Group Health Insurance
Health care reform
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
Individual Health Insurance
Long Term Care Insurance
Medicare related coverage
04-28-2009 by Colleen King
It’s so nice to have people that keep you on your toes. Health Insurance questions abound when you ask for topics for this blog. Thanks to Lisa Nicole Bell again, www.adivinebook.com for this one.
The plus for you, the consumer, whether it’s for individual health insurance of group health insurance is that the rates are the rates. No one has special ‘deals’ to get you something better, it’s a matter of service. When you go directly to an insurance company, a carrier, they can only give you information on what they offer. And that’s fine, but if you want information on multiple carriers, you have to call each one. That also means you have multiple people following up with you trying to gain your business. If you have the time to do that, great. Some people would rather do it that way, so there’s no right or wrong.
But by going to an independent agent, which is what I am, you can talk to one person, for FREE, and get all the information on several carriers from an unbiased source, theoretically. Some agents are more partial to certain carriers, so you may even want to talk to a couple different agents to see who you are most comfortable with. But basically you can have one contact for multiple companies.
Agents are paid on a commission basis by the insurance carrier they place the business with. You can talk to one of us for hours, never do anything, and there is no charge to you. One of my group cases, I spoke with the contact for 2 1/2 years before they did anything. The situation was such that they didn’t need to start a group plan right away. But when they finally did, it absolutely was worth the wait. One of the two partners in this group has referred 3 family members to me because she liked working with me.
An even more important reason to have an independent agent is if there is an issue after the sale. Agents working for a carrier will certainly do all they can to help you if there’s an issue, usually. But, if an outside agent is pressing an issue, carrier reps (the people inside the company that an independent agent can call for problems) know you can move that business by next month if the client is really unhappy.
So again, there’s no exact answer because everyone will have different opinions. But if you have a good independent agent, you may end up doing less of the leg work yourself which many people prefer in this busy day and age.