November 19, 2012
There seems to be a lot of misinformation and confusion out there when it comes to working with health insurance agents. In this article we will discuss the role of a health insurance agent (or health broker), what to look for when choosing an agent, and what to expect when you talk or meet for the first time.
The Facts About Health Insurance Brokers
Let's begin with some of the basics. For the record, health insurance brokers to not charge a fee for their services. Agents who represent the major carriers are paid by the carrier, and using a broker does not automatically bump you up to a more costly price tier. Despite what you may or may have not heard, health insurance brokers do not work from separate price lists with slightly higher premiums. That's just ridiculous. The quote provided to you by a broker would be identical to one purchased direct from the carrier's website.
There is one major difference, however; when you work with a broker, it's literally like having a personal health insurance specialist sitting right next to you, answering questions, making helpful suggestions and explaining the differences between the different policies you're interested in. Now, considering that you get this service for free, it just makes sense to work with a broker when choosing a healthcare plan.
One of the most beneficial reasons to work with a local health insurance agent, is their knowledge. As you might imagine, the health insurance industry is as competitive as it is ever-changing. Brokers stay current and up-to-date on the health insurance industry's constantly-evolving policies and regulations in order to remain successful. This entails staying current on the comings and goings of the major carriers, in-depth knowledge of the various policy types, premiums, deductibles, pre-existing conditions, Medicare plans, federal regulations and much more.
Armed with this knowledge, a broker can assist you in making the best decision when it comes to purchasing health insurance for you or your family. Not only will you have the peace of mind in knowing that you purchased the right policy, you'll also save a great deal of time and stress in the process.
Local Offices, Personable Service
Our clients have told us on many occasions how nice it is to have a local agent available to answer questions, review their policy, add or subtract coverage, and more. We wholeheartedly agree. Working with a local agent ensures that you will never get transferred to a call center on the other side of the planet. Additionally, local agencies generally work with a smaller, more manageable number of local clients. Why does this matter? Well, personally, when I'm working with someone for my own family's needs, I like to be known as Joe, not as my twelve digit policy number. To date I have never referred to anyone as a number, and have no plans to start anytime soon.
When you call a broker, you can rest assured that you will be speaking with a real person who knows you, knows your neighborhood, knows your kids' names, and genuinely understands your needs. This is something that you simply cannot get when your account is managed by an overseas call-center employee; who may not have their own strong personal feelings about America. Is this who you want helping you make decisions about your health? About your children's health?
Immediate, Undivided Attention
As mentioned, agents and health insurance agencies tend to work with a smaller client base, which, in itself, has a number of advantages for you. Among the most significant, you will likely never be forced to listen to bad telephone "on-hold" music for more than a few seconds. Compare that to the time you might end up waiting to speak to someone who's goal is to get you off the phone as quickly as possible, and it begins to make sense why working with a broker is a far more preferable option.
Arguably one of the best advantages of working with a health insurance broker, is the ability to have an actual face-to-face conversation about your policy. At our own Naperville health insurance agency, we openly welcome visits from clients, and we enjoy the opportunity to get to know them better. Try doing this when calling your carrier's corporate headquarters.
Ready to Work With an Experienced, Compassionate Agent?
There is a lot to be gained by working with an experienced health insurance agent, and absolutely nothing to lose. You will receive friendly local service, the best prices possible, returned phone calls, superior industry expertise, and the attention that each and every one of us deserves. When it's the health and well-being of you and your loved ones at stake, working with a local health insurance broker is one of the best decisions you can make.
Ready to get started? Call Premier at 800-369-0287 for a free quote on IL health insurance options, or write to us through our website's secure contact page.