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PIA Encouraged by Provision in Senate Finance Committee Healthcare Bill Allowing Participation by Agents

WASHINGTON, October 14, 2009 - Legislative language that would let professional independent insurance agents and brokers sell policies to individuals and businesses purchasing...
October 14, 2009

WASHINGTON, October 14, 2009  - Legislative language that would let professional independent insurance agents and brokers sell policies to individuals and businesses purchasing health insurance through proposed health insurance exchanges was included in the final version of a healthcare reform bill approved 14-9 Tuesday by the Senate Finance Committee. The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) is encouraged by the inclusion of the provision.

"We are encouraged that lawmakers continue to recognize the value that professional independent insurance agents provide to consumers," said PIA National President Jon Spalding. "Health insurance consumers must be assured that they will continue to have access to the advice and counsel of licensed, professional, independent insurance agents in any reform plan."

The Senate provision is consistent with amendments adopted as part of two other healthcare reform bills in the Senate. In the House, a companion amendment sponsored by Blue Dog Democrats including former PIA member Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.), also states that agents and brokers can sell insurance products offered through the proposed exchanges.

In the Senate, all the healthcare reform bills will now undergo the process of being merged into one bill, which will then go to the floor for debate and possible amendment. Our sources on Capitol Hill tell us that a combined bill could reach the Senate floor mid to late next week.

PIA will continue to focus its efforts on assuring that language enabling consumers to utilize the services of their professional insurance agents in any new healthcare environment remains included and intact as the legislative process continues.

Founded in 1931, PIA is a national trade association that represents member insurance agents and their employees who sell and service all kinds of insurance, but specialize in coverage of automobiles, homes and businesses. PIA members are Local Agents Serving Main Street America(SM). PIA's web address is www.pianet.com.

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