On Wednesday, Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Chris Coons (D-DE) announced the introduction of S. 1661, which would remove broker compensation from the medical loss ratio (MLR) calculation. The MLR requirements were designed to limit how much insurance companies can spend on administrative costs. Unfortunately, the way the requirements were crafted, independent insurance agent and broker commissions are included as an insurer administrative cost. MLR requirements began on January 1, 2011, and immediately had devastating impacts on the insurance markets. This legislation would help correct the market and commission problems caused by the MLR requirements and improve consumer access to health insurance agents and brokers.
This bill marks the third iteration of the broker bill in the Senate, which unfortunately has not been able to face a floor vote in either chamber in the past four years. As legislation must be reintroduced into each new session of Congress when it doesn’t pass, we have worked with leaders in Congress to move this issue expeditiously during the 114th Congress. Previously in the 112th and 113th Congresses, the House bills were sponsored by Representatives Mike Rogers (R-MI-8) and John Barrow (D-GA-12), who resigned and lost re-election to Congress this year, respectively, in addition to Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA). Landrieu lost her re-election last year to Bill Cassidy, meaning that we have worked to line up a new lead Democratic sponsor, Senator Coons, for a companion bill in the Senate.
We need your help to get the message out! Adding cosponsors to S. 1661 will strengthen our message on Capitol Hill about the negative impact the MLR provision has had on jobs across the country. Encouraging your senators to sign on as quickly as possible will help us to push the message throughout the Hill and move the bill through Congress. Take action today and send your senator an Operation Shout asking them to support S. 1661.