Okay, so we know insurance is a source of stress and angst for people everywhere. Am I in the right plan? Am I overpaying? Will our coverage be enough if something terrible happens?
If you’ve asked yourself these questions about your health insurance plan, then you are definitely not alone. It’s extremely difficult to navigate the sea of insurance options, plans, prices, and companies- it can be almost impossible to go it alone.
But even if you have someone to help you, how can you be sure that they have your best interest at heart? If you are working with a captive agent, we’d be willing to bet that they usually don’t.
So, what is a captive agent? A captive agent is an insurance salesperson who works for one insurance carrier and, therefore, can only offer products from said carrier, nowhere else. These are your typical big-name insurance companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield, HAP, or Humana. If you’re working with one of these companies, don’t worry, they all offer good products that meet health insurance needs. However, the agents representing these brands can only give you the price and coverage quotes of the products they have access to- which means only one carrier option. Aside from that, sometimes there are incentives given to agents for selling a certain product. This product might not be the best option for you, but if it gets your captive agent on a trip to the Bahamas they won’t tell you that.
This is why we ALWAYS recommend that you select your health insurance plan with the guidance and help of a non-captive advisor. Non-captive providers can select the best coverage for you at the best price from an infinite list of carriers. Not only that, but they can explain thoroughly the details of your plan and stay with you for years to come.
Try calling into find your captive insurance agent at their home office and we can almost guarantee you’ll be pushed through an automated phone system. Select a non-captive provider and you can access them directly anytime you want for questions or help regarding your plan.
Having a non-captive provider not only saves you money, but it saves you time and worry. A non-captive agent is not tied down to one carrier or persuaded by incentives to sell products like captive agents are. They only select the best plan at the best price to suit each client’s individual needs.
Okay, so let’s recap the primary differences between captive and non-captive insurance advisors:
- Flexibility– Non-captive agents have the flexibility to select from a wide variety of carriers and plans, not just one. This means they have a much higher chance of finding the perfect coverage/price for you.
- Accessibility- Instead of calling into a major corporation and going through the run-around, you can more quickly and easily access your non-captive advisor year round. Get a bill that doesn’t make sense? Give your non-captive advisor a call and they’ll be sure to help.
- Dedicated Resource- Even if you aren’t sure you’re ready to buy yet, a non-captive provider will give you information about the plans, health care laws, and policies whenever you need help. Think of your non-captive advisor as a dedicated resource for all insurance questions.
- Fluidity- Whereas many captive providers want you to think you’re stuck in your plan, there can sometimes be a way out if rates get to high (especially with Medicare supplement insurance). The ability you have to move if your plan doesn’t work out as well as you thought, is a benefit only offered by non-captive providers.
- Freedom- The freedom to live your life without stressing about your health insurance plan and how it affects your bank account, is something that can only be reached with non-captive agents.
For these reasons, we highly recommend you seek a non-captive provider to be your health insurance guide. Your wallet will thank you.