PIA National Proposes Changes to Insurance Advocate
PIA National sent a
letter to Jeb Hensarling, Chairman of the House Financial Services
Committee, expressing concerns about the creation of a new federal office called the Office
of the Independent Insurance Advocate within the Treasury Department. PIA specifically
requests changes in the bill to scale back the power of this new office.
A section of the Financial Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers, and
Entrepreneurs (CHOICE) Act merges the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) with the independent
member with insurance expertise on the Financial Stability Oversight Council to create the
Office of Independent Insurance Advocate.
The director of the new office would be a Senate-confirmed presidential appointee
with a six-year term. The new office would have its own budget and would be able to hire
its own employees, including attorneys, analysts, and economists. Although housed in the
Treasury Department, the bill has language prohibiting the Secretary of the Treasury from
taking action to "delay or prevent the issuance of any rule or the promulgation of any
regulation by the Independent Insurance Advocate," and prohibiting the Treasury Secretary
from intervening "in any matter." This language seems to prevent the Treasury Secretary
from exercising any authority whatsoever over any regulations that the Independent
Insurance Advocate decides to promulgate, or any other actions the Advocate takes.
PIA is advocating for the repeal of the FIO without replacement. We are currently the
only national association publicly advocating against the creation of this new insurance
The new version of Financial CHOICE Act is expected to be released sometime this month.
ACA Struggles for Stability
Over the coming few weeks, health insurers
will start to declare whether they will participate in Affordable
Care Act (ACA) markets. Colorado Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar says her state's
carriers have not said they are leaving, but also do not want to commit. Washington State
Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler pushed back by a month the date when insurers in his
state must say what they will offer. "They've got those cards and they're holding them
close," says Kreidler. "Right now, there's so much uncertainty."
Things look better in some states. Maryland Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer, Jr., says he
hopes one company will re-join his state's exchange, while Nevada is attempting to convince
Aetna and Centene to enter the state's ACA market. "I'm cautiously optimistic that we won't
see a deterioration, and hopefully we'll have one more," says Redmer.
Much of the uncertainty is thanks to the Trump administration, which will play a key
role in deciding whether the health law''s markets collapse or survive. Trump's latest threat
has been to stop payments that subsidize co-pays and other upfront costs for lower-income
people. Without them, insurers would likely boost their premiums or drop out entirely. The
administration has refused to commit to keeping the payments going.
Seeking Innovative Marketers for
PIA Agency Marketing Guide
Do you have a successful method for finding new prospects or rounding accounts? Maybe you
have implemented a producer onboarding system or sales program that works really well for
your agency. If so, PIA would like to speak with you about possibly being featured in the 2017
PIA Agency Marketing Guide
This is your opportunity to share your knowledge with your fellow PIA members, as so many
of your peers have done in previous editions of the PIA Agency Marketing Guide
Featured PIA members can write their own articles
or, if they prefer, speak with a
PIA staff member who can write an article about their marketing efforts.
If this interests you, please contact Alexi Papandon at 703-518-1353 or
Lost Policies? Check out the
Insurance Policy Locator
The key to finding something that is lost is to look for it. In its first six months, the
National Association of Insurance Commissioners' (NAIC) Life Insurance
Policy Locator tool
has matched nearly 1,800 beneficiaries with lost or misplaced life
insurance policies or annuities. As of April 1, more than $17 million has been returned
The strong results emphasize the importance of the locator to consumers, said NAIC
President and Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Ted Nickel. "We expect these numbers to grow
as more consumers learn about this tool," he said. Since it was launched in November, the
tool has generated 15,333 requests. To date, nearly 25 regulatory actions have resulted in
returning more than $7.3 billion life insurance proceeds to U.S. consumers.