The Indiana State Association of Health Underwriters (ISAHU) agrees with Al Hubbard, Chairman of Hoosiers for Affordable Healthcare, there is need for legislation that will provide Hoosiers with Price Transparency of Health Care Costs (Feb 9 Op-ed). As an Association of Health Insurance Agents/Brokers, one of our primary goals is lowering the Cost of Healthcare.
The Indiana House attempted to do this with HB 1005, until an amendment was attached to it, which ultimately caused it to be pulled. Within HB 1005 was other language requiring the disclosure of Agent/Broker commissions/fees. The majority of Hoosiers get their health insurance through a self-funded employer health plan. There is already full disclosure of Agent/Broker fees in the required Department of Labor (DOL) Form 5500 for employers with 100 or more employees. ISAHU strongly disagrees that the language addressing agent fees will have any impact on lowering Health Care Costs. It is the high cost of Health Care that causes the cost of Health Insurance to be so high. Any duplication of Agent fee reporting efforts is not necessary and creates additional administrative costs and issues such as: Who would disclose the fees? The Insurance Company or TPA where the Agent/Broker places the Insurance? Or, the Agent/Broker? Who will enforce the disclosure? How will the data be reported? Electronically? Or, on paper? The information is already disclosed on the DOL form. Such a provision only serves to increase administrative costs.
Price Transparency is an effort in the right direction and the Indiana State Association of Health Underwriters fully supports this effort. Purchasing Health Care services should be as transparent as all other services to Hoosiers. Mr. Hubbard states, “we assembled a team of health policy experts & economists to study this issue & make recommendations for Hoosier Employers & policymakers.” Let’s make improvements in the system that actually affect Health Care Costs. As we move forward, Agents/Brokers should be included in the discussion of solutions.
ISAHU Legislative Chair – Dwight “D” Hall
ISAHU Legislative Committee