Kaiser Health News picks up the latest on the MLR front concerning the role of agents and brokers in the health care system. As KHN reports, “Insurance brokers, worried their livelihoods are in jeopardy from the health law, are pressing Congress and state legislatures to safeguard agent commissions and guarantee them a key role in new marketplaces being created for consumers to obtain coverage.”
The article also notes ”Major political players in the health care lobby are taking sides, with America’s Health Insurance Plans backing the brokers…” Health plans support the important role that brokers play for individuals, working families and small employers. For many consumers, brokers and agents are the “Human Resource” department helping them chose the coverage that is the best fit for an individual’s, family’s or employer’s needs.
Yesterday, the New York Times also noted the the brokers’ and agents’ position on this important issue has a jobs angle. As Janet Trautwein of the National Assocation of Health Underwriters noted “The new rules are ‘currently having a devastating financial impact on the country’s approximately half-million licensed professional health insurance agents and brokers…[F]ewer 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.’”