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Legislators Consider Agent Fees, Workers’ Comp Guidelines

October 3, 2018
1:15 PM

Our advocacy efforts continue, as the state House and Senate returned to Harrisburg last week for the final nine voting days of the 2017-18 legislative session. Though legislators typically shy away from votes on controversial bills this close to an election, we’re involved in a number of issues under consideration by lawmakers:

We testified during an informational hearing of the House Insurance Committee last week on House Bill 1605, sponsored by Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill). The bill would allow licensed insurance agents to charge a fee to consumers when no commissions are paid.

The intent of the legislation is to address disappearing commissions in the individual health market but, as drafted, would apply broadly to both the health and property and casualty insurance markets. While we do not expect this bill to pass either chamber of the legislature this year, we plan to work with stakeholders when legislation is re-introduced next year.

House Bill 1840, sponsored by House Labor and Industry Chair Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin), addresses the recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision in the case of Protz v. WCAB, which resulted in a mid-year increase in workers’ compensation costs. The legislation addresses the issue identified in the court’s ruling, clarifying the guidelines to be used for Impairment Rating Evaluations.

HB 1840 passed the House in June of this year and was voted favorably out of the Senate Labor & Industry Committee earlier this week. We support the bill and signed onto a letter along with over two dozen trade associations – spearheaded by the PA Chamber – urging Senate Labor and Industry Committee members to move the legislation.

The bill now goes to the floor of the Senate for consideration by the full chamber, and we hope to see the bill cross the finish line before the legislative session ends.