How Does An Agent Or Broker Help You With Medicare Choices
A Medicare agent or broker can help you narrow down your options and pick the best one. To do this, theyll learn about your health goals and budget. Theyll present you with options to meet your goals within your budget. They can help you enroll in the plan you choose.
You can also contact an agent or broker to help you change plans if the one youre enrolled in changes coverage or doesnt meet your needs.
Using a Medicare broker or agent is free you dont pay for their service directly.
Should You Use An Insurance Broker
Any insurance product a broker recommends is supposed to be the one they deem best suited to meet your needs, without regard to a provider’s compensation. The reality is a little more complicated. Staying up to date on all the policies from multiple suppliers makes it difficult, to say the least. The easy path is to stick with a select few insurance underwriters where they know the reward is excellent, and most of their clients are happy. Instead, shop for any home, life, and car insurance quotes online to find the company that will give you the best deal based on your unique criteria and then work with a select broker to finalize the deal. That’s how our system at Ratehub.ca works.
How Brokers Are Paid
Understanding how brokers are paid will help protect you from a broker who cares more about making money than placing you with the right policy.
Brokers can make money in two different ways: through a commission or broker fee. They may charge both or only a commission. Most states require brokers to disclose commission rates and other fees upfront. Still, its smart to ask about any charges youll have to pay besides premiums.
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The Medicare Insurance Professional
There are two different types of insurance professionals the insurance agent and the insurance broker. The insurance agent works for an insurance company. As such, they can only show you, quote you and offer you the products allowed by the insurance company. Needless to say, these are either the insurance company products or the products of a partner company that are even more expensive.
The Medicare & You handbook as well as the government publication Choosing A Medigap Policy both stress two very important points 1. Different insurance companies may charge different rates for the exact same Medigap policy.2. Not all insurance companies offer all Medigap Plans.What does this mean? First, it means that you have to shop price if you are not working with a broker that can shop price for you. The insurance agent is banking on the fact that most people who are new to Medicare dont know that every company charges different rates for the same plan. The price difference is often many $100s per year, not just pennies. I have seen people purchase a plan for $220 per month when a higher quality competitor provides the exact same plan for $175 per month.
The insurance agent that is employed by an insurance company is a salesperson. They have a product they sell and are trained to convince you it is in your best interest to purchase their product. They are not trained or encouraged to help you find the right product or the best price.
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Check The Requirements In Your State
Each state has different requirements for insurance brokers. For example, some require you to get a degree while others dont. Some states require you to get a producer license instead of an insurance broker license. A simple search for your states department of insurance website should help you find your states requirements. You can also check out the National Insurance Producer Registry to learn more.
What Is An Agent
An agent is a licensed professional who helps you select and enroll in a health plan.
There are two types of agents.
An independent agent can partner with and sell policies for different insurance companies. The agent can choose the specific policies they want to sell from a multitude of providers.
This type of agent can only sell policies from one insurance company.
The Difference Between A Broker And Agent
Many may use the terms agent and broker interchangeably, but there are some noticeable differences to keep in mind. While an independent health insurance broker typically works with a handful of different health insurance companies, an agent might only work with one company at a time. So using a broker over an agent will provide you with more affordable health insurance options to choose from.
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What Is A Health Insurance Broker
There are so many roles in the healthcare industry, and its easy to get overwhelmed. An important one is that of the health insurance broker. Who is this person?
Health insurance brokers, who may be referred to as health insurance agents or independent agents, are licensed professionals well-versed in all things related to health insurance. While they do not offer and administer health insurance plans themselves, these brokers have relationships with insurance carriers, and can provide advice about which medical, dental, and vision plan a specific business should offer to its employees. Whether someone buys directly from the insurance company or from an independent broker, the rates quoted will be the same. Identical commissions are either paid to the health insurance broker or to the representative at the insurance company who makes the sale.
In order to become licensed, all brokers must pass a series of college-level exams in each state they wish to work in. These exams cover insurance terminology, policies and provisions at both the state- and federal- level, tax considerations, individual and group insurance differences, and HMOs . Many states also require several hours of continuing education throughout the year in order to maintain licenses. All in all, you can trust your broker to have the knowledge needed to help you find a great plan.
Do I Need An Insurance Broker
The majority of insurance policy owners have purchased through a broker. Direct to consumer is a growing market in Canada, but to date it still only represents a small percentage of total active policies. One of the reasons why Canadians prefer brokerages is that most insurance companies only offer their rates through the broker network. For example, you can only buy insurance from Gore Mutual or Wawanesa, to name a few, who only sell insurance through a broker and not direct to consumers. Furthermore, most insurance brokers work with several insurance providers that allow them the ability to help their customers compare auto or home insurance quotes. Working with a broker allows you to get a clearer picture of whatâs available in the market.
Where a company like Ratehub comes in to play, is that we allow you to cast a wider net and compare a larger number of quotes from multiple brokers and direct insurers. This is why we recommend starting your insurance shopping experience with websites like ours. Our insurance quoting engines ingest various pieces of information to compute an array of personalized quotes from a number of insurers backed by both brokers and direct to consumers. Once you select the quote that best suits your needs we will connect you with our partner to review your policy needs and finalize your premium.
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What Are The Benefits Of Working With A Broker
Reason One: Direct Support
Your broker is your health insurance resource for the entire year. Even after you have your plan and are using it, you can still contact your broker for support. Whether it be with a question about coverage, a problem with the service, or other issues, they can reach out on your behalf and get you the answers you need. They work for you and provide what you cant get through a website.
Reason Two: Personalized Service
A broker will do their best to understand your situation and what plan is the best fit. They then personalize their recommendations based on this information, such as your budget, health needs, drug you use, and more. Their job is to ensure you get the best fit, and they will present you with options that meet your requirements.
Reason Three: Expert Knowledge
We said it before, health insurance is confusing. Friday Health Plans does its best to make it as easy to understand as possible. Still, its great to have someone there literally explaining things and helping the process go without you wanting to pull out your hair. They will explain the benefits and pros and cons of different types of plans and any confusing terms you may not understand. They can also help you determine if you qualify for a government subsidy to pay your premiums and make your benefits richer. They are required to be licensed, which involves a test and learning the ins and outs of the industry. Their knowledge will make your life easier.
Insurance Through Your Employer
Employer-sponsored health insurance is a health plan chosen and primarily paid for by your employer. These plans are also offered to or can include your dependents . Your employer chooses which plan options are available to you and splits the cost of premiums. You can also pay your premiums on a pre-tax basis, which lowers your taxable income.
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Agents Vs Brokers: Whats The Difference
The terms agent and broker are often used interchangeably, though there are some key differences.
Health Insurance Agent: Insurance agents have contractual agreements with insurers directly. Generally, health insurance agents work on behalf of one insurance company, selling only that companys plans. For example,an agent working with Aetna will offer only Aetna plans.
Health Insurance Broker: Insurance brokers act independently separate from insurers, working with several carriers who pay them either a percentage or flat-fee commission on plans they sell to clients. If youre working with a health insurance broker, the plans he or she will offer you are ones for which they have a stake in selling.
What Our Client Think About Us
The process was easy and seamless. My contact person was very supportive and patient with me. He took time to respond to all my queries, and explained the options at my disposal. I got all the information I needed to choose and sign up for my current insurance plan. I would definitely recommend National Health Connect!
Finding the right plan for you doesnt have to be complicated. Get an affordable insurance solution for you in just a few clicks. Just fill in the form with details of the health plan you need and well offer you a quote that matches those details.
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Do I Have To Renew My License
Yes, youll likely need to renew your license. Most states require renewals after a few years to keep insurance brokers up-to-date on any changes in their state and the products they sell. Renewals can require extra coursework or training sessions.
Older brokers whove been continuously licensed for a long time may not need to renew their license. Check your states requirements ahead of time so youll know when your renewal period is coming up.
Insurance Broker Vs Insurance Agent
Both insurance brokers and insurance agents work with customers and insurers to sell insurance products on behalf of the companies they represent. The difference between an insurance broker and an agent is the broker works with multiple providers, while an agent represents one insurance company. An agent will be unable to help you compare the market, but will have in-depth knowledge and expertise about the products they sell. An insurance broker conversely, will be able to provide unbiased advice to help you shop the market for the insurance policy that best suits your needs.
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What To Look For In A Good Health Insurance Broker
Youll be relying on your broker to find the best plan for your team, so its important to find an insurance expert who truly understands your business and employees needs. But once youve hired a broker to help you navigate plan selection, what should you expect from their services? Lets take a closer look.
What to Expect When Working with a Health Insurance Broker:
There isnt anything secret about your health insurance plan. All the information is available, but it may not be easily accessible or understandable. A health care insurance broker already knows these things from how to choose the right physician and how to file claims to how to pick the right plan for your family he or she will be able to guide you through the entire process.
How To Become An Insurance Broker In 5 Simple Steps
To become an insurance broker, youll need to complete pre-licensing requirements like coursework, fingerprints and an exam. These requirements vary depending on where you want to get licensed. As an insurance broker, youll work directly with clients to find the best insurance policies for them. This includes all types of insurance like health insurance, professional liability insurance and auto insurance.
Since brokers arent tied to an insurance company, youre free to recommend what you think is best for your client rather than whats in the best interest of the insurance company. Below, well walk you through common steps aspiring brokers can take to get their license.
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Whats The Value Of Shopping For Health Insurance Through A Licensed Agent
Here are three simple reasons:
Thank You For Sharing
We all probably have that one industry conference or annual meeting that we really look forward to and enjoy attending. I was at one of those recently. Yes, there are insurance related conferences that are cool and fun to attend. While there, I was trading stories with a peer. He told me about a recommendation made to an employer group that they purchase a plan from a particular health insurance carrier. It was a sizable client, about 500 employees. The CFO was appreciative of his time and wanted to proceed without having an agent of record for the group.
You see, in insurance agent circles, the agent of record is the most important designation you can have with a client, as it assigns all commissions built into the premium to that agent. Typically these commissions are a flat, per-head dollar amounts or a percentage of premium. This particular carrier pays a percentage of premium at a rate of 5 percent. On a 500-person group, we are looking at commissions in excess of $150,000 annually.
Of course, the agent appealed to the CFO. It is customary and, in this case, probably justified, that he be kept on as agent of record. But the question lingered with me: Is it necessary to have a health insurance agent?
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An Infographic Guide To Becoming A Health Insurance Broker
If youre looking for an exciting, growing, and lucrative new career in sales, becoming a health insurance broker may be something you havent considered. But you should. It can be very rewarding. You get to help people find health insurance to protect themselves, the ones they love, and their financial future.
Starting a new career can feel overwhelming, but it doesnt have to be when you partner with a general agent like Word & Brown. Our team is on your side, and well be with you every step of the way. We even offer a reimbursement program to cover the costs associated with getting your broker health license.
Think about it. You get to Be Your Own Boss and determine your own income. Theres no limit to what you can earn. But there are some steps you need to take first.
Health Insurance Broker
2020 Salary Guide
For a sneak peek at what you can expect to earn as an insurance agent, get a copy of our Insurance Broker Salary Guide.
The Role Of The Exchange Navigator
The health insurance navigator provides impartial education about the exchanges and exchange health plans, helping applicants determine whether they qualify for subsidies or Medicaid, and assisting them in the enrollment process. In 2020 Health & Human Services approved certain optional duties. Optional duties some navigators may perform include:
- Assisting consumers with post-enrollment coverage issues
- Helping consumers file eligibility appeals
- Filing for shared responsibility exemptions
- Providing basic information regarding premium tax credits
- Communicating basic concepts related to using health coverage
- Providing targeted assistance to vulnerable or underserved populations
Navigators cant recommend one plan over another or direct consumers towards a particular plan. They can provide general information that you can use to understand what health coverage is available to you. Navigators are paid by state and federal grant programs, not by insurance companies.
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