Do I Need A Broker When Buying Health Insurance?
The market can be a confusing place when it comes to buying medical health insurance and reading through plan details can be a little bit like reading a foreign language. It is at this point that a health insurance broker can prove extremely helpful.
The simple answer to whether you need a broker when purchasing health insurance is 'no', but there are circumstances in which using a broker can be very helpful and also save you money.
Finding a suitable health insurance plan can a daunting prospect with a large number of companies to choose from and a huge range of often complex and difficult to decipher plans being sold. As a result, it is often sensible to employ the services of a broker to match your needs to the best health insurance company and plan.
Once you select a broker it is a matter of simply giving him your medical details, including information about such things as any pre-existing conditions you may have and medications you are taking, together with a list of the things that you want to see covered by your plan. The broker will then look at a number of companies and plans and get back to you with his recommendations. You can then study these, ask any questions that you might have, and leave it to the broker to get your health insurance contract drawn up and your plan issued.
One extremely important point is that a health insurance broker works independently and not for any particular health insurance company. His role is to study the whole of the health insurance market and to familiarize himself with the full range of cover on offer. He should also know the reputation of each insurance company and how it operates, including such things as the frequency with which it increases premiums and the manner in which it deals with claims.
Although the broker is independent, it is also very important to understand that he earns a commission every time a contract is signed and that his commission will vary between insurance companies. As a result, many people feel that it is in the broker's interest to recommend a plan which earns him the highest commission, rather than a plan that is in the customer's best interest. If this worries you then you should discuss this with the broker. A reputable broker he will have no difficulty at all in discussing this openly with you.
Another important point if you are worried about your plan costing you more because you are paying the broker's commission is the fact that it does not necessarily follow that you will be able to buy the plan from the insurance company yourself more cheaply. In many cases you will find that you will pay exactly the same whether you purchase through a broker or not. In simple term you end up paying the fee whichever route you take and the only difference is whether the fee goes to the broker or the insurance company.
Perhaps the greatest benefit in using a broker lies in his knowledge of the marketplace. This not only means that the broker can often find you a plan quickly, but it also means that he will be able to get you precisely the cover you need, often at a price deal which you would be unlikely to find by searching the market yourself.
If you happy that you can find your own health insurance plan and are satisfied that you understand the technical aspects of health insurance contracts and can decipher the small print of a plan then all well and good. If this is not the case, then you might be very wise to seek out the services of a health insurance broker.
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