-insured employers. Section 6056 covers employers that offer coverage and calls for detailed data including information about each full time employee and what coverage was offered to the employee by month. Employers will comply with their reporting requirement by filing IRS Form 1094-C(a transmittal and IRS summary form) and 1095-C. Employees must be given a copy of the 1095-C by January 31, 2016, and it must be filed with the IRS by March 31, 2016 if filing electronically. Employee copies can only be delivered electronically if affirmative consent is given. It may be helpful for employers wishing to use email distribution to obtain such consent sometime in 2015 to streamline the process.


Required information will include:

  • Social Security numbers of employees, spouses and dependents
  • Names and EIN of other employers within the reporting employer's controlled group of corporations for each month of the calendar year
  • Number of full-time employees full-time equivalents for each month
  • Section 4980H transition relief indicators for each calendar month
  • Employees' portion of the lowest-cost monthly premium for single tier coverage by month
  • Any 4980H safe harbor for determining affordability used by month


Employers with between 50 and 99 employees wishing to take advantage of the transition relief from the Employer Mandate will use Form 1094-C to certify to the IRS that their headcount qualifies them for this relief. Since self-insured employers will need to report the social security numbers for not only their enrolled employees but also for any enrolled spouses and dependents. If employers have any gaps in this data, they should make attempts to obtain updated information before the reporting is due.    

Employers that have made offers of affordable coverage to all full time employees and their dependents for all months of the calendar year can use a simplified reporting method.


Payroll Systems had developed reports to help you determine if you are an Applicable Large Employer (ALE), as well as compliance tools that will allow you to track your variable hour employee's measurement and stability periods. We also have other tools to help you comply with the Affordable Care Act, please contact us for more details on how we can help keep you compliant.


Capitol Conference 2015: Three Perspectives


Cathy Little, GGAHU Secretary

I was a first time attendee at Capitol Conference 2015 and it was also my first time ever visiting Washington, DC.  The theme of this 3-day event was "Stand Up and Be Heard".  I now have a fuller appreciation and understanding of just how much NAHU works to advocate for agents and brokers, as well as for the health insurance consumer. 

The agenda covered a broad spectrum of priorities which NAHU will champion at the Federal policy level in 2015 including H.R. 815, legislation which removes broker commissions from the MLR calculation in the health reform law.  NAHU also outlined specific recommendations and solutions to help address some of the current challenges with the law that are discouraging to businesses.  For example, we support legislation that would broaden age bands from what the law currently requires (3:1) because prices have gone up significantly for many individual consumers and will impact employer-sponsored plans at the end of this year when grandmothered plans expire. There was also a great deal of focus on the topic of medical care price transparency and provider payment reform.  

The visits with our legislators were a highlight of the conference.  "Boots on the ground", our conversation started by describing the role of brokers, how we are the largest distribution channel for insurers as well as the marketplace exchange, and we provided specific examples of how brokers are making a difference in helping consumers and employers secure affordable health insurance.  We also talked about cost containment and gave specific examples of how the ACA is impacting the insurance premiums of small business owners and individual employee/family premiums.  The legislators we met with were very receptive to our message.


Overall my experience was very positive and I was proud to represent our local chapter, GGAHU, at the national level. 


Colleen Callahan, GGAHU Legislative Chair

It was cold! But the conference was well worth it. Thanks so much to those that attended from Golden Gate: Jon Bone, Hazel Bright, Patrick Burns, Rick Coburn, Linda Rose Koehler, Phil Lee, Cathy Little and Kathy Luna.


We had a great meeting with Representative Eric Swalwell. He has been kind enough to meet with us in person for three years running. We also had productive meetings with staff members from Representatives Mark DeSaulnier and Jackie Speier.


The hill visits were intended to discuss the role of the agent and ask for support for HR815 (removing the agent's commission from the MLR) and HR30 (asking for a traditional 40 hour work week - which does not impact California). There were also some talking points about needing to contain costs. In fact, there was a great presentation at the conference related to cost and the lack of transparency.


As usual, we had wonderful speakers and content at the conference. One particularly lively guest was South Carolina Senator and former insurance agent Tim Scott. He had a very clear understanding of the issues the agent faces in business and as a result of the big changes our industry is facing.


Mark Guanya, Chair of NAHU's Working Group Taskforce on Transparency, told agents that we have to disrupt what we are doing as agents or we will be disrupted. It was a very pointed statement. In essence, the health insurance agencies of the future will look differently, we just need to figure out exactly what that means. We will need to increase our focus on social media, dealing with the buying styles of generations that are very different from the aging baby boomers. It is definitely a time of change.


Kathy Luna, GGAHU Member

The opportunity to attend the Capital Conference in Washington DC as a first time attendee was a wonderful experience. It was both enlightening and educational to hear speakers at the General Session discuss such issues as "The Future of Healthcare", "The Direction of Health Reform" and "King v Burwell - The Implications for the Marketplace". The breakout sessions also provided excellent information including topics on "The Employer Mandate", "Reporting Track" and "Containing Health Care Costs".


The meetings with our representatives were both an honor and a privilege. Members from GGAHU met with Mark DeSaulnier's Legislative Assistant Emlyn Struthers. We discussed H.R. 815 legislation which removes broker commissions from the MLR calculations in the health reform law. Emily seemed very receptive to our concerns. We also offered to help Congressman DeSaulnier's office with regards to insurance issues constituents may encounter. GGAHU members also met with Congressman Eric Swalwell and discussed HR 815. The Congressman seemed genuinely interested as we shared our concerns.


The chance to attend my first Capital Conference gave me the chance to see the commitment to healthcare we all share at a national level. There are so many things that need to be accomplished in the area of healthcare and through discussions and compromises I believe we can succeed if we continue to come together with one voice. The dedicated professionals that work tirelessly on behalf of NAHU are to be commended for their dedication and commitment. The success of Capital Conference is testimony to this commitment.  



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