The 10-hour courses with NAHU are approved in all 50 states and cover topics such as implementing health-care reform, self-insured plans and health insurance exchanges for individuals and small employers.
Deacon worked with NAHU to make sure he knew the ins and outs of the law before the market opened.
"There are a lot of ramifications coming down the road," Deacon said, "and you have to be prepared to advise your clients."
The week the marketplace opened, Deacon had about 50 new clients reaching out for assistance.
"There have been a lot of people to try and respond to," Deacon said. "I think that, next week or the week after, we should be able to start helping people a little bit more."
Both agents agreed that it's nice to know a consumer will be dealing with the same agent consistently and added that prices are the same regardless of if consumers enroll with an insurance agent or individually.
Consumers also may find in-person "assisters" at state Department of Health and Human Resource offices.
"The in-person assisters have been in training [last] week," said Jeremiah Samples, assistant to DHHR Secretary Karen Bowling. "Our local offices have brochures to assist customers as they call or walk in to our local offices to apply."
Samples added that federal navigators are available at various locations and federally qualified health centers received federal funding to assist consumers.
To obtain help from a certified assister through the state, consumers may visit https://localhelp.healthcare.gov, or call 1-800-318-2596.
Reach Caitlin Cook at caitlin.c...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113.