One of the most misunderstood aspects of buying health insurance under the new laws, is whether or not it is possible to get rates that are cheaper from one source to another. Many are under the impression that dealing directly with the carrier will ensure the lowest premiums, while others have been led to believe that the healthcare.gov website is the solution. Further compounding the confusion is the media who, remarkably, seem to be completely ignoring the topic of premium increases.
In this article we'll explore the truth about health insurance premiums, how they're calculated and what you can do to make sure that you're getting the best coverage for your hard-earned dollar.
Premiums are Identical from Source to Source
The days of shopping for the lowest rates are gone, and today, everyone who offers coverage is offering it based on a very specific set of pre-established rating guidelines. It makes no difference whether you purchase insurance from a broker, on the marketplace or directly through a carrier; premiums are the same across the books. The rates we use to quote plans at our agency are verbatim to those being quoted by major carriers, the marketplace website, other agents, etc. If someone is guaranteeing you the lowest rates, they're not being 100% honest.
Carriers Control Rates & Increases
One of the most frequently asked questions we get at our agency, is whether or not brokers have control over health insurance premiums. In short, no. There is no additional markup on premiums when working with an agent, nor can they offer deeper discounts than what would be available through a carrier or even the marketplace website. Major carriers such as Blue Cross and others are the ones who determine rates, and they do so using complex rating systems based on age, geography and various other factors.
Keeping Your Premiums Affordable
While health care reform is new to everyone, for many, it will be the first time they've found themselves in the position of having to purchase insurance on their own. Too many times this results in people being overwhelmed with options and terms they don't fully understand, or the risk of making mistakes that can be challenging to correct. The best way to ensure that you've selected the right plan, is to work with an agent who can show you a complete offering of plans. Most agents do not charge for their services, and can answer all of your questions while serving as a point of contact between you and the carrier.
Getting Free Expert Assistance
If you're concerned with health insurance premium increases, or in need of sound advice from an established industry expert who understands healthcare reform, Premier can help. Our office is located in the Lisle/Naperville area and we staff a team of licensed agents to assist with all aspects of open enrollment.
Give us a call today at 800-369-0287 or e-mail us confidentially through our website's secure contact forum. We look forward to helping you get the coverage that's ideal for you!