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Positive Story on Health Agents and Brokers Runs on NPR

Debbie Stocks of Glen Allen, Virginia is a health insurance broker. She wants everybody to know that she offers her customers something that cannot be...
December 7, 2010

Debbie Stocks of Glen Allen, Virginia is a health insurance broker. She wants everybody to know that she offers her customers something that cannot be replicated by an online exchange. Many small businesses have complicated health needs that make buying insurance challenging, she says.

Debbie Stocks' brokerage business was the subject of a very favorable profile story on National Public Radio (NPR) on December 3. The story notes that some of the supporters of the health care law view agents and brokers as unnecessary expenses that can be eliminated when health insurance exchanges are set up. These officials and lawmakers view the exchanges primarily as web portals like Travelocity, where people will be able to go to buy health insurance online by themselves, like buying an airline ticket. In the story, Stocks disagrees and the reporter speaks with some of her clients who say her service is indispensible to their small businesses. An analyst at Consumers Union agrees, saying that even after the health law takes effect, consumers will need help navigating their insurance options.

Buying insurance isn't "like buying a pair of pants," Stocks says. "You buy a pair of pants; you try them on; they don't fit; you send them back. You buy an insurance plan, when you try it on, if it's not right, it's too late." Stocks adds that she intends to stay in business, which she considers a calling. "My soul loves health insurance."

Click here to access Health Insurance Brokers Fight for Their Future (NPR 12/3/10)

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