Though brokers and agents had mixed reactions to PPACA's employer mandate delay, one reaction was more collective: shock.

Industry insiders were throwing out words like "speechless" and "shocked" in response to the unexpected delay announced late Tuesday by the Treasury Department.

"It's an exciting time, and last night's bomb certainly made us be on our toes," said David Smith, vice president of health and welfare benefits at North Carolina-based Ebenconcepts.

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