July 2020 SAAHU Newsletter Print

President's Report

president's report

SAAHU Newsletter – July 2020

President’s Message:

First and foremost, I would like to take a moment to thank Denisse Bravo for her incredible contributions as SAAHU President over the last several years. A true mark of leadership success is leaving an organization better off than it was previously, and this couldn’t be truer of the impact she has made on SAAHU over the last several years.  In these trying times we couldn’t have asked for a better leader to guide us through our transition to digital meetings and digital content.

What a crazy year 2020 has become. As I was driving to my office this morning I was reflecting on 2019, and sadly I have forgotten what “normal” even feels like. Just a few months ago SAAHU members were attending Day at the Capitol, Capitol Conference in Washington, DC, and planning monthly meetings and a golf tournament. Then the world abruptly changed. Our lives were greatly impacted by a global pandemic, and we as a global community were called upon to begin correcting the social injustices that plague not only our country but society as a whole. The lesson learned through all of this is that we need to be there for one another to find strength as a community so we can all weather this storm together in order to ensure our future and new “normal” are even brighter than the “normal” that we are leaving behind. 

It has been incredible to see our SAAHU Board and SAAHU community as a whole rally around one another, and adapt so efficiently to the vast changes bestowed upon us. NAHU has also had to adapt on the national level, and have proven their resiliency by successfully hosting our Annual NAHU Convention virtually. The convention was an absolute success given the circumstances, and further proves NAHU’s commitment to its members across the country. The annual NAHU Awards Ceremony was also held virtually and I would like to congratulate all of our Arizona chapters on the many awards collected at this year’s ceremony. 

AAHU Awards

Blue Ribbon of Excellence Award

Landmark Award

Most New Members

Highest Membership Growth Rate

SAAHU Awards

Pacesetter Award

Highest Member Retention Rate

GPAHU Awards

Website Award

Pacesetter Award

Highest Membership Growth Rate

Region 7 Awards

Blue Chip Awards


Please take a moment to congratulate your chapter leadership for our OUTSTANDING showing at this year’s annual NAHU Awards Ceremony! Also, thank you to every one of our board members for doing your part to make these awards possible! 

In order to help our fellow SAAHU members who have been affected by COVID-19, NAHU has created the COVID relief fund. If you are able and willing, we are asking for your help to raise funds for this amazing cause. To apply for assistance or to Donate, click here:


Thank you to our incredible sponsors for your support, and for bearing with us as we navigate the uncertainties in front of us.  Our sponsors are also a part of the SAAHU family so please take a look at the sponsorship section and support these amazing organizations. 

Lastly, I look forward to serving as your president. Our board members and organization as a whole are an incredible group of people. We have accomplished some great things over the last several years, and we will continue to thrive in the future… no matter what that future looks like!


Ryan Hansen

SAAHU President 

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Welcome New Members


SAAHU would like to welcome all our new members to our organization! We are stronger because you have joined us! Thank you!


Have you heard we host New Member Orientation meetings? We would love for you to come and check one out soon! 

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Calendar of Events

We would love for you to join us!


Come check out the events coming up!

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Community Service

SAAHU is a firm believer in making a difference within the community we live in. We do this by selecting a local registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization twice per year.

We are proud to announce we are currently helping out Congenital Heart Defect Families of Tucson

The Mission of CHD Families of Tucson is to bridge the gap in quality of care for CHD Families by empowering parents with the tools to advocate on behalf of their child.

Our vision is to increase family involvement and inreach by encouraging families to recognize that our most valuable resource is our network of parents who have been where you are.

How can you continue to help them? For more information about this non-profit, you can visit their website at: https://chdtucson.org/

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Golf Tournament

Thank you so much for being part of a great event! We can't wait to see you at the one next year!




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NAHU Presiden'ts Triple Crown Program


To qualify for the Triple Crown, within the calendar year (01/01-12/31), a member must:

HUPAC: Participate in $12 x 12 draft program or contribute $150 total for the year
Membership: Recruit two or more new members
Advocacy: Use Operation Shout to send three or more messages

One, two, three -- it's that simple!

While members have the entire year to complete the requirements, winners will be announced quarterly. Once a member achieves Triple Crown, their name will appear only once on the specific quarterly qualifiers report (below), in the quarter in which the recognition was obtained. Once earned, the member has qualified for that calendar year.  Click on the link below to see where you stand in qualifying for 2020.



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SAAHU members are eligible for discounts on products and services that can enhance their business success and increase their bottom line, including E&O insurance, technology, and compliance savings. By utilizing the NAHU-exclusive discounts offered by the following vendors, members can often more than recoup their membership investment.


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Find an Agent

Sometimes you need to find a fellow agent outside of your area - heck! Sometimes you need to find one in YOUR area! 


Here is a simple way to do it! Click here!

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Member Benefits

NAHU members are eligible for discounts on products and services that can enhance their business success and increase their bottom line, including E&O insurance, technology, and compliance savings. By utilizing the NAHU-exclusive discounts offered by the following vendors, members can often more than recoup their membership investment.

When contacting vendors for more information, members should mention their NAHU membership. Come and learn more about them at our website

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HUPAC is the political action committee of NAHU. It is the expression of our First Amendment rights to free speech and association guaranteed under the Constitution. Such political expression has become far more than a useful option for professionals in a heavily regulated business like the health insurance industry. It has become a necessity.

HUPAC is registered with the Federal Election Commission. Since NAHU and similar organizations are prohibited from making political contributions, HUPAC was created to allow contributors to combine their financial support to a candidate to achieve maximum effect.


If you would like further information - please feel free to reach out to Michael Bravo

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Operation Shout!

NAHU is the leading professional association for health insurance agents, brokers, general agents and consultants. Our members work every day with individuals, families and employers of all sizes to help them purchase health insurance coverage and use that coverage in the best possible way. As a dedicated group of more than 100,000 benefit specialists from across the nation, we advocate on behalf of American health insurance consumers.

One of the primary ways we engage in advocacy for the consumer is by supporting legislation that ensures the future and stability of the insurance industry. Through Operation Shout!, you as a member have the opportunity to participate in this exciting process.



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Legislative Update



I hope everyone is doing well and looking forward to cooler weather. Both SAAHU and the state board AAHU have signed on with 192 other companies and organizations to ask Congress to pass COBRA funding that would allow those who've lost their job due to COVID-19 to keep and afford the coverage they've come to know and appreciate. Also attached is a press release if you would like to pass along to colleagues. 


Also, we have a election update from our lobbying firm Kutak Rock




AZ Government Affairs Election Update: Most Incumbents Fared Well, But Some Races Are Still Too Close to Call

Arizona voters headed to the polls yesterday to cast their ballots in the state’s primary election.  More than a million early ballots were cast by Monday, a state primary record, as many Arizonans looked to avoid voting on Election Day during the COVID-19 pandemic. The data collected shows that there is a great deal of enthusiasm from Democrats which may impact the makeup of the Legislature next year.  Currently Republicans are clinging to small leads in both the AZ House (1 seat) and AZ Senate (2 seats).     

While a few races are still too close to call, below is a summary of some of the key primary races from yesterday.  I will have another update shortly, as more votes are counted.  Additionally, we will send out a 2020 General Election Preview in the next few weeks. 

Key Congressional Primary Races

  1. Senate Republican Primary:U.S. Senator Marth McSally easily defeated Glendale businessman Daniel McCarthy, a first-time political candidate, who ran mostly on a platform of supporting President Trump.  McSally will now face former NASA astronaut and Navy pilot, Mark Kelly, in the general election.  Kelly ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination.  He is currently leading in most polls. 

U.S. House of Representatives District 1 Republican Primary: Tiffany Shedd defeated attorney Nolan Reidhead for the Republican nomination. Shedd previously ran for the CD 1 House seat in 2018, but lost in the Republican primary to Wendy Rogers. She will faceoff against incumbent Congressman Tom O’Halleran in the general election. 

U.S. House of Representatives District 1 Democratic Primary: Incumbent Democratic Congressman Tom O’Halleran easily beat former Flagstaff City Councilwoman Eva Putzova in this primary contest.  O’Halleran is expected to retain his seat against his GOP challenger, Tiffany Shedd in November. 

U.S. House of Representatives District 2 Democratic Primary: Incumbent Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick was able to easily fend off a primary challenge from former U.S. State Department diplomat, Peter Quilter.  She will face Brandon Martin in the general election where she is expected to retain her seat.


U.S. House of Representatives District 6 Democratic Primary: Hiral Tipirneni officially won this crowded race and will face Congressman David Schweikert in November. As expected, this race came down to Tipirneni and Anita Malik, who won the 2018 primary, but lost in the general by 10 points to Schweikert. Tipirneni has been crushing everyone in the district with fundraising, especially while Schweikert has been spending most of his money on legal fees. Last week Schweikert admitted to 11 ethics violations and paid a $50,000 fine. National Democrats have been targeting this race for about a year; however, it will still be an uphill battle for Tipirneni to defeat Schweikert in November.


Key AZ Legislative Primary Races

Upset Alert - Senate Legislative District 6 Republican Primary: Wendy Rogers will defeat incumbent Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen in the GOP primary. Rogers, a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, had a significant cash advantage to Allen, the current chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee.  Rogers will face the Democratic nominee, Felicia French, in the general election.  French is very well funded and Democrats are targeting this seat as a possible pick up. 

Upset Alert - Senate Legislative District 15 Republican Primary: This by far was the most contentious and expensive primary race this election cycle. Currently the race is too close to call; however, Representative Nancy Barto holds a slight lead over incumbent Senator Heather Carter by 935 votes. Barto represents the more conservative wing of the Republican caucus and Carter is more of a moderate and swing vote.  Outside groups spent nearly $1.6 million on the race, most of it to aid Carter. With no Democratic opponent in the general election, centrist groups and unions have instead poured money into electing Carter, whose policies frequently put her more in line with Democrats than the more conservative members of her caucus.

Senate Legislative District 23 Republican Primary: Incumbent Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita easily defeated her primary challenger, Alexander Kolodin, a Scottsdale based trial attorney. Ugenti-Rita was seen as vulnerable this election cycle, especially in the primary, due to some alleged ethics issues regarding potential inappropriate behavior; however, she was able to easily win this contest.  She is expected to retain her seat in the general election in this heavily GOP favored district. 

Senate Legislative District 24 Democratic Primary: Democrat Senator Lela Alston easily won her primary challenge against Air Force veteran, Ryan Starzk, who ran to her left in an attempt to appeal to the progressive wing of the Democrat caucus.  Alston has represented LD 24 for the past 10 years, eight years in the House and the last two years in the Senate.  However, this past year was actually her 28th year in the Legislature, previously serving from 1977 through 1995 before returning to the body back in 2010. 


House Legislative District 1 Republican Primary: Political newcomer Quang Nguyen appears to be on his way to winning one of the two open seats in this GOP primary.  Former legislator Judy Burges is holding the second spot, but she is closely followed by Selina Bliss.  Currently this race is still too close to call.  The top two candidates will likely replace retiring legislators Noel Campbell (R) and Steve Pierce (R) in the House in this heavily GOP favored district. 

House Legislative District 2 Democratic Primary: Incumbents Daniel Hernandez and Andrea Dalessandro held off a challenge from the far left to win this primary contest. They defeated progressive candidates Luis Parra and Billy Peard.

House Legislative District 3 Democratic Primary: Incumbents Andres Cano and Alma Hernandez easily won this primary contest.  Javier Soto, a union activist, was challenging them for one of their seats. 

Upset Alert - House Legislative District 8 Republican Primary: Senator Frank Pratt was looking to return to the House this election cycle after serving in the Senate since 2017; however, he is currently the odd man out in this 3-way race, down by a mere 30 votes.  Currently, Representative David Cook is the top vote getter in the district with political newcomer Neal Carter in 2nd place.  Going into the election, Cook was seen as the more vulnerable candidate due to the recent release of  a House Ethics Committee report condemning Cook’s behavior and involvement with a former female lobbyist.  Carter was hoping to knock off Cook in the primary, but he might end up taking out Pratt. This race is still too close to call.

House Legislative District 10 Democratic Primary: Representative Domingo DeGrazia and political newcomer Stephanie Stahl Hamilton, an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church, defeated Paul Stapleton-Smith, a labor leader and community organize in this primary contest.

House Legislative District 13 Republican Primary: Representative Tim Dunn will be the top vote getter in this contested primary; however, the 2nd spot is still up for grabs.  The other incumbent, Representative Joanne Osborne is currently leading former Republican state legislator, Steve Montenegro; however, Montenegro is only trailing by around 400 votes.  This race is still too close to call.

House Legislative District 15 Republican Primary: Steve Kaiser currently holds a substantial lead for the first seat, over Justin Wilmeth and Jarrett Hamstreet, who were separated by about 1,000 votes. While this race is still too close to call, it looks like the seats will go to Kaiser and Wilmeth.  Both candidates ran as a team with Nancy Barto who is currently ahead of Heather Carter for the LD 15 Senate seat. 

House Legislative District 16 Republican Primary: Political newcomer, Jacqueline Parker and incumbent John Fillmore  took the top two spots in this primary race. They defeated Lisa Godzich and Forrest Moriarty.  They will likely win the general election this November with no Democrats challenging in this heavily GOP favored district. 

House Legislative District 19 Democratic Primary: Representative Diego Espinoza and Representative Lorenzo Sierra easily defeated political newcomer Leezah Sun.  Sun was running to the left of both Espinoza and Sierra in an attempt to appeal to progressive voters in this heavily Democratic district.

House Legislative District 21 Republican Primary: Representative Kevin Payne and political newcomer Beverley Pingerelli easily defeated Randy Miller.  They will face Democrat Kathy Knecht in the general election in what should be a very competitive election.

Upset Alert - House Legislative District 23 Republican Primary: Incumbent John Kavanagh easily won the top spot in this primary race; however, his seatmate Representative Jay Lawrence is on the verge of losing his seat to political newcomer, Joseph Chaplik.   Going into the primary, Lawrence appeared to be vulnerable due to some controversial comments he has made at various political events in the district.  This race is still too close to call. 

House Legislative District 25 Republican Primary: House Speaker Rusty Bowers and Representative Michelle Udall both held off a strong challenge by Kathy Pearce.  Pearce is the sister of Russell Pearce, former Arizona Senate President and author of the controversial immigration legislation, SB 1070.

House Legislative District 26 Democratic Primary:  Representative Athena Salman is on track to hold onto her seat, while her running mate of choice, Melody Hernandez, is eking out a less than one percentage point lead over Debbie Nez Manuel, whose campaign Revitalize AZ spent more than $50,000.  This race is still too close to call

House Legislative District 27 Democratic Primary: Representative Reginald Bolding and Representative Diego Rodriguez easily defeated former legislator Catherine Miranda.  After a failed congressional bid, Miranda was hoping to return to the Legislature; however, her past endorsement of Republican Governor Ducey clearly damaged her efforts in this heavily Democratic district.

House Legislative District 29 Democratic Primary: Representative Cesar Chavez and Representative Richard Andrade easily held off a challenge by political newcomer, Teddy Castro, a real estate state broker, business owner.  Castro was hoping to appeal to the progressive wing of the Democratic caucus in this district. 

Maricopa County Attorney Democratic Primary: Democrat Julie Gunnigle, a former Illinois prosecutor, will move on to face incumbent Allister Adel for Maricopa County Attorney after winning the primary.  Adel was appointed to replace Bill Montgomery last year after Montgomery moved on to the Arizona Supreme Court.


Maricopa County Sheriff: Controversial former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is trailing his former chief deputy, Jerry Sheridan, by roughly 500 votes with plenty of votes left to be counted in the GOP primary.  The winner of this race will face the current Maricopa County Sheriff, Paul Penzone this November. 


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Leading Producers Round Table

The Leading Producers Round Table (LPRT) formed in 1942 to recognize the successful underwriters of accident and 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.

We would like to take a moment and recognize the 2020 NAHU LPRT Qualifiers:

  • Korina Kay Gregg
  • Judy Anne Johnson, MHP, RHU, REBC
  • Rebecca Ann Kanoza, RHU, REBC
  • Raymond E. Magnuson, JD, CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC
  • Rosanne Wolfe, RHU, REBC

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From the Annual Convention to Capitol Conference, to Regional Conferences, State Symposiums and more we want you to be part of the organization and all the events in provides!


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Education Foundation

The NAHU Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that helps the public stay informed about the public and private health insurance options available to them.

The foundation creates educational materials for the American public about private health insurance options, whether consumers are buying health insurance coverage on their own, purchasing coverage through the exchange or signing up for a plan through their employer.

The foundation also assists those needing coverage who may be eligible for public programs like Medicare, Medicaid or children’s health insurance programs.

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SAAHU at the Capitol Conference

Capitol Conference represents an unprecedented opportunity to present positive solutions that will contribute to a stable, competitive and efficient health insurance market. 


NAHU members have been coming to Washington, D.C., to stand together and make their voices heard. Make sure your voice is amongst the crowd. By attending NAHU’s Annual Capitol Conference, you will have the opportunity to join with hundreds of your colleagues from around the country to lobby for health reform changes of importance to you and your clients on Capitol Hill. You will also get to hear from exciting speakers representing Congress, the Administration and other health reform stakeholders, network with other agents and see our Health Underwriters Political Action Committee at work.



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Secretary's Corner

Secretary Recap

In April, we had our monthly membership meeting held virtually.  The topic was Healthcare Cost in the United States and Alternative Solutions presented by Chris Durkin.  This was a 1 CE course.  We also held 3 “Check In, Resources and Happy Hours” on zoom.  Unfortunately, we had to cancel our annual SAAHU Golf Tournament.  The 2021 SAAHU Golf Tournament will take place March 26, 2021. 

In May, we had a 3 CE course on Ethical Challenges and Consequences.  One America sponsored this meeting.  Due to the pandemic this was held virtually.  Following the meeting we held a virtual New Member Orientation for all the new members of SAAHU.  We also held 2 “Check In, Resources and Happy Hour” virtually.  

In June, we offered two virtual classes both with 1 CE credit.  Topics included Financial Insecurity to Financial Wellness by Mari Noyes.  The other course was Combination Disability Insurance taught by Jessi Spini and Marcy Pruitt.  

July 21, 2020, we had our Annual Strategic Planning Meeting This is where the new board got together to come up with our goals for the upcoming year.    

August 19th from 8-9:30 we will be offering another virtual meeting.  This will be 1 CE credit.  The topic will be Onsite, Shared Site and Direct Primary Care: What it is, How it works and why employers are doing it.  We hope that you will join us.  

We hope to be able to see you all again in person soon.  Until then, we will do our best by providing you with quality and informative meetings virtually.

It you ever have any suggestions or ideas for us, please reach out anyone of our board members.

Respectfully submitted:

Nicole Dyson

SAAHU Secretary 2020-2021

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Treasurer's Report

The Southern Arizona of Health Underwriters budget has been approved by the 2019-2020 board of directors at the beginning of the fiscal year.

 Interested on seeing the SAAHU Budget? Just ask! The budget and financial reports are available for review upon request by contacting the association treasurer.

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Thank you so much to our sponsors!

Thank you so much to our sponsors! We appreciate you! 


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