If you’ve tried it already you know that, today, shopping for a California Health Insurance plan is not for the faint of heart. The rising costs of premiums aside, the sheer complexity, variety and options make the process more than a bit intimidating and even overwhelming for the average customer.

Finding Expert Help for Your California Health Insurance Plan

A simpler and more efficient approach is to enlist the help of a professional California Health Insurance agent.  These specialists can help both individuals and business owners find the best health insurance solution to meet their needs.

An independent health insurance agent is one that is not licensed through only one insurance provider, but works with a multitude of companies. This means they have the flexibility and freedom to review and analyze all of health insurance plans available, which allows the agent to find a plan that fits the needs and budget of their customer.

However, choosing the right California health insurance agent is important since this individual will be helping you choose the an insurance plan.

Not All Health Insurance Agents Are Alike

There are few important things to consider before hiring a professional health insurance agent. A good insurance agent will do more than just sell you a policy.

A good reputation in the industry is a good place to start.  Ask for referrals from colleagues and other business owners you may know with companies similar to yours in size. Some of the “soft” attributes you may want to ask about are integrity, responsiveness and accessibility. Just because the agent is “friendly” doesn’t mean that agent is the best choice!

Many insurance agents have the capability to sell a health insurance plan, but not all are expert California health insurance agents.

An article from Insurance.com offers this advice,

“Look for agents who are true insurance experts. Such an expert “can guide you through how to fill out a claim properly, so you get paid top dollar for your claim,” Hungelmann says. An experienced agent will also be able to make your case to the claims department if you get into a dispute about a claims payment.

A good agent also will keep an eye on how your insurance requirements may shift over the years. “Many people don’t realize that their insurance needs may change from year to year, and it is important for your agent to communicate the potential for these changes,” Bitterlich says.”

Look for an agent that is knowledgeable about the type of products you need. A generalist may be quite capable, but you will want to know what plans and products that agent has experience in. If you are aware of products that are not offered, determine if it’s simply not a good fit for your business or because the agent doesn’t offer it. And, if you are a small business, look for an agent that regularly works with small-business owners.

Look for an agent that can offer you a dedicated account manager. This can be crucial for when you have complex or time-sensitive issues and you want to avoid having to speak with a different agency representative each time you call. A solo professional may not be able to offer the level of service that a larger firm can that has numbers of agents with dedicated accounts.

Vetting Your California Health Insurance Agent Choice

A bit of due diligence will help you determine if you’re making the best choice. You should check any references provided, as well as required licenses and registrations. You can check an agent’s record with the state by either calling the California Department of Insurance or going to the consumer webpage here: https://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/120-company/

Interviewing prospective agents is critical for making a smart choice. Ideally, you should try to interview two or more agents. Ask them about specifics on how they operate and what, exactly, they will do for you as well as what costs are involved.

If you can, you should ask a prospective agent if they’ve ever been sued by a client. An Internet search for this type of information is an option if you’re not comfortable broaching that particular issue.

Ultimately, your goal is to find a California health insurance agent who is properly licensed, has a good track record, great references, is responsive and forthright, and – most importantly – holds service to their clients as a priority.