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Professional Insurance Agents Praise Introduction of Access to Professional Health Insurance Advisors Act

WASHINGTON — The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) praised the introduction of a bill in the House that ensures that consumers will continue to have access to professional insurance agents under Obamacare...
June 13, 2013

WASHINGTON — The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) praised the introduction of a bill in the House that ensures that consumers will continue to have access to professional insurance agents under Obamacare.

“It is critical that the indispensible role played by licensed independent insurance producers is recognized and protected,” the bill states. It listed the things producers do for consumers and noted, “It is essential that licensed independent insurance producers continue to perform these duties, and others, as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has made significant changes to the regulatory environment for health plans.”

The Access to Professional Health Insurance Advisors Act (H.R. 2328) ensures proper access to licensed professional insurance agents and brokers by consumers needing assistance evaluating their choices under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As part of ensuring such access, the bill provides that certain compensation for agents and brokers is exempt from the calculation of the allowable Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) under the healthcare law. Currently, a rule by the department of Health and Human Services (HHS) classifies all such compensation as administrative expenses, which are restricted.

“This bill is good for consumers,” said Mike Becker, vice president of federal affairs for PIA National. “In a few short months, many people will need to begin to navigate the complexities of the Affordable Care Act. They will also need the expert, professional advice that only licensed insurance agents and brokers can provide. As we know, the Navigators and assisters hired by governments will not be advising consumers on plan selection. Licensed insurance producers, however, can.”

Becker noted that H.R. 2328 made key technical adjustments to a previous bill that should improve its score by the Congressional Budget Office, improving chances for passage. The changes will also make the House bill more consistent with companion legislation in the Senate (S. 650). PIA thanked the prime sponsor of the House bill, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.).

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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