NAHU Chief Executive Janet Trautwein

The National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) is rolling out programs to help member agents and brokers understand the changes brought about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA).

Opponents of PPACA continue to fight to block implementation of the law, and some in Congress are asking whether state and federal regulators will have trouble implementing some PPACA provisions on schedule.

If the law takes effect on schedule and works as drafters expect, it will require regulators to set up exchanges, or Web-based health insurance supermarkets, in every state and the District of Columbia by Oct. 1, with the coverage set to take effect Jan. 1, 2014.

The law also calls for major changes in the individual and small-group markets, inside and outside the exchange system. The law will prohibit insurers from consider individual health information when deciding whether to issue coverage, and it will limit insurer’s ability to use health information other than age when pricing coverage.

The law already has imposed other changes, such as a mandate that phases out annual and lifetime benefits limits.

NAHU has gotten approval to offer a Web-based PPACA professional development course in all states, the group said.

Every state insurance department has agreed to offer health insurance agents and brokers who complete the course continuing education credits.

The course covers topics such as grandfathering, the effects of PPACA on Medicare Part D plans, the effects of PPACA on plans that incorporate health savings accounts (HSA) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), and PPACA-related notice and reporting requirements.

NAHU also is working with Associated Benefits Consulting to give NAHU members access to software that can help producers analyze the effects that PPACA might have on specific clients and develop proposals for coping with any problems that might crop up.

The tool includes an employee survey feature and a cost modeling feature.

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