State insurance commissioners create task force to protect agents and brokers

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners announced Wednesday the creation of a new task force to try to protect insurance agents and brokers from the side effects of Democrats' healthcare reform law. Some liberals say agents and brokers should go the way of the travel agent when state insurance exchanges with standardized offerings are up and running in 2014, but the NAIC says they will still serve an important function. 

"Health insurance is a complex product and experienced and licensed agents are a valuable resource for consumers," Florida Insurance Commissioner and task force chairman Kevin McCarty said in a statement. "We intend to work with the agent community and our colleagues at HHS to maintain that resource."

Creation of the task force comes after the NAIC in August adopted a resolution acknowledging the agents and brokers' role. The NAIC last month rejected agents' request that their fees be excluded from the medical-loss ratio calculation but has continued to advocate on their behalf in dealings with federal regulators.