The transition between fall and winter is always beautiful - falling leaves changing to first snow. Also coinciding with this seasonal transition is Open Enrollment, which began November 1 and goes through December 15. As always, we want to continue to be a resource to our members, so take a look in the AWA Benefits section for information about Open Enrollment, as well as a Short Term Medical plan and a featured telemedicine benefit.  

In Members Corner, check out information on our upcoming AWA Member Meeting and how to join. Also coming up is Small Business Saturday, so we have provided some information in the Business section on how to feature your business on November 25.  Don't forget to take advantage of the holiday season to get in some additional sales for your small business.

Also in November, American Diabetes Month is time to highlight information about this condition and how to effectively treat it.  Find more information in the Health & Lifestyle section.

We hope you have a successful and healthy holiday season this year!

Neil Peterson
AWA President

2017 AWA Annual Member Meeting

Friday, December 8, 2017
5:30 pm CST
Via Teleconference

At this meeting, the AWA Board of Directors will discuss the successes of AWA over the last year. Two board members will be elected during this meeting. To attend the meeting, RSVP by November 24, 2017. Upon RSVP, we will forward you the call in details.


If you can't attend the meeting, you can still submit your vote by proxy. Click below to download the proxy form. Return the completed form to AWA (address included on the form) by November 24, 2017.


Have a question for the AWA Board? You can submit questions for the AWA Board of Directors to address at the meeting. Email your questions to

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Questions During Open Enrollment?

Open Enrollment started November 1 and goes through December 15th this year. As a small business owner and/or entrepreneur, researching the best benefits for you and your employees can be overwhelming.  Understanding how the Affordable Care Act works and how to find the right coverage at the right cost can be difficult.  AWA wants to make it easier for you.  AWA’s partner, Small Business Majority, put together a portal for small business owners and entrepreneurs to start their research.  Review their two-part guide for getting started and getting covered, as well as helpful information on the Affordable Care Act and Reference Tools at

If Major Medical Insurance is not an option, consider looking at the health benefits that AWA offers its members. Each AWA membership level combines health discounts & programs, business resources and lifestyle benefits along with specific insured benefits on some levels.  The insured benefit options can include: Short Term Medical, Fixed-Benefit Indemnity, Accident, Dental and Vision Insurance.

If you need help navigating Open Enrollment or understanding what AWA benefits are available to you, please contact Member Services at (855) 351-7536.

AWA Precise Choice STM provides Short Term Medical insurance for individuals and families who find themselves without major medical coverage for a period of time. Members choose the deductible, coinsurance and term length that best suits their needs. Precise Choice STM is designed to be a temporary solution that can provide members with the confidence they need to safely navigate a time of transition with minimal risk. Learn more about AWA Precise Choise STM here.

To add AWA Precise Choice STM to your membership, please call (855) 351-7536.

With cold and flu season already underway, telemedicine can be invaluable when you need a doctor’s opinion and/or a prescription after the doctor’s office has already closed.  With Teladoc, you can talk to a doctor by phone, web or mobile app anytime, anywhere.  Speak to a licensed doctor who lives and works in the United States in less than 30 minutes, with an average call back time of less than 10 minutes.

For more information about your Teladoc benefit, visit to review your member materials.

To begin using Teladoc, visit

Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is just around the corner on November 25.  Take part in this annual tradition developed in 2010 - usually the Saturday following Thanksgiving. Make sure your customers know they can Shop Small with you either in-store or online.  Visit the American Express website for marketing tools for social media, websites, flyers and more.

Be sure to Shop Small yourself by visiting this map to show you who is participating this year. There are also city-specific guides you can review for services and goods.

The Small Business Administration also provides resources for small businesses to best take advantage of the day.  With topics like 33 Creative Ideas for Small Business Holiday Marketing, 7 Holiday Marketing Tips on a Limited Budget and How to Market Your Business with an Event, you are sure to find helpful information to increase shoppers this holiday season.

Ways to Market Your Business During the Holidays

The holiday season represents the biggest sales opportunity during the year for many businesses. Whether a business is large or small, it's important to determine marketing efforts that will effectively attract customers and ultimately drive sales. There are many different tactics that can work, but sometimes it's hard to know where to start. Here are some marketing tips that can help your business during the holiday shopping season:

Utilize In-Store Signage – Adding simple, graphical design elements throughout your store that are consistent in look to your marketing material, like catalogs and direct mail, can be very impactful. You can use signs to point out the hot item or special of the month. Some retailers have Pinterest signage in-store to feature items that are the most pinned.

Charitable Causes – This is the time of year when giving back to the community is needed most of all. For companies, giving to charitable causes not only helps to support the community, but also helps to build brand awareness. Whether it's adopting a family to make their Christmas special or volunteering to serve others at a food bank, the opportunities are abundant during the holidays. Plus, getting employees involved with charitable efforts can help raise spirits and create a sense of togetherness.

Brand Advocates – Employees can be the best advocates of your brand. If they believe in your product, they will be more likely to promote it. Get your employees to pick their favorite items and encourage them to talk to customers about those items. Word-of-mouth advertising can be the most persuasive way to draw customer interest in your products.

Special Events – Everyone is looking for deals during the holidays. Special shopping events, limited time offers and secret deals are a great way to drive repeat business. You can spread the word about upcoming sales events by handing out flyers in-store or by sending emails or postcards. Utilizing social media to promote your sales events is another great tactic. Consider updating your website and social media pages with holiday motifs to draw interest and encourage repeat visits to your page.

Email Marketing – Although there can be a plethora of email communication during the holiday season; emails are still considered an effective way to reach your target market. Emails promoting deals or featured products are easy and affordable. Most consumers look for deals and shop online while they are at work, so sending special deals during the day can be very effective. While composing your email content, be careful about subject lines; they should be concise and to the point (between 6 and 10 words). Avoid too many capital letters, as they can trigger your message to go into Spam. Most importantly, check the spelling and make sure your email is mobile compatible, especially since so many people read their email via their mobile device.

American Diabetes Month

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. It can cause blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, and other health problems if it’s not controlled. November has been declared American Diabetes Month to help raise awareness about the causes and treatment.

One in 10 Americans have diabetes — that’s more than 30 million people. And another 84 million adults in the United States are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The good news? People who are at high risk for type 2 diabetes can lower their risk by more than half if they make healthy changes. These changes include: eating healthy, getting more physical activity, and losing weight.

Learn the basics about diabetes here and familiarize yourself with symptoms and treatment options.

Don't forget to check your AWA benefits on or contact Member Services at (855) 351-7536 to see if you have the Diabetic Supplies Discount. 

Preparing for a Safe Holiday Season

The holidays are filled with family, fun and festivities. But the threat of winter fires and other emergencies can be very real. 905 people die in winter home fires each year. Make sure that you plan ahead, so you and your family can enjoy the season safely.

If you are traveling over the holidays, keep these tips in mind:

  • Talk with family about who to call, where to meet & what to pack for an emergency
  • Review TSA's security screening if you plan to fly
  • Prepare you car for winter weather before hitting the road
  • Remember to keep emergency items handy for your kids and pets

Cooking delicious treats can also present some hazards. Here are some safety notes:

  • Keep an eye on what you fry - most cooking fires start when frying food
  • Wear short sleeves or roll up long sleeves so they don't catch on fire
  • Watch what you heat - most house fires start in the kitchen

Decorating for the holidays? Don't forget about these safety items:

  • Check the water and unplug the lights on your live Christmas tree before you go to bed
  • Keep your Christmas tree 3 feet away from sources of heat
  • Take your live tree out after Christmas or when it is dry
  • Consider using flameless candles during celebrations
  • Keep lit candles 12 inches away from anything that burns

The holidays are a great time to share preparedness information with family and friends. The Family Emergency Communication Plan from America’s PrepareAthon! is a valuable resource especially during the busy holiday travel season. 

Stay safe and have a happy holiday season!