Should You Work with a Health Insurance Broker?

Should You Work with a Health Insurance Broker?

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By Tom Rodgers

Figuring out what type of health insurance to get (and how much coverage you need) is not an easy endeavor. A lot of people end up using a trial-and-error system that can cost them a lot of money before they find the right health insurance plan. A different option is to work with a health insurance broker. There are pros and cons to this option.

What is a health insurance broker?

A health insurance broker is someone who works for the customer to assist them in finding the right health insurance plan. This is different from a health insurance agent. Although an agent can also help you to find a good plan, the agent works for the health insurance company. The job of the broker is to help you find the plan that is best for you.

Benefits of working with a health insurance broker

Some of the good things about working with a health insurance broker include:

  • The health insurance broker explains all of the terms of different plans to you. The worst part about choosing health insurance is that it can be very, very confusing. There are so many different things to figure out from whether you want an HMO or a PPO to how much co-pays you should be willing to pay. The health insurance broker helps to navigate this maze for you, explaining what each part of the plan is to help you find the plan that best meets your needs.
  • You will be exposed to the most appropriate plans from different companies. When doing your own research, you may find that there are too many plans to choose from and you may naturally end up looking at just one or two companies to keep from being overwhelmed. Insurance brokers will help you look at the right plans from multiple companies.
  • Insurance brokers know how to work within your budget. They can help you to understand what the real costs are going to be for your health insurance, something that can be confusing to figure out on your own.
  • It doesn’t cost you anything. You don’t pay the insurance broker for his or her services and you don’t pay more for your rates because you used a broker. The broker gets paid from insurance companies so your rates are the same.
  • The broker doesn’t stop working for you once you’ve chosen a plan. If you have questions about your health insurance later then you can call the broker and get those questions answered. Sometimes this is a lot easier than getting questions answered from your health insurance provider!

Drawbacks of working with a health insurance broker

Some negative things to know before deciding to work with a health insurance broker include:

  • The broker may get a commission. The broker works for you and will offer plans to you from a number of different companies. However, he or she does get a commission from the company that provides the insurance. In rare cases this can result in bias on the part of the broker although a reputable broker will not have this problem.
  • You do have to take the time to find a good broker. You want to do some research, check online reviews and find an insurance broker that has a good reputation. Ask other people that you know for their recommendations. It does take time to find a good health insurance broker but it can save you time when looking at health insurance plans.
  • The broker is often only as good as your questions. The purpose of a health insurance broker is to help you to better understand your health insurance options. If you ask a lot of good questions then you will probably get a lot of helpful information from your insurance broker. However this person isn’t going to randomly select a plan for you. You need to really take an active role in working with your health insurance broker.

So should you work with a health insurance broker?

In general it is helpful to work with a health insurance broker. In rare instances you may choose a broker that turns out to be unhelpful but the only harm it will do is to waste a bit of your time. On the other hand, a good broker can save you time and money in choosing the right health insurance plan to meet all your needs.

Author Information

Tom Rodgers is the associate editor for FreeInsuranceQuotes.org, a leading site in providing insurance quotes and advice.

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Categories: Consumer Tips