Are you just tired of trying to figure out health insurance?
Trying to figure out what’s right for you?
Whether you’re getting the right coverage?
How much you’re paying?
Well, you are not alone.
How do you make sure that you are getting the best coverage for yourself and your family? How do you know what’s good coverage and what is not good? The answer is to go with an insurance agent. However, there is another important factor. Make sure that you get with an insurance agent that’s also a broker. What does that mean, an insurance agent who is also a broker?
Well, basically, it means that the insurance agent represents multiple companies instead of just one. When they represent multiple companies, (which is also called appointed or contracted), it means they can evaluate your family’s needs, and look at many of the options that are available out there, to make sure you get a good match for you and your family.
I can’t tell you how important this is. Because insurance coverage is not a one size fits. Not everyone has the same needs. And so why would you work with an insurance agent that offers only one or two products, where they’re trying to fit you into their box to make a sale? That is not what I do. That’s not what a lot of other agents do.
So how do you find someone that represents multiple companies? Well, one way is that you can get a referral for a broker. If you want to check them out and see what other offerings they can do, you can very easily do that at the ‘State Board of Insurance’s website. There’s one for every state. You simply look up the agent, and the site will tell you who they are appointed/contracted with. It will list all the different companies that they work with.
There are ways of making sure that you’re dealing with someone that has your best interest in mind. I can’t stress this enough; if your agent is not sitting down with you and finding out what your individual and specific needs are, what your budget is, and reviewing your medical history, you may not be getting the right coverage.
Keep in mind that this can also be true for employment-based coverage. If you have employer health care, usually the agent who works with the employer that’s offering the health care is probably ensuring that you and the employer are getting a good deal from a price point, because the employer is going to pay a portion of the premiums, and sometimes all the premiums for the employee. It’s very rare that an employer pays for dependents or for a spouse but it does happen. If you’re happy with that coverage because you’re not paying anything out of pocket for the coverage, that’s fine, stick with that plan. But what if your employer is only paying for the employee, and the spouse and dependents are very expensive, or it’s just not good insurance? And what I mean by ‘not good insurance’, is if you have a high deductible that you never meet, why would you continue to pay for those premiums, and never make a deductible? So basically, you’re just paying for a big-name carrier, to have the honor of having your preventive covered once a year. And that really isn’t cost-effective. Then I would suggest in this case, you look for a broker.
So what I do is, I take a very consultative approach. I review your whole health history and your budget, and then we look at your total out-of-pocket costs.
What did you spend last year? And if you spent tons of money and your insurance didn’t really pay anything, well, maybe it is time to reevaluate. As a broker, I have chosen not to contract with certain companies because they hold the agent captive. And what that means is that I would only be allowed to offer their product. I don’t like that because I don’t think that you, as insurance insured, are necessarily getting the right coverage for you. And you won’t know that because you can’t compare it with other coverages. An agent like that is only going to sell you the one thing that they know. And it might be good coverage for you, but it may not be.
In summary, you will be getting the best health care coverage for you if you choose an agent who is a broker!