A session at AHIP's Institute 2013 addressed the roles of agents and brokers, exchange navigators and assisters. Access Health CT's Phil Boyle and NAIFA vice president Diane Boyle said that although there are many unknowns, agents and brokers have a crucial role to play as the Affordable Care Act gets off the ground. Producers will remain essential to consumers because they play roles that navigators and assisters cannot, such as handling benefits communications and working with consumers after the sale on coverage enhancements and claims advocacy. Navigators and assisters will largely focus on groups that are unreachable to agents and brokers, the experts said.

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