NAHU represents licensed health insurance agents, brokers, consultants and benefit professionals who serve the health insurance needs of employers and individuals seeking health insurance coverage.
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NAHU Self-Funded Instructors

Meet the Instructors

Ruthann Laswick | David C. Smith | Michael Stephens | Janet Trautwein |


Ruthann Laswick - Instructor

The president of Blue Water Benefits Consulting, Ruthann’s career in human resource and employee benefits spans 38 years working from both the consulting side of benefits and the employer’s side. As a compensation and benefits manager for a large international employer, she had first-hand experience working with compliance requirements in both the U.S., Canada and several European countries.

For the past few years much of her time has been spent working on healthcare reform. Since the passage of the PPACA, Ruthann has also been teaching courses for insurance agents and accountants on the components and impact of healthcare reform. A noted expert, Ruthann speaks throughout the country on the PPACA to employers and has partnered large insurance carriers to consult on healthcare reform. She currently serves on several PPACA advisory groups and is the PPACA compliance consultant to a number of national employer associations.

In addition to presenting courses on the PPACA, Ruthann has written and presents courses on ERISA compliance, Medicare, reform and risk management, and HIPAA/HiTech.


David C. Smith - Instructor

David C. Smith is vice president of Ebenconcepts, one of the Southeast's largest benefits consulting firms. He has nearly 20 years of experience in employee benefits with regulatory, business and industry perspectives. David has spoken extensively about wellness and its nuances and is always highly rated as a speaker before diverse audiences.


Michael Stephens - Instructor

Michael Stephens began his insurance/employee benefits career in 1982. In 1989 he became brokerage manager of a local health general brokerage agency and then joined American Medical Security (AMS) Insurance Company in 1992. Michael’s region encompassed Oklahoma, Northwestern Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Southwest Missouri. He was widely recognized as one of the top regional sales managers for the company during his 15-year tenure. The AMS individual plan ranked second in terms of total enrollment for the state of Oklahoma under his leadership.

In 2007, after AMS was acquired by United Healthcare, Michael contracted with Excelsior Benefits to startup their Oklahoma/Texas region and in 2010 he started Tallgrass Benefits as a regional wholesale brokerage specializing in employee benefits.

Michael has been a member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors and NAHU, where he has served as president of both the Tulsa Chapter and the Oklahoma State Wide Chapter. He also served five years on the NAHU Board of Directors as Region 6 vice president and is the current national chair of the Health Underwriters Political Action Committee.


Janet Trautwein - Author/Reviewer/Instructor

Janet Trautwein is the chief executive officer of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) in Washington, D.C. NAHU represents more than 100,000 employee benefits professionals involved in the design, sale, implementation and management of health plans all over the United States. Her responsibilities include oversight of all NAHU activities and primary representation of the association to the media, government agencies and elected officials at all levels.

Prior to becoming the CEO of NAHU in 2005, Janet served for many years as the head of NAHU's government affairs department, working with members of Congress, senior government officials, governors and state legislators, and directing the government and political affairs of the organization.

A frequent speaker on health policy issues, Janet’s expertise in issues related to the uninsured, health insurance pools, risk and reinsurance pooling, health related tax issues and both national and global health reform has been recognized throughout the industry. Janet has been asked to testify before Congress numerous times and has been published in major newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The New York Times and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs around the world.

Have Questions?

Contact Student Services with questions or comments at 844-257-0990 or professionaldevelopment@nahu.org.