Ever since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, benefits brokers and agents have had to make major adjustments to their business to account for lost health insurance commissions and renewals. Some called PPACA the death knell of the profession. Others rolled up their sleeves and vowed to soldier on.

But in Arkansas, brokers and agents discover there's money to be made in health insurance again, thanks to a pioneering program between the federal government and the state that's come to be known as the "private option."  

"If I was in another state, I would be standing in line with my legislators saying, 'we need to do this — yesterday,'" says John Tjarks, president and owner of A-OK Insurance in Pea Ridge, Ark.

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