Like most products nowadays, health insurance can be purchased directly through provider websites. But is that a wise approach, considering all the changes to the health insurance landscape over the last decade? This industry is continuously changing and it’s not easy to keep up unless you’re dealing with it on a day-to-day basis like an agent. Let’s take a look at some reasons why you should consider working with an agent when you shop for health insurance:
An agent can help you at no cost.
Though certain agents may charge a consulting fee, most health insurance agents and agencies provide their service at no charge, earning commissions directly from the insurance company with no impact to the consumer. The cost for insurance is the same whether it’s purchased directly from the insurer or through a licensed agent.
Agents can provide insight into a variety of product and plan designs.
Health insurance agents remain current with industry fluctuations, including carrier and network changes and important legislative happenings that can affect future benefits. They can provide you with an in-depth understanding of plan benefits or other aspects of a policy of which you may have otherwise been unaware. You may (or may not) have a basic understanding of what a premium or deductible is, but an agent can explain those terms more practically. They can also suggest additional health coverages that may benefit you and your family. You may miss out on important details if you just pick a plan on your own based on the lowest price.
Agents can be your advocate.
Though agents are paid by the insurance company, they work for you. They can help you with claims or other coverage issues, communicating on your behalf directly with the insurance company. Their advocacy can save you time and possibly some frustration in sorting through a complicated situation.
Agents can offer comprehensive solutions.
Insurance products don’t just vary from state to state; they vary within a state from carrier to carrier. Agents have the ability to quickly check prices and coverages with many different insurance companies and can apply their knowledge of each carrier’s product options to present plans that meet your specific needs. This includes verifying network compatibility for your doctors and preferred hospitals and finding the right prescription coverage if that’s an important benefit for your situation.
An agent has you covered.
Not only is an agent required to be licensed by the state(s) in which they sell insurance products, every agent has an Errors & Omissions insurance policy. This provides a layer of protection for the consumer when working with an agent. If you purchase insurance direct, you do not have a licensed, regulated, and insured agent acting on your behalf. You alone are taking full responsibility for your coverage decisions.
Working with the right agent can be a positive experience and bring peace of mind when it comes time to make important decisions about your health insurance coverage. Not all agents are the same, but when you find the right one who is always focused on your best interest, it can alleviate any stress you may associate with enrolling for the first time or renewing your coverage.
The next time you’re in the market for health, dental, vision, indemnity, or even Medicare-related insurance, consider contacting a licensed agent on the ARC Benefit Solutions team. We are ready to assist with all your coverage needs, at no cost to you. You may be pleasantly surprised at how much simpler the whole process is when you work with advisors who are interested in you and your situation.