Ritter Insurance Marketing, Craig Ritter

National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) Advocates for the Agent/Broker Role in any Health Care Reform

The National Association of Health Underwriters has launched a new website www.brokersmakingadifference.org  and a  print publication entitled “Brokers Making a Difference,” answering questions and sharing first hand accounts of the value of insurance professionals. 

Janet Trautwein, NAHU’s CEO, told Insurance & Financial Advisor that when the organization reviews legislation, the agent/broker is often overlooked as a valuable entity.

“There is always the effort to cut administrative cost, indicating that this or that can be done if only the could cut out agent/broker commissions or that things would be easier so that the agent doesn’t have to do as much work,” she said.  “It occurred to me that [legislators] don’t know what brokers really do and to me, that is concerning.”

With everything from government-run insurance to the end of pre-existing conditions being discussed in Washington, D.C., it is a critical time to be informed and have your voice be heard, Trautwein said.

“I think certainly, agents and brokers are extremely worried that they will be cut out, either by legislators or maybe by insurers,” she said.  “Insurers could say they are being forced to cut administrative costs and cut them out.”

Trautwein said that agents and brokers “believe in” the current private insurance system now and its service to customers and have dire concerns about a government-run format.

“If there is no private coverage, forget about agents and brokers,” she said. “[A public plan] is extreme threat to private coverage and it could cause the demise of private insurance.”

NAHU began seeking personal stories earlier this year, Trautwein said, and what they got in return was remarkable.

“I got hundres of responses and the stories were so powerful and showed so much service to clients,” she said.

Those stories are the heart of both the website and a 72-page book, which will be distributed by NAHU to every member of Congress.

Congress has also received a letter from NAHU, The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors and its health arm, the National Association of Health Insurance Advisors, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America and the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents urging collaboration.

“That’s a pretty loud voice to Congress and a sign they have to pay attention,” Trautwein said.

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