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Greater Metropolitan Furnishing Association (GMFA) Hosts Affordable Care Act Seminar

Furniture World News Desk on 3/4/2013

From left to right Patrick Cory - GMFA President, Alan Granetz - GMFA Executive Director and Harvey Mishkin Featured Speaker. Photo credits Tommy Leflein.

The Greater Metropolitan Furnishing Association (GMFA) announced the completion of its retail educational breakfast seminar, the second in a series of free seminars produced by the Association with furniture industry members in the NY, NJ, CT area. The well-attended seminar was held in Wood-Bridge, New Jersey at the Fiesta restaurant.

The featured speaker was Harvey Mishkin of Association Master Trust, the company that administers GMFA’s health program.

Mr. Mishkin spoke about Health Care Reform, the “Affordable Care Act” also known as “Obamacare”, it’s implication for retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, industry suppliers and reps.

During his two-hour talk, Mishkin presented numerous graphs and charts explaining the law that impacts large businesses, small businesses and individuals in different ways. A Powerpoint presentation outlining the keep points in the seminar can be downloaded by Clicking Here or on the image below.

Addressing why the Affordable Care Act might not seem so affordable to his audience, Mr. Mishkin noted that, “You may wonder why this legislation is called the “Affordable Care Act”. That’s because it’s designed to be affordable for lower income people to allow them to get health insurance coverage.”

The seminar included ample time for questions and answers that evidenced a keen interest in the subject matter.

“We were all blown away by Harvey’s talk, said GMFA’s current president and the Chief Executive Officer of Cory 1st Choice Home Delivery. “The changes to our health care laws will affect everyone in the furniture industry, from the largest retailers to part-time employees. The seminar attracted retailers and reps who learned about the individual mandate; how larger companies with 50 plus equivalent employees will need to provide certain levels of affordable coverage or pay penalties; subsidies for earners making less than about $99,000; and some possible unintended consequences of the legislation.”

“Since the merger of the GNYHFA and MFA in 2011,” added Mike Fischer, President of NJ retailer Sofas Plus, Inc., who chairs the Seminar Event committee for GMFA, “we have strengthened our social and networking events and have created a robust list of our own member discounts to supplement the ones we offer through IHFRA. These educational seminars are have turned into one of our most popular events and a significant service we can provide to help our local home furnishings community do a better job of staying profitable while selling home furnishings.”

Directly following the presentation, a big screen television set donated by Cory 1st Choice Home Delivery was raffled off.

Sponsors of the event included Profit Management Promotions (PMP), Assuranty LLC, North East Home Delivery Service and David Lerner & Associates who were on hand to provide attendees with information on their services (see below).

About GMFA: The Greater Metropolitan Furnishings Association, established as The Furniture Club in 1942, consists of 210 members, including metropolitan area retailers, representatives, designers, and service providers. It is a non-profit run by furniture industry volunteers (members of the former MFA and GNYHFA Associations) for the purpose of creating a strong and cohesive regional home furnishings industry. For more information contact Alan Granetz, Greater Metropolitan Furnishings Association at (908) 725-3460 or email greatermfa@gmail.com.

About Seminar Sponsor PMP: For the last 25 years, the skilled professionals at PMP has been helping independent furniture retailers across the country run successful high impact sales to achieve their goals and needs. For more information, contact Ron Cooper at ron@pmpsales.com, visit http://www.pmpsales.com or call 215-230-9001.

About Seminar Sponsor Assuranty: Assuranty LLC offers extended warranties, repair and replacement plans for the furniture and rug industry. Their plans offer a marked improvement from previous generations of now defunct plans as every single plan sold is backed by an affiliate of CV Starr, a $10B global insurance company rated A (Excellent) by AM Best. If anything happens to Assuranty, Starr as the "obligor" of record will stand behind every plan sold. Additionally, their technology enabled platform offers robust solutions for both in-store and on-line furniture sales.
As a partner to the trade, Assuranty's value proposition is quite compelling and offers a real in-win for the customer and retailer. For the customer, they offer coverage for damage that occurs due to normal usage or wear and tear. For furniture and rugs they offer "bumper to bumper" coverage with covers accidental spills, stains, rips etc. along with the structural integrity of the piece. The retailer captures margin that is pretty rich, with no associated inventory cost. For online businesses they offer an elegant plug in that seamlessly offers the plan in the product description box as well as the checkout cart. Assuranty handles the integration and the skus automatically map and update for pricing so no effort, cost or distraction is expended by retailer. There's also no inventory cost so the revenue share is pure profit. More information is available at www.assuranty.com.

About Seminar Sponsor North East Home Delivery Service: NEHDS is a premium logistics company servicing the North East region of the United States. We are experienced specialists with a reputation for providing reliable and professional services to retailers, manufacturers, and consumers. NEHDS provides superior delivery services directly to retailers’ customers including online retailers. They are also experienced in moving products between multiple store locations and from storage spaces to storefronts. Their portfolio of services has increased to include specialty options such as logo branded delivery trucks and white glove services.

 They have also expanded services with the growing needs of the North East region. NEHDS offers warehousing sites with customized square footage plans in storage facilities strategically located across the eastern seaboard. They provide packing, loading, and delivery teams and equipment to residential customers for home or office relocations. For more information contact Brian Jordan at 203-537-1486 or visit www.nehds.com

About Seminar Sponsor David Lerner Associates: Since our inception in 1976, David Lerner Associates has been dedicated to building and preserving investors assets. We offer many investment opportunities, some designed to provide income. For more information call (800) 367-3000.

About Association Master Trust: AMT is a self funded benefits program offering group health benefits to company members of participating associations. AMT is self administrated and uses its own field staff to inform members of available coverage options. That saves GMFA’s participating members the 5% normal commission that brokers generally collect. With 15 participating association and nearly 10,000 members, AMT negotiates attractive pricing with NJ Blue Cross Blue Shield for administrative services and access to their vast national network of participating medical providers. AMT has dedicated account representatives to handle both administration and claim issues. These salaried representatives have the interests of GMFA members in mind. AMT has multiple plan design platforms including Direct Access, EPO and turnkey HSAs. Lastly, AMT is trustee controlled and directed and is "Run by Members for Members:" Members can review the new health care options at any time without obligation.

Details about the GMFA group health benefits program can obtained by calling Alan Granetz, Executive Director GMFA at 908-725-3460.

GMFA members were treated to a full breakfast and interesting analysis of the Affordable Care Act.


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