Report: Healthcare law 'devastating' for insurance agents

The healthcare reform law has had a "devastating" impact on insurance agents and brokers, according to a new survey from the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisers. The group said 75 percent of its members have seen a drop in their commissions since the new law capped the amount of money that insurers can spend on administrative expenses and profits.

Agents and brokers have been lobbying for a bill that would exempt their commissions from the definition of insurers' administrative expenses, fearing that the new limits will lead insurance companies to cut commissions and direct that money elsewhere. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners is studying the issue and has voiced strong support for brokers. Many consumer advocates argue that commissions were dropping before healthcare reform took effect.

According to the data the brokers group released Friday, more than half of the brokers surveyed have seen their commissions drop by at least 25 percent. In addition to the 75 percent who have already seen a cut, 13 percent have been told to expect cuts in the near future, according to the survey.