Individuals 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 a good “independent agent” or “health insurance professional. ” This article seeks to explain on who the health insurance broker will be, what they do and, ultimately, what part they play in the selection of health insurance policies.
A health insurance broker’s work is to provide clients with the most appropriate health insurance policy. Authorized by particular insurance companies to act on their behalf, the agent essentially guides clients through the procedure for selecting a policy for themselves or even for employees. A broker makes his living (and demographics show the particular broker is usually a “he”) off income – sometimes as much as 15%. The particular rates quoted by broker or even 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 would collect. Some states even require the use of insurance brokers.
In most instances, an individual seeking to be a licensed health insurance broker must take a series of courses after that take and pass one or more exams. Once licensed, a state or employer may require health insurance brokers to take additional classes. Because policies and laws and regulations change constantly, a broker involved in continuing education will be more current on applicable regulation and guidelines and, ideally, much better prepared to assist clients. Each state makes its own laws to control the practices of insurance brokers. While no two states possess the same law, increasingly states are usually recognizing licenses granted in other claims. 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 offers transferred into the industry, usually from the sales position in another healthcare field – hospital equipment product sales, for example. An individual with a sales background tends to be comfortable with the demands from the job – like providing exceptional customer services, working to maintain a customer base, and living on a commission-based salary.
While many come into the health treatment broker industry having worked professionally in other fields, some do enter the field directly after getting an university diploma. Those coming straight from college probably have majored in business or sales.
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In some cases, health insurance brokerage houses will directly mentor undergraduates – and even offer tuition assistance or loan pay-back plans – provided the undergraduate agrees to work for the brokerage house for a pre-determined number of years.
Active health insurance brokers have the option of signing up for the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) and the umbrella organization of the American Insurance Association (AIA). Both organizations have ethical recommendations that must be followed to maintain membership within good standing. A health insurance broker must divide a typical day in between two general tasks: meeting with present and potential clients and fulfilling management duties. The broker acts as a real estate agent on behalf of the insurance companies in his or even her portfolio, so administrative responsibilities include processing claims, cutting bank checks and delivering payment. The conferences will be with current clients, to ensure they are being kept abreast of most changes or trends, or prospective clients, to present options with the hopes of generating additional business.
Some hire administrative assistance to help but the salary is generally taken from an insurance broker’s income. It is usually only the seasoned veterans (who may earn over $100, 1000 annually) who hire help, instead of those relatively new to the industry (who often earn about $40, 000 annually).
The health insurance broker functions since the liaison between insurance company and policyholder, but the nature of the industry is definitely changing. Access to the Internet is available to a huge number of Americans and, with online access, consumers are more aware than ever before of the healthcare options available to them. This means that any potential client, if they have completed their research, will be aware of a variety of policy offerings. Because not every realtor is licensed by every business, a broker may not be able to offer the policy that interests a given client. This particular places the burden on the broker to be familiar with all policies available and to have the ability to present comparable offerings to those they may not be able to sell.