These seeking to understand who is involved in the nebulous system that is contemporary American healthcare will discover a wide variety of individuals, each along with unique roles. One such role is the fact that of the health insurance broker, also known as an “independent agent” or “health insurance professional. ” This article seeks to shed some light on who the health insurance broker can be, what they do and, ultimately, what part they play in the selection of health insurance policies.
A health insurance broker’s job is to provide clients with the most suitable health insurance policy. Authorized by specific insurance companies to act on their behalf, the broker essentially guides clients through the process of selecting a policy for themselves or even for employees. A broker makes their living (and demographics show the broker is usually a “he”) off profits – sometimes as much as 15%. The particular rates quoted by broker or by direct contact with insurance provider would be the same because, if the insurance company will be contacted directly, the person who makes the purchase (known as a “captive agent”) can collect the same commission a broker might collect. Some states even require the use of insurance brokers.
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In most instances, an individual seeking to be a licensed health insurance agent must take a series of courses after that take and pass one or more examinations. Once licensed, a state or employer may require health insurance brokers to take additional classes. Because policies and laws change constantly, a broker involved in training will be more current on applicable legislation and guidelines and, ideally, much better prepared to assist clients. Each condition makes its own laws to govern the practices of insurance brokers. While no two states possess the same law, increasingly states are usually recognizing licenses granted in other states. This allows brokers to move without retaking examinations or to operate in more compared to one state simultaneously.
An individual going into their first day of work as a licensed health insurance broker tends to be over the age of the average person entering into a given area of work. This is because the typical health insurance broker has transferred into the industry, usually from the sales position in another health care field – hospital equipment product sales, for example. An individual with a sales history tends to be comfortable with the demands of the job – like providing excellent customer services, working to maintain a customer base, and living on a commission-based salary.
While many come into the health care broker industry having worked professionally consist of fields, some do enter the field directly after getting an university diploma or degree. Those coming straight from college will likely have majored in business or product sales. In some cases, health insurance brokerage houses will certainly directly mentor undergraduates – and even offer tuition assistance or loan pay-back plans – provided the particular undergraduate agrees to work for the brokerage house for a pre-determined number of years.
Energetic health insurance brokers have the option of joining the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) and the umbrella organization of the American Insurance Association (AIA). Both organizations have ethical suggestions that must be followed to maintain membership in good standing. A health insurance broker must divide a typical day between two general tasks: meeting with present and potential clients and fulfilling management duties. The broker acts as an agent on behalf of the insurance companies in his or even her portfolio, so administrative responsibilities include processing claims, cutting checks and delivering payment. The meetings will be with current clients, to make sure they are being kept abreast of almost all changes or trends, or prospective clients, to present options with the hopes create additional business.
Some hire administrative assistance to help but the salary is normally taken from an insurance broker’s income. It is usually only the seasoned veterans (who may earn over $100, 500 annually) who hire help, instead of those relatively new to the industry (who often earn about $40, 1000 annually).
The health insurance broker functions since the liaison between insurance company and policyholder, but the nature of the industry will be changing. Access to the Internet is available to a great number of Americans and, with on the internet access, consumers are more aware than ever before of the healthcare options available to them. This means that any potential client, if they have done their research, will be aware of a number of policy offerings. Because not every broker is licensed by every firm, a broker may not be able to offer the policy that interests a given client. This particular places the burden on the broker to understand all policies available and to be able to present comparable offerings to those they may not be able to sell.