What is a Health Insurance Agent?
An insurance agent is a certified salesperson who represents one or more health insurance agencies and sells their products to customers. Agents are authorized by each state and must complete continuing education to keep their health insurance licenses active.
An insurance agent’s job entails making phone or in-person contact with leads, performing the consumer needs analysis, examining insurance products that meet the consumer’s requirements, and completing insurance applications and screenings. Insurance agents can sell life insurance, health insurance, real estate & liability insurance, variable subsidies, and ancillary products such as vision, dental, disability, accident, and critical illness insurance.
Types of Health Insurance Agents
There are two types of health insurance agents: independent carriers and captive agents. Independent health insurance agents or brokers are often affiliated with multiple insurance companies and can typically provide a broader range of insurance products than captive agents. Captive insurance agents work exclusively for a single insurance company and can only sell the company’s specific products.
The Benefits of using Health Insurance Agent to find Best Health Plan
When you buy a health insurance plan through a licensed agent, you rest assured that your individual or employer-sponsored insurance will provide the best coverage at the most reasonable price.
Working with an agent to obtain individual health insurance can be highly beneficial for some people. Here are a few examples of how their services can be helpful:
Quick Access to Consumer Support: Plan holders have a relevant authority to contact if they have questions about claims payments, coverage eligibility, access to healthcare, or other problems—which you cannot solve on a website.
Personalized Recommendations: Agents can explain the benefits and drawbacks of various service packages. They provide individualized guidance to help people choose the best plan for their needs.
Provide Expert Health Insurance Knowledge: Agents can help you understand key health insurance terminologies and help you make sense of your plan options. Agents can also assist seniors in better understanding their Medicare policy and long-term healthcare options.
What Happens When You Speak with a Health Insurance Agent?
When you use InsuranceShopping.com, you’ll have the option of connecting with a local, independent agent or broker.
1) The agent will make an effort to understand your situation
A health insurance agent might ask you the following questions:
- Are you looking for your first health insurance policy?
- Does health insurance currently cover you? Why do you want to change plans?
- How often do you visit your doctor? Do you consult with any specialists? Do you want to keep your current physician(s)?
- Which pharmacies do you use?
- ations? Do you require medicines in their branded form?
- What is your financial plan?
- Do you intend to include a spouse or dependents in your policy?
2) You’re presented with health policies to fit your needs
After communicating with you to discuss your needs, your health insurance agent’s next task is to put together a portfolio of insurance coverage options for you.
Here’s what you’ll need to think about at this point:
Differentiate between the various Health Insurance Plans: Allow the agent to walk you through the different insurance plans: PPO, HMO, POS, and EPO. Your agent can explain the benefits and liabilities of each plan format and tell you if specific programs require referrals, if any policies cover you outside of your network, and so on.
Understand Key Pricing Terms: Learn how your coverage options differ by understanding key pricing terms (deductible, premium, coinsurance, copay, etc.). Work with your health insurance agent to narrow down and choose the best option for your medical care needs.
How to Choose the Best Health Service Provider: Work with your health insurance agent to find carriers offering programs that meet your family’s needs.
Compare Supplier Networks: If you want to keep your current physician, review the provider networks offered by each plan option.
Check to see if your doctor is considered an in-network provider under these plans.
Knowing the Difference between On-Exchange and Off-Exchange Policies: Considering the recent push to stop incentivizing health insurance plans, make sure your agent clarifies which of your options are ACA Marketplace plans and which are non-ACA off-exchange plans. Inquire about plan options that haven’t been presented to you.
3) Select a Health Insurance Plan
There are a few essential points to keep in mind while choosing a plan and afterward.
- Will your agent assist you in determining whether you’re eligible for an Obamacare subsidy and, if so, can they help you complete the subsidy application if you choose an ACA marketplace plan?
- Can your health insurance agent walk you through the “Summary of Benefits” for your policy? Make sure you understand the following key points: provider network size, premium and coinsurance costs, and whether or not you need to fulfill the insurance deductible before your plan starts to cover a part of your medical expenses, etc.
- Ask your agent if your insurance carrier has a designated point person to contact if you have any queries about your coverage. Can this representative assist consumers in filing claims?
- Check to see if all of your medications are covered.
- If your plan allows you to open a Flexible or Health Savings Account, talk to your agent about the steps you’ll need to take to open an account, as well as how to access and handle your account funds.
How much do Health Insurance Agents make?
Health insurance brokers and agents in the insurance are salespeople. They have an insurance product they sell to you, and they get a commission on it. That is how they are compensated.
But have you ever considered how much they are getting paid? Typically agents who sell auto insurance, life insurance, and other types of insurance make money based on the number of policies they sell.
If you’re curious, you could ask directly how much agents earn on policies, but few states require insurance agents to tell you how much they make on a specific policy.
The best way to figure out how much your organization is padding your agent’s bottom line is to use the facts available to everyone.
How do Health Insurance Agents and Brokers make Money?
Commissions are the most common way for insurance agents to make a living.
They are seen as a middleman between the insurance provider and the customer. Their job is to assist people in finding the best insurance policies for them.
The insurance company employs an insurance agent. The agent’s job is to connect a person with a health plan from insurance companies.
That’s not the same as an insurance broker. A health insurance agent’s work also entails finding a suitable policy for the client. A broker, on the other hand, is unrelated to the company. Instead, the broker’s job is to work for the client and find the best insurance policy regardless of the service provider they use.
How much do Captive and Independent Agents make?
As previously stated, there are many different insurance agents, and payment depends on the specific insurance company for which they work. Nevertheless, we can provide you with some estimates.
Leaving aside the differences between captive and independent agents, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average income of a life insurance agent is $51,000. However, because commissions account for a large portion of an insurance agent’s salary, the annual wage of an insurance agent varies greatly. A successful insurance agent can earn more than $100,000 per year by selling a couple of health insurance programs per week.
Insurance Agent Commission Rates
The amount an agent earns is determined by the type of insurance policy purchased, such as life insurance and other factors such as size and location. It can also differ depending on life insurance, such as term life insurance or whole life insurance.
- Independent agents have the most earning potential and typically receive a 15% commission on the car and home insurance sales. Captive agents or brokers who work for a single insurance company earn a lower commission, typically between 5% and 10%. The commission structure will vary from one company to the next.
- Health and Life insurance agents can earn most of the commission in the first-year insurance premium. Such front-loaded commissions can range from 40% to 100% of the policy’s first-year insurance rates.
Your insurance agent can also make money every year when you renew your insurance policy.
Do Real Estate Agents have Health Insurance?
The majority of estate agents work for their firms as independent contractors. Many independent contractors don’t have access to traditional employer-provided benefits like health insurance because they are self-employed.
Many self-employed real estate agents struggle to find affordable health insurance. Some real estate professionals can purchase health insurance through their brokerage, a family member’s plan, or the National Association of REALTORS. Others turn to the Obamacare or Affordable Care Act, which provides health coverage to low- and moderate-income people.
Health Insurance Options for Real Estate Agents
i) Brokerage Health Insurance Plans
Some brokerage firms, like Keller Williams, provide health insurance to their employees. Their exchange, KW Wellness Benefits Marketplace, is compliant with the Affordable Care Act. They provide vision, dental, and medical care.
ii) Association Group Health Insurance Plans
The National Association of Realtors’ REALTORS Marketplace plan provides affordable health insurance options to its members. This e-commerce site provides members with health insurance through a private health insurance exchange that complies with the Affordable Care Act’s standards. It also offers dental and vision coverage for the entire group.
iii) Other Association Options
Some real estate agents have turned to other organizations for group health insurance, such as AAA auto clubs, alumni associations, and religious organizations.
iv) Health Exchanges under the Affordable Care Act
They can select from various government-regulated and standardized healthcare plans provided by the exchange’s insurers. InsuranceShopping.com will help you locate a Marketplace in your area.
Getting a Second Opinion or Expert Advice
It is always good to get expert advice from an independent health insurance agent. They are unbiased and may refer you to other group insurance plans. At the very least, you’ll know if the insurance plan you select is appropriate for you.
Is it Cheaper to get Health Insurance through a Broker or Agent?
Do you want to know if buying health insurance through an agent saves you money? Here is everything you need to know about it.
Purchasing health insurance through an agent is cheaper than shopping the ACA’s Marketplace and comparing prices on your own.
Cost-Cutting or Cost Saving Options
When it comes to shopping the ACA Marketplace plan, an agent or broker will not be able to offer you lower rates than what you can get on your own by visiting HealthCare.gov or InsuranceShopping.com. Customers can often obtain low-cost health insurance through the Marketplace. You’ll see the cost savings available to you whether you shop the Marketplace on your own or with an agent. These Marketplace savings on ACA plans are due to the Obamacare subsidies or premium tax credits available to those who qualify. As a result, even those who shop for health insurance on the Marketplace have access to very low-cost coverage. In reality, most of the people we enrolled at Marketplace plan last year paid $35 or less per month. Our free step-by-step guide to Marketplace health insurance enrollment is available here.
When to Shop for the Marketplace Plan
You can sign up for the Marketplace health insurance during Open Enrollment, which runs from November 1 to December 15, 2021. Suppose you want to obtain health coverage outside the OEP (via Special Enrollment Period). In that case, you must have a qualifying event, such as having a baby or losing your health insurance.
Through InsuranceShopping, you can compare health policies, prices and see what premiums subsidies you are eligible for. You can also reach out to a Consumer Advocate at +1 855-913-1570 or enter your zip code to determine what plans are available in your area.