We think the choice is clear. Always turn to a Broker over a Navigator when buying individual health insurance — on or off the Exchange.
What is the difference between a Broker and a Navigator?
- Navigators are short-term contract workers hired — with or without any experience with health insurance — for the purpose of explaining the existence of the Exchange to people shopping for insurance on the Exchange. They will be trained and certified by the state or federal government, but will not be licensed. A Navigator CAN NOT:
- recommend a plan for you
- enroll you in a health insurance plan
- discuss plans that are offered outside of the Exchange. When you work with a Navigator, you are limited to plans sold on your state’s Exchange.
- Brokers are insurance professionals who meet state licensing standards and rules, pass a licensing exam, comply with Continuing Education (CE) requirements, demonstrate financial responsibility, maintain professional liability insurance, and meet standards set by licensed insurance carriers.
What can a Broker do?
First and foremost — a Broker offers individualized, professional service from a licensed, trusted adviser. In addition, a Broker can:
- Explain, compare, and review qualified health plans, including the different levels of coverage — on or off the Exchange
- Recommend a plan that meets your needs
- Provide local knowledge of networks and providers – particularly important as we see provider networks shrink
- Help with enrollment application, either on or off the Exchange
- Assist with eligibility verification and determination
- Explain subsidy and affordability programs
- Explain technical terms like grace period, inconsistency period, deductibles, co-insurance, etc.
- Provide ongoing service — life change events, job changes, change in income, claims service, billing, etc.
Can I get insurance on my state Exchange through a Broker?
Yes, absolutely. In fact, we recommend you enlist the help of a broker like Virginia Medical Plans when shopping on the exchange; it’s going to be complex and anything but straightforward.
Will it cost me more money to use a broker?
No. Absolutely not!
When selecting and purchasing health insurance for you and your family, choose an adviser who is experienced and licensed.
Give our office a call. We are licensed in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.