Health insurance brokers are like real estate agents. Just as a real estate agent can help you find the perfect property, an insurance broker can set you up with the perfect benefits plan for your company.
Health insurance brokers are a bit different, though. Your broker is a licensed industry expert who will do the research and legwork to find a solution. While brokers do often get a commission on your transaction, their job is to educate guide you to through the highly complex process of choosing health insurance coverage. Think “advisor” rather than “sales person.”
These independent agents are not tied to one specific company; instead, they’re focused on finding the plans that suit your needs and can work with multiple agencies at once.
Is a Broker Right for Me?
If you are a small business, or new to buying insurance, the answer is most likely yes.
According to the National Small Business Association, 80 percent of small to mid-sized companies say they’ll buy insurance through a broker this year. Other surveys have shown that companies now heavily rely on health insurance brokers as a means to control healthcare costs.
What Will A Broker Do For Me?
A good broker doesn’t just find the right insurance for your business. They’ll take care of the day to day tasks involved in implementing and maintaining an employee benefits program by finding a good wellness vendor.
Many brokers will:
- Help resolve any billing or claims issues with the insurance company.
- Negotiate renewing rates for you.
- Handle all of the administrative tasks of enrolling and removing people from your plan.
- Assist in explaining your health insurance plan to the staff.
- Manage your plan throughout the year, and check in with you when it’s time to make changes.
Great! Now how Do I Find a Broker?
There are a few ways to find a broker. You can ask for recommendations from other businesses in your industry or personal referrals from peers.
Trade associations will also frequently have recommendations. For example, the National Association of Health Underwriters members database lists all of the insurance agents and brokers in your area. HealthCare.gov also lists insurance brokers through their Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP).
When looking for a broker, add these traits to your must-have list:
- Stays current on all licensing and professional certifications
- Experience setting up insurance policies for similar companies
- Knows their way around tax credits and legal compliance
- Good personality fit for your company culture
- Great communication skills to help put your team at ease
Curious about how else you can reduce rising healthcare costs? Learn about how wellness benefits can affect your bottom line: