Brokers could be paid directly by insurance carriers under exchange amendment

A Minnesota Senate committee handed insurance brokers a victory today in a long-running skirmish over the state's new health insurance marketplace.

Brokers who sell policies on the state's exchange could be paid directly by insurance carriers under an amendment the commerce committee approved Wednesday. But, brokers would have to disclose the payment arrangement to consumers.

In the original bill, the exchange would withhold a portion of premiums paid and then decide how much to pay the brokers.

The bill's author, DFL Sen. Tony Lourey of Kerrick said brokers and insurers have an important role in the health care industry.

"This amendment protects their historic role. I thought they could've done well under the bill as introduced but they disagreed vehemently," Lourey said. "We got together and kind of hammered out a structure that can work, and I think will work well."

Lourey said that brokers selling on the exchange will also have to get additional training about data security and tax provisions in the federal health care law.

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