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Health Insurance Exchanges Should Not Be Like eHealthInsurance

September 20, 2010 in Affordable Health Insurance, eHealthInsurance.com, Health Care, Health Care Costs, Health Care Reform, Health Insurance Agent, Health Insurance Exchange, Health Insurance Quotes, Health Insurance Reform, Individual Health Insurance

Health Insurance Exchanges Should Not Be Like eHealthInsurance
By John Rueschenberg
CoveragePoint.com

Two months ago, I had a meeting with Mary, a director at a reputable health insurance company. Mary’s name has been changed and her company’s name will not be disclosed to protect her identity. Mary and I were talking about the different insurance agencies and the amount of production that they bring to her company each year. Not at all to my surprise, her number one producer of individual health plans was and has been eHealthInsurance. eHealthInsurance is the largest online insurance agency, owned by publicly traded company eHealth Inc. We have all seen their TV commercials for affordable health insurance. The truth is that the rates are no different if you apply using eHealthInsurance, another agency or if you apply directly to the company by yourself. It will be the same rate no matter what, but keep in mind that an agent can help you and keep you from making a costly mistake, so that is why you should always use an agent.

Most will agree, the ongoing history of publicly traded companies is to make a huge profit and achieve excellent numbers so that they can keep their stock holders happy. While some publicly traded companies do care about customer service, many others don’t. I have never been to the eHealthInsurance’s headquarters before nor have I spoken to someone who works for, or previously worked for the company, therefore I don’t know exactly how they operate. What I do know and can share with you are the experiences of others who have dealt with the company at one time or another.

In my meeting with Mary, she described eHealthInsurance as her double edged sword. They continually have brought Mary’s company the most new individual health business, but eHealthInsurance has had an ongoing history of not providing adequate service to their clientele after the policy is issued. Mary also said of the people who applied for one of her companies health plans using eHealthInsurance.com, that ongoing for years now, eHealthInsurance has had the highest percentage of policies not taken after an application was submitted. “Not taken” is an insurance term meaning someone applied, but for one reason or another the policy was never issued. Similar stories are out there on websites such as Epinions.com and other product or service review websites. Interestingly enough, one of the automatically generated search terms that Google gives is “eHealthInsurance scam.” The Better Business Business Bureau of North Eastern California alone has received 22 complaints in the past 36 months for eHealthInsurance.

Ordinarily, I’m not about attacking someone or a company and pointing out their flaws, but this has changed because EhealthInsurance has made the recommendation that the new health insurance exchanges starting up over the next few years should operate similar to how eHealthInsurance.com does now. While lack of service does sound like how most government agencies have long been operating; such as the Department of Motor Vehicle, the Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration, the US population as a whole is not looking for health care to operate as another poorly serviced government agency.

There are other sites out there that do provide the same great online experience as eHealthInsurance, but also offer ongoing service for years to come. Websites like CoveragePoint.com give you the same great online service as eHealthInsurance.com does, but they instead have an ongoing reputation of being there for you when sticky situations come along. It is important that the example of the health insurance exchanges follow the examples of agents and agencies who have built a solid reputation of being there after the policy is issued. The agent is the person who is supposed to be there for you at the hardest time, such as when dealing with a difficult claim, especially if you have to deal with multiple insurance companies. An agent helps you during the application process, prevents you from making a simple mistake that would otherwise hold up your application in underwriting for days or weeks longer than necessary, or cause for you to receive a higher premium. An agent can help prevent a decline or a rider. An agents advice and experience are both invaluable and free to the consumer.

Circumstance and claims often do happen where you are dealing with your health insurance company, your auto insurance insurance company and Workman’s Comp; all three at once, or two at the same time for the same injury or claim. More than likely, each company wants the other to pay the claim, so often times none of them pay. Your agent is there to get you through these unfortunate circumstances as your personal representative. Your agent is supposed to be on your side. They should help you figure out the mess and point you in the right direction. The example of health insurance exchanges should not be eHealthInsurance, but instead the example should be that of agents and agencies who have built a solid reputation of being there for their clients when they are needed.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services(CMS) projects that the expense of health care would be 0.3% less by the year 2019 had the health care reform bill never passed. CMS also predicts health insurance exchanges are expected to cost roughly a total of $220 billion just to start up by 2014. Between 2014 through 2019, the health insurance exchanges are predicted to cost an additional $37.7 billion to operate. Roughly 85% of US health insurance policies are issued with the assistance of an agent. When you consider that about 85% of policies are issued using an agent, the duplicated efforts of exchanges will be a waste of taxpayer dollars. Eliminating the creation of the exchanges all together will save over $250 billion between now and 2019; health care savings would be seen and achieved much sooner. The creation of the health insurance exchanges will simply be a waste of time and taxpayer money, especially if they will be run like any other poorly serviced government agency. There is no reason to reinvent what has already been proven to work.

Health Care Reform Why employers should not pay for health care – The Denver Post

June 19, 2010 in Affordable Health Insurance, Employer Sponsored Plans, Group Health Plans, Health Care, Health Care Costs, Individual Health Insurance

Health Care Reform Why employers should not pay for health care – The Denver Posthttp://ow.ly/17O2ng

Health Care Reform Feds say what you must to do keep your grandfathered status

June 17, 2010 in Grandfathered Health Plans, Group Health Plans, Health Care, Health Care Reform, Health Insurance Reform, Individual Health Insurance

Health Care Reform Feds say what you must to do keep your grandfathered status http://ow.ly/17MrBd

Health Care Reform New health-care rules could add costs, and benefits, to some insurance plans

June 15, 2010 in Affordable Health Insurance, College Students, Dependants, Group Health Plans, Health Care, Health Care Costs, Health Care Reform, Health Insurance Exchange, Health Insurance Quotes, Health Insurance Reform, Individual Health Insurance

Health Care Reform New health-care rules could add costs, and benefits, to some insurance plans http://ow.ly/17KFTo

Health Care Reform Health Reform Continues To Dominate Campaigns

June 15, 2010 in Affordable Health Insurance, Group Health Plans, Health Care, Health Care Costs, Health Care Reform, Health Insurance Exchange, Health Insurance Reform, Individual Health Insurance

Health Care Reform Health Reform Continues To Dominate Campaigns http://ow.ly/17KDp3

Health Care Reform Extension of non-taxable health care coverage for children up to 26

June 11, 2010 in Child(ren) Only Health Plans, College Students, Dependants, Group Health Plans, Health Care, Health Care Costs, Health Care Reform, Health Insurance Reform, Individual Health Insurance

Health Care Reform Extension of non-taxable health care coverage for children up to age 26http://ow.ly/17HyhX

Health Reform News & Updates – Health Insurance Quotes & Affordable Health Insurance Plans – Compare Health Insurance Rates

June 9, 2010 in Affordable Health Insurance, Child(ren) Only Health Plans, Doctors, eHealthInsurance.com, Group Health Plans, Health Care, Health Care Costs, Health Insurance Agent, Health Insurance Exchange, Health Insurance Quotes, Individual Health Insurance, Life Insurance, Permanent Life Insurance, Primary Care Physician, Specialists, Term Life Insurance, Whole Life Insurance

Health Reform News & Updates – Health Insurance Quotes & Affordable Health Insurance Plans – Compare Health Insurance Rates.

Why Should I Work With An Agent?

June 7, 2008 in Affordable Health Insurance, Group Health Plans, Health Care, Health Insurance Agent, Health Insurance Quotes, Individual Health Insurance

The internet has made shopping for insurance easier. Instead of driving around town to meet with an agent, you can compare rates, benefits, and apply online. Some insurance companies even let you apply right from their website.

Does it still make sense to have an agent help you choose a plan? You bet.

Agents are insurance experts. It’s their job to help you shop plans from leading carriers so you can be confident you’ve found the best rates and benefits for you.

4 Reasons To Work With An Insurance Agent
When you consider all the benefits, working with an agent just makes good sense.

  1. Agents guide you through the process. Buying an insurance policy can be complicated. An agent walks you through each step of the process and helps you make sense of all the “insurance-speak”.
  2. Agents offer you choice. Your agent has a portfolio of plans to choose from, often from multiple companies. Your agent will know which policy will protect you the best. They’ll even know which company is most likely to accept your application.
  3. Agents troubleshoot mistakes. A mistake on your application can cause a company to raise your rates or even reject your application. Your agent will help you fill out your application correctly so you get the rates you deserve.
  4. It’s free. This is the best part about getting insurance through an agent. Agents collect payment from the companies they represent. So you get all the advice you want — absolutely free.

As professional agents, we’re happy to help you find the best plan. You can compare popular plans on our website, too. Get started now with your free online health insurance quotes.

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