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Should I Use A Broker To Get Health Insurance?
What’s the difference between an agent and a broker?
When it comes to selling health insurance, agents and brokers are both licensed to do so. However, there are some main differences between the two. For instance, agents are limited to the products they can sell. They usually are selling a particular set of products that may not be the best fit for you. On the other hand, brokers have a wide range of plans and can help clients pick the best ones for their situation. We go into more details below:
1. Captivity with an agent vs. flexibility with a broker
The main difference between an agent and a broker comes down to one thing: captivity. An agent has options specific to the company that employs them. They can only enroll clients into plans that the agent is employed under. If their employer is not willing to contract with multiple carriers, it will limit the options an agent can search through for you. In other words, an agents loyalty can ultimately shift to the few carriers they represent as opposed to a loyalty to you the consumer. This leaves you incredibly limited when it comes to a forever churning health insurance market. Unlike an agent, a broker has the opportunity and possibility to be contracted with any and every carrier. This is a major strength that separates a broker from an agent and allows the client to have many more options to choose from when deciding to work with a broker.
2. Brokers can offer the best plans
Brokers typically also have the best service when it comes to the ever changing market. Carriers leave, plans change, new carriers come in, there are a ton of things to navigate. Brokers are able to stay up to date through carrier communications and help their clients get on to better plans if they become available. Insurance brokers should be well versed in the various offerings from different insurance companies. With this changing market, brokers always have to stay on top with this information. That gives the client an advantage when they work with a broker. They should also have an interest in the best benefits and premiums for their clients.
3. Brokers have their clients back
Besides helping clients navigate the confusing maze of different insurance plans, brokers also help clients to submit claims and receive benefits. For example, at Apollo Insurance Group, we pride ourselves on being able to handle claims and any problems that may arise. We have a team of dedicated professionals who are available to help you with any issue you may have. We want to make sure that you are taken care of and that your experience is as positive as possible. This gives us an advantage, because we can fight to have our clients back, in case something happens. With agencies, they usually just have agents that sell the plans, and that is it.
Finding a Health Insurance Broker
Health insurance can be a complicated topic, which is why it is important to have an expert on your side. That person might not always talk about what you need or want in terms of coverage- they will guide the way!
Here are some ways that we have found helpful when looking for brokers:
1. Contacting associates who work in the health insurance industry will usually lead you to an agency or a brokerage.
2. Searching through sites like LinkedIn allows one to find people at different companies offering these services (and may give insight into their experience). Try Googling it! Chances are, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for. And if not, you can always widen your search until you find the perfect fit.
3. If possible try contacting those around town to see who they use for their insurance broker/agent, especially business owners.
4. Lastly, you can reach out to trusted advisors such as financial advisors or accountants. They are usually partnered with or know a variety of these professionals.
What Makes A Good Health Insurance Broker?
How does a brokerage work?
A brokerage works in a way with multiple working parts and it all depends on the size of a brokerage. A brokerage with the ability to enroll members, handle claims, and contract with any carrier with no limits is very important for someone who needs coverage. This allows them to navigate the health insurance market seamlessly without any bumps. The person seeking coverage will be backed by an educated broker to search the market, a full team to handle their potential claims, and if a new plan/carrier comes into the market. They will always be the first to know based on the brokerages ability to stay up to date on the always updated market. To keep it simple, it is incredibly difficult for someone who doesn’t know the health insurance market.
Does a broker cost money?
There are many different types of brokers out there. Brokers that work solo, brokers that work with partners, and some that utilize a brokerage to the best of their ability. A solo broker may charge extra fees for their services because they do not have the backing of a brokerage, while one who has a brokerage who they work closely with each and every day does not need to charge extra fees to keep up. This broker gets paid by the carrier and not you. With that, they may have to pay their brokerage to help with claims or contracting, but when it comes down to you, the client, they don’t have to worry about money with you and instead can offer you the best assistance. As a customer searching for health insurance, finding a brokerage with no fees is probably the best option. This way you know that they are finding the right plan for you, and not just selling you a plan that will make them the most money.
Can I Use an Agent to Find Health Insurance?
Since brokers have every carrier or plan available, it allows them to find the plan that is best for you, and in some cases are even able to mold plans to fit you best. What are the needs that may need to be met? Well first, you need to have coverage for the worst case scenarios. Health insurance is in place to limit our financial exposure when we seek medical treatment. We also use insurance for doctor visits, specialist visits, preventative care, blood work, durable medical equipment, and much more. All these things are worked into health insurance plans, but you have to be aware of what you need most. When you understand what you need with your health insurance, then the broker can best help to find a plan based on your needs.
Employers working with Health Insurance Brokers
In most cases, smart employers choose the assistance of a health insurance broker to administer their employee health plans. These brokers help businesses choose the right health plans for their employees, sign up their employees, and provide information. Furthermore, a health insurance broker will help employers qualify for premium tax credits that can lower their employee health insurance costs. A good broker is there to listen to you, hear what you need, and deliver. If he or she can do that, they can then sculpt a plan to best suit you and your employees’ needs.
Is a good experience important?
Your health insurance broker needs to be experienced but does not have to be in the market for years to be more experienced than another broker. The best brokers are ones who gravitate to change, and have a clear and concise vision of the market. They are able to adapt, and understand the major factors that come into play when deciding what carriers to sell and utilize for their clients. It does not matter whether a broker has been in the business for 30 years or 6 months. We have seen a large influx of brokers leave the market because they cannot handle the turn over of carriers and competition in the market.
Broker experience with small businesses
Small businesses, for example, should partner with health insurance brokers that specialize in similar companies. A broker that has all of the qualities and proper training can withstand the changes and thrives to continue to offer the proper service, education, and consistency that an individual needs when purchasing health insurance in our present time.
Overall why choosing a broker is the best decision
1. Brokers guide you through the whole process
You have a few options when getting health insurance, find it on your own, call into a big carrier, or use a broker that can assist you in the process for no cost. Think about it, if you choose a broker who can assist you throughout the whole process, it can make your search incredibly easy where the broker gives you the best options and a back up. The broker allows you to make your decision on your time with no pushy sales tactics. You don’t have to deal with wait and hold time as you would with a big carrier during an Open Enrollment period. You have access to someone who can help enroll plans, work on claims, and provide informational resources that you can’t find anywhere else.
2. Brokers help you find the best plan for you and or your family
Ultimately having a broker takes the stress off of you and allows the expertise of a broker and all of his or her resources to do the job. Once you are on a plan, the broker doesn’t stop there. A good broker will assist you with those claims, questions, and problems that arise while on the plan. You are never alone, you are never fighting for yourself, and you have the coverage that you need to get access to the right doctors and/or hospitals in your area and around the country. With so many options out there, it is important to have someone on your side who knows the ins and outs of the health insurance system. Going with a health insurance broker is the best way to find the right health insurance plan for you.
3. Brokers can help when problems arise
Your broker is your go-to person when problems arise. If you have a good relationship with your broker, then you should be able to take your problems to them. With a good brokerage, they usually have a back office, such as we do here at Apollo, to help fix issues or navigate the claims process. Many people understand that this resource alone saves them lots of money. We are here to help you no matter what the circumstances are. Whether you have had a plan for months or years, your broker should always be there with any problems that come up. Brokers know how important health insurance is, and will do everything in their power to help their clients.
3 Factors to consider when selecting a health insurance broker
When choosing a health insurance broker, there are three factors to consider. These include license, experience, and reputation. If you’re unsure what to look for, read this article for some tips on selecting a health insurance broker. Then, consult with your broker for guidance. Whether you’re an individual or a business owner, you’ll be able to make an informed decision.
What makes a good health insurance broker?
A good broker can help you with many issues, including alternative financing, plan administration, and compliance. They can also answer questions regarding specific coverage options and pricing. Ultimately, a good broker can help you find the best coverage for you and your family. To make your decision, consider your organizational needs and preferences.
You should also make sure that you trust your insurance broker. The firm you select should have a proven track record. Check online reviews and testimonials to learn about the company’s reputation and past clients. You can also ask for references from friends and business acquaintances. It’s a good idea to check out the Better Business Bureau to see how well the company has served its clients.
Another aspect to consider when selecting a health insurance broker is the company’s support structure. Look for a company that can service its clients year-round. They shouldn’t just send renewal quotes before open enrollment, but check in regularly to ensure that the plan is still meeting your needs. Your broker should be invested in your future and understand your objectives.
The health insurance broker you choose should be licensed in your state. To become licensed, they must complete pre-licensing studies, pass a test, and receive continuing education credits. A reputable health insurance broker should have experience serving companies similar to yours. This will allow them to provide benchmarking data that is relevant to your industry.
A good broker should also be able to explain the difference between on-exchange and off-exchange plans. This is important, because it can be confusing to compare plans and policies. A broker should be able to clarify the differences between these options so that you can make an informed decision.
Choosing an exceptional health insurance broker can help you choose the best coverage options for your needs. A good broker should be knowledgeable about health insurance plans and have a thorough understanding of employee benefits plans. A good broker will be able to show you a wide range of options and explain each in detail. Moreover, they should be easy to reach and return calls quickly.
To be able to sell health insurance in the United States, you must hold a valid license. This license grants you the right to sell health insurance to individuals, families, businesses, and other qualifying entities. You can obtain a health insurance license from the state where you live and practice. Some states issue a license for both health and life insurance, which allows you to sell both types of insurance.
Health insurance brokers are licensed professionals who guide customers through the process of selecting the right health insurance plan. They become experts in the industry through the training they receive from different insurance companies. In many states, health insurance brokers are required to have an agreement with an insurer and act in their clients’ best interests.
In addition to having a license, health insurance brokers are required to maintain ongoing professional development. This means that they must complete the pre-licensing education and pass a licensing exam. The majority of states require health insurance brokers to hold a license for two years. In addition, they are required to regularly meet with clients and review policies.
Health insurance brokers are paid by commissions and should understand all available insurance plans. A broker must be familiar with all the insurance companies, because each plan has slight differences in terms of coverage. They help people navigate between insurance plans by helping them to submit claims and receive benefits. They are also responsible for determining if a policy should be modified or dropped entirely.
To become a health insurance broker in Nevada for example, you must pass an exam. This exam contains 100-150 multiple-choice questions about health insurance. The test takes between 2.5 and three hours to complete. You should be at least 18 years old to take the test. The test also includes ethics training.
The exam fee is $300. You can pay this by cash or a company check. However, you must be aware that the exam fee is not transferable and is non-refundable. You must also agree to maintain compliance with laws and regulations.
A broker is the person who sells health insurance policies and offers value added services. While health insurance agents deal directly with insurance companies, brokers can reach a much wider client base. The broker’s role is more complex and requires greater financial investment than an agent’s. Experienced brokers are better equipped to meet the challenges of the health insurance industry.
Brokers help consumers by explaining the different types of health insurance policies. They answer the most common questions and guide customers through the process. They are also knowledgeable of the various laws and regulations governing insurance. These laws vary from state to state, so it’s important to find a health insurance broker who is knowledgeable and up-to-date on them. They also offer insight into different types of customers and their specific needs.
A health insurance broker works on behalf of a client’s best interest. They can make comparisons of different health insurance policies and determine which is the best fit. They also provide assistance with managing the plan and any issues that may arise. A good broker will be able to negotiate with different insurance companies and help consumers make the right decisions for their individual situations.
A health insurance broker will ask a series of questions about the client’s current health status. Often, this includes what kind of prescription drugs are on their list, what their family takes, and what their budget for health insurance is. They will also ask about the needs of dependents and spouses. The broker will then put together a portfolio of options for their client.
An insurance broker has a dedicated person who can help clients resolve disputes. They can also help a client with claims payments, eligibility for coverage, and access to care. They can explain all of the benefits and disadvantages of different health insurance plans, and they will help the client choose the best plan for their personal circumstances.
The reputation of a health insurance broker is an important factor to consider when choosing a broker. A good reputation can be acquired through word of mouth. You can ask friends and family members about their experience with a particular broker. A broker with a good reputation is likely to be able to get referrals from other insurance professionals. You can also use the National Association of Health Underwriters’ broker locator tool to find an insurance agent in your area.
Another important aspect of a health insurance broker is their ability to educate customers about the health insurance market. They should know the ins and outs of policies and explain how they affect your situation and personal circumstances. They should also be aware of state insurance laws and regulations, which change frequently. They should also be able to provide a different perspective and answer common questions from their clients.
As for the compensation that brokers receive, it is important to consider how much of it comes from the insurers. Health insurance brokers often receive commissions from insurers, which are built into the premiums. Some brokers also receive bonuses from insurance companies or broker agencies. While these bonuses are not disclosed to clients, they do influence the advice a broker gives clients.
It is important to ask an insurance broker about their background and experience, as this is vital to selecting the best plan for your specific situation. You may also want to know if they are members of a professional organization. This will give you an idea of how serious they take their job. If a broker is a member of multiple professional organizations, then it shows they are committed to their craft and take it seriously.
Apollo Fights For You
Apollo Insurance Group is a health insurance brokerage located in Lee’s Summit, Missouri and Chicago, Illinois. We have been around since 2010, and our mission is to positively impact people’s lives. We do this by fighting to find the best option for our clients, create relationships with our employees, and give back to our communities. Apollo also specializes in Medicare, life insurance, dental, and vision plans. We have agents that are experts on health insurance and are ready to help you find the right plan or answer any questions you have. Fill out our contact form to get in touch with an agent for a free consultation.