Purchasing Insurance Through A Broker Might Be A Good Idea

The internet is everywhere! Online shopping is a great way to buy Christmas gifts, and this week I bought my son a Nintendo DS online. You can also purchase insurance online.

There are some benefits to purchasing health insurance online. You might be able save time and compare plans to get estimates of premiums.

These are all great benefits of the internet. However, it’s not always easy. The premiums listed on the internet are usually preferred pricing. Many people can’t qualify for them due to their medical conditions, weight restrictions, or height. They will also show you their lowest-priced plans. Because it is cheaper than their 80%/20% plan, some companies will show their 50%/50% coverage. Some companies have a higher maximum out-of-pocket, meaning you will pay more when you make a claim.

The state insurance department must file rates for all insurance companies. It is cheaper to work with a broker than it is to use the internet. Here are just a few reasons why you should work with an experienced broker.

A broker can help you choose the best plan for you, your needs and connect you with the right carrier. Celtic Insurance, which is based in Chicago, often has the lowest-priced plan. Celtic Insurance has decided that their PPO plans will only cover two doctor visits per policyholder per year. This is enough for most people. However, it is not for everyone. A week ago, I was contacted by a client who wanted Celtic because it had the lowest price. I spoke with her and learned that she had visited the doctor more than 20 times in the last year. She was not the right carrier for Celtic.

Pre-existing conditions are often exempted by many carriers for 12 months or longer. If you have been covered for creditable periods of at least 18 months, Aetna won’t exclude these conditions. You will be accepted or rejected by them. When someone says they have a pre-existing condition, the first question I ask is “Do you want them to be covered?” A broker can save you time.

Insurance rates rise every year, unfortunately. As a broker, I shop annually for my clients. Sometimes we stay with the same carrier. Sometimes, we have to switch carriers. This usually happens before the client receives their renewal notice. This gives us ample time to find the right carrier. It is easier to deal with a broker.

An agent who is competent can assist an insured in many ways. Many policyholders don’t know the details of the policy, so an agent should explain to them. Sometimes claims are denied because of an exclusion in the policy, or for something that is not covered by the policy. Sometimes claims are denied because of the wrong reasons. Two cases I dealt with recently involved clients who had major claims within the first 90-days of their new policy. The first was investigated for nine years before it was finally paid. The second one was quickly denied. They denied the other one quickly so I had to intervene and explain why it was a claim that was payable. They paid it. Without a trusted broker, the client could have done it on her own. Great customer service is a must for any broker. If you buy directly via the internet and have any problems, I don’t know of any way to contact the internet.

Many brokers provide an underwriting guide that is specific to each carrier. They can check if you are eligible for coverage or increase your premium if you have a medical condition. This will save you time and effort when applying for a plan that you may not be eligible for.

To my clients, I inform them that I am an unpaid consultant. This may change in the future as health reform laws affect the compensation of brokers and agents, but for the moment all fees are paid to the insurance carrier.