November 2, 2023

Searching for health insurance isn’t always easy. To find the perfect match, you’ll need to take time to compare plans, deductibles, and policy providers. While shopping for health insurance, you’ll likely connect with a health insurance broker or health insurance agent. While they have similar jobs and purposes, they work for two different parties.

An insurance agent works for the companies they represent, and an insurance broker works for the client. There are advantages and disadvantages to working with either, so it’s good to know the differences when exploring policies for yourself and your family.

Here’s how a health insurance broker and agent differ and some of the key differences you’ll need to consider.

What Does a Health Insurance Broker Do?

An insurance broker works for the client. They help individuals shop for insurance policies provided by various companies at no additional cost. When shopping for insurance, you’ll explain your basic needs and budget.

An insurance broker will help source options that are within your budget and align with your health needs. Their job is to represent you and help you shop for a variety of dental, vision, and medical plans. Once you find a plan that you want to buy, the insurance broker will make a commission off of the sale.

What Does a Health Insurance Agent Do?

Health insurance agents work for the company. Most health insurance agents work for at least one or a few companies at once. They are the experts on the different plans and companies they represent. Which means they can answer any questions or concerns you have in real-time.

They can also enroll you into the policy of your choice. If you have a strong understanding of the type of policy you need and the company you want to purchase from, a health insurance agent is an ideal choice. There are two different types of agents.

Captive Agents

Captive agents work for a single company. They only provide products and services that the company has to offer. Even though their offerings are limited, captive agents tend to have a better understanding of the different plans.

They are the experts on the plans and the company they represent, which means they will help you guide you to choose the best option for your needs.

Independent Agents

Most independent agents are not tied to a single company. Since they have the freedom to work with a few different insurance carriers, it can help them provide their customers with various options.

Independent agents will help you explore a variety of plans and provide you with expert recommendations based on your needs and budget.

Main Differences Between an Agent and Broker

Insurance AgentInsurance Broker 
Works for the insurance company<Works for the client
Sells insuranceDoesn’t sell insurance
Works for the companyWorks for you
Can enroll you in your policyWorks with an insurance companies that can enroll you in a policy
Gains a salary or commissionWorks solely for commission
Free to useFree to use but may charge broker fees

Should I Choose a Broker or an Agent?

When deciding if an insurance broker or agent is right for you, there are a few key differences you’ll want to consider to ensure that you find the perfect fit for your needs.

Time Constraints 

Too busy to shop around and look for the perfect insurance solution? A broker is probably a more suitable option. An insurance broker will help you prepare and stay informed about different policies and procedures.

They’ll navigate the complexities of insurance applications and keep you well-informed throughout the process.

Need Help Choosing a Policy

If you aren’t sure which policy is right for you, your family, or your lifestyle, you’ll want to schedule an appointment with an insurance broker. A broker will provide a comprehensive breakdown of the different policies offered by various companies.

This will ensure you find the most suitable option for your health needs. This will give you time to review policies that align with your needs and help you make meaningful adjustments that align with your needs.

You Know What Policy You Want

If you already know what policy you want, choose an insurance agent. Since insurance agents only work with one or a few companies, the policies available may be limited.

However, if you know what policy you want and the company you want to work with, it can streamline the process. An insurance agent can enroll you in the policy and keep the process moving.

Picking a Health Insurance Broker

A health insurance broker represents you. They provide an unbiased opinion based on the options you have available and are there to provide expert guidance through the shopping phase.

While they can’t enroll you in the policy, they can tailor the process to your personal needs to ensure you find the best possible fit. Working with an insurance broker is an ideal choice for individuals who are open to different plans, policies, and businesses.

Picking a Health Insurance Agent

Health Insurance agents are a top choice for individuals looking for in-depth knowledge about the specific plans and policies a company provides.

They are the experts on the policy and can provide you with guidance and advice to ensure you find the most suitable and cost-effective option that aligns with your needs.

Let Live Health Find You A Plan That Works for You

Whether you think a health insurance broker or an agent is the best fit for you, we’re here to help. At Live Health, we provide access to various health insurance brokers. With our platform, you can find an affordable solution that aligns with your needs and discover the best possible rates for your coverage needs.

Explore Live Health today to get started.

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