The President's Perspective
by Jeff Olson

Greetings and Happy Monday! Here we are, already in August. Is it just me, or is this summer flying by? I took a few days last week to help my son move to Minnesota for the upcoming school year – yes, it’s that time of year again, too. But, with most of the month still ahead of us, there is still time for vacations, barbeques, the beach, and golf – like the CUFD Golf Scramble, perhaps! Here’s to the remaining summer days, and may we all make the best of them.


360 Degree Advocacy at work.

August is also a great time for credit unions to promote and share the credit union difference! Our Dakota lawmakers are home all month long for state and district work periods. The recess provides us all with a great opportunity to meet and greet our elected officials and their staff back here in the Dakotas. Your CUAD Advocacy Team is preparing to be at several meetings and events to do just that this month. However, this is an area that you can participate in as well. Now is one of the best opportunities you'll have all year to meet with your senators, representatives and their staff right in your own community. We encourage you to show our lawmakers the “CU Difference” by attending a local town hall meeting, county fair, or other public event.


We know that when lawmakers and regulators understand our mission and the member-first financial cooperative model, they'll see the value in supporting policies that will have a positive impact on our industry and on our ability to better serve our members. Just in case you need some back-up, CUNA and CUAD have you covered. Check out the August Recess Guide to find key resources to help you make this month a success for credit union priorities. You will also find more details on what you can do to engage your lawmakers, top-line messaging on our advocacy priorities, pre and post meeting checklists, and advocacy contacts. 


During this recess, one of the top priorities is our focus on data and consumer protection policy. Last month, we shared our support for the Federal Trade Commission's proposed changes to its Safeguards Rule, which set out requirements to protect consumer information. We have also been advocating Congress to pass a law that would create a national data security and privacy framework that would regulate all industries tied to consumer information. 


We are looking forward to sharing this message with lawmakers while they are home this month as well as continuing our impact dialogue in DC in September during our annual “Hike the Hill.”


Work on the CUAD Health Care Trust Waiver Application for South Dakota in progress.

I want to provide an update on the waiver application process with the Division of Insurance in South Dakota. As we previously shared, the recent modernization of the South Dakota statute allows for a Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangement (MEWA) or Multiple Employer Trust (MET), such as the CUAD Health Benefits Trust, to apply for a waiver from the Director of Insurance. The waiver process is a necessary safeguard for the Director to ensure that the Trust meets all the requirements and guidelines set forth in the federal and state mandates for association-type health benefit plans. Plus, the waiver is needed in order to offer the CUAD Health Benefits Trust to South Dakota credit unions and their employees. We are finalizing the data needed to complete the waiver application, and we anticipate that we will have the process completed and submitted in the next week or so. 


In the meantime, we are still reviewing plans and claims data from South Dakota credit unions that participated in the review underwriting review process. Once the actuaries have completed this process, we can then provide you with prospective plan options, supplemental options, and costs to the employer and employees. More to come in the next several weeks.


Foundation’s Golf Scramble offers a day of camaraderie, collaboration and FUN!

The Credit Union Foundation of the Dakotas Golf Scramble fundraiser, now in its third year, offers participants an opportunity to come together as a collective group and spend quality time together, all while supporting our Foundation. This upcoming event on August 29th at Apple Creek Country Club in Bismarck has proven to be a great mechanism for supporting our Foundation’s mission: providing scholarships; promoting the financial health and education of our members; local and regional children’s charities; and support for organizations that provide a positive social impact in our states and communities.


I sincerely urge your credit union to participate this year, by sending a team or through a sponsorship. The more teams, the merrier! Your direct participation and contribution will support the CUFD’s ongoing work to ignite, inspire and respond, plus your donation is tax-deductible! All registration and sponsor information can be found right here! We can’t do this successfully without you. Please sign up today. (Photo right: Jeff Olson gathers with other Foundation supporters during last year’s CUFD Golf Scramble.)


Have a great week!





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