In its simplest definition, a health insurance broker (commonly known as an agent) is someone who is licensed to sell health insurance. However, there are many other services they provide to you under the umbrella of selling health insurance. Here are some of the most important:
- Perhaps the most important fact to know about working with an agent is that it’s free. Insurance agents are paid by insurance companies, not consumers. So don’t worry about having to pay a service fee to sign up for a plan with an agent, as it won’t cost you any more than doing it yourself.
- Health insurance is confusing and an agent will explain it to you until it makes sense. Ask any questions you want, they are there for it. Want to know what your money security will be on a particular plan? Want to know what coin security means? Ask me!
- A representative can help you compare plans you’re interested in. When you let an agent know what you’re looking for, they’ll narrow down your possibilities and explain the benefits of each. They can check to see if your doctors and preferred medical facilities are in the network and see if (and how many) any prescriptions you receive are being met.
- Your agent is your agent as long as you have a policy. That means you have someone to contact when you have questions or even want to shop for a new plan. Instead of just taking wings and making a plan on your own, you have someone in your corner.
I’m sure you don’t want to read books here all day, these are just some of the biggest benefits of using a licensed agent to buy health insurance. That doesn’t even include how much time and frustration a rep can save you from (we’ll save that for another article!).
To make this even more convenient for you, many brokers have access to both open and closed plans (state-run Marketplaces for health insurance). This gives you even more options. Additionally, for agents who have access to exchange plans, they can also determine your subsidy eligibility, which can reduce your premium and out-of-pocket expenses. Again, I’m saving you another headache.
The next time you need to sign up for or change a health plan, keep a licensed agent in mind – it won’t cost you anything, but it will definitely save you a lot.