In 2015, a trio of reports showed that consumers struggle to understand health insurance—and that lack of understanding results in selecting the wrong plan, spending money unnecessarily, and encountering billing surprises after receiving medical care.1
So how does one sift through all the options and arrive at the right health insurance plan, the one that balances benefits and affordability?
- Take the time to learn basic health insurance and Obamacare-related terms
- Assess your healthcare and financial needs before shopping for health insurance
- Learn about the types of health insurance plans available in the marketplace
- Carefully read plan details when comparing coverage
- Consult a licensed health insurance agent or broker
Why work with a health insurance agent or broker?
Agents and brokers are known as producers in the health insurance industry. No matter which of these terms is used, one of these licensed professionals can help you with all of the key points listed above.
An agent can help guide you through the health insurance plan selection process, present you with a variety of options available to you and your family, and assist in helping you select the right coverage for your healthcare needs and financial situation.
“A lot of people are surprised by how much time working with an agent saves them,” said Jeff Keller of Copeland Insurance in Manhattan, Kansas. “And options related to healthcare networks and costs. There’s a tendency to look at premium prices as the standard for selection, but an agent can help show you where you will be hit with out-of-pocket costs and find plans that can help you minimize expenses all around.”
Agents and brokers are experts. These professionals have undergone training and licensure, know healthcare laws, pay attention to industry trends, and are able to help you put together a personal benefits package suited to your circumstances.
What’s the difference between a health insurance broker and a health insurance agent?
A broker works independently and sells more than one health insurance company’s products; whereas an agent will generally sell plans associated for one company. Agents may work for brokers.
How are health insurance agents paid? What does it cost to use an agent or broker?
You do not pay an agent or broker for their services. Agents and brokers get paid commission by the different health insurance companies with whom they are contracted.
Where do I find a health insurance agent or broker?
You can work with a health insurance agent or broker whether you buy coverage through a state-based or federally facilitated exchange or in the private marketplace. How do you find one?
You can ask your friends and family for referrals, or you can use a search tool such as the Agent Finder available through HealtheDeals.com.
Simply enter your location, select a distance within which you prefer to travel, and click “Search.” You will find a list of options where you live along with each individual’s contact information, location, license number and website.
If no agents appear in your area, call us at 866-278-1464 to speak with a representative today.
HealthCare.gov. “Get Help Applying for Coverage.” https://www.healthcare.gov/apply-and-enroll/get-help-applying/
The Wall Street Journal. “How to Hire a Health-Insurance Broker or Agent.” http://guides.wsj.com/small-business/hiring-and-managing-employees/how-to-hire-a-health-insurance-broker-or-agent/