WASHINGTON — The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors will be adding health and employee benefits issues to its lobbying agenda.

NAIFA, Falls Church, Va., will work with America’s Health Insurance Plans, Washington, which represents health insurers, in an effort to “positively influence the health care reform debate that is already under way,” NAIFA says.

A NAIFA conference, the Association of Health Insurance Advisors, traditionally has handled health and benefits lobbying for NAIFA.

NAIFA says it is getting involved in lobbying on those issues at the parent-organization level because a majority of its 50,000 active members–and not only those who are AHIA members–sell medical insurance products and related products, such as disability insurance, long term care insurance, critical illness insurance, Medicare coverage, group insurance plans and worksite benefits.

“The national debate on health care reform affects all members of NAIFA, and health and employee benefits advocacy should be afforded to all NAIFA members,” NAIFA President Cliff Wilson says.

Health and benefits agents need “significant numbers lobbying against issues such as a public health plan option, single payer proposals, and others,” according to AHIA President Robelynn. Abadie.

AHIP President Karen Ignagni has welcomed NAIFA’s move to ramp up health and benefits lobbying, saying it should be “an important contribution to the health care reform discussion.”