Dear NAHU Leaders,
I wanted to share with you two pieces of very good news from our government affairs department. First of all, we received confirmation this morning that language repealing PPACA’s deductible cap for small employers is being included in the Medicare provider payment fix patch legislation that has been negotiated by both parties and will be voted on by Congress over the course of the next week or so. A repeal of the $2000/$4000 cap on deductibles for small employer group coverage has been a priority of NAHU’s since the law was enacted. We were, I believe, the first trade association to actively work for its repeal and were instrumental in getting bipartisan House legislation introduced that is the basis for the repeal language included in the doc fix bill released this morning. NAHU member and HUPAC board member Alan Schulman testified before the House Small Business Committee calling for the repeal of this provision just a few weeks ago!
Second, and no less important, Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana will introduce two bills tomorrow calling on HHS to adopt key exchange changes that NAHU has been seeking on a regulatory basis for some time. The items covered by her legislation include establishing a toll-free concierge line for broker enrollment and policy questions, a listing of all certified agents on healthcare.gov, a fix to the NPN issue that has plagued agents from day one of open enrollment, and a requirement that HHS provide the broker community of all policy changes relative to QHPS and exchange enrollment within five business days in layperson’s language, including specific information about how agents and brokers can best help their clients take advantage of any policy or regulatory changes in a timely manner. A second bill will make improvements to the direct enrollment process for independent agents, including making improvements that will allow independent agents better access to web-based entities. Again, NAHU members were instrumental in making sure that Congress is aware of our exchange concerns and we have worked extensively with Senator Landrieu and her staff during the drafting process of drafting this legislation to ensure that it covers our full concerns.
Congratulations on all of your hard work!
Jessica Fulginiti Waltman
Senior Vice President, Government Affairs
National Association of Health Underwriters
1212 New York Avenue, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005