Updated: 2020-08-06 by
If you’re confused by your health care choices under the Affordable Care Act (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 California health insurance exchange for telephone support or obtain free, in-person guidance from trained enrollment counselor. You can also seek help from a licensed insurance agent or broker.
Given the technical flaws in many online health care marketplaces, getting help from an agent or broker has become an attractive option for many people. Agents and brokers, while grappling with most of the same delays and hassles 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 enrollment assistants 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 Covered California.
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 working properly, the agent or broker may ask you to apply using a paper application.
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 California
All states have certified brokers and agents available to help individuals and businesses sign up for new plans available through Covered California. 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 California?
You may also be interested in:
Essential facts about the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) in California, including whether you must get health insurance, how much it will cost, and how you can save money.
Where to go in California to get health plans under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and how to get help with the application process.
Many people have turned to social media to vent and seek solutions -- an insurance agent or broker may also be a big help.