Apr 18, 2019

18aprAll DayBenCon 2019 - Earn up to 6 CE/SHRM/HRCI credits

BenCon 2019 - April 18, 2019

Event Details

Get actionable advice to improve your career, work, and business from the region’s leading experts on healthcare, HR, benefits, and more.

BenCon 2019 builds off of a record-smashing BenCon 2018 with up to 6 hours of Indiana CE/SHRM/HRCI credits and popular “BenTalks”

April 18, 2019 • Ramada Plaza – 305 E Washington Center Rd., Fort Wayne, IN 46825

You’ll come away with the latest on
  • Legislative and Political Update
  • Compliance and Wrap Documents
  • Discovering Your Leadership Potential
  • Funding Options for your Health Plan
  • HDHP’s and HSA’s
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Workplace Violence
  • Group Medicare Supplements

Plus, BenTalks are back by popular demand! These brief motivational segments will help you on personal and professional topics delivered by business leaders.

Interested in sponsoring? View sponsorship information.

Tentative Agenda

7:00 AM  – Registration Opens/Continental Breakfast

8:00 AM – General Session – Dr. Deb McMahan – State of Indiana Health (CE# 35731)

9:00 AM – BenTalk – Stephen Bailey “Fear is a Friend of Mine” and Marshall White

9:30 AM – Concurrent Breakout Sessions

  • Carolyn McNairy – ERISA Compliance 101 (CE# 35622)
  • Jason McClellan – Medicare Sales Opportunity – Group Supplemental Plans (CE# 35662)
  • Eric Barker – Pharmacogenomics – Personalized Medication for Population Health (CE# 35724)

10:30 AM – Concurrent Breakout Sessions

  • Chief Deputy James Feasel – Active Shooter and Preventing Workplace Violence (CE# 35884)
  • Mike Bennett – Next-Level HSA Tips (CE# 35874)
  • Tom Ackman – 401k Administration from a Recovering TPA’s Perspective  (CE# 35623)

11:30 AM– Network with Vendors

12:00 PM– Buffet Lunch

12:50 PM– BenTalk – Deb Lambert and Dave Arnold

1:10 PM– General Session – Marcy Buckner – Washington Update (CE# 35621)

2:10 PM– Concurrent Breakout Sessions          

  • John Holt – Funding Options for your Health Plan (CE# 35663)
  • Dan Meylan – The Future of Healthcare Costs (CE# 35624)
  • Matt Isbell – COBRA 2019 Updates – Everything You Never Wanted to Know About COBRA (CE# 35768)

3:00 PM – Network with Vendors

3:40 PM – BenTalk – Dr. Lorenzo Suter

4:00 PM– General Session – Dr. Lorenzo Suter – Discovering your Leadership Potential (CE# 35683)

4:50 PM – Closing Comments/Happy Hour begins

BenCon Session Descriptions

401K Administration from a Recovering TPA's Perspective: What Data is Important and Why? -OR- They Can't Seriously Need All This Information, Can They?!

This class will guide participants through 401k plan administration.  Topics for this course inclu Read More de payroll data – why do we care? Identifying eligible participants, plan design flexibility, reconciling contributions, compliance, contributions and much much more.  Tom will guide participants through the mountain of data that is necessary for 401k plan administration and explain the necessity and the implications of the data on the plan.

Discovering Your Leadership Potential

During this course, participants will learn about the nature and dynamics of interpersonal and team Read More behavior related to leadership organizational performance and effectiveness. The course will examine and develop a framework for analysis and action around your management challenges, what behaviors and situational factors to improve your future outcomes, and expand professional network.

ERISA Compliance 101

ERISA Compliance 101 will not only introduce the attendee to ERISA and what it includes, but discus Read More s why employers might not be in compliance.  The class will discuss common violations that many employers experience without realizing it, as well as exemptions, fines, and penalties.  Class will also discuss the impact of health care reform on employers and their benefit plans.

NAHU Washington Update

During this course, participants will learn about legislative and regulatory actions affecting heal Read More th policy and how NAHU develops and achieves advocacy goals. The course will examine what actions have been taken so far, what the political and philosophical barriers have been, what actions we can expect in the near-term and later, what prompted the need for changes to be made, how the changes are being made and the role that NAHU is having in this process, and what NAHU members, the overall agent/broker community, and employers play in this process. There will be an additional emphasis on the mid-term elections and how this could affect actions moving forward and strategies to achieve policy goals.

Pharmacogenomics – Personalized Medication for Population Health

This course will give information about pharmacology and genomics, or the role of the genome in dru Read More g response – essentially, the class will introduce the effect of inherited genetic variation on pharmaceuticals.   It will include barriers and practical considerations, as well as how this applies to agents and their PBM choice.

Funding Options for Your Health Plan

In this course, the attendee will learn about level funding – the course will begin with some bas Read More ic concepts and definitions, and branch into administration, reinsurance, types of level funded products, and advantages and disadvantages of choosing this funding option.  The attendee will also receive information about what products best pair with level funding.

The Future of Healthcare Costs

As health care costs continue to increase, individuals and employers will be forced to consider new Read More and different ways to finance and manage the cost of health care. This presentation will provide metrics to help the broker and consumer project the future costs of health care and offer 12 specific factors that are driving the upward trend in costs.  The course will focus specifically on the impact of catastrophic claims on medical cost trends. After presenting the critical issues, the class will offer some conceptual solutions that can provide the individual and the small employer’s resources and tools to provide affordable health plans.

Allen County Health

Allen County’s Public Health Commissioner Dr. Deb McMahan will deliver a presentation focusing on Read More issues that affect public health.  She will give practical tips on how to improve the health of our communities as well as the mental and chronic health of our families.

Everything you never wanted to know about COBRA

Join us along with the #1 COBRA educator in the country, Matt Isbell, as he takes us on a deep dive Read More into COBRA regulations and discusses the 3 health insurance options for ex-employees. This will not be your typical COBRA seminar – Matt takes COBRA and brings it to life like no other.  His positive style will reinforce your proper compliance efforts and will help you identify any potential flaws in your system before they become actual problems. Matt also has the unique ability to take the legal mumbo-jumbo of federal laws and explain it in a plain English way for you to learn.  Matt is best known for his energetic presentations; he will help you see the entire compliance picture in a way that is entertaining while being highly informative. This is an event not to be missed!

Next Level HSA's

Class discussion begins with a brief recap of the HSA concept, which focuses on eligibility as well Read More as who and what it covers. Then, it moves into a recap of the HSA advantages as well as rules based on account owner age.  Class will discuss current HSA data/trends, the potential long-term accumulations and potential tax savings an account owner may achieve over their lifetime.  Class will also be reminded of how to keep proper records of receipts and tax documents for the HSA.  Discussion will also include examples of best practices from HSA account owners and how they maximized the benefits to their advantage.

Register for BenCon 2019

You can also register to be a sponsor or for a table of up to 10 people.

For our out of town guests,
mention BenCon when making your hotel reservations at the Ramada and receive a special rate.

About BenCon’s speakers

Tom Ackmann

Tom Ackmann

Vice President, SYM Financial

While no one likely grows up wanting to work with qualified plans, Tom has found interacting with plan sponsors and plan participants to be a gratifying, rewarding way to spend the last twenty plus years of his professional life. By getting to know a business and business owner, he strives to identify and implement an appropriate and beneficial plan design. By being available to the employees, he shows people that retirement goals can be achieved. Surrounded by a strong team, Tom supports the needs of over 100 corporate clients and almost 11,000 participants served by SYM.

Tom has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, cum laude from Concordia University, River Forest, IL. He also participates on the board at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo and Concordia Lutheran High School, and is a member of the St. Michael Lutheran Church council. He is grateful for every opportunity he has to spend time with his wife of 23 years, Jen, and two school-age daughters, Baylee and Reganne. When he’s not attending his children’s events, he enjoys working in his yard, gardening, reading and birdwatching.

Stephen J Bailey

Owner, PH Digital

Stephen J. Bailey is the owner of PH Digital that was founded in 2006. Based out of the Anthony Wayne Building in downtown Fort Wayne, he specializes in web development, SEO development, social media management, photo and video work, and digital marketing campaigns.

He works daily with numerous companies in northeast Indiana including Downtown Fort Wayne, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, Riverfront Fort Wayne, and the Grand Wayne Convention Center. His client focus is on everything from small business growth to economic development throughout northeast Indiana. He left Corporate America in 2011 to focus full-time on his business after managing an internal staff of 12 and a multi-state processing staff of over 40 employees.

He graduated with honors with a major in Information Technology and a minor in Business from the University of Phoenix. He has been a committee and board member to over 20 organizations in northeast Indiana in the last six years that focus on everything from community development to the local art scene, and the rebirth of downtown Fort Wayne. His company has won 14 awards in digital marketing in the last five years. He loves the downtown dining scene, kayaking on our three rivers, and is obsessed with sushi and good conversation.

Eric Baker

Eric Barker, RPH

True Rx

A 1999 graduate of the University of Toledo College of Pharmacy, Eric brings an extensive clinical pharmacy background to True Rx. He is a licensed pharmacist in both Ohio and Indiana. In the past, he was Board Certified in Psychiatric Pharmacy and a Certified Geriatric Pharmacist, one of only two pharmacists in Indiana to hold that dual designation at the time. For over 10 years, Eric held management positions in both hospital and long term care pharmacy settings. In his current role with a pharmacy benefits management provider, Eric is responsible for clinical programming, corporate wellness, and business development.

Michael Bennett

Michael Bennett

HSA Relationship Manager/AVP

Michael’s mission is to provide the best Health Savings Account education and administration to agents, employers, and individuals. He is very passionate about providing excellent customer service.

As an HSA Relationship Manager/AVP, Michael’s primary focus is to ensure his partners and clients have the tools and resources needed for a successful HSA experience. As a NAHU Member, Michael serves on the executive board for the West Michigan Chapter, gaining and sharing knowledge and experience with industry professionals.

Michael began his career in banking in 2006, working his way up to leadership roles within retail banking. Michael joined The HSA Authority in 2016, and he looks forward to providing customized HSA solutions to his partners and clients.

Marcy Buckner

Marcy M. Buckner

VP of Government Affairs,
National Association of Health Underwriters

Marcy M. Buckner is the Vice President of Government Affairs with the National Association of Health Underwriters. In this role, Marcy manages the association’s state government affairs team, including the monitoring of activities of all state legislatures, insurance departments, and intergovernmental organizations to coordinate efforts to advance the interests of professional health insurance producers. Most recently her efforts have included the adoption of consumer protection legislation to regulate navigator entities in federally facilitated marketplace states, aiding state departments of insurance to apply for composite rating waivers from HHS, and assisting CMS in the development of the SHOP Early Access pilot program implemented this fall.

Marcy is also NAHU’s liaison to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and serves as a member of the NAIC’s Consumer Information Subgroup task force preparing fact sheets and decision trees for state departments of insurance to aid in the application of health care reform.

Marcy joined NAHU in April of 2012. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History from the College of Charleston in South Carolina, and her Juris Doctor from New England School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts.

Deputy Chief James Feasel

Fort Wayne Police Department

Deputy Chief James Feasel has served twenty-nine years with the Fort Wayne Police Department where he is currently in charge of the Vice and Narcotics Unit, Gang and Violent Crimes Unit, Honor Guard, and
Pipe and Drum Brigade. He has a total of eighteen years of command experience with the Fort Wayne Police Department and is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy and Drug Enforcement Administration Drug Unit Commanders Academy. While working his way up through the ranks he has served in virtually every area of the department including; Operations Division, Detective Bureau, Training Academy, Emergency Services Team, Honor Guard, and Pipe Band.

In addition to his current assignments, he is the President of Integrated Threat Analysis Consulting, LLC where he conducts Workplace Violence Training and Site Security Assessments. He is a certified through the American Crime Prevention Institute as a Law Enforcement Security Assessment Specialist and through Texas State University as an ALERRT and CRASE Instructor. He is also the Vice President of the Law Enforcement and Firefighters Memorial of Allen County Indiana.

John Holt

National Sales Director, Auxiant

John is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, with a degree in sales and marketing. John’s focusing on working with employer groups of all sizes to manage health care costs and design best in class health benefit plans. John has significant expertise in the world of self-funding and has obtained the Certified Self-Funding Specialist (CSFS) and Corporate Wellness Designations. John has experience working with employer groups across many different industries making the transition to Self-Funded and Level Funded health plan programs.

John is a member of the National Association of Health Underwriters. He is currently licensed for accident and health insurance in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. John has worked in the health insurance industry for 7 years, and for the last 6 years worked with consultants and employers across the state of Indiana for Auxiant.

Matt Isbell

Matt Isbell

Founder & President of COBRA Resources, Inc.

Matt is a graduate of Michigan State University with a double major in Criminal Justice and Psychology. After graduation, Matt joined the Kalamazoo Police Department in 1979 as a patrol officer. During this time, he became one of only 3,000 worldwide instructors of the Dale Carnegie Human Relations and Effective Speaking Course. He also earned his group health and life insurance license during this period as well.

Since the founding of COBRA Resources, Inc., Matt consults and works with insurance companies, third party administrators and employers on COBRA and FMLA compliance issues.  At 2000 educational conferences, Matt has personally guided employees of the IRS and U.S. Department of Labor, along with benefits administrators, on successful administrative procedures. His upbeat, 110% effort in conducting his presentations lead an attendee at several of Matt’s seminars to describe his presentations as “not really a seminar, but an event not to be missed.”His positive style will reinforce your proper compliance efforts and will help you identify any potential flaws in your system before they become actual problems. Widely known for his energetic presentations, he will help you see the entire compliance picture in a way that is entertaining while being highly informative.

Deb Lambert

Deb’s career started in Cardiac Rehab and Corporate Wellness. Three years into her career, her grandmother suffered a major stroke which caused her to move to a nursing home. As a result of that experience Deb decided she wanted to make a positive difference in the long-term care industry. After three years of being a social worker for the Miller’s Merry Manor Corporation, the administrative portion of her career began. Deb has been a licensed administrator for the last 19 years and her passion is to fundamentally change the way long-term care is managed for those individuals she is fortunate enough to serve. Deb has been serving the residents and staff at Byron Health Center for the last seven years. Deb’s personal passion is for lifelong learning in the areas of personal growth, leadership, and coaching team members for success.

Jason McClellan

Jason McClellan

President & CEO, Insurance Advisors Direct

Jason McClellan began his career in the insurance industry selling long term care and other senior life and health products.  He served in multiple roles for a National FMO-Captive Agency, including Vice President. He has worked with and trained thousands of independent insurance agents across the country.

Since February 2011, Mr. Jason McClellan has served as President and CEO for Insurance Advisors Direct, a Full-Service National Marketing Organization (FMO) specializing in senior market health and life products, including: Group Retiree Medical, Life, Health, Long-Term Care, Medicare Supplements, Medicare Advantage, PDP, Annuities, Cancer, and Final Expense.

Mr. McClellan has additional expertise in public speaking, agent training, education, sales tools, marketing services and support, lead generation programs, administrative services, and technology.

In 2012 Mr. Jason McClellan received national recognition and was awarded the “Industry Elite – Best of the Best” award from National Underwriter Life and Health.  In 2014 he again received National Recognition from LifeHealthPRO magazine as one of the 24 most creative people in insurance.

Deb McMahan

Deborah McMahan, MD

Allen County Health Commissioner

Deborah McMahan, MD, was appointed Health Commissioner of Allen County in May 2000. In her role, she is charged with the responsibility of carrying out the department’s mission: promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing injury and disease for all of Allen County’s 350,000 residents.

An Indiana native, Dr. McMahan earned her Bachelor of Science from Purdue University and medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine. Following residency training in internal medicine, she completed a research fellowship with the Regenstrief Institute in Indianapolis.

Dr. McMahan is a state-licensed physician and a member of the Fort Wayne Medical Society. During her career, Dr. McMahan has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Indiana Commission for Women 2014 Torchbearer Award, the Milton and Ruth Roemer Prize for Local Health Officer; APHA, 2014,  the Indiana Academy of Pediatrics Community Service Award, 2016 McMillen Health Janus Award recipient, 2017 and Journal Gazette Citizen of the Year 2017.

Carolyn McNairy

Carolyn McNairy

Compliance Services V.P. of Sales

Carolyn’s primary responsibility is for the training and development of TASC’s Group Sales Force and TASC Distribution Channel Partners to increase their product knowledge of ERISA, FMLA and COBRA. She serves as the TASC – ERISA Compliance officer working with internal staff as well as TASC legal counsel on TASC compliance issues and opportunities.

Her role also includes conducting National Seminars and Webinars to educate the TASC Group Sales Force, Employee Benefit Consultants, General Agents, Insurance Carrier Sales Staff, Providers and clients on ERISA/FMLA/COBRA/FSA/ACA legal requirements.

Carolyn is an active member of National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), as well as the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation (ECFC), a non-profit organization dedicated to the maintenance and expansion of private employee benefit programs on a tax-advantaged basis. She has received ECFC’s highest award designation of Certified Flexible Compensation Instructor (CFCI). She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where she received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

Dan Meylan

Dan Meylan

National Sales Director, Allied National

Dan Meylan joined Allied National in 2012 and serves as the National Sales Director. He is responsible for building a national distribution network of capable and effective employee benefit advisors to represent Allied’s products and services.

Bringing more than 40 years of insurance agency operations and sales leadership experience to his role at Allied, Dan also is a business consultant, published author, speaker, private pilot, skier, fisherman and grandfather of six. Dan and his wife, Kathy, have been married for 45 years.


Lorenzo Suter

Lorenzo Suter

CEO, Dupont Hospital

Prior to arriving in Fort Wayne, Suter was the chief operating officer of the 623-bed Baptist Medical Center in downtown San Antonio. He has also served in healthcare leadership positions in Berwyn, Illinois; Dothan, Alabama; Phenix City, Alabama; Nashville, Tennessee; and Bowling Green, Kentucky.

While at Baptist Medical Center, Suter oversaw the daily operations of approximately 1,300 employees, helped implement a transcatheter aortic valve replacement program, enhanced the hospital’s relationship with local EMS to allow for 900 emergency transports per month, and participated in physician recruitment across multiple service lines including cardiovascular, general surgery, orthopedics and vascular surgery.

Suter graduated summa cum laude from Western Kentucky University with a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2003. He received a master’s in healthcare administration and a doctorate in healthcare administration from Vanderbilt University/University of Phoenix in 2005 and 2008, respectively.

His professional affiliations have included membership in the American College of Healthcare Executives, a term as president of the board of directors of the Alabama State Home Health Agency, and board membership on the Alabama Food Bank.

David Arnold

Commercial Real Estate Developer, BenTalk panelist

David is a commercial real estate developer as his “day job”. However, twenty years ago he was involved in a serious accident which nearly took his life and his left leg. While his recovery has been far beyond what the medical community expected, his lasting “gift” is a very high level of perpetual pain. David has gained a unique perspective of living life to its fullest…even with pain. The insights he shares relate not only to living with pain, but to life’s many challenges, changes and fears.

BenCon 2019 is supported by


Presenting Sponsors

Event Sponsors

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. Independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc.


True RX Management Services





All Day (Thursday)


Ramada Conference Center

305 E Washington Center Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 46825