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Idaho Insurance Agents Weary of Insurance Exchange

flickr.com, Montage Communications

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Insurance agents are still waiting to be convinced Idaho’s insurance exchange will benefit their businesses, though the board that established this Internet marketplace for individual and small business coverage sought to make sure they could still earn commissions.

The exchange goes live Tuesday, enrolling people for coverage starting Jan. 1. Exchange director Amy Dowd contends it will be an opportunity for agents and brokers to gain a share of the roughly 200,000 people estimated to be eligible for policies. She says there’s a whole new population of uninsured who will need expertise in choosing policies.

But Tom Shores, a Boise insurance agent on the exchange’s 19-member board, estimates he’ll have to win 3,000 new customers to offset commissions he says are shrinking due to provisions of the health insurance overhaul.

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