Articles

VALUE OF THE AGENT

Why Should Someone Work with an Agent/Broker?

Here are a few reasons! In the United States, most states require anyone who sells, solicits, or negotiates insurance in that state to obtain an insurance Agent/broker license. In order to obtain a broker's license, a person takes pre-licensing courses and must pass an examination. An insurance Agent/broker also must submit an application to the state insurance regulator who will determine whether the insurance Agent/broker has met all the state requirements. Background checks and Finger Printing are completed, to determine whether the applicant is considered trustworthy and competent. A criminal conviction, for example, may result in a state determining that the applicant is untrustworthy or incompetent.

Once licensed, an Agent in New Mexico needs 15 hours of Continuing Education which includes 1 hour of Ethics each year. Medicare products and Exchange products Certification is required each year through CMS, the Federal Government and New Mexico Office of Superintendent of Insurance. These can take from 15 hours up to 40 hours each year. Each Health Insurance Carrier requires that an Agent is appointed, with requires certification for each of their products. Another 4-8 hours per company! Altogether this adds up to 10’s of hours each year!

Look for Agents who belong to National Association of Health Underwriters. (NAHU)

The National Association of Health Underwriters represents more than 100,000 licensed health insurance agents, brokers, general agents, consultants and benefit professionals. NAHU members help millions of consumers by guiding them through the complexities of health insurance purchasing and enrollment, while ensuring they get the best policy at the most affordable price. They seek to understand each personal situation to create recommendations that complement a consumer’s financial and medical security needs. An Agents job does not end with the sale. Good licensed producers help their clients with claims issues, service questions and compliance matters throughout the life of each policy they sell. Members of NAHU agree to abide by NAHU’s Code of Ethics, which requires them to always make health care coverage recommendations with the customer's best interest in mind.

NAHU's Code of Ethics

  • To hold the selling, service and administration of health insurance and related products and services as a professional and public trust and do all in my power to maintain its prestige.
  • To keep paramount the needs of those whom I serve.
  • To respect my clients' trust in me, and to never do anything which would betray their trust or confidence.
  • To give all service possible when service is needed.
  • To present policies factually and accurately, providing all information necessary for the issuance of sound insurance coverage to the public I serve.
  • To use no advertising which I know may be false or misleading.
  • To consider the sale, service and administration of health insurance and related products and services as a career, to know and abide by the laws of any jurisdiction Federal and State in which I practice and seek constantly to increase my knowledge and improve my ability to meet the needs of my clients.
  • To be fair and just to my competitors, and to engage in no practices which may reflect unfavorably on myself or my industry.
  • To treat prospects, clients and companies fairly by submitting applications which reveal all available information pertinent to underwriting a policy.
  • To extend honest and professional conduct to my clients, associates, fellow agents and brokers, and the company or companies whose products I represent.

So WHY chose to have an Agent/Broker help make decisions on their Insurance buying process?

In this world of ever escalating complexity in Health Care Insurance, the Agent/broker is the educated person who can help you through the decisions necessary to make the best choice!