Given its ambitious scope, the Affordable Care Act promises to have a profound impact on health insurers, employers and virtually every American citizen. However, because they occupy a unique place in the health insurance industry, insurance agents and financial advisors may be affected more by the Affordable Care Act than most other Americans. Indeed, they are consumers of health insurance. As employers, they often provide health coverage to their employees. As producers, their livelihood may depend on their ability to market health insurance to others. Their ability to succeed also may be affected by the creation of state-run health benefit exchanges and other changes in the health insurance marketplace.
To be sure, the public remains divided in its support for the Affordable Care Act, and the presidential election in November 2012 already has sparked further debate about whether to expand, contract or otherwise substantively change its terms. Regardless of how the political winds might change the Affordable Care Act’s course, though, an understanding of the basic changes for which the law calls is essential for every insurance agent and financial advisor.
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