Find Affordable Health Insurance In Your Area!
Insurance agents and brokers each play a role in helping customers get the coverage they need. Agents are typically employed by insurance companies and represent only that company’s policies, while brokers are independent and gather quotes from multiple companies to find the best policies to fit a customer’s individual needs. Brokers can also offer advice on how to choose and use your insurance coverage, whereas agents usually provide information just about their own products. Ultimately, both roles serve to provide customers with the right insurance coverage for their particular situation.
In the search for an affordable health insurance plan, there are many factors to consider. Working with a health insurance agent or a health insurance broker is one such consideration. Is there a difference between a broker and an agent? If so how does that impact the search for a health insurance plan? This article explains everything you need to know about obtaining health insurance through an agent or a broker.
Health Insurance Agent Vs. Broker
Health insurance brokers and agents both serve as the middleman between the person seeking insurance and the insurance company. They are also legally obligated to help individuals find affordable health insurance that fits their needs.
The main difference is that an insurance agent represents the health insurance company while a broker represents the purchaser of the health insurance. In simpler terms, a health insurance company typically only represents one health insurance company, whereas a broker carries plans from multiple health providers.
Health insurance agents, or representatives, can represent one insurance company or several different ones. Those who represent one company are considered captive while those who represent multiple companies are independent. They cannot charge any fees to you personally. The compensation they receive is through their commissions and/or a salary with commissions. The health insurance quotes they give are in line with those offered by the company
Representatives who sell insurance products on a company’s behalf must be appointed to do so. The appointment is an agreement between the agency and the insurer. It lists the products that the agency can sell as well as the commission paid out for each product. It also states that the agency has the ability to confirm or bind the policy. Not every policy is able to be bound through an agency though.
What is an Insureon?
Insureon is an online insurance broker that specializes in providing tailored coverage for small businesses. Insureon works with carriers to help match business owners with the right policies for their unique needs, including general liability, professional liability, workers’ compensation, and commercial auto insurance. They provide an easy-to-use online portal to find the best rates from a variety of providers and make sure that businesses are covered properly. With Insureon, you’ll be able to focus on what matters most while having the peace of mind knowing you’re insured.
What Are Binders And What Is Binding?
Binding means that the policy is confirmed either in writing or verbally. The binder itself is a policy that temporarily covers the insured person and is issued by the insurance company. There is usually a waiting period set by the insurance company between the purchase and the effective date for the majority of insurance plans. This is known as an implementation period and it lasts for between 30 and 60 days on average. Some agencies or representatives can bind policies depending on the type. Others have to be issued by the insurance company itself.
It is important to note that receiving health insurance quotes does not equal coverage. It’s just a quote.
Since healthcare intermediaries or intermediaries represent the buyers of insurance, their interest is in finding the best insurance plan for an individual’s healthcare needs. Unlike a representative, an insurance intermediary does not have an appointment or contract with insurance companies. They still receive commissions just like representatives do. Every insurance policy has paid commission fees built into them so the insurance intermediary will receive those.
People usually go to an insurance intermediary because they are insurance industry experts. They are knowledgeable in health insurance law, understand the market, and have received the necessary credentials for their industry. They will either work with certain types of insurance buyers or with certain industries. In addition to their expertise in finding the best plan for your needs at an affordable price, they also help manage your insurance plan.
This means that if you have an issue with a claim, your eligibility for coverage, or the way something is billed, they can help with it. They can provide the assistance necessary to solve the problem by making phone calls, submitting documentation, or whatever else is required. They also help renew insurance plans from year to year too.
There is a cost to this, however. In addition to the commission that an insurance intermediary receives, they often charge extra fees to their clients. These fees are paid directly to the intermediary as compensation for the work they do on your behalf to manage the account.
Is A Health Insurance Agent Or Broker Right For Me?
Going to an insurance representative or an insurance intermediary depends on your health insurance needs and your personal needs. If you already know which insurance company or companies you want to buy from, a captured or independent agency may be the right fit.
Insurance intermediaries are an excellent option for those who need certain kinds of coverage because of their health or if they’ve run into issues with insurance claims or billing before. If this is the first time you’re buying insurance, they are a good option as well. Since they are knowledgeable about insurance and each of the carriers, they will walk you through your options and let you know what you need to be aware of.
Budget is a factor though. Before committing to an insurance intermediary make sure you understand if extra fees are charged and if so, what they are. Since extra fees are paid directly to an intermediary, they need to be accounted for in the budget.
The prospect of finding affordable healthcare insurance is a daunting task when done on your own. That is why finding a qualified representative or intermediary is essential in the process. Both will help you find an affordable plan for your needs. Choosing a representative or an intermediary will ultimately depend on what your personal situation is if you’ve gone through the process of buying insurance in the past and if you have any health issues that play a role in your decision.