Health Insurance Agents near me
Providing affordable health insurance for individuals, families and businesses
It's okay to say, I need help from a health insurance agent near me. That's why here at the Fresno Enrollment Center we offer free confidential help. Certified Health Insurance Brokers are professionals in the health insurance field. We have years of experience and training. Our agents will guide you through the process of selecting a healthcare plan that meets your needs. We educate our clients on the differences between deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance, and cost sharing. Our goal is to help individuals understand the importance of having health insurance for yourself and your family. We will fully explain and help you understand the Affordable Care Act and how that impacts you. Furthermore, our agents will explain what your responsibilities will be should you qualify for a subsidized plan through Covered California.
What Exactly Does a Health Insurance Agent Do For You?
Healthcare continues to become more complicated and navigating sign up can be confusing. Find out how a health insurance agent can help you figure it out.
As you know, you can shop for health insurance online. You can compare rates and select plans on your own or use government exchange navigators. Simple, right?
Not exactly. Regulations and legislation change constantly. Comparing plans can be difficult if you are not familiar with those changes.
The terminology can also be tricky. You may have questions that you cannot find on an insurance company's website FAQ page.
In fact, reports have shown that people struggle with understanding health plan choices.
Shopping for health insurance is a complicated matter. A licensed health insurance agent can help you find health care plans that fit your needs and budget.
An agent can also negotiate your policy for you. Finally, an agent can assist you even after you've adopted a health plan.
Read on to see what an agent can do for you.
What a Health Insurance Agent Does
A health insurance agent helps you enroll in a health insurance plan. An agent either works for a single health insurance company or represents many companies. Agents are also required to sign agreements to sell policies in the Marketplace.
An agent must hold a professional license in your state. Licensing requirements vary per state. All require the agent to complete insurance-related coursework and then pass an exam.
The coursework covers insurance law, ethics, and consumer protection. Most states also require continuing education every two years.
Agents receive commissions from insurance companies for selling plans. Some may not sell plans of companies they don't represent.
Insurance companies pay the commissions, not you. The price of your policy is the same whether a health insurance agent helps you or not.
You can still qualify for a tax credit and other subsidies if you enroll with an agent. Though, the agent must enroll you through the Health Insurance Marketplace to get the savings.
An Agent is Free
You can use an agent's services for free. Agents make their money through commissions. Those commissions are built into the cost of the health insurance plan whether you buy through the agent or on your own.
Your health insurance won't cost more because you used an agent. So, having the help of a licensed professional will save you a great deal of time and won't cost you a thing.
An Agent Will Stop and Explain Your Options
Agents are there to help you understand your insurance options. Think of them as part advisor, part personal shopper. They are experts at the terminology and differences between health plans.
It's difficult for you to compare options if you are not familiar with the details. Health insurance agents also know how the coverage works in the real world as compared to how the documentation describes it.
For example, if you have a pre-existing health condition, your agent may know which plan will accept you and offer the best coverage for your care. Agents often have professional connections with the medical underwriters who process the applications. That gives them a better idea of which plans best fit your needs.
Agents Are Knowledgeable of Health Care Laws
Agents make their living in this field, so they keep up-to-date on the changing healthcare laws and other guidelines. Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) came into being, the insurance industry has changed dramatically. With the ACA hanging in the balance now and into next year, more changes are on the horizon.
Insurance agents are on top of these changes. It is their livelihood to know them.
Agents can interpret how these legislative changes will affect the health plans. They are also able to help you maximize your benefits by applying for subsidies or tax credits.
All of these things together are needed to choose the best health plan for you.
Your Agent is Your Advocate
Agents are your advocates even after you buy a health plan. You can ask your agent questions anytime.
Your health insurance agent can advocate for you with your insurance company when you have questions about a claim or benefits coverage. They can also help whenever you have a life event and need to change your coverage.
Your agent can also help you re-shop each year during the open enrollment period. This is especially helpful given the way insurance regulations change and promise to keep changing as the healthcare debate continues.
Agents Can Navigate Through Government Exchanges
Choosing an agent has its advantages over choosing an exchange navigator who works for government-run health insurance exchanges.
What a Navigator Does
An exchange navigator or assistant is a person or organization trained to help consumers, small businesses, and employees look for health plans through the Marketplace. They can also help with completing enrollment and eligibility forms.
Navigators are unbiased, and their services are free of charge.
However, navigators are limited to government exchanges. A health insurance agent is versed in all health plans, including government exchange programs.
What an Agent Does
An agent can help you apply for subsidies through government exchanges. Depending on your income, these subsidies can lower your out-of-pocket expenses. An agent can apply for subsidies on your behalf through the Marketplace Exchange in your state just as a navigator would.
If you are not using a subsidy, an agent can show you other ACA-compliant plans. These plans are not part of a government exchange but will also help you avoid a tax penalty.
Unlike a navigator, an agent can make recommendations base on your needs and budget. Navigators can help you make your way through the exchange website, but that is about it.