LAAHU Small Group Carrier Panel Attracts 100+

The LAAHU Small Group Carrier panel on Oct. 17 at the Skirball attracted a committed group of insurance pros — including the three pictured above: Tamar Arouchian, regional sales executive for Covered California; Fabienne DiMartino, executive sales consultant for Warner Pacific; and Celia Cohn-Derin, account executive with Martin J Wolff.

Brian Sullivan, market  vice president for Humana, opened the meeting. ““We are all doing important work by helping millions of Californians get health care,” Sullivan told the group. “Even during busy open enrollment season, over a hundred of you showed up. That shows real commitment to your clients.”

During the panel, representatives from eight carriers shared updates and 2020 offerings. In the fold were Kristen Berthiaume of CHOICE Administrators, Ernie Bernal of Health Net, Amy Dalton of UnitedHealthcare, Mike Ciciarelli of Anthem, Michael Lujan of Oscar Health, Shad Johnson of Blue Shield, Chris Patton of Kaiser and Dan Tyler of Covered California. Alan Katz, CEO, Take 44, served as moderator, supported by LAAHU leaders Sullivan and Scott Gilbert.

Katz began by saying “We are thrilled so many carriers are still in California!” eliciting a laugh from the audience. Each carrier shared what they wanted brokers to know. The focus for all ended up being on partnerships—with a compassionate personal touch. They urged producers to focus on the real reason the industry exists: to help Californians lead healthier lives.

Giving back was a theme carried forward with an update on LAAHU’s mentoring program, which encourages members to hire interns and attract new recruits into the industry. Attendance to the upcoming holiday party Dec. 17 was also encouraged. Proceeds from the party will support Camp Ronald McDonald, a program for kids with a devastating health diagnosis. Last year LAAHU sent 150 kids to camp. Find out more at

OCAHU Cleans up at CAHU!

The Orange County Association of Health Underwriters won the most awards at the recent CAHU convention. MaryAnn Trutanich, a regional sr. sales executive for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, enthusiastically received a coveted (and huge) cup on behalf of OCAHU for highest membership retention. Besides highest retention, OCAHU also received: Large Chapter of the Year 2018-2019; Outstanding Chapter Membership Growth 2018-2019 and Large Chapter Outstanding Newsletter/Magazine. In addition, OCAHU’s past president Ryan Dorigan was awarded a Presidential Citation from Dave Fear, Jr., past President of CAHU.

Other CAHU accolades went to:

  • Small Chapter of the Year: Ventura County AHU
  • Medium Chapter of the Year: Inland Empire AHU
  • Outstanding Newsletter (tie): Desert Cities AHU and Orange County AHU
  • Outstanding Chapter Website: Los Angeles AHU
  • Robert K. Shepler Memorial Award for Outstanding Individual Recruiter: Jessica Moraitis (Los Angeles AHU)
  • Executive Board Member of the Year: Brad Davis (Sacramento AHU)
  • Member of the Year: Deborah Blander (Ventura County AHU)


New UnitedHealthcare App Allows On-Demand Access to Telehealth Services

UnitedHealthcare is taking a step in the right technology direction. The company unveiled a new app that provides health information for people on the go, including the ability to directly schedule and conduct a telehealth visit with a doctor. The app is available for download at no additional charge for Android and Apple devices to more than 27 million people enrolled in UnitedHealthcare employer-sponsored health benefit plans across the country. The new app allows virtual physician visits, providing secure, online access to a physician via mobile phone, tablet or computer 24 hours a day. UnitedHealth offers these tips to share with your clients:

  • Know when to use telehealth: Virtual visits typically last about 20 minutes, and doctors can treat many nonemergency medical conditions, including allergies, flu, colds, pinkeye, fevers and rashes.
  • How to compare care settings: People who experience a significant or serious medical issue should go to the ER, but telehealth is a potential for people who need non-emergency care. In fact, about 25% of emergency room visits involve conditions that could appropriately be addressed with a virtual visit.
  • Use telehealth to save money: Virtual care generally costs less than $50 per visit compared to an average per visit cost of $740 for an emergency room visit for a similar low-severity condition.
  • Get prescription medications: Nearly half of Americans take one or more medications. If needed, people can use telehealth appointments to obtain prescription medications, including the ability to select a local pharmacy for pick up.


Have a Great Broker Tech Idea? Apply Now for Funding and Mentorship

Pssst…we recently found out about an extraordinary opportunity for entrepreneurs who aim to create tech for brokers. BrokerTech Ventures, a consortium of industry insiders including Holmes Murphy, M3 Insurance, PayneWest, ABD, Conner Strong & Buckelew, Assurance, InterWest, Graham Company and Hylant, will soon be looking for its first cohort. If your proposal is selected, you’ll be a part of a small group of entrepreneurs who will receive money and mentorship to help get your tech idea off the ground. Women and POC please think seriously about applying! A casual observation last week of the Global Insurance Accelerator cohort made us aware of how desperately the insurance industry needs diversity. We’ve been told BrokerTech will select seven to 10 proposals for a $50k convertible note and mentoring. Early stage ideas are welcome. The submission window will open at the end of October and close at the end of November. Start monitoring BrokerTech on Twitter @BrokerTechVen or on LinkedIn @BrokerTech-Ventures for news that the application portal is live. Email any questions to   More info at


Butzlaff Joins Keenan

Keenan, a California insurance brokerage and consulting firm for health care organizations and public agencies, has announced that Troy Butzlaff has joined its Municipalities Practice team as a Consulting Senior Advisor. In this role, Butzlaff will represent one of Keenan’s strategic partners, MidAmerica, a Florida-based company that specializes in delivering health reimbursement and retirement benefit
solutions to the public sector.


  • Alliance of Comprehensive Planners 2019 Annual Conference
    Nov. 12-15, Hyatt Regency Mission Bay, San Diego
    The Alliance of Comprehensive Planners (ACP) is a community of tax-focused financial planners who provide planning strategies for clients on a fee-only retainer basis. Conference early bird registration rates (which expire Oct. 11, 2019) are in effect now. Participation is open to all interested financial professionals. Companies interested in sponsoring the ACP Annual Conference should contact Jill Colsch at The agenda is available here:
  • LAAHU Holiday Party– Dec 17,
  • CAHU Women’s Leadership Conference
    March 25-27, 2020, JW Marriott Resort&Spa, Las Vegas
    Save the date! Get early bird pricing by registering by 8/31/19 and using code NAHU19.
    More info at
  • LAAHU Annual Symposium- Save the date!
    April 22, 2020, Skirball Center, Los Angeles. More info soon!



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