Ask Kim


Buying Health Insurance Through an Agent

Kimberly Lankford

You don't have to pay extra to work with an insurance agent.



My husband and I work together in our own start-up business (we have no employees), and we need to buy health insurance for our family. Would we have to pay extra to work with an insurance agent, or is the agent paid by the insurer?

SEE ALSO: How to Find Health Insurance on Your Own

You’ll pay the same premium for a health insurance policy whether you buy it through an agent or directly from the company. The insurer pays the commission, not the insured.

Most agents can provide quotes from several insurers and explain your coverage options. They can also help you with cost-cutting strategies. For instance, Carrie McLean, at eHealthInsurance.com, points out that in many states you and your wife could qualify for small-group coverage, even if you don’t have employees. A small-group policy may be cheaper than individual coverage if either of you has a health issue.

You can find an agent through the National Association of Health Underwriters. For general information about health insurance policies in your area, go to HealthCare.gov.

Got a question? Ask Kim at askkim@kiplinger.com.



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