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PIA National opposes Obama administration relaxation of navigator rules
Final rules for Obamacare health insurance exchange navigators were issued May 16 by the Department of Health and Human Services. The new regulations significantly lower standards for the navigators. PIA National says that puts consumers at risk. The new regulations will permit unlicensed navigators to perform some of the functions of licensed insurance agents and brokers. In addition to relaxing the regulations, the administration is also prohibiting the states from requiring navigators to obtain an agent or broker license or errors and omissions insurance.
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 PIAW Happenings


PIA Oregon EXPO: Not to be missed!

When:  June 17-18
Where:  Red Lion Hotel on the River
            Jantzen Beach, Portland, Oregon

EXPO is a one day, business-to-business and education program for all agents, agency and company personnel. Last year's EXPO was a huge success. More than 150 independent insurance agents registered. Click "Read More" for more information and to get started.

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PIA National: More on Wal-Mart's auto insurance
PIA National's response to Wal-Mart's auto insurance venture is getting media notice. Consumer Affairs — a popular consumer publication — did a story and quoted PIA's skepticism over claims by Wal-Mart that someone purchasing insurance via their service could save as much as $1,168 per year.
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 Industry News from PIA Western Alliance


ACORD LOMA grading insurers on trends — part 2
Weekly Industry News recently did part one of a story on Kimberly Harris-Ferrante of Gartner Research. She made a presentation at the ACORD LOMA 2014 a couple of weeks ago. Harris-Ferrante graded insurers and insurance on eight critical areas.
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Agent compensation, health insurance exchanges
From an agent and broker point of view, the Obamacare health insurance exchanges have a mixed record. Some are being well-paid for work done to get people and businesses health insurance and some are not.
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Online auto insurance: It may have peaked
PIA National reports the TransUnion Auto Insurance Shopping Index shows shopping over the Internet for auto insurance is down for the second year in a row. TransUnion auto tracks consumer behavior when compared to credit history. It said online shopping rates dropped 3 percent from February 2013 to February 2014.
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Obamacare cost: Agents lose $300 million commissions in 2012
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — aka Obamacare — reset how agents and brokers are to be compensated by health insurance companies. The law changed the medical loss ratio and said insurers in the individual market have to spend 80 percent of all premium dollars on health care and those in group markets must spend 85 percent. All through the negotiations that set up Obamacare insurance groups and agent associations — like PIA — urged Congress to exempt agent and broker commissions from the MLR ratio.
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Help wanted: Employers, exchanges
A lot of people are confused about just how to go about using a health insurance exchange. They're mandated by the Affordable Care Act and in most states the exchanges is managed by the Obama administration.
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Decision time: Obamacare health insurance rates
The time for insurers to set rates for November's health insurance sign-ups is over. It passed us on May 1. So the Obama administration — via the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services — has extended the deadline to May 31. Actuaries that have to set rates say that's not enough time either.
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GAO report: Reforms not helping — NFIP in deep trouble
The Government Accountability Office says the National Flood Insurance Program is in deep trouble and will likely stay in deep trouble for years to come.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Attention Wal-Mart shoppers: PIA agents are a better insurance pick (PIAW)
Finally: Bills changing fed oversight of insurance (PIAW)
Obamacare: Who enrolled, who paid (PIAW)
Just for fun: Animals on the golf course (PIAW)
PIA Oregon EXPO: Look who's coming! (PIAW)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


FEMA says it's OK to assume a prior flood policy
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is starting the Biggert-Waters Act reforms. It has repealed a National Flood Insurance Program provision preventing those buying homes and businesses from assuming a property's prior flood insurance policy.
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The high cost of wildfire
Wildfires are a big deal these days. For the last couple of years it seems every state in the west has been on fire. And in some cases — like California — that is true. It was on fire almost year round. Reports say last year was a record fire season everywhere.
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Cover Oregon's federal transition more expensive than thought
After Cover Oregon failed, and after the state decided to move the exchange to the federal system, the Cover Oregon board of directors gave an original estimate of $5 million to connect with the federal government's HealthCare.gov. But there's more that needs to be done and it will be more expensive than $5 million.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keywords COVER OREGON.


FEATURED ARTICLE
TRENDING ARTICLE
MOST POPULAR ARTICLE
Should an insurer try to be more like Google?
Insurance Networking News
There's no shortage of admiration and emulation going on for the business models of the big Web companies. Go all-digital, automate decision-making with big data, engage mass markets online, support mobile and keep on innovating. Google and Facebook are held up as models of success, the corporation of the future.

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Attention Wal-Mart shoppers: PIA agents are a better insurance pick
PIAW
As soon as Wal-Mart announced it will promote online auto insurance to its customers, PIA issued a press release advising consumers that it is better to deal with a professional, independent insurance agent.

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ACORD LOMA: Grading insurers on trends
PIAW
The world is changing. Rapidly. Like most industries, insurance is trying to keep up. And like most other industries, it's not keeping up very well and is only doing an average job. Or so says Kimberly Harris-Ferrante of Gartner Research who came to that conclusion at a presentation she made at the ACORD LOMA 2014.

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Quarter 1: Merger & acquisition activity setting records
Agent-broker advisors OPTIS Partners did an analysis of merger and acquisition transactions for the first quarter of 2014. M&A activity in the quarter may have set a record. There were 110 of them.
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Agents, brokers: A good 1st quarter
Regan Consulting tracks these things and says independent insurance agents and brokers had their highest ever organic growth profitability in the first quarter of 2014. Those results come from a study titled the Organic Growth and Profitability Survey.
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Update: San Diego's wildfires
This — of course — is an ongoing story. And as it goes with wildfire, things change in an instant. All indications when this was written late May 19 is that firefighters in and around San Diego, have most of the fires pretty much under control.
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 Around PIA Western


Around the PIA Western Alliance States

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PIA Weekly Industry News
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Rebecca Eberhardt, Content Editor, 469.420.2608   
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Gary Wolcott, Editor/Writer for PIA Western Alliance, 503.724.9028   

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