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Consumers Discovering Agents, Brokers Can Help With Health Insurance

People in Pennsylvania are discovering that there’s more than one way to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)...
January 8, 2014

People in Pennsylvania are discovering that there’s more than one way to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In addition to trying to deal with the federal government’s problem-plagued website, they can go to their local Main Street agent or broker. The Allentown (PA) Morning Call had an excellent article (“Want Obamacare? Brokers, insurance agents can help”) that points out that agents and brokers can do more for consumers than government-paid healthcare navigators. “Unlike ACA navigators, they [agents] can offer advice on what level of insurance and which company policies work best based on a person’s income and health care needs.”

At first, “the Obama administration did not embrace insurance professionals, questioning whether they would act in consumers’ best interest,” said University of Pennsylvania health law professor Tom Baker. The logjam of consumers looking for help changed that. “As they realized the complexity of rolling out the health insurance exchanges, they have become more open to encouraging brokers to assist consumers,” he said.

“Certainly, there are thousands and thousands of brokers out there compared to a relative handful of [ACA] navigators,” said Tim Jost, a health law professor at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. “They are one of the key parts of the strategy to get people enrolled.”

Agents, Brokers Can Help (The Morning Call 12/9/13)

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