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National Conference of State Legislatures to Meet, PIA Will Participate

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) will hold its Fall Forum from December 8-10 and will address a wide range of critical issues affecting...
December 7, 2010

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) will hold its Fall Forum from December 8-10 and will address a wide range of critical issues affecting producers including preserving state regulation, health reform and Dodd-Frank implementation. PIA National's Assistant Vice President of Regulatory Affairs David Eppstein will attend the meetings to build on the ongoing conversations we have had with legislators on how PIA can be a partner with them to keep making progress on modernizing state-based insurance regulation.

Healthcare will be a main focus of this meeting and PIA will continue to be involved in all the discussions surrounding implementation of the new healthcare law. One of our key goals for this meeting is to meet with the legislators to offer our support to preserve the role of the independent agency system in health insurance delivery. We will also be partnering with our regulators to help them answer any questions they may have about setting up health insurance exchanges.

PIA National is working with our regulators and legislators, providing advice as they set up their health insurance exchanges. Several states, including Kentucky and West Virginia, are in the initial stages of setting up a health exchange and our members can provide valuable information on the nature of the market and the best way to reach consumers.

PIA National is concerned that the medical loss ratio (MLR) limits in the health reform bill will mean that agents who provide professional services for consumers may not be compensated as they have in the past. We are working with Congress, HHS and the states to make sure agents are able to continue to serve consumers by offering them tailored advice for their specific needs. We are supportive of state flexibility in a variety of areas to make sure there are no significant market disruptions as a result of the new federal mandates.

Ways to preserve state regulation of insurance will be the subject of a panel discussion by the NCSL's Communications, Financial Services and Interstate Commerce Committee, chaired by Senator Delores Kelley (MD). The panel will address such questions as: "States continue to face mounting pressure to cede authority over insurance: What concerns will loom in the 112th Congress?" And "what must states do in their legislative session to continue being the sole regulator of insurance?"

PIA National opposes federal insurance regulation whether it's an "optional federal charter" or a more comprehensive approach. We will let the legislators know that they have our unqualified support for state regulation of insurance as we continue to modernize our state-based system.

The legislators will also discuss a resolution that calls on NCSL to urge states to amend their insurance laws to conform to the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act (NRRA) adopted as part of the Dodd-Frank Act, and support the enactment of the Surplus Lines Insurance Multistate Compliance Compact (SLIMPACT). PIA National has long supported a multi-state agreement, or compact, to help facilitate insurance regulation and dispersing premium taxes.

A complete preview of the NCSL meeting is available here. Please continue to send comments to: David Eppstein, Assistant Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, davidep@pianet.org