Americans Deserve Access to Professionally Licensed and Trained Health Insurance Agents, Brokers and Consultants. As Congress considers meaningful proposals for national health reform, one key test of public approval for any sustainable and equitable reforms will be ensuring that all Americans have the ability to choose the health insurance plan that best fits their needs. Another key test will be ensuring continued access to the services of independent – and state-licensed – agents, brokers and consultants who serve as American consumers’ counselors and advocates.
Professionally licensed health insurance agents, brokers and consultants provide valuable services to individuals and employers to obtain prices for coverage that best fits their needs. Licensed specialists design benefit plans, explain coordination issues of public and private benefits to individuals/employees, and solve problems that may occur once coverage is in place. They are also at the forefront of helping to design and implement cutting-edge health promotion and wellness programs for employers-a focus that everyone agrees is key to combating increasing health care costs.
Agents and brokers are subject to rigorous licensing and continuing education requirements and serve a proud and important role as advocates for their clients. They help gain coverage for and service the benefit needs for millions of Americans.
Some contend that agents and brokers add unnecessary expense to the cost of health insurance, and that a government-run entity can substitute for the role and value of professional benefit specialists. However, the record clearly indicates that government bureaucrats are ill-equipped to provide the personal service, timely objective information, guidance and accountability that professionally trained and licensed agents and brokers deliver on a daily basis.
Whether issues involve compliance with or navigating options on state and federal laws, regulations and issues (including tax decisions, HIPAA, ERISA, COBRA, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Nondiscrimination Act, etc.), professionally licensed and trained agents, brokers and consultants are there every day as consumer advocates and provide peace of mind to millions of employers, workers, individuals and families.
White Paper (PDF)