By Jason Millman - 03/17/11 07:59 PM EDT
On Tuesday, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) urged the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which is backing the agents and brokers, to support keeping the current MLR rule intact. A number of liberal groups also made the same plea this week.
“I cannot support a proposal that would allow agents, brokers and health insurance companies to retain the estimated $1 billion in benefits that American consumers will receive next year thanks to the healthcare reform law,” Rockefeller wrote.
The Department of Health and Human Services has already exempted Maine insurers from the rule, and it is also considering waiver requests from Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Nevada and New Hampshire.
Some other Democrats have already criticized the MLR rule. Rep. Rob Andrews (D-N.J.), one of healthcare reform’s staunchest supporters, said federal regulators misunderstood the purpose of insurance agents and brokers.
“You’re not a waster of time and money,” Andrews told the National Association of Health Underwriters conference last month. “You’re a saver of time and money.”