Should I use a broker to get health insurance?
Wondering if you need to use a broker to get health insurance? In short: It’s personal.
You don’t have to use a health insurance broker to get health insurance if you are looking to buy Obamacare from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace. The Marketplace lets anyone who is eligible shop for insurance on their own, without any intermediary or health insurance agent. Some people might like using a broker to help them compare plans to determine what is the best value and coverage for you and your family, but you can also purchase a health insurance plan without a broker by browsing health plans and seeing your potential cost savings here.
Other resources for shopping the Marketplace
There are other resources available to help you make these evaluations. Shopping the Marketplace through HealthSherpa has no additional costs and will generate a custom plan recommendation for you based on your budget, income, and medical needs. Grab our free step-by-step guide to enrolling in Marketplace health insurance here. The HealthSherpa Consumer Advocate Team is made up of licensed insurance experts. This team is a phone call away to help you find the best plan and understand your potential cost savings. You can reach the HealthSherpa Consumer Advocate Team at (872) 228-2549
When to shop the Marketplace
You can get Marketplace health insurance (Obamacare) during Open Enrollment Period, which runs from November 1 to January 15. Outside of that time, you can only get a Marketplace plan if you have a Qualifying Life Event, such as losing your health insurance, getting married, or having a child.
When you must use a broker
You only must use a health insurance broker or agent if you want to purchase coverage outside of the Marketplace.
In other words, you’ll only need a broker or agent if you want to buy a non-ACA compliant plan. To put it even more simply, if you want a non-Obamacare plan, you’ll need a broker.
You may or may not be able to purchase health insurance for yourself outside of the Marketplace in your state. You will likely need a health insurance broker to do so. A health insurance broker contracts with various insurance companies to sell plans. And this includes non-Obamacare ones.
You won’t qualify for any cost savings or subsidies if you buy a non-Marketplace plan, though. These plans also may not offer the same kinds of consumers protections as ACA plans. For example, many will not provide coverage for essential health benefits or pre-existing conditions. They also often do not have a maximum limit on your annual out of pocket costs.
It’s particularly important to read the fine print when you are buying a non-Marketplace plan.
Whether you are buying Marketplace insurance or private insurance, reputable agents do not charge a fee for their services, as they earn a commission on the plans they sell.
If you’re interested in enrolling in a health insurance plan from the Marketplace, you can shop for plans and compare prices here, call a Consumer Advocate at (872) 228-2549, or enter your zip code below to see available plans in your area.