Health insurance is the biggest safety net we carry with us throughout our lives.
Despite that, as many as five million Texans are currently uninsured. Many are concerned about the possible high costs of paying for a plan. Yet health insurance might not be beyond your budget.
Using a health insurance broker allows you to find an affordable plan that represents excellent value for money.
This article will outline what to expect when seeking a reputable health insurance broker. Use the tips in this guide to ensure you get the best deal.
1. You’ll Need to Understand the Different Between Broker and Agent
When choosing health insurance, you might think broker and agent are interchangeable terms.
However, they aren’t. There are important distinctions between the two. An agent represents a single insurance provider.
They’ll sell the products and services the provider offers and won’t suggest alternatives. So when you use an agent, it’s important to remember that they are in a sales-focused role, promoting one option.
With only one option, you won’t have the chance to compare and contrast plans to help you find the best deal. It’s a limited way of shopping for health insurance.
In contrast, you can think of a broker as independent. They don’t work on behalf of one health insurance provider.
Their role is to give you an objective opinion about all the available plans out there. That works in your favor, as they’ll provide various coverage choices from different providers.
It gives you a broader selection and makes it easier to find the perfect fit. It also gives you a better chance of finding the best financial deal as you can compare like-for-like.
A broker will explain different plans and help you match that with your health needs and budget. There is no restriction on plans you can evaluate; they don’t favor specific plans.
2. Friends and Family Opinions Are More Important Than You Think
When you begin searching for health insurance, the choice on the market can feel overwhelming. It’s important you don’t overlook the opinion of family and friends.
Sometimes, a recommendation from someone you trust can be invaluable.
Perhaps you know someone with first-hand experience of that health insurance provider. In that case, they’ll tell you things you probably won’t read in online reviews.
Recommendations can also help you find a trusted broker. They’ll be able to tell you whether the broker helped them source the right health insurance package.
While friends and family recommendations are vital, always do some secondary research.
Read customer testimonials and look at third-party review sites like Trustpilot.
3. It’s Also Helpful to Speak to Businesses for Recommendations
Did you know that the business community is often an untapped source for recommendations?
Businesses often have links with trusted brokers, and it could be a way of finding an excellent recommendation.
If you run a business, choose a company in a similar industry or with a similar number of employees. Find out what broker they used and get an honest account of their experience.
When asking for this information, there are several pertinent questions to help you get a valuable answer:
- How reliable was the broker?
- How many health insurance options did they present?
- How effective were the chosen health plans?
- Was it cost-effective?
All this information will help set some guidelines for your research. It will set a benchmark for you, such as whether a broker offers value for money.
4. You’ll Need an Action Plan for Searching Online
Searching for any significant service or product online can quickly become a minefield.
There are millions of results on Google, and each website will have many enticing marketing messages to show why they are the best. It’s hard to decide with all that choice.
It means you need to have a plan of action before you search online for health insurance brokers.
Narrow your search to websites with lots of customer reviews. Once you have a shortlist, add them to a spreadsheet for further research.
Begin that research using third-party review sites and social media reviews too. Read customer comments on social media.
Check each website to ensure the broker has the correct credentials. Research the company away from its website to get some independent feedback.
It’s essential to do due diligence when buying anything online.
Always take these steps before committing. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to reach out via their contact page to get those answers before deciding from your shortlist.
5. You’ll Need to Know How to Compare Broker Fees and Other Costs
The most critical aspect of your health insurance choice will be the financial side.
It’s vital to know upfront the fee structure of a health insurance broker so you have a clear picture of your costs.
Some brokers don’t charge clients a direct fee. They will get compensation when you choose one of the insurance plans they recommend.
That’s often beneficial because you aren’t paying extra fees before purchasing insurance.
However, some brokers charge a fee instead of receiving a commission. The advantage is that they may have more independent recommendations.
Whatever choice is best for you, always work with a broker company that’s transparent about their fees and other costs.
6. You’ll Need to Check Licensing
Before you sign with a broker, always check they have an up-to-date license and that it’s valid for your state.
It will ensure you are working with a credible broker. You always need one with the correct qualifications and experience to offer health insurance advice.
It shows they are committed to the field and have the professionalism to do an exceptional job for you.
You can check licensing via your state’s Department of Insurance.
Choosing a Health Insurance Broker Who Can Find You the Best Deal
Using a health insurance broker, you can find a health plan that’s affordable and suitable for your circumstances. You must research beforehand to find the most reputable and trusted broker.
Our broker team has over 30 year’s experience finding health insurance in Texas for individuals, families, and small businesses. Why not take the first small step to finding a broker by getting a free quote from us?