November 18, 2016

Notice re: Agency Fees for Individual Health Insurance Coverage

Legislative Update: Act 63 of the 2017 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature amended the statutes regarding agency fees on individual and group health insurance policies and supplemental benefit insurance policies. It is now permissible for agency fees to be charged on individual plans when they are purchased on or off the Health Insurance Marketplace. Please see Bulletin 2017-5 for more details.

Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon is advising those signing up for health insurance during the Open Enrollment period that agency fees cannot be charged for individual health insurance policies. Agency fees cannot be charged on individual plans whether they’re purchased on or off the Health Insurance Marketplace ( Open Enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace runs November 1, 2016 through January 31, 2017. During the enrollment period individuals and families who do not receive healthcare through their employers can sign up through the online Health Insurance Marketplace and purchase individual policies sold by agents and insurers. 

“I want to make it clear to those purchasing health insurance for themselves and their families that the law prohibits agents from charging a fee on policies,” said Commissioner Donelon. “It has come to my attention that such prohibited fees are being charged and while we are taking steps to protect policyholders from these additional charges, it’s important that consumers are aware that this is not allowed under state law.”

Last month, the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) issued Directive 209 which stated that producer agency fees on individual health insurance plans are in violation of La. R.S. 22:855 B(2)(a) and 22: 1568(B). The law does allow agency fees to be charged on employer-sponsored group plans, but not individual plans which may cover one person or a family.

Commissioner Donelon urges anyone who thinks they may have been charged a fee on an individual health insurance policy to contact the Louisiana Department of Insurance Office of Consumer Services by calling 1-800-259-5300. 
About the Louisiana Department of Insurance: The Louisiana Department of Insurance works to improve competition in the state’s insurance market while assisting individuals and businesses with the information and resources they need to be informed consumers of insurance. As a regulator, the LDI enforces the laws that provide a fair and stable marketplace and makes certain that insurers comply with the laws in place to protect policyholders. You can contact the LDI by calling 1-800-259-5300 or visiting