The Internet has provided today’s consumer with a wealth of health insurance information. With a few keystrokes the consumer has access to multiple insurance carriers, plan details, benefits, premiums and the online application process. With all of this information accessible for the consumer, what is the benefit of the services provided by a broker? Plenty, and the key word is service & knowledge.
No Additional Cost – The service of a broker has no direct effect on the cost to the consumer. The consumer receives the services of a broker, and the carrier compensates the broker for providing the service for the policies that are approved and are in force by that carrier. It is important to understand that the premium paid by the consumer is the same whether a broker is used or not – there is no financial benefit in terms of a lower premium if a consumer does not use a broker.
Access To An Independent Consultant – The value of the broker in today’s information-driven environment is to make sense of the information and to help the consumer apply the information to his or her particular situation. Health insurance is a very technical field which includes terminology that is foreign to many consumers. The broker helps explain terms such as deductible, coinsurance, copay, drug tiers, preexisting conditions, C.O.B.R.A. and creditable coverage and how these terms affect the consumer’s health insurance options. Although a vast amount of information is available online, the broker helps make sense of what the information means and how it applies to coverage decisions.
As with other important decisions in our lives, we rely on consultants to guide us in making the most beneficial decision. Whether it involves legal issues, accounting, real estate, architecture, construction or investing we rely on the advice and counsel of professionals such as lawyers, accountants, architects and financial advisors. Health insurance is no different. The consumer needs the knowledge and experience of a health insurance broker to assist with plan selection based on a number of criteria including premium budget, benefit requirements, carrier suitability, underwriting and carrier network access. All these factors and more go into the overall decision and the broker’s role is to consult and guide consumers in making the best decision relative to his or her needs and situation.
Underwriting Communications – The service of a broker can be extremely beneficial after the application is submitted. A full service broker, like Stateside Insurance Services, maintains communications with the carrier to monitor the status of an application and communicates to the applicant regarding the progress of the application as it moves through the underwriting process. The full service broker serves as an active participant in the underwriting process to ensure that information is being shared between the applicant and the carrier in a timely manner so that an underwriting decision can be accomplished in the shortest time possible.
Client Support – A broker continues to provide value and service after an application has been submitted and approved. Following an application being approved, the full service broker confirms that the coverage is established correctly with the carrier, confirms that enrollment documents and identification cards have been received, facilitates the submission of any requested coverage documents, and explains any modifications to coverage such as riders or waivers. Long-term assistance includes the replacement of identification cards, address changes, coverage changes and coverage options.
The broker’s function is strictly to service the health insurance needs of their clients. Brokers succeed by providing exceptional service during the evaluation, application, enrollment and coverage stages of a policy. If they are not active and successful at providing service to their clients, their lackluster performance will be reflected in poor growth and low retention of existing clients. Health insurance consumers can take advantage of the wide array of services provided by Stateside Insurance Services.
STATESIDE CAN HELP!
Stateside Insurance Services, since 2003, has focused on providing comprehensive health insurance information, responsive customer service and expert industry knowledge for Texas consumers. Stateside has annually been recognized by health insurance carriers and the Health Insurance Marketplace as a Top Producer in Texas.
Whether the health insurance policy is for an individual, family, small business or supplemental Medicare coverage, Stateside dedicates the time, and our deep industry expertise, to ensure our clients have identified the best health insurance plan for their specific needs.
Stateside is available to answer any general questions regarding your coverage options, can provide a subsidy determination, and even assist in creating and submitting online applications for ACA compliant plans during an Open Enrollment or throughout Special Enrollment periods.
By using the Telephone Appointment System, clients can take advantage of scheduling a health insurance discussion when convenient for their schedule. During Open Enrollment phone appointment availability is expanded to include extended hours and weekends.