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Life Health > Health Insurance

Insurance agents welcome regulators' support, press Senate for same

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According to news blog “The Hill,” the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) says it’s thankful to state regulators for acknowledging agents’ role in health care and are on the verge of gaining similar support in the Senate.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) passed a resolution last Tuesday calling for health care reform regulations that “recognize and protect the indispensable role that licensed insurance professionals play in serving consumers.” The resolution was sponsored by 25 states and passed overwhelmingly.

“We were very happy that NAIC acknowledges the positive role that agents play in the market,” said John Greene, vice president of congressional affairs for NAHU.

Greene’s group has been pressing the Department of Health and Human Services to acknowledge agents’ role in the agency’s new insurance Web portal, called for in the health care reform law. The agents also want HHS to limit the role of “navigators” in the future state health insurance exchanges; navigators being people charged with educating the public about health insurance options, who aren’t trained and licensed as agents and brokers are.

“It is important,” the resolution says, “for federal policymakers to acknowledge the critical role of producers and to establish standards for the Exchanges so that insurance professionals will continue to be adequately compensated for the services they provide, and so that the duties of Exchange Navigators appropriately reflect the important role of insurance producers who are skilled, knowledgeable, educated and licensed and regulated.”

Greene said the resolution was in part a recognition by state regulators that they might be forced to carry out agents’ duties if they’re regulated out of existence by the health care reform law.


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