Why You Need a Local Health Insurance Agent
As a business, you likely like to do business with people who have extensive experience in your industry. Folks who have been around a while. You would not be alone. When it comes to securing the highest quality insurance for your employees, your preferences stand.
However, some folks might not either have the time or the knowledge to hire a local broker and instead opt for a big named agency to find health insurance. While not necessarily wrong, failing to hire a local agent in Houston could end up costing your company big time, and not just financially.
Additionally, there are multiple benefits that a local health insurance agent can offer you that the others simply cannot. That’s the idea behind today’s post. We will look at why local health insurance agents are beneficial to individuals and businesses and what you can expect when you use them. But first, a quick review of what a local health insurance agent does.
What Local Health Insurance Agents Do
A local broker, or agent, offers you in-depth advice for your health insurance needs.
For a business owner, CEO etc., that would include benefits audits, recommendations for your employees, meeting with them to discuss additional benefits that would interest them, and much more.
For example, if you would like to add benefits like dental, vision, or life insurance to your enrollment options, a health insurance agent can walk you through those options. In the often-confusing world of health insurance, small business owners, in particular, could use assistance. In fact, only 7% of consumers surveyed by UnitedHealthcare Consumer Sentiment could clearly define common health insurance terms. This is one reason we strive to ensure we educate all employees with enrollment meetings.
Individuals too need assistance. Unraveling complicated terminology, options, copayments, and networks can overwhelm even the savviest of consumers.
A local agent does the groundwork for consumers. They carefully layout the best plan options so consumers can quickly and easily choose the one that is right for their family. Additionally, a local broker can identify the best local insurance providers.
Why is that important? Primarily because local providers cater to the needs of a specific network. Insurance is based on networks, and without a working knowledge of these networks, it can be increasingly difficult to secure a plan that’s right for you.
However, finding the right local insurance agent is equally as important. Consumers should seek out qualified agents who fully understand the local market and can offer experience based advice.
In line with this, the following is a quick overview of why a local health insurance agent is superior to the alternative, and what consumers should expect out of this service.
Perhaps the greatest reason that a local agent is the best choice is due to customizability. No two health insurance plans have to be alike. One of the most well-liked aspects of the Affordable Care Act was the ability to choose plans that fit consumers lifestyles. We still see that on the Healthcare.gov website, but with new changes to the healthcare laws, it can be tricky to determine what options are available.
So, what should businesses and individuals do to negate this issue? Use a local health insurance agent.
In our office in Houston, for example, we meet with our clients either in their office or at ours for a personalized discussion about their health care needs. We discuss their greatest coverage needs and align that with a plan that meets those needs.
What makes a local health insurance agent so different is the time taken to listen, understand, and create a quality plan that benefits the consumer and their family.
For companies, we devote the same type of energy and time to discussing plan requirements. We visit in office during open enrollment and hold a meeting that involves back and forth with employees. This hands-on approach allows employees to meet with staff and support, so they know precisely who to go to with their questions. You cannot get that with traditional insurance brokerage companies.
Another advantage to using a local health insurance agent is access to knowledge. The health insurance landscape is ever evolving. Under the new Administration, the health care law has been one of the greatest changes. In recent months, the Administration has even proposed short-term plan options, however, some may find those in efficient.
Local agents understand these changes. They are up-to-date on the latest health care reform policies and actively inform the insured of these changes. Agents will dissect local plan options that take into consideration:
- Maternity Benefits
- Prescription Drug-Benefits
- The Risks vs. Benefits of Short-Term Plans
- Network Coverage Options
- And More
A local broker spends countless hours studying and interpreting new laws surrounding health insurance. That’s time consumers can spend elsewhere.
On-Call When Needed
Another benefit to using a local health insurance agent is access. Local brokers are ready and able to answer any question required.
For example, companies might want to adjust their benefits packages but aren’t quite sure the best way to go about it. A local agent can quickly and easily be reached to discuss these changes. The broker will then guide the representative to a well balanced and curated employee benefits package based on the response from their employees. The result is a happier staff and a more well-managed benefits option.
Similarly, individuals too can benefit greatly from a local agent. The option to pick up the phone and inquire about network coverage or the costs of copay, or simply to adjust a health insurance plan is easy with a local broker. Cutting out the confusion often linked to health insurance is a benefit just about anyone can appreciate. And the best part is, for most individuals, a local health insurance agent is completely free.
An on-call staff and health insurance support team allow individuals and companies to make better decisions for their health insurance plans. Decisions based on facts and costs, rather than on confusion. Local agents also have their ear to the ground when it comes to updates and changes to health care plans and quickly notify consumers.
No Better Time to Use a Local Health Insurance Agent
As the political climate continues to change, having a trusted, experienced and knowledgeable local broker on your side is critical. At Healthcare Consultants Inc., we have helped small businesses and individuals alike secure the best health insurance plans available in Houston. When you are ready for hands-on support via a friendly and local broker, please reach out to us. We look forward to hearing from you.