|By Richard Newman, The Record, Hackensack, N.J.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Health insurance agents that help small businesses shop for coverage say some provisions of the health care reform act threaten their livelihoods.
Brokers' commissions have been trimmed as a result of the law's limits on insurers' administrative costs, and they fear that they will be left out of the loop in the state insurance exchanges the law creates, which are supposed to be up and running in 2014 to provide coverage for more people. The law was upheld as constitutional by the
Brokers, who opposed the vetoed bill that gave them no representation on its governing board, do not know how an exchange in
The government requires that exchanges be consumer-friendly, with easy-to-decipher policies and comparisons, perhaps making brokers' services less necessary.
"My concern is that small-business owners will say it's easier to let the government do it," said Clifton broker
"I think the bureaucrats have a misconception that all we do is wait around for a commission check. They have no idea how our clients rely on us," Siino said.
More than two-thirds of the small businesses that provide health insurance use brokers, according to the
"The law will disrupt many elements of the insurance system that we value today," said
"We have many members who are insurance brokers, and we deeply sympathize with them."
Under the law, insurers that serve individuals and small-employer groups must spend at least
"I have to branch out to other things," Roth said.
"Everybody is going to have to adjust to thinner margins," said
"We believe we add value, and if you add value in any industry you will survive. I don't think all of us will be out of business."
"The role of translator will be diminished, and they will play more of an adviser role," said
Even though the
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