Insurance producers and reinsurance professionals are converging here this week to talk about topics such as health insurance and the insurance industry’s antitrust exemption.

The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers, Washington, and the Reinsurance Association of America, Washington, are starting a 2-day legislative summit here Wednesday.

The program includes a White House briefing Wednesday and a meeting with members of Congress Thursday.

Organizers expect House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, to speak Thursday.

The joint chiefs of the CIAB’s CouncilPAC will meet Thursday morning.

Discussions could touch on subjects of interest to participants in the life, health and annuity markets.

Concerns about the insurance industry’s handling of claims resulting from hurricanes Katrina and Rita have led to calls for repealing the McCarran-Ferguson Act, a statute that gives the insurance industry a limited antitrust exemption.

Health insurance is another topic that is likely to come up.

“Our members, unlike some business groups, are not reflexively opposed to the [Bush] administration’s health insurance reform proposals,” says Joel Wood, a CIAB senior vice president.

“We agree with the administration that there is a desperate need for Congress to take action to provide greater access to health insurance for children and the uninsured,” Wood says. “We particularly like tax incentives for the unemployed. More than anything else, though, we want to preserve and enhance the employer-provided group health insurance marketplace, while seeking ways to cut health care costs through [information technology] and efficiency.”