Help defend health reform!

North Carolinians are lucky to have a strong insurance commissioner who cares about consumers. Besides serving our state, Commissioner Wayne Goodwin also holds several important positions in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). This gives him an important role in influencing national health policy.

Right now we need your help to defend a key consumer protection of federal health reform. As you may know the Affordable Care Act requires that insurance companies spend a minimum amount of each premium dollar on health care. Currently, some insurance companies spend 30 to 40 percent of each premium dollar on administrative expenses like marketing, executive salaries, and lobbying.

Now the NAIC may endorse a bill in Congress, introduced by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), which would remove commissions paid to insurance agents from consideration when calculating the minimum amount insurers must spend on health care. In other words, if this bill passes, agent commissions will not be considered administrative expenses.

This move will allow insurance companies to continue paying outsized commissions to agents, which translate to higher and higher premiums for consumers. It will also effectively reduce the amount of premiums insurance companies are required to spend on health care.

Commissioner Goodwin is vice chair of the NAIC task force considering these changes. The first vote is tomorrow, June 30. Please email Goodwin today at Wayne.Goodwin@ncdoi.gov and tell him to stand up for consumers by not endorsing any change to the Medical Loss Ratio standards. Even a temporary change will mean an immediate loss to consumers of one of the most important early reforms. This is real money out of the pockets of real consumers.

Advocates fought too hard to see health reform watered down by an organization that should be protecting families and small businesses. Goodwin has good instincts. Now let’s make sure he has the public support to do the right thing.

3 Comments

  1. Alex

    June 30, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Obviously, you know nothing about health insurance and the commission structures. When health reform was implemented, all companies cut their commissions at least in half and sometimes more.As an agent, it barely pays my gas to go sell a health policy,and many agents have stopped selling it entirely.

  2. Frances Jenkins

    June 30, 2011 at 7:24 am

    Wayne is preparing to run for governor and he is not helping average people to be able to obtain insurance. Our cost have risen so much no one can afford it or can they find a plan. This is totally politically.

  3. AdamL

    June 30, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Alex, wow, that is news. I must admit that after talking to agents and insurance companies no one has mentioned that all insurance companies cut commissions in half to all producers. That’s a new one.