"We don't have a clear pathway to get them enrolled into the plan. (The federal government) hasn't given us the ability to do that. They're kind of missing the mark on this. They need to realize that we are the best pathway," he said.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, recently sent a letter to federal health officials urging them to fix the barriers hampering brokers and possibly create a way to bypass the healthcare.gov site. She suggested a dedicated call-center line or mailing locations for paper applications.
Stark has noticed a chilly reception toward his industry when he's attended local outreach organizations on the health overhaul.
"They basically didn't want to work with insurance agents because they felt agents were going to steer a customer toward (a plan) where they think they will make the most money," said Stark. "If I steer someone incorrectly to a plan that doesn't meet their needs, there's a lot of hell to pay as an agent."
Navigators will likely be gone when enrollment ends in March. That's why Statz said it's important for federal health officials to empower agents to "help people now, but help them make decisions on their accounts moving forward."