As enrollment neared under the Affordable Care Act, both President Obama and California officials boasted that signing up for health insurance would be as easy as ordering a book from Amazon.com or buying a plane ticket online.
With that in mind, Covered California's executive director, Peter Lee, predicted a bleak future for insurance agents selling individual policies, saying they could easily go the way of travel agents.
As it turns out, reports of their demise were greatly exaggerated. Insurance agents played a major role in California's larger-than-expected enrollment of 1.4 million people in private health plans.
They personally signed up 525,000 Californians — nearly 40% of the state's total, new data show. About the same number signed up on their own using the Covered California website. Read more...