There has never been a greater need for health insurance brokers to understand their industry as there is right now. With the world emerging from coronavirus and new health insurance plans reflecting that reality, employers are relying on their brokers to help rein in healthcare costs. This emerging responsibility is unlikely to go away anytime soon.
According to Digital Journal, recently released data suggests that some 83% of America's health insurance brokers say their clients are relying on them to keep healthcare costs under control. Employers are relying on them to find the best prices on insurance plans capable of saving them and their employees thousands of dollars.
Variety Is the Answer
Employers worrying about the cost of their health insurance plans is nothing new. Neither is the expectation that health insurance brokers will help them contain costs. What is different now is the added burden of coronavirus and its associated costs. People are genuinely scared of catching the virus, getting sick, and not being able to pay the out-of-pocket costs of medical care. Lost income is a concern as well.
What is the answer? From the broker's standpoint it is variety. In other words, a larger variety of products gives brokers more opportunities to find the right benefits package for each client. The best way to increase a broker's variety is to work with a general agency like Dallas-based BenefitMall.
BenefitMall represents more than 125 carriers, giving brokers a lot of different products to choose from. More choices introduces competition by encouraging carriers to offer their best pricing. In addition, BenefitMall offer state-of-the-art online technology they say helps brokers contain costs.
Health Insurance Beyond Coronavirus
The previously mentioned research also suggests that some 40% of Americans have delayed seeking medical care over the last year due to concerns of being exposed to coronavirus. As they begin returning to their doctors' offices this year, many speculate how much healthcare will ultimately cost them in 2021.
The Digital Journal says consumers are finally coming to realize they can compare healthcare costs before receiving care. They do not have to settle for one provider's service and pricing structure. Such awareness can help consumers better understand insurance above and beyond current coronavirus concerns. To that end, coronavirus may offer a silver lining here.
Shopping around helps consumers understand how much services truly cost. And once they know the financial bottom line, they are more likely to be careful about what they spend. Employers and insurance carriers both benefit in that cost-conscious consumers ultimately keep a lid on pricing.
New Services for Brokers
What does the new awareness mean to brokers? It means an opportunity to offer new services designed to assist employers and employees as they shop around for cheaper services. Imagine a broker working with a carrier and healthcare provider to offer insurance subscribers substantially lower prices on a litany of tests and lab procedures.
Another option for brokers is to connect employers with healthcare advocates for the purposes of making more affordable services available to more employees. Any such relationships could ultimately bring down the cost of health insurance by reducing what employees actually spend on their care.
The entire world is changing around us. In the healthcare arena, there is a renewed interest in reining in costs at the consumer level. People just cannot continue paying ever higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs. Neither can employers.
Health insurance brokers are in a position to help by offering new services and representing larger numbers of carriers. How will they respond in the coming months and years? Time will tell.