(Tallahassee) – Licensed insurance agents across the state have another reason to participate in Florida’s Insurance Marketplace launching this fall. During a recent meeting the Florida Health Choices Board of Directors, led by Chairman Aaron Bean, unanimously agreed to eliminate the fees insurance agents would have paid to use the Marketplace, a central web portal where small businesses owners with four to 50 employees can choose from a variety of health plans that best meets their needs.

Prior to the board vote, insurance agents would have been charged a $150 application fee and $25 a month use fee. When registration begins in September, there will be no cost for agents – with an active license — to quickly join and use the Marketplace.

“The success of Florida’s Insurance Marketplace depends on a good number of licensed insurance agents actively using the web portal to find and offer their small business clients a variety of insurance options,” said Bean. “By waiving the agent fees, we have removed the barriers that might have hampered our efforts to create a competitive insurance marketplace.”

Phase one of the Insurance Marketplace is scheduled to launch this October, giving small business owners a place to shop for a variety of health insurance products, including dental care. Phase two rolls out in 2013, expanding the program to eligible individuals and increasing the number, and types of plans and services offered.

The Florida Health Choices program and Florida Health Choices, Inc. were established by the Florida Legislature to provide improved access to affordable, quality health care for its residents.