No matter how long you’re a broker, you are sure to be asked, “Why should I use a broker?” by your prospects, clients, or even your friends.
What’s your answer? Here’s some information about why a broker can make a difference, and how you might respond to your clients.
Should you use a broker to get health insurance?
There are many benefits to shopping for health insurance coverage with help from a broker.
1) Industry knowledge: Licensed insurance sales professionals in California and Nevada are required to undergo training before earning a license. Each broker must also undergo a criminal background check and fingerprinting.
To maintain a California license, accident and health brokers have to earn a total of 24 hours of Continuing Education (CE) Credits for each two-year license term. In Nevada, licensees must complete a minimum of 30 hours of CE every three years. Both states require three hours of ethics training as part of their respective CE requirements.
2) No added cost: Usually, broker services are offered without any cost to the buyer. The commission paid to the broker is built into the premium for selected coverage. If an employer or an individual buys coverage directly through an insurer, through an exchange, or through a broker, the cost is the same for plans offering the same benefits.
3) Valuable broker services: A broker works with customers to gain a better understanding of their needs and budget – and the health care needs of employees. He/she/they can help customers compare plans (HMO, PPO, EPO, HSA), and understand what makes one carrier or plan a better fit than another. The differentiators may be premium cost, out-of-pocket costs (deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance), Rx coverage, or the health plan’s provider network.
Word & Brown’s WBQuote software helps brokers view side-by-side plan comparisons, including highlighted plan differences between a current plan and proposed renewal alternatives. It also features built-in provider searches, so you can ensure clients get access to the doctors and hospitals they want in each of the plans being considered.
Brokers working with Word & Brown also have access to a team of experienced health insurance underwriters who provide fast turnaround and clean case submissions – ensuring cases are approved without a hitch and member ID Cards are issued faster. (If your group selects coverage from Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, or Health Net, employees may be able to access their medical ID Card information on their smartphones using our exclusive WBMedID mobile app.)
Our Online Enrollment (OLE) and Human Resource Information System (HRIS) technology partners offer additional services to speed up enrollments and help clients better manage their benefits, payroll, and HR.
In-house Compliance experts are also available to help simply life – for you and your customers. They’re on call to answer any questions you or your clients may have concerning compliance or the Affordable Care Act.
4) Post-sale advice: A broker can also act as an advocate for customers if there’s a question or claims issue after coverage begins. And, of course, good brokers will reach out regularly if there are new hires or qualifying life events that might trigger a change in coverage for employees. They will also be in contact to help customers understand what’s changing or what new options might be available at renewal.
Word & Brown has been working with health insurance brokers for more than 35 years in serving the needs of customers. If you’re not already doing business with us, contact one of our six regional offices in California or Nevada to get started today. If you are a Word & Brown broker and you want to learn more about any of the tools and resources we’ve mentioned here, contact your Word & Brown representative.