Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., said efforts are underway to attach legislation exempting insurance agents from the medical loss ratio (MLR) provision of the healthcare reform law to another bill working its way through the Senate.
Isakson said at the Washington meeting of the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers (CIAB) that attaching the legislation to something already on the Senate floor “…is the best way to pass things in the Senate.”
Isakson and Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., his co-sponsor, will try the attachment approach before introducing the bill in committee. “Hopefully, visits today from brokers will increase momentum for the bill,” Isakson said.
The bill is S. 2068, the Access to Independent Health Insurance Advisors Act.
It would amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to give some relief to small agents hit especially hard by the cutback in commissions that have occurred under PPACA.
At the same conference, Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., who is retiring, said PPACA should be “repaired, not replaced.”
He reminded the agents and brokers that the healthcare mandate fashioned back when President Clinton was in office came from the Republicans. “It is a Republican idea,” he said.
The Landrieu-Isakson legislation specifically excludes agent compensation from the MLR formula in the individual and small group markets.