Tinley Park man wins insurance group award
By Mike Nolan firstname.lastname@example.org May 26, 2014 5:32PM
Mike Wojcik, senior vice president with Orland Park-based insurance brokerage The Horton Group, recently was awarded the Sidney O. Smith Award by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America for work pertaining to the Affordable Care Act. | Mike Nolan~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 28, 2014 6:02AM
Mike Wojcik said it was a personal tragedy many years ago that made him fully realize the benefits of insurance coverage.
It sparked a career change for Wojcik, who at the time was an area supervisor for Jewel Foods.
“It opened my eyes to helping others,” he said, declining to go into detail about the event.
He started as an insurance agent in 1985 and is now senior vice president and a principal of The Horton Group, an Orland Park-based insurance brokerage. He’s in his 25th year with the company.
Wojcik, 58, of Tinley Park, was recently honored by a national insurance organization for his work in the area of government affairs related to the federal Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.
He received the Sidney O. Smith Award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., from the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. The award is named for a past president of the association who was instrumental in focusing the group on legislative advocacy.
“I was totally taken by surprise,” Wojcik said of receiving the award.
He has been a member of the governance board the past eight years for South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest, is president-elect of South-Southwest Suburban United Way and is on the Illinois Chamber of Commerce’s health care committee.
“I have had such a passion following health care, being a part of it,” Wojcik said.
Wojcik has been a member of the IIABA’s health care task force for the past few years, most recently serving as chairman. The group has about 250,000 members, and the task force’s role has been to help those agents and brokers, as well as their clients, better understand the implications of the Affordable Care Act, which is designed to extend health care coverage to millions who are now uninsured.
“It’s such a massive law. It’s bringing sweeping changes to health care,” said Wojcik, who has spoken to several business and community groups about the new law and its impacts.
Wojcik said that while he’s a strong “advocate of affordability and accessibility to health care,” the federal law will result in financial ramifications for many businesses that now do not provide medical coverage to workers.
Horton Group brokers insurance coverage and employee benefit plans for more than 1,400 small and midsize businesses, ranging in size from a few workers to 2,000. Wojcik said Horton, which also has offices in Indiana and Wisconsin, has been educating its customers about Obamacare.
“We are involved in providing insight into what the law is bringing forward,” he said. “Working with them on a strategy to deal with all that they’re facing.”