Removal of licensed health insurance producers from the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) rule. H.R. 2328

August 12, 2013

 Dear Representative Duckworth,

 I am writing as one of your constituents and a professional benefit

specialist urging you to cosponsor H.R. 2328, bipartisan legislation

removing licensed health insurance producers from the Medical Loss Ratio

(MLR) rule. H.R. 2328, offered by Representative Rogers (R-MI-8) and

Representative Barrow (D-GA-12). It would remove broker commissions from

the MLR calculation set forth in the Patient Protection and Affordable

Care Act (PPACA). As an independent state-licensed health benefits

counselor and advocate who is on the ground every day helping thousands of

Americans find the right health care plan and navigate the health care

system, I can tell you first-hand about the devastating financial impact

the MLR requirements are having on the country’s approximately

half-million licensed professional health insurance agents and brokers,

their employees, clients and all American consumers. The requirements

should never have been applied to agent payment; these costs are

independent and separate from an insurance company’s revenue.  Not one

penny of an independent health insurance agent’s commission goes to the

health insurance carrier’s bottom line. Unfortunately, mandated

administrative caps on health plans through MLRs that erroneously include

agent compensation do not provide consumers with meaningful measurements

on their health plans’ quality. PPACA’s MLR provisions and ensuing

regulations fail to account for the vital role of professional agents and

brokers by classifying their services and compensation as typical

“administrative” expenses to be ratcheted down. The National Association

of Insurance Commissioners shares the concern that the MLR standards will

diminish the ability of insurance agents and brokers to continue assisting

health insurance consumers at a time of rapid changes that makes their

role even more essential.  Joining as a cosponsor to H.R. 2328 would

demonstrate that you want to help preserve existing cost-saving practices

in current health insurance markets, advance the intent of the MLR

provisions to reduce overall spending on administrative costs, and

maintain an important operational convenience for small businesses and

individuals – their independent agent/broker who functions as their HR

department. MLR requirements significantly and negatively impact access to

health insurance agents and brokers. Agents, who are in fact small

business owners, are seeing as much as a 50 percent reduction in business

revenue. This means that fewer agents and brokers will be able to afford

to stay in business, and many will have to begin reducing services to

their clients and cutting jobs, at the very time our economy is the

weakest and health insurance purchasers need guidance the most. Your

support for H.R. 2328 will help prevent additional harmful effects on

American health insurance consumers and disruption in all insurance

markets.

 

American consumers of health care and insurance products are who our

members represent, and being able to continue serving their needs to the

best of our ability is our primary interest.

 

Please strongly consider cosponsoring H.R. 2328.  I look forward to

hearing back from you on this important issue.

 Sincerely,

 John Rippinger

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One Response to Removal of licensed health insurance producers from the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) rule. H.R. 2328

  1. Jack Vorhauer says:

    John, I agree, but I think you have wasted your talent, writting ability and concern… This congress and President doesn’t give a damn.. They want IRS to have more control and more administration so they get more votes.

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