There’s still hope for change in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for health insurance brokers. Last night new legislation was issued in the Senate that would remove broker compensation from the medical loss ratio calculation that says that 15%-20% of group premiums can go to administrative costs. The bill, S.650, is sponsored by Senators Mary Landrieu (D – La.), Johnny Isakson (R – Ga.), Mark Begich (D – Alaska) and Lisa Murkowski (R – Alaska).
The MLR bill, as it was called during the last legislative session on both the Senate and House sides, will keep the same language as S.2288 that never went to the floor in the Senate during the 112th Congress. The official name of the new bill is Access to Independent Health Insurance Advisors Act of 2013. John Greene, the National Association of Health Underwriters’ vice president of congressional affairs, has worked closely with the senators on the legislation and says the group has high hopes for success for its members — mostly independent brokers who are seeing their compensation cut, on average, in half because of the current MLR regulations. He emphasizes that the brokers are not receiving a paycheck from the carrier and are an important middle man.
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