While most people realize they can purchase their health insurance directly through the Marketplace, what they don’t realize is by doing so, they are missing out on the benefits and perks of using a licensed and trusted Health Insurance Broker to assist them. Health Insurance Brokers do not charge the client for their service, as they are paid directly from the insurance carriers upon enrollment. This means no money is exchanged between a client and a broker.
Health Insurance Brokers can examine your personal situation and individual needs and help you shop and compare plans that would suit your needs and budget, as well as walk you through the enrollment process. This extra assistance can often be beneficial because a broker can speak to carriers on your behalf, often-times resolving issues, claims, or discrepancies faster than if you had to deal with the issues without a broker’s assistance.
Throughout the year, your Health Insurance Broker can work with you and your insurance carrier on your behalf to make sure the process is smooth and that you are kept updated on any possible rate or benefit changes, enrollment periods, or new plans available.
It is known that shopping for and enrolling in Health Insurance or even in Medicare can be a daunting task with all of the plan options and benefits available, but the assistance of an experienced and efficient broker can help eliminate the stress and make the process of obtaining insurance or making changes to current plans a breeze.
When it comes to Medicare, there can be a lot of information to take in at once, which can be confusing and can even lead to choosing a plan that doesn’t suit your needs best. Having the help of a Health Insurance Broker can often help you better understand the plans and break down the actual benefits, terms, pricing and even explain things and answer any questions.
The Difference Between a Health Insurance “Broker” and an “Agent”
The main difference between Health Insurance Brokers versus Health Insurance Agents is that Brokers have the ability to offer you multiple plans from multiple agencies, as they sign contracts with most or all major carriers, allowing them to show you a wider variety of plans available. Health Insurance agents are typically static agents, meaning they work for one company and can only show you plans and offer assistance through one particular carrier.
Benefits of Individuals and Small Businesses Using Health Insurance Brokers
- Stay up-to-date on market changes. The health insurance industry is changing every day. Carriers are adding and removing plans, entering and exiting the federal insurance exchanges, and changing their pricing and regulations. The government is issuing executive orders and debating about the fate of Obamacare. It’s practically a full-time job to keep up with what’s going on. A health insurance broker is required to understand market dynamics and is rigorously tested on it during the licensing process.
- Get unbiased expert recommendations. While some insurance carriers will let you go directly to them to buy insurance, their recommendations will be biased towards the plans they offer. Health insurance brokers work with multiple carriers and are typically not paid more by one carrier vs. another. They are truly invested in finding you the right plan to maximize you and your employees’ well-being. They know the ins and outs of deductibles, copays, doctor and hospital networks, prescription drug coverage, and catastrophic care. Based on your specific needs, they should be able to find you the best match.
- Get assistance with the application and enrollment process. Like securing a personal loan or a mortgage, applying for health insurance isn’t exactly a walk in the park. You need to fill out a company application, and for businesses, an application for each employee (whether they are accepting or declining insurance), upload documents such as wage reports and articles of incorporation, and provide bank information. Brokers are application specialists and can help you navigate requirements to enroll as quickly and as smoothly as possible.
- Troubleshoot issues with the carrier. Some top-producing brokers have “preferred” status with major carriers. This means that when you have issues with your insurance, such as billing discrepancies or reimbursement delays, your broker can get a representative at the insurance company on the phone quickly. If you work with a competent, well-reputed broker, you should never have to call the insurance company yourself. You can trust them to handle all correspondence on your behalf.
- Provide all of the above for free! Small businesses do not need to pay brokers any fees to use their services.
Overall, yes, health insurance brokers are salespeople who want your business and make money when they help you. That said, they also have your best interests at heart and truly want your employees to be healthy, happy, and productive!
If you would like the assistance of one of our licensed, trusted, professional brokers, please don’t hesitate to reach out by phone at (623) 889-7600 or feel free to stop in!