Key findings:

  • The Affordable Care Act  funds a network of “navigators” who will help consumers use the new online insurance marketplaces established by the law.
  • Insurance agents and brokers fear that navigators will compete with them, and have opposed their creation.
  • Agents and brokers have lobbied hard in statehouses for new laws regulating the navigators — a push aided by a legislators group supported with industry funds.
  • Over the past year-and-half, 16 states have passed new laws regarding navigators.
  • Agents and their legislative supporters say the new laws provide needed oversight; consumer advocates believe the laws could shackle the navigator program.