Breaking News: Senate Complement to H.R. 1206 Coming Soon

Today, at NAHU’s 22nd Annual Capitol Conference, NAHU CEO Janet Trautwein announced that at least three bipartisan senators, Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Johnny Isakson (D-GA) and Ben Nelson (D-NE) will introduce legislation to help protect health insurance agent and broker jobs by excluding independent health insurance producer compensation from the medical loss ratio (MLR) requirements contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The new bill will be officially filed within the next week, and will be a strong complement to H.R. 1206, currently pending in the House.

The new legislation will not be identical to H.R. 1206, but instead will include minor targeted improvements based on the market’s response to the MLR requirements over the past year. The lead co-sponsors of H.R. 1206, Congressmen Mike Rogers (R-MI) and John Barrow (D-GA), have indicated their support for the updated Senate measure.

The announcement was extremely well timed, as during the same meeting the Director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Steve Larsen, announced that the agency has concluded that there is no legal way that it could provide regulatory relief to agents and brokers on the MLR. However, he went on to tell meeting attendees that HHS believes “the success of exchanges depends on a strong and active role from agents and brokers.”

NAHU has always believed that a legislative solution would the most permanent and effective way of solving the economic problems that the MLR is causing for both insurance agents and brokers and health insurance consumers nationwide. We are thrilled that we will have bipartisan bills in both chambers of Congress in the near-term future, and we look forward towards their expedient passage.

Before the start of Capitol Conference, H.R. 1206 had 151 bipartisan co-sponsors. Due to the amazing work NAHU members did pounding the pavement and visiting Capitol Hill offices this week, we believe we will soon add at least 20 more. We also believe that our members will convince many more senators to support the Senate complement to H.R. 1206 from the get-go. If you would like to help, please contact your representative and senators today. Ask your representatives to sign on to H.R. 1206 if they haven’t already, and ask your senators to express their support for the efforts of Senators Landrieu, Isakson and Nelson by becoming original co-sponsors to their measure.