Impact of Obamacare on Underwriters (and what you can do)
Friday, February 15, 2013 at 09:48AM

Although we have just begun 2013, many are already focused on 1/1/14. That is when more provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly called Obamacare) go into effect. In 2014 new provisions kick in that will prohibit Health Insurance companies from charging higher rates for individuals with pre-existing medical conditions.

No longer will health insurance companies be allowed to discriminate (i.e. underwrite) based on medical conditions. And no longer will health insurance companies require Underwriters to determine the risk of various maladies.

If you are a Health Underwriter then you will most likely need to reposition yourself. As with all Underwriters, hopefully you have been keeping up with your continuing education. If you have taken LOMA courses then you have been exposed to all the basic Life Insurance concepts. If you have attended WAHLU seminars then you have been informed of new trends in the industry. And if you kept updated by reading On the Risk and Hank’s Hot Notes then you are ready to reposition yourself as a Life Underwriter.

I can speak from experience about the transition from Health Underwriter to Life Underwriter. After working as a Health Underwriter for 8 years, I switched to Life Underwriting. Instead of being concerned with the cost of every health condition, I was only concerned with those conditions that impact mortality. Of course there were new concerns related to insurable interest, replacements, and financial underwriting.

Can you go from Health to Life Underwriting? To give yourself the best chance, take time now to do some things for yourself. Sign up for Hank’s Hot Notes – it’s free. Become a basic Member of AHOU for $50 and receive On the Risk. Plan to attend the WAHLU Seminar on April 23rd. Go online and start a LinkedIn account to connect with others in our industry. Finish work on a designation. And you can still sign up to take an ALU exam until March 1st.       

Now is the time to take inventory of your skills and determine what you can do for yourself. See you in April!

Kurt Vlach

Senior Life Underwriter - Catholic Financial Life

Article originally appeared on wahlu (
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