It is very important to find an Illinois health insurance agent or broker that you can trust. After all, this person is responsible for helping you to find a health plan that will protect you and your family from both health and financial catastrophe. But how does one go about choosing the best Illinois health insurance agent or broker anyways?
Uninsured people are becoming more and more common in the United States. The state of Illinois has an estimated population of about 12 million people (3.3% more than in 2000) and it keeps rising steadily. At the moment approximately a quarter of that population within the state does not have health insurance coverage, that means about 1.4 million people within the state do not have health insurance benefits. This might be due to the fact that IL health insurance costs are rising and people cannot afford the rates being offered to them. There is however a person that can definitely help when it comes to finding the health insurance company and the coverage plan that is right for you or your family.
Insurance agents are defined in the dictionary simply as “a person who sells insurance”. There are however, two types of IL health insurance agents. Independent agents are the ones that work by themselves representing more than one company, while contract agents (also called captive agents) are those that only work for one company and have a contract binding them to that company. It is important to know that insurance agents can also be called insurance brokers depending to the person you are talking to. There are thousands of insurance agents in the state of Illinois and you can know this by opening your local yellow pages. With so many choices, it is important to know how to find the perfect IL health agent that is right for you and can save you some money on your health care needs.
The Internet is a good source for finding reviews about anything. Nowadays you can just write the name of the person in any search engine (Google or yahoo) and information about an individual appears in a matter of seconds. Before even deciding on any Illinois health insurance agent do some research whether it is online or in person. If you know a person that is a member of the company and has been assisted by the agent before make sure you ask him/her everything that you think will give you a lead on how successful the agent is. You can also go to an online agent locator and search for any person that you want. You will be able to see good reviews as well as bad reviews on any agent; however it is important to know that many will have some bad reviews because it’s hard to keep everyone happy after all.
If it helps you should go meet the agent personally to see how good does the treat his/her customers. While you are at the office look at things such as the organization skills that the agent possesses, their communication skills and any awards that they may have earned while at their job. Probably the most important thing you should look at is if the agent is licensed by the Illinois Department of Insurance. If they are not then they should not be practicing within that state and by that you would know he is not a trustworthy individual. Also make sure that the agent is paying attention to what you have to say while you are in the meeting with him. An agent that pays attention to the customer is always more successful that one that does not listen. If you are sure that the agent is right for you then remember who they are and ask for a business card, if not keep looking for a better choice.
Another good lead to search for the best agent possible is to look at the insurance company they work for no matter whether they are an independent or a contract agent. Always check the financial rating the company may have because ultimately it’s not the agent who you are going to buy insurance from, it will be the health insurance company. Look for the establishment and the details of the company’s office. Is the office clean? How quickly do they serve their customers? Are the people waiting happy with their health insurance agency?
Once you see that a particular Illinois health insurance agent is right for you there are still many things that will give away if you had good instincts and made a good choice. Does the agent keep up with the changes happening in the customer’s life? If he does then it will be much easier when it comes time for him to negotiating a better price for his customers. How quick does he respond to a health insurance claim? If you see that the agent is not up to date in his or her claims, then its time for you to go look for a different agent.