NAHU History

The first gathering of the national organization was on October 14, 1929, just two weeks before the stock market crash. Those attending were health insurance leaders from throughout the United States, all of whom were glad to respond to the call to gather together to discuss and hopefully solve some of the problems then facing the public and the industry.

Founded in 1930, the association was organized in an era when health insurance was basically unprofitable to the companies, and although an infant, the business at the time had some congenital problems. Even though the nation was headed for one of the greatest crises in its history, the association managed to weather the storm and survive. The records reveal that about 100 persons subscribed as charter members of the National Association of Accident and Health Managers.

On June 5-6, 1930, the charter convention took place in an atmosphere of seriousness and optimism in Chicago. The stated objects and purpose of the new organization were:

  1.        To eliminate destructive competition through better understanding;
  2.        To aid in directing and shaping health insurance legislation;
  3.        To raise the ethical standards of the business;
  4.        To educate the public as to the nature and benefits of health insurance;
  5.        To collect and disseminate the most successful sales ideas and methods; and,
  6.        To exchange methods of sales training and any other helpful general information pertaining to the business.

Attending the charter convention were delegates from local associations in Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Portland (Oregon), San Francisco and Seattle.

The spirit of voluntarism marked the early years of NAHU development. There was no paid staff and all of the endeavors of the organization were in the hands of leading health insurance salesmen from the major cities of the United States, who had as their common purpose the development of a strong and effective professional association in the rapidly developing health insurance field.

In 1951, NAHU initiated its first venture into the field of education by establishing the Disability Insurance Sales Course (DISC). The first effort involved promotion and presentation of a 12-part classroom course on Health Insurance. The success of their first endeavor was substantial and classes were conducted on some 40 campuses throughout the country. As other educational programs were developed by industry, DISC changed its thrust and began to co-sponsor Health Insurance Underwriting Clinics consisting of in-residence, short-term courses on college campuses.

The name of the educational division was later changed to the Disability Insurance Training Council (DITC). After carefully studying developments and trends in the educational field, DITC inaugurated an annual series of Health Insurance Research Seminars aimed at the development of new markets for the health insurance product. This was followed by another annual series of health insurance underwriting seminars which were designed to attract knowledgeable agents to participate in a seminar program where new concepts and ideas could be explored, refined and then tested in the marketplace.

In 1961 the name of the National Association of Accident and Health Underwriters was changed to International Association of Health Underwriters. At the June 1978 annual meeting the association major changes were made to the Association's bylaws and the name was changed to National Association of Health Underwriters.

In 1984, at the National Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, the bylaws again underwent a major overhaul, simultaneously with a move to the National Headquarters to Washington, D.C.

The years between 1985 and 1990 propelled NAHU into a strong focus regarding legislative and educational issues. Congress was considering the taxation of health benefits and managed care was beginning to reshape America's health care delivery system.

The early 90's were years of continued growth for NAHU, while the health care environment was changing rapidly due to uncontrolled inflationary cost pressures. State and Federal legislative activities along with industry efforts to manage the costs of health care more effectively brought the realization that educational and legislative activities would continue to demand the very best of NAHU.

Under the leadership of many of the top health insurance professionals, NAHU continues to carry out this responsibility in the many areas of its involvement.

NAHU Mission

NAHU will educate the public and decision makers about the value health insurance professionals deliver in helping consumers access the health care system and, through education and association involvement, increase members' ability to better serve consumers. We will do so in a financially prudent and responsible manner. 

NAHU Code of Ethics

  • To hold the selling, service and administration of health insurance and related products and services as a professional and public trust and do all in my power to maintain its prestige.

  • To keep paramount the needs of those whom I serve.

  • To respect my clients' trust in me, and to never do anything which would betray their trust or confidence.

  • To give all service possible when service is needed.

  • To present policies factually and accurately, providing all information necessary for the issuance of sound insurance coverage to the public I serve.

  • To use no advertising which I know may be false or misleading.

  • To consider the sale, service and administration of health insurance and related products and services as a career, to know and abide by the laws of any jurisdiction Federal and State in which I practice and seek constantly to increase my knowledge and improve my ability to meet the needs of my clients.

  • To be fair and just to my competitors, and to engage in no practices which may reflect unfavorably on myself or my industry.

  • To treat prospects, clients and companies fairly by submitting applications which reveal all available information pertinent to underwriting a policy.

  • To extend honest and professional conduct to my clients, associates, fellow agents and brokers, and the company or companies whose products I represent.