For those of you who have already responded regarding the meeting on February 8th Thank You!
The meeting and website overview will proceed as scheduled, but due to unforseen circumstances there will not be any CE. We will discuss obtaining CE credits for this webinar at the meeting.
Don’t forget to RSVP if you haven’t already and if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact Jill Dear.
Last week, Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Chris Coons (D-DE) introduced S. 2303, joining Representatives Billy Long (R-MO) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) who introduced H.R. 4575 last month. These bills would remove independent agent and broker compensation from the definition of “administrative expense” from the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) calculation. The MLR regulation has caused carriers to reduce the commissions of agents and brokers, which has led to a reduction in consumer access to crucial services provided by insurance producers on a daily basis. Treating broker commissions as a pass-through expense will protect jobs and preserve the critical role of agents and brokers and ensure that insurers would be better equipped to compete in the marketplace.
NAHU has long advocated that the MLR should treat broker commissions as pass-through expenses for the following reasons:
- Commissions are set by insurers but not paid by the insurers. Commissions are paid by the client and passed through carrier to the agent. While carriers currently collect agent compensation along with the regular premium, these funds are passed directly to the broker.
- Commissions are paid to health insurance agents and brokers for the enrollment and on-going service they provide to consumers throughout the duration of their policy.
- As a result of agent compensation being included in the cost of MLR, brokers servicing the individual and small business markets are seeing their compensation slashed by as much as 50%.
- Individuals and employers across the country are relying on their health insurance agent to help them understand and comply with health reform for their business, their employees, and themselves.
- The MLR has caused serious harm to the insurance market as it has inhibited the number of insurers willing to write health insurance in the individual and small-group markets.
Contact your senators and representative. Send an Operation Shout today asking your member of Congress to cosponsor H.R. 4575 and senators to support S. 2303! You can also call your legislators at the numbers below.
Don’t want to send an email? No problem, you can also reach your senators by phone:
Rep. Larry Bucshon (R) can be reached at (202) 225-4636.
Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) can be reached at (202) 224-4814.
Sen. Todd Young (R) can be reached at (202) 224-5623.
NAHU has met with bipartisan leadership in the House and Senate, as well as other industry stakeholders, to promote bipartisan measures for market stability. Unfortunately, we do not believe the current Graham-Cassidy proposal serves to stabilize the individual health insurance market and we have significant concerns that the lack of adequate guardrails for states applying for waivers could create instability in the employer-sponsored health plan market.
The proposal would dramatically restructure the ACA …read more….
“Obamacare repeal is on the brink of coming back from the dead.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his leadership team are seriously considering voting on a bill that would scale back the federal government’s role in the health care system and instead provide block grants to states, congressional and Trump administration sources said. ”
Indiana is one of six states where Republican governors are working with the Trump administration to do something Congress couldn’t accomplish: fundamentally alter their state Medicaid programs.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday that he would cut the chamber’s August recess in half, saying the GOP needed more time to achieve its legislative goals given the protracted negotiations over health-care legislation and continued opposition from Democrats on several fronts.
“To provide more time to complete action on important legislative items…Read More
by Laura Litvan and Anna Edney
Senate Republicans are beginning to learn the details of the health-care bill they may be asked to vote on next week, with senators saying the measure envisions a more gradual transition away from Obamacare than the House-passed version.
Republican Thom Tillis of North Carolina said the draft bill, which GOP leaders plan to release Thursday morning, would effectively delay the repeal of Obamacare until 2020, allow more generous tax credits for people buying individual insurance policies, and create a longer transition period for ramping down Obamacare’s expansion of …..
NAHU works on a wide variety of Medicare issues from legislation to improved agent marketing and commissions, to COBRA as creditable coverage and restoration of the open enrollment period.
Earlier this month, NAHU sent letters of support to the lead sponsors of S. 568 and H.R. 1421, the Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2017. These bills address Medicare’s “two-midnight” policy and would allow observation stays to be counted toward the three-day mandatory inpatient stay for Medicare coverage of a skilled nursing facility (SNF).
Currently, Medicare beneficiaries who are not officially admitted to a hospital may be classified under “Observation Status,” which is treated as an outpatient procedure for billing purposes. Furthermore, admission status may be changed to observation by the hospital for up to a year following an SNF stay and they can negate the three-day-stay requirement after the fact.
These policies are leading patients who are extremely sick and need skill nursing care to not qualify for paid Medicare SNF care and for others to later have their admission status changed so that their SNF care is now billed directly to the beneficiary instead of Medicare, creating a huge financial burden. You may have clients who have gone this through this experience or know people who did. This is wrong and must be made right.
We need your help to educate other members of Congress on the importance these actions are having on your clients through no fault of their own. The bill already has 34 cosponsors in the House and 15 cosponsors in the Senate. You can help us increase our chances of having this bill become law by contributing to HUPAC today. Click here to take action now.
HUPAC is NAHU’s political action committee and helps us spread the message of the important role agents, brokers and benefit specialists play in the healthcare system and on behalf of the beneficiaries you serve. By contributing, you assist in our legislative efforts to build momentum behind this piece of legislation and improve our odds of this becoming law.
Thank you for all you do!
Vice President of Congressional Affairs