Ask an expert: 6 things to know about health insurance

How an agent can help and how you can benefit.

By: Sanford Health News .

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A Q&A with Jennie Nickles, executive vice president at Great Plains Brokerage

1) Why should I work with an agent?

There is a lot you need to know and understand when choosing which insurance option is best for your health care needs. An agent can assist you every step of the way. Agents are licensed in the insurance industry, have extensive training and education on plans and provider networks, and best of all, they are available at no cost to you.

2) Will I be able to manage purchasing health insurance without an agent?

You certainly aren’t required to purchase an individual plan with an agent, but we highly recommend it. Comparing plans from one insurance company to another is like comparing apples to oranges. Purchasing health insurance is something you should take very seriously so you don’t have unexpected costs throughout the year since you cannot switch plans or carriers at any time.

3) Where can I find a licensed health insurance agent?

Sanford Health Plan is happy to get you in contact with a local insurance agent in your community. In addition, you can also access an agent finder tool on the Marketplace at healthcare.gov, as well as to see which agents in your area are available to assist you.

4) Does it cost money to use an agent’s services?

No, purchasing health insurance through an agent does not cost you anything. You will pay the same monthly premium whether you purchase your health insurance on your own or through a licensed insurance agent.

5) Can they help me find a Medicare plan?

Yes, agents may choose to specialize in certain product lines like Medicare. Our team can assist you in finding a local insurance agent in your area who can help you navigate through the Medicare enrollment process.

6) How long does an insurance agent work with you?

Health insurance agents can work with you through all phases of your life. Not only will they help you select a plan based on your needs, but they will also ensure your providers are in the network. Having an insurance agent allows you the option to work directly with them through any questions or concerns you have throughout the year with your coverage. And when it comes time for renewal, they will be there to help make a recommendation on what you should do based on any life changes.

Posted In Health Plan