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Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) is Named PIA’s 2019 Legislator of the Year

Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) has been named 2019 Legislator of the Year by PIA National.
Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) is Named PIA’s 2019 Legislator of the Year

Rep. Billy Long

March 28, 2019

WASHINGTON — Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) has been named 2019 Legislator of the Year by the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA National).

“Congressman Long works tirelessly in support of issues that are of critical importance to America’s independent insurance agents,” said Jon Gentile, PIA National’s Vice President of Government Relations.

Rep. Long was the prime sponsor in the 115th Congress of the Access to Independent Health Insurance Advisors Act (HR 4575), bipartisan legislation which would have exempted certain compensation for agents and brokers from the medical loss ratio (MLR) calculation.

The Affordable Care Act created the MLR requirement to limit the percentage of a premium that a health insurance company can spend on administrative costs. However, agent and broker compensation was improperly classified as administrative costs, effectively limiting consumer access to the essential resources of agents and brokers. This negatively affected independent insurance agents and consumers, who increasingly lack access to qualified, licensed experts to advise them on their insurance plans.

PIA National helped develop and endorsed Rep. Long’s bill, which he introduced in the House along with Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR). The companion legislation in the Senate (S. 2303) was introduced by Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Chris Coons (D-DE), also in the 115th Congress. PIA National will continue to work with Rep. Long and the new 116th Congress to urge action on this issue.

“Many independent insurance agents can no longer afford to offer health insurance,” Gentile said. “By exempting agent compensation from being incorrectly classified, it would allow these agents to get back to the business of selling health insurance to the people who need their help in securing coverage.”

Each year, the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA National) awards its prestigious Legislator of the Year Award to a member of Congress who is outstanding in support of professional, independent insurance agents and PIA’s legislative priorities.

Founded in 1931, PIA is a national trade association that represents member insurance agents and their employees who sell and service all kinds of insurance, but specialize in coverage of automobiles, homes, and businesses. PIA members are Local Agents Serving Main Street AmericaSM. PIA’s web address is www.pianet.com.

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