How an Insurance Agent or Broker Can Help You Sign Up for Obamacare


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How an Insurance Agent or Broker Can Help You Sign Up for Obamacare

If you’re stymied by your health care choices under Obamacare -- or if you’re having a difficult time completing an application -- there are many ways to get help. For example, you can call the New York health insurance exchange for telephone support or obtain free, in-person guidance from trained assisters or “navigators.” You can also seek help from a licensed insurance agent or broker.

Given the flawed and confusing rollout of the new health care marketplaces, getting help from an agent or broker is turning out to be an attractive option for many people. Agents and brokers, while grappling with most of the same delays and technical troubles faced by individuals, can make the process easier in several important ways, including:

  • determining whether you qualify for subsidies
  • helping you compare plan prices and coverage details, while explaining any complicated features or terms
  • recommending plans that would be best for you (government assisters, on the other hand, are not permitted to suggest specific plans), and
  • walking you through the application process.

A qualified broker will have years of experience and expertise, and may be able to help you understand your health coverage options in a way that less experienced navigators cannot.

Agents or Brokers Will Help You for Free

You won’t have to pay an agent or broker to help you. They usually receive payments from the insurance companies whose policies they sell. Before agreeing to let an agent or broker help you, be sure the one you choose is able to offer the full range of health plans available at NY State of Health.

Problems Agents and Brokers May Face When Helping You

When the health care marketplaces are working properly, you and your agent or broker should be able to log on to the online exchange at the same time, or participate in a 3-way call with a customer support representative who can process your application over the phone. If these options aren’t yet working, the agent or broker may ask you to apply using a paper application.

Also, it will probably be easiest if you allow agent or broker to initiate your insurance application. That’s because, in order to get paid, the agent needs to supply an ID number. Technical problems have been making it difficult for agents to add these numbers when an individual in the middle of the process seeks help from an agent. Working with an agent from the start may minimize delays.

How to Find a Licensed Obamacare Insurance Agent or Broker in New York

All states have certified brokers and agents available to help individuals and businesses sign up for new plans available through NY State of Health. To find one, and to see a list of all the ways you can get help applying for Obamacare, see How Do I Sign Up for Obamacare in New York?


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