Health insurance is essential for financial, physical, and emotional health, so we’ve been concerned lately about the difficulty people are having finding the right plan. The good news? It’s a lot easier with an independent health insurance broker on your side.

Today, we’d like to answer a simple but elusive question: How do I find a reputable health insurance broker? We’ll explain the types of professionals who sell insurance and how to find a broker who works in the sole interest of you, the client. How common are conflicts of interest? Are you offered real choice across carriers or a curated menu from one? Who’s on your side, and who’s on the side of the insurance companies? Let’s get to the bottom of it.

What Is a Health Insurance Broker?

Health insurance brokers are licensed professionals who help their clients—individuals and small businesses—navigate the health insurance landscape. From comparing and offering plans to troubleshooting the claims process, the right broker can ensure you get your health insurance coverage at the most affordable price.

What Independent Insurance Brokers Offer Clients.

An independent insurance broker can help you determine what you need out of your health insurance policy. Pretty simple, right? We ensure that you’re covered for the following services and needs:

  • Accessing a specialized physician or facility
  • Special priorities such as reproductive healthcare or in-home care
  • Specialty drugs or services
  • Covering other family members

An independent insurance broker can help you with the following key items:

  • Research the marketplace for health plans that meet your needs and budget
  • Help you with the enrollment process
  • Support you through any complications after enrollment, such as filing claims
  • Review your options annually to ensure any new needs are met

Because brokers work across a spectrum of health insurance carriers, we hold no allegiance to any one insurance company. As trusted advisors, health insurance brokers only suggest a particular plan after confirming your healthcare priorities.

Why Should I Use an Independent Broker to Get Health Insurance?

Experience and Expertise

A reputable health insurance broker will have extensive knowledge and experience with private and federal marketplaces, premium tax credits, and creative solutions that mix and match healthcare products to get the best deal possible, whatever your situation is. The health insurance industry is complex, and so are the solutions.

What’s the advantage of working with an independent broker?

Here’s the answer, and I know I sound like a broken record: independent brokers can help you purchase health insurance through a variety of different carriers, including marketplace plans, your employer’s group plan, Medicare, private insurance, and, perhaps most importantly, with alternatives and compliments to traditional health insurance.

Choice, in the world of healthcare, is happiness.

Relationships and Reputation

So, a good broker will come to you with policies from multiple insurance companies, ensuring you have a comprehensive selection of health insurance plans and products to choose from.

In addition to working with many different companies, your broker should also have positive reviews from the local community. Make sure he or she can clearly articulate how they provide value to their clients.

Transparency and Trustworthiness

Trust is essential to a productive relationship with your broker. Independent brokers earn your trust by connecting with insurance companies across the marketplace without bias. A broker should be transparent and openly discuss additional costs, paid commissions, and any potential conflicts of interest so that you know you’re getting a fair and honest deal.

Remember, Brokers Work For You. Captive Agents Don’t.

Health insurance agents and independent brokers are licensed professionals who sell health insurance, but we do not share the same values or motivations.

While a captive health insurance agent represents a company and sells only that company’s products, an independent health insurance broker is typically a small business owner like you or someone you know. They’re part of the community, and the service you receive should reflect those values. I titled this article in the form of a question: “How do I find a reputable health insurance broker?” Well, to be “reputable” in any business where you represent clients, you should be looking out for your client’s interest only. Period.

Do I Need a Broker to Buy Health Insurance?

There’s nothing stopping an individual or business from purchasing a health insurance policy without a broker. It’s just not a good idea. Think about your area of expertise. Are your knowledge and experience attributes that lead to better outcomes for people who come to you for help?

Often, misconceptions deter people from seeking a broker’s help. For example, it’s a common myth that brokers make insurance more expensive. In reality, we find plans that save you money in the long run. Brokers are not middlemen. We’re deal-makers.

Let’s talk about some commonsense steps you can take to ensure your health insurance broker is experienced, motivated, and valuable to you, your business, or both.

Want to Find a Quality Health Insurance Broker? Follow These Four Steps.

1. Research: Start by searching online for brokers in your area. Websites like the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) are a valuable resource.

2. Check Credentials: Ensure the broker is licensed and registered. Many states have online databases you can use to check.

3. Read Reviews: Look for client feedback on Google and other popular platforms. Pay attention to how the broker responds to feedback.

4. Interview Prospects: Prepare a list of questions. Here are four essential questions you can start with:

  • “Are you a captive agent or an independent broker?”
    Clarify if the professional is limited to a specific health insurance company (captive agents) or can offer various options from multiple health insurance carriers (independent brokers).
  • “How long have you been an insurance professional?”
    While newer agents can be skilled, seasoned professionals more often bring a depth of knowledge and can show proof of results.
  • “What is your service after we sign up for the policy?”
    Ensure that the broker will be accessible for questions, claims assistance, and ongoing support after you enroll in a policy.
  • “What other products do you offer?”
    Asking about the range of insurance products and health insurance companies they’ve worked with can provide valuable insights into their experience, knowledge, and creativity.

Why Choose Fredrick Insurance Brokers?

Fredrick Insurance is a family operation. As a team of local, independent insurance brokers, we get to know you first and then recommend healthcare options that fit, exploring a wide range of policy options from all companies and carriers. It’s a long-established practice that works. Neighborly service and honesty are part of the package.

So, let’s get you on a health plan that’s affordable and flexible. Sure, there’s some complexity. But after all, what’s a local, independent broker for?

Click here for an in-depth consultation and quote. We look forward to meeting with you.

– Katherine Clark & John Fredrick,
Fredrick Insurance Brokers, DFW