01 March 2010

Health insurance brokers: Consumers' friend

Health insurance brokers, while essentially insurance sales reps, are nevertheless a consumer's friend in the sorting through of policies and choices. I've talked to a broker for the first time this year. In fact, I didn't even know they existed until this year.

As a boomer woman, my knowledge of individual-purchased insurance was zip. I recall my brothers purchasing "major medical" in their youth. And self-employed relatives lamenting the hard choices they had to make about coverage. So, when the topic came up for us recently, I had no experience in purchasing insurance. We have always had the guidance of employers' HR departments.

An Internet reference to insurance brokers caught my eye as I scoured news articles and blogs about potential sources. (This, realizing that heath care reform via Congress would not be timely for us.) The concept is simple: an insurance broker represents multiple companies (say, a dozen) and works with consumers to find the right match. That may include a recommendation to apply to more than one company in order to compare policies and costs and eligibility, too.

I selected an insurance broker in Houston based solely on the web site. The best surprise so far: help in finding dental insurance independent of health insurance. A little more than $40/month for the two of us. All preventive care covered; 50% of big stuff covered. A good buy or only moderate? Doesn't really matter to me. What matters is maintaining an insurance that I know influences our behavior in having twice-a-year check-ups.

© 2010 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (http://www.marybold.com/, http://www.boldproductions.com/, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

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