WASHINGTON, D.C., June 28, 2012 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) expressed disappointment with the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
The association opposed many aspects of the PPACA and has been involved throughout congressional debate and implementation.
“The Big ‘I’ is disappointed with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the PPACA,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “Our association, economists and other industry leaders and experts agree that many of the provisions in the PPACA are causing more harm than good. The Big ‘I’ will continue to work with Congress to repeal provisions of the law that negatively impact our small business members and the customers they serve.”
Since the PPACA was upheld in its entirety, except for the narrowing of the Medicaid enforcement, implementation will move forward as scheduled. Importantly for agents, the detrimental medical loss ratio (MLR) provisions first implemented in 2011 are also still in effect. These provisions have led to cuts in compensation of up to 50% in some areas of the country.
“The PPACA’s MLR provisions threaten the livelihoods of health agents and brokers and establish perverse incentives that make it challenging for smaller insurers to enter the marketplace,” says Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president of government affairs. “These MLR requirements have produced cuts in agent compensation of up to 50% in some areas of the country and made it a challenge for many agents to maintain the level of customer service and quality of advocacy traditionally provided at a time when such assistance is needed more than ever.” 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 approximately 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.