WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 18, 2015 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) today praised the U.S. Senate for passing legislation that delays the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) 40% excise tax or “Cadillac tax” as part of a larger bill to fund the government. The legislation passed the Senate by a 65-33 vote. The bill delays the “Cadillac tax” for two years and also enacts the “Policyholder Protection Act” which ensures that insurance companies will be able to operate as intended by making the protection of policyholder assets their first priority.
“The Big ‘I’ has been greatly concerned about the impact of the ACA’s 40% excise tax since the day the ACA was signed into law,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “We believe the two year delay of the tax is an important first step, and independent agents around the country can rest assured that the Big ‘I’ will continue to fight to fully repeal the tax. We look forward to working with Congress in a bipartisan manner to ensure this tax never sees the light of day. Now that both the Senate and the House have passed this important legislation, we urge the President to promptly sign it into law.”
Originally scheduled to go into effect in 2018, the ACA would have levied a 40% tax on health benefits that exceed an established annual cost. That year, health plans exceeding $10,200 in value for individuals or $27,500 in value for families would have been subject to the tax. In the future, if enacted, this tax will impact a greater number of individuals while health care costs continue to rise.
“The Big ’I’ supports this legislation to delay the ‘Cadillac tax’ for two years and would like to thank the nearly 40 Senators from both parties who have cosponsored legislation to repeal it as well as everyone who voted for the two year delay,” says Charles E. Symington, Big “I” senior vice president for external and government affairs. “We would especially like to thank Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nevada), Martin Heinrich (D-New Mexico) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) for their tremendous leadership on this issue. Without their efforts, this two year delay would not have been possible.”
The Big “I” also appreciated the inclusion of the “Policyholder Protection Act”, a bill which passed the House in November with the association’s support. The “Policyholder Protection Act” prevents federal banking regulators from transferring the assets of a state regulated insurance company or subsidiary to an affiliated bank if state insurance commissioners believe such a transfer would be harmful to policyholders.
“The passage of the ‘Policyholder Protection Act’ further exemplifies Congress’ commitment to state regulation of the insurance market,” says Symington. “This bill defends policyholder assets and ensures that carriers will be able to operate as intended by making the protection of policyholder assets their first priority.”
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.
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