PIA Praises NAIC Health Task Force for Endorsing Professional Health Insurance Advisors Act of 2011 (H.R. 1206)

WASHINGTON, June 30, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) praised the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Professional Health Insurance Advisors Task Force for endorsing H.R. 1206, the Professional Health Insurance Advisors Act of 2011. The task force voted overwhelmingly to support the bill introduced in Congress by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) during a meeting on June 30.

"This action is good news for America's health insurance consumers and good news for the Main Street independent insurance agents that consumers rely on," said PIA National Executive Vice President & CEO Leonard C. Brevik. "The members of this NAIC task force are to be congratulated for standing up for this vital legislation. Now, it is incumbent upon the NAIC Executive Committee and the full NAIC membership to embrace without delay this recommendation from the task force they created."

H.R. 1206 would exclude producer compensation from medical loss ratio (MLR) calculations. Interim regulations issued by the department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to implement the federal healthcare reform law classified producer compensation within overall administrative expenses that are limited to 15 percent or 20 percent. Under H.R. 1206, producer compensation would be calculated outside the MLR.

At a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said health insurance agents and brokers will continue to be in a "desperate situation" unless the House changes medical loss ratio (MLR) determinations. Since HHS announced its interim regulation, many carriers have responded by slashing agent and broker compensation by as much as 50 percent.

"The NAIC is already on record with a resolution stating that agents and brokers are 'indispensible' in helping consumers purchase health insurance through the new insurance exchanges being formed under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)," said PIA National Assistant Vice President David Eppstein, who represents PIA at the NAIC. "This endorsement of H.R. 1206 is a strong affirmation of the NAIC's position."

Eppstein expressed appreciation to Task Force Chairman and Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty as well as Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, who made the motion to endorse H.R. 1206.

PIA is actively supporting passage of H.R. 1206 with a nationwide grassroots action campaign. In addition, PIA has submitted testimony urging HHS to calculate producer compensation outside of the MLR when it issues final regulations.

"Congress already recognized the value of licensed agents and brokers by specifically including them in the health reform law as an integral part of the health care delivery system," Brevik said. "Passing H.R. 1206 will ensure that the intent of Congress is carried out, and not thwarted by the rule-making process."

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.

This press release online at: http://www.pianet.com/NewsCenter/PressReleases/6-30-11-2.htm

SOURCE National Association of Professional Insurance Agents