Is it cheaper to get health insurance through an agent?
Wondering if it is cheaper to get health insurance through an agent? Here’s what you need to know.
It is not cheaper to get health insurance through an agent instead of shopping the Affordable Care Act’s Marketplace and comparing prices yourself.
Agents vs. brokers
First, it’s important to understand the difference between a health insurance broker and a health insurance agent.
A broker will work with multiple insurance companies to sell health plans to consumers. Often, this includes those offered through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
However, a health insurance agent typically only works with one insurance company. Then, they only offer the plans that one insurance company sells.
When it comes to shopping the Affordable Care Act’s Marketplace, an agent or broker won’t be able to offer you cheaper rates than what you would be able to get on your own by shopping through HealthCare.gov or HealthSherpa. Consumers can often get affordable health insurance directly through the Marketplace. Whether you shop the Marketplace on your own or with a broker, you’ll see the cost savings eligible to you. These cost savings on Obamacare plans are due to the premium tax credits and subsidies available to those who qualify. As a result, even those who shop the Marketplace themselves have access to very affordable health insurance. In fact, most people we enrolled at HealthSherpa last year paid just $35 per month or less. Grab our free step-by-step guide to enrolling in Marketplace health insurance here.
When to shop the Marketplace
You can get Marketplace health insurance during Open Enrollment Period, which runs from November 1 to January 15. If you want to get health insurance outside of that period (known as Special Enrollment Period), you need a qualifying life event, such as losing your health insurance or having a child.
Through HealthSherpa, you can shop health insurance plans, compare prices, and see what subsidies you’re eligible. You can also call a Consumer Advocate at (872) 228-2549, or enter your zip code below to see available plans in your area.