Hi, and welcome back to another blog post here at Policy Advantage Insurance Services. Today we’re explaining the concept of the insurance broker, and how a broker can benefit you as an individual or business.

As explained in one of our past blog posts: “5 Reasons to Give Yourself the Advantage,” we described the different ways that our clients can really benefit from the services of a health benefits broker. Your broker can be a very valuable asset.

So, instead of repeating what we went over in that blog post, we’re going to conceptualize the broker concept in this one. When we say conceptualize, we mean we’ll put it into everyday terms for you.

The first important thing to understand is the actual definition of “broker.” Here it is:

A broker is one that negotiates insurance contracts on behalf of the insured, therefore representing the client’s interest, not the insurer’s.

With that definition on-hand, you now understand that brokers are working in the interest of the client, and not the insurance companies. Two of the biggest goals of an insurance broker:

  1. Help the client save money.
  2. Help the client improve coverage.

If we can achieve both in a single case (whether at the individual or group level), we’ve hit a home run. It’s what we try to do for our clients every single time.

Now, we’ll move on to the conceptualization of the term “broker.” Our goal is to make it familiar to you, by comparing it to everyday things.

So, let’s keep it simple: a broker is really an “insurance store.” It’s just like any other store where you purchase goods or services.

For example, a sporting goods store will carry items from Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, Louisville Slugger, Rawlings, and others for their customers to choose from. Or, a grocery store will carry items from Quaker Oats, Chiquita Bananas, Kellogg’s, Frito-Lay, and many other food brands. A customer goes to these stores, and shops for the items that they want.

An insurance broker is no different. Effectively, a brokerage is a place where customers can shop the different insurance brands like: Anthem Blue Cross, Kaiser Permanente, Cigna, Aflac, HealthNet, and many others. There can also be accessibility to the new state health insurance exchanges (ie: Covered California) through brokers.

A brokerage is a place where selections can be made based on preferences like:

  1. Type of coverage.
  2. Cost of coverage.
  3. Network access.
  4. Coverage and costs that fit your business’ (or family’s) specific needs.

You’re able to “one-stop-shop” for the coverage that fits you best. An insurance brokerage customer also gets the added value of licensed professionals that can assist with specific questions when selecting coverage (persons with the RHU® or REBC® designations can also be very valuable to you).

Thanks for stopping by today, we hope you found our information to be valuable. Check back at our blog to get further information about funding healthcare. Also, please share with your friends, clients, colleagues, and family. Here are a few of our other information outlets:

Home Page: http://www.PolicyAdvantage.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/PolicyAdvantage

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PolicyAdvantage

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/PolicyAdvantage

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There are a lot of great reasons to put a health benefits broker to work for yourself or your company these days. As health insurance planning (and the health benefits industry in general) continues to grow more complex… having an informed, knowledgeable, and up-to-date adviser on your team can be a really big advantage.

Here are 5 great reasons to “give yourself the advantage” today:

  1. Healthcare Reform is Fast Approaching: The major portions of healthcare reform (ObamaCare, ACA, the Affordable Care Act, or whatever you want to call it) are quickly approaching. We can’t emphasize this enough. Although it will take years to implement (and there will no-doubt be changes), you’ll want to make sure that you have a good understanding about what is coming up in 2014 (and beyond). Whether you’re an individual or business, if you “miss the boat,” it could end up costing you a lot of money. Contact us with questions today. **Update 1/1/2014: Healthcare reform is here.
  2. Health Insurance and Health Benefits are Complex: As the health insurance and health benefits “system” continues to grow larger, navigating this landscape can become an increasingly burdensome chore for the typical consumer. We’ve got great news for you: we know this industry well, and can help you navigate it. There’s not a better feeling than having an informed friend on your side, helping you with the ins-and-outs. Just check our growing list of customer testimonials.
  3. Save Money and Improve Coverage: Yes, you heard that right. Individuals and business owners take note: with just a few simple adjustments to your current program, you may be able to improve your coverage, and save money at the same time. How’s that for a home run? Having someone in your corner (who knows the industry well) can help you accomplish this. Consider it a “tune-up” for your health insurance program, free of charge. Example: a minor adjustment with a tax incentive here, then a simple adjustment to a physician network there… and boom. You’ve got better coverage at a cheaper price. Granted, improvement doesn’t happen every single time, but in many cases, it’s possible. Contact us to help you look it over.
  4. Valuable, Up-to-Date, Relevant Information: This is one of our big areas of emphasis at Policy Advantage Insurance Services. We know this industry changes. Sometimes quickly. We stay up-to-date with the information that we provide using a number of different strategies. The two big ones: A) Professional Designations (ie: the RHU®/Registered Health Underwriter® and REBC®/Registered Employee Benefits Consultant are the undisputed professional credentials in our industry). B) Information from our partnerships and affiliations (ie: insurance companies, third party administrators, and educational institutions). Companies like Kaiser Permanente, Cigna, United Healthcare, and others are constantly providing us with fresh information that we get out to our client base and readers. We take great pride in providing you with up-to-date info.
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  1. Insurance Company Choices and Options: With a broker, you don’t just choose from one insurance company, you get to choose from many. A broker is like an “insurance store.” This can be very important for a number of different reasons. Physician and hospital networks vary from insurance company to insurance company. Insurance premiums may also vary. The structure and the way that managed care organizations (or MCOs) operate  can also vary considerably. These are all good reasons why it’s a good idea to give yourself some choices when it comes to health insurance companies.

As you can see above, you can “give yourself the advantage” today. Our number one priority are our clients and customers, and helping you navigate the complex world of health insurance and health benefits.

Thanks for stopping by, we hope you found our information to be valuable. Check back at our blog to get further information about funding healthcare. Also, please share with your friends, clients, colleagues, and family. Here are a few of our other information outlets:

Home Page: http://www.PolicyAdvantage.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/PolicyAdvantage

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PolicyAdvantage

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/PolicyAdvantage

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/PolicyAdvantage

Word Press: http://www.policyadvantage.wordpress.com