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WASHINGTON — It’s hard to shop for health insurance.

It’s harder still when there’s few options to help. Some Americans who can’t rely on a federal program or their employers’ HR department turn to brokers who are trained to help them navigate the complex web of deductibles, formularies, and subsidies. But in 2021 in Hartford, Bridgeport, and New Haven, Connecticut — as in many poorer areas in the U.S. — there were no licensed brokers, period.

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