Health Agents for America (HAFA) wants members to call senators on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, to ask the senators to kill a new health insurance producer compensation provision.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., the chairman of the committee, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., put the provision in Section 308 of S. 1895, their Lower Health Care Costs Act bill.
Alexander and Murray have said they expect members of the committee to hold a meeting on S. 1895 Tuesday.
(Related: Senators Avoid Agent Comp Topic at Health Cost Bill Hearing)
The bill includes many provisions related to matters such as drug price transparency, health care provider price transparency, and “surprise medical bills,” along with the producer compensation disclosure provision.
“Take a few minutes out of your day this week and call each of the HELP Committee offices,” HAFA said in an email sent to members. “Identify yourself. You would like to leave a message for the senator requesting that they remove Section 308 from the Lower Health Care Costs Act markup. Respectfully, our compensation is not the reason health care premiums are high.”
HAFA is also asking members to fax personal letters about the issue to the individual senators on the Senate HELP Committee, when fax numbers are available.
HAFA has provided a copy of a letter that Quentin Ledford, a benefits consultant based in Crossville, Tennessee, has already sent.
“While I do not have any issues with transparency, I do take exception to any legislation which unnecessarily creates such unduly burdens and costs as the following Section 308 of your proposed bill reportedly will do,” Ledford writes in the letter, according to the copy provided by HAFA.
Health insurers have already responded to the Affordable Care Act by cutting health producer compensation in half, and health insurers already include producer compensation spending in the rates they file with state insurance regulators, Ledford writes.
“Are you aware that many insurers no longer pay compensation to agents and brokers for any individual health plans they offer?” Ledford asks. “How much more of a burden do you want to plans on the many thousands of agents and brokers who provide services to their communities?”