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Issue: #3June 12, 2013

Exchange Navigator Registration Bill Passes in Last Days of Session

Grassroots Strength, Inside Game Keys To Success

In a hard-won victory for Nebraska insurance consumers and independent insurance agents, LB 568 - the Health Insurance Exchange Navigator Registration Act- passed its final round of voting unanimously on June 4, and was signed by the Governor and became law on June 5.

Jim Cavanaugh & Sen. Burke Harr talk about importance of LB 568
Jim Cavanaugh & Sen. Burke Harr talk about getting LB 568 passed

The new law authorizes the Nebraska Department of Insurance to regulate federally-mandated "Navigators", who will assist Nebraska insurance consumers obtaining health insurance coverage through Nebraska's Health Insurance Exchange/Marketplace, set to start open enrollment October 1, 2013.  The law also prohibits Navigators from advising consumers about substantive policy benefits, and recommending or endorsing a particular health insurance plan within the Exchange. LB 568 was sponsored by Omaha Sen. Burke Harr at the request of IIAN on behalf of the Nebraska Agents Coalition - IIAN, NAHU, NAIFA, and PIA. 


 "This win was a textbook example of effective advocacy," commented IIAN legislative representative Jim Cavanaugh. "LB 568 faced very determined opposition beginning in January following the bill's Banking, Commerce & Insurance Committee hearing, all the way to the last day of the session." Opposition was led by organizations which could qualify for federal grants to become Navigators in Nebraska. "Big "I" Nebraska and IIABA staff provided expert counsel on a day-to-day basis as the terms of the bill were being negotiated," continued Cavanaugh, "and IIAN members came through with multiple grassroots contacts with their Senators for a solid month as LB 568 was debated on the floor in April and May."


Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman presented signed copies of LB 568 - the Health Insurance Exchange Navigator Registration Act - at a ceremony on June 11 in the state capitol building. L to R: Bob Hoppe, IIAN Legislative Committee Chairman; Sen. Burke Harr, bill sponsor; Governor Heineman, and CarolMcClelland, IIAN Executive Director.

IIAN Legislative committee chairman Bob Hoppe also commented, "Thanks are due to Mark Lisko, chairman of IIAN's Health Insurance Exchange Task Force, Jim Cavanaugh, IIAN Executive Director Carol McClelland, IIABA government affairs counsel Wes Bissett, IIAN members all over Nebraska, and of course Senator Harr and Insurance Director Bruce Ramge - who all helped pass this important consumer protection bill."  
Download IIAN white paper on what's in the new law.  









Unicameral Session Wraps Up June 5

2013 An Eventful Year For IIAN

June 2013 Legislative update
2-Minute Video Wrapup


The 2013 Nebraska legislative session ended on June 5. Of the 33 insurance-related bills on IIAN's "watch list", 12 passed. Big "I" representatives testified at committee hearings for six bills early in the session. Among the insurance measures which passed are: LB 21, which eliminates the sunset provision previously set to go into effect on June 30, 2014 for Workers' Compensation coverage for mental injuries incurred by "first responders"; LB 59, which increases the allowable percentages of "controlled" business for crop insurance only (IIAN supported); LB 105, which requires child care licensees to obtain liability insurance; LB 479, which is intended to ensure that medical payments coverage proceeds cannot be "appropriated" by a health insurance company without reducing the policyholder's medical deductible (IIAN supported); and LB 568, which adopts the Health Insurance Exchange Navigator Registration Act (IIAN actively supported - see separate article).


   Of the many bills which did not pass this year and will be carried over to the 2014 session, IIAN opposed LB 614, which would require the insurer to withhold 10% from the insurance proceeds for a materially damaged structure, to be placed in escrow by a city or county; and supported LB 80, which would double Nebraska's minimum auto financial responsibility limits.

   Between now and next January, IIAN's Legislative committee will be watching at least five interim studies, including LR 188 on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and LR 316 to examine unfair insurance trade practices.


For a recap of all of the bills on IIAN's watch list and upcoming interim studies,  click here.


Read the full text of any bill using the "Bill Search" feature on the Unicameral website -     click here.

National Legislative News From IIABA

Medical Loss Ratio, Crop Insurance, and Multi-State Licensing Issues See Action 


Click on the links below for the full story:


House Introduces Medical Loss Ratio Bill


Senate Takes Action On Farm Bill


Senate Banking Committee Advances Multi-State Licensing Bill


How To Contact Us

Jim Cavanaugh, Legislative Representative
1-800-342-3352/402-341-2020 Office  402-301-9675 Cell
Carol McClelland, CAE, Executive Director

1-800-377-3985/402-476-2951 Office  402-432-5113 Cell

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