Brokers exist in lots of professions: Insurance, finance, real estate, and more. However, health insurance brokers are a different stripe altogether. Their job is to educate and advise you on your plan selection to help you lower your risk and make wise decisions. Whether it’s a great network, affordable price, or something else, they use your qualifications as their guiding light. They don’t have to be married to a particular company or plan type, since their goal is finding you exactly what you need. While they do make a commission, insurance brokers are typically independent agencies who work with multiple insurance companies.
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Insurance brokers represent the insurance buyer – you the consumer or business owner. They are appointed or contracted with multiple insurance companies. They have the flexibility to discuss many options and companies that meet your needs and budget. Insurance brokers have been around as long as insurance agents. In many cases people will refer to insurance brokers as independent insurance agents.
An agent or broker is a person or business who can help you apply for help paying for coverage and enroll in a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) through the Marketplace. They can make specific recommendations about which plan you should enroll in. They’re also licensed and regulated by states and typically get payments, or commissions, from health insurers for enrolling a consumer into an issuer's plans. Some brokers may only be able to sell plans from specific health insurers.
To sell insurance products on behalf of a particular insurer, an agency must have an appointment with that insurer. An appointment is a contractual agreement that outlines the specific products the agency may sell. It also specifies the commissions the insurer will pay for each product. The contract usually describes the agency's binding authority, meaning its authority to initiate a policy on the insurer’s behalf. The agent may have permission to bind some types of coverage but not others.