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What’s the Difference Between a Health Insurance Agent and a Health Insurance Broker?

There are a few key differences between a Utah health insurance agent and a Utah health insurance broker. Insurance agents and brokers can both help individuals and business owners sort through the maze of health insurance options to find one that fits their needs and budget. While some people research their options on their own, many others find the process daunting and can benefit from some professional assistance.  Deciding who will help you choose an insurance plan is an important first step.

Should you hire a broker or a captive agent? Here’s a rundown of the two types of insurance sellers.

Brokers are independent, selling for multiple companies, and typically can provide more options and a broader view of the marketplace. Brokers will work with you to evaluate the major insurance carriers in your area on plan designs and cost.  Don’t look for just the lowest premiums. Consider the breadth of the network to make sure all the employees have access to in-network physicians, and whether the carriers have good relationships with physicians.

Captive agents typically sell only one product or company. They often have a close relationship with their home office, which generally gives them more leverage to make plan changes. Their offerings also can cost less and they have access to markets that others may not have, such as workers’ compensation insurance in certain industries.  Agents are typically paid by the insurers, so the business isn’t charged for their services. If you decide to work with an agent, talk to more than one to find out what different carriers offer.

With the Affordable Care Act in-place, you need a health insurance professional to guide you through all the changes.

A health insurance broker can save you time and money, whether you're an individual seeking coverage or a business owner shopping for the best medical plan for your employees. Licensed health insurance brokers, known in the trade as "producers," are like insurance Sherpas to help navigate the complex hills and trails of America's health care system.  A broker knows the Affordable Care Act (ACA) laws, and knows what type of coverage and plans meet the ACA guidelines.  A "Local Broker" is familiar with the health insurance marketplace in your area, and they know which carriers have the best track record with service and paying claims.   A broker is also familiar with which carriers provide access to different local hospitals and network providers.

What's the Risk in Forging Ahead into the Utah Health Insurance Market without a Broker?

You may choose not only the wrong product, but you may not be with the carrier that is going to help you the most. With health insurance, there are a lot of moving parts and you're buying a product that is very costly.  So you want to make sure you get it right, and purchase the correct health insurance policy to meet your long-term needs.  A local broker knows which carriers and plans will best meet your unique needs, and which carrier will provide you the plan you need at the best value for the money. Unlike purchasing auto, home or life insurance, buying a health policy is just the beginning, not the end of the process. Why? Your health and that of your family can change constantly -- and so can your insurance needs.

Brokers also provide many additional services at no extra to help make your life easier. Below are a few examples:

  • Assist clients with claim issues, including writing letters to doctors and hospitals and compiling documentation to help resolve claims.
  • Negotiate renewable rates for employers and individuals.
  • Explain plan designs, benefits and options to employees.
  • Resolve billing issues.
  • Help COBRA-eligible beneficiaries with coverage following the loss of a job.

Talk to a Broker

A Utah health insurance broker can do all the research to find the best plan for you with the best rates.  Insurance brokers add value by representing you and providing many options through multiple insurance carriers. Instead of trying to make the plan fit your needs, we will take your needs and find a plan that is suitable for you. They can also talk you through the whole process and give you expert advice. Using a Utah health insurance broker will cost you nothing!  A health insurance brokers is paid a commission by the carrier, and you pay the same rate going through a broker as you would going straight to the health insurance carrier.  So why not use a broker’s free advice to help you sort through the health insurance jungle!

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Bret@UtahInsuranceSolutions.com





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2975 West Executive Parkway, Ste. 216
Lehi, UT. 84043

Ph: 801.372.2647
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