The end of the first public exchange open enrollment period could lead to a big shift in business at any insurance agency or brokerage that sells much individual health insurance.

HHS officials and state regulators developed the open enrollment system to try to discourage consumers from waiting until they get sick to buy coverage.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius declared at a congressional hearing last week that she still plans to close open enrollment on March 31. Regulators in some states, including Nevada, have talked about extending their enrollment.

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Allison Bell

Allison Bell, ThinkAdvisor's insurance editor, previously was LifeHealthPro's health insurance editor. She has a bachelor's degree in economics from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @Think_Allison.