Why work with an insurance agent? This is a question we get asked a lot.

The truth is: the choice is yours and you don’t have to use an agent when it comes to enrolling in a plan. The pricing will be the same regardless of whether you choose to go through an agent, or purchase insurance on your own.

At NW Benefit Advantage, we believe in transparency with our clients. So here, in a nutshell, is how the process works.

Is there a difference in insurance rates with an agency?

Insurance rates are filed with the State of Oregon; there is no tweaking or changing these. Agent commissions are pre-built into that rate, so there is no additional cost to you to go through an agency or to go it alone.

How does the process work with an agency?

Here are some things to consider about why it can be helpful to have an agent assist you with the enrollment process.

As licensed agents, we are required by State and Federal Law (when working with the Health Insurance Marketplace) to go through training each year. (This training is completed through CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services).

In addition, most agents will also attend each of the insurance carrier trainings to learn of any new upcoming changes for the next Open Enrollment season. The information shared can greatly help us in assisting you to find the plan that will truly meet your needs and help you to get the most from your coverage.

We help you by doing the “legwork” for you and find plans that will keep your doctors in network and finding cost-effective plans for your prescription needs.

What happens after I’m enrolled in a plan?

Once we have worked with you to find the right fit for a health plan, our services go beyond getting you enrolled.

We help you by servicing your account throughout the year including resolving any billing, eligibility and claims issues. Agencies can also make recommendations that will help you at the next renewal period and find a plan that is right for you.

At the end of the day, our main priority is to help you to make the best decision for you and your family.

Do agencies help with tax credits?

Many people will want to know if they qualify for tax credits to help pay for their insurance premiums through HealthCare.gov. We have been helping our clients since the inception of Health Care Reform began and can help you to determine if you will be eligible for financial assistance and/or cost share reductions in helping to lower the cost of your insurance premiums.

We hope to help you during this next annual Open Enrollment period, which begins November 1, 2016. For more information about open enrollment please click here or give us a call!