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Brokers and web brokers pre-date the ACA; they’ve been helping clients purchase health insurance for decades.
With the rise of the internet, many brokers became web brokers over the last couple decades, providing their clients with user-friendly, side-by-side plan comparison tool and online applications for health insurance. Brokers continue to serve an important role in helping their clients enroll in ACA-compliant health insurance.
Unlike Navigators, in-person assisters, and CACs, brokers can help people enroll in plans both on and off the exchange. Brokers are licensed by the states in which they work, and are paid commissions by health insurance carriers.
In order to be certified with the exchange (either the federally-facilited marketplace or a state-run exchange), a broker must complete the exchange certification process in addition to the state licensing requirements. Brokers continue to provide ongoing support to their clients after the enrollment process is complete.
If you're self-employed, a broker can help you enroll, giving you personalized help and recommendations, but also allowing you to get any Obamacare subsidies for which you're eligible.
Here's where you should look for help if have trouble enrolling through a health insurance marketplace – or if you have issues with your individual-market ACA-compliant health plan.