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2014: GA04222014_HHSACA The Big "I" provides numerous resources to assist consumer and general business writers, editors and producers with insurance-related or small business-related stories. IIABA has knowledgeable staff sources as well as hundreds of local agent spokespeople located in communities across the nation who are available to answer questions from reporters and serve as news sources on insurance-related consumer issues.
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Big “I” Responds to HHS on Navigators
Association supports state consumer protection efforts.
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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 22, 2014 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) has submitted official written comments on the recently proposed federal regulations regarding navigators and similar assisters under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
 
The HHS draft regulations were released as part of a larger rule and were written largely in reaction to many states putting in place their own consumer protection laws and regulations related to navigators and similar assisters. Past HHS rules properly allowed states broad authority to oversee these entities, but the new regulations unjustifiably reverse course and restrict states regulatory power.
 
“Since passage of the ACA, the Big ‘I’ has viewed these programs as having the potential to create serious consumer protection issues and has favored efforts to ensure navigators and similar entities will be properly licensed, trained and overseen,” says Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president for external and government affairs. “Unfortunately, the recently released draft rule would undo much of the good work done at the state level to ensure these entities are properly regulated and consumers are protected.”
 
In its officially submitted comments, the Big “I” expresses serious concerns over many aspects of the proposed rule. The association sees the draft regulations as chipping away at state authority to enforce consumer protection laws, and at the same time expanding the duties of navigators and similar entities.
 
“If the regulations are approved without changes, it will likely prove to be a dangerous mix for many insurance consumers who could be harmed by bad advice from an individual operating within one of these programs and left with no financial recourse,” says Ryan Young, Big “I” senior director of federal government affairs. “We will continue to advocate in defense of allowing states to enact and enforce consumer protection laws.”
 
The Big “I” comments are available HERE.  
 
Founded in 1896, the Big “I” is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than a quarter of a million agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.
 
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