How to Choose And Work With A Health Insurance Broker
If you are looking for a health insurance professional to help with a health insurance decision and to represent you to the insurance company, there are two choices: a broker or an agent.
Using a broker or agent does not cost you money. They are paid by the insurer.
From an insurance buyer's point of view there are two main differences between a broker and an agent:
- A broker is a free agent who generally works with more than one insurance company. An agent, on the othe hand, is employed by a particular insurance company.
- Although he or she gets paid by the insurer, a broker is legally required to represent your interests and not to consider the interests of the insurer. An agent works for and owes his or her loyalty to theinsurer.
Brokers will know which companies accept people with a history of a health condition, and under what circumstances. For example, you may be able to get insurance with a "rated premium" -- a premium higher than the average person pays. Or, there may be an exclusion for your condition for a given period of time. Or, the coverage may be limited.
Brokers also know which companies have a reputation for raising premiums or hassling policyholders who file claims. A broker may also be able to help you find a group to join.
You can locate an experienced health insurance broker through the National Association of Health Underwriters (www.nahu.org ).
You don't need to file a formal application to find out if a particular broker can help you. Your broker can find out what you need to know informally, before an application is submitted. All you need to do is tell him or her about your health history and current status.
For more information, see:
- What To Look For In A Health Insurance Broker
- The First Meeting With An Insurance Broker: How To Prepare And What To Ask 7282
- How To Work With A Health Insurance Broker 2838
- There is no guarantee that if a broker gets an informal "yes" from an insurance company that the insurer will follow through on what it says informally. However, unless the facts on the application are different from the facts presented informally, companies generally stick to what they said.
- For information about how to get an understanding of the insurance situation in your state, click here.