Individual Health Insurance

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Buying Private Health Insurance, broker or direct?

I need to purchase a private Individual Health Insurance plan. I am a little confused if I should use a broker or just go direct. There seems to be so many plans out there. I live in Las Vegas, NV. I have received quote both ways and there price seems to be around the same thing so I don’t know if there are added benefits from using a broker as to going direct, anyone have any experiences?

You may be using the term “broker” interchangeably with the term “agent.” These are two very different things, but it’s OK, we all do it. A true broker will charge you a fee for their services, while an agent will be paid only by the carrier. So answering your question as written, I would recommend doing your own research and going direct.

However, I would instead use an agent or producer as they are sometimes called. This person will act as your advocate at no additional cost to you. They get paid when you pay your bill, so they have an incentive to keep you happy. They will usually audit your policy every 12-18 months to make sure you are still on the best plan for your needs, and keep you updated about new programs available.

I would also recommend using an independent agent rather than a captive agent. This will allow them to search the entire marketplace for the best deals and coverage, rather than be limited to just one carrier.

You do have to be careful though. Ask your agent up front to ensure they do not charge any admin fees or anything else on top of the premium the carrier charges.

edit to clarify. I did not mean to imply that a broker would not be paid by the carrier, but instead that a client has no responsibility to pay an agent directly. I can see how that would be confusing in my original answer, however.

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