Individual health insurance coverage is now readily available, on a guaranteed basis and without any penalties for covering pre-existing medical conditions.  That makes things easier, along with the fact that the available plan designs fall into neatly configured categories.  So who needs agents?  The carriers have cut commissions, and now many are not paying commissions at all.  The assumption, of course, is that agents in the individual market are not required – people can make decisions on their own with what is made available on line.  Funny…the time we spend in counseling current and potential clients about their individual options and some of the nuances of coverage and provider networks seems to take us just as much time as before, with follow-up service calls and needs, keeping clients current, arguing with carriers and providers.  So really, there is no value here?  And still, over 50% of those who enroll through the Exchanges are enrolled through agents…guess they don’t know any better…