With greater numbers of residents in need of health insurance in Tennessee, more people are braving the unknown and shopping for health plans on their own. As of 2009, Tennessee statistics showed that 810,600 non-elderly adults and 134,200 children were not covered by health insurance.
Many people may be seeking coverage for themselves and/or their family for the very first time after a lifetime of enjoying group coverage through work. Even though the stakes are very high, many people simply don't know the differences in policies or even how to find reliable agents and brokers to help them compare plans.
Will the plan with the lowest premium price protect you from devastating medical debt? Are all agents who sell Tennessee health insurance plans equally qualified to help you find the best coverage for your needs? It may not be as simple as we'd like to believe because most bankruptcies filed in this country due to medical debt are actually filed by people who thought they were covered by health insurance.
Learn To Compare Tennessee Health Insurance Companies
As you may remember, Tennessee was recently host to a major health insurance scandal that left many policyholders holding unpaid claims when they discovered their insurer was not financially solvent. You can check with the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance, or the National Association of Insurance Commissioners regarding an agent's or a broker's license status.
In addition, you can use independent rating organizations like A.M. Best, Moody's, and Standard & Poors to assess how financially sound an insurer is, but that's just the beginning. With literally hundreds of different choices in health insurance for Tennessee on the market, how can you even tell where to start to get the best deal on coverage?
Compare Tennessee Health Insurance Plans And Agents
One shortcut to finding the best coverage to fit your needs is to learn to evaluate heath insurance agents and brokers. Agents and brokers who have worked with Tennessee insurance plans for many years already know which insurers offer the most popular plans and have the best reputations. The trick is to find reliable experts you can trust.
Not all insurance salespeople are equal. Some agents only offer a handful of plan choices because they primarily focus on other types of insurance. That's probably only going to become a greater problem now that health insurance commissions are being reduced. Agents and brokers who have been in the business for years are more likely to have more information both about insurance companies and the plans they offer. With literally hundreds of variations in coverage available, finding an agent with more knowledge about different health plans means you'll get better advice.
In addition to finding agents and brokers who have developed expertise specifically in Tennessee Health Insurance, you'll also need to look for independent agents. Independent agents are not motivated to sell certain policies to earn higher commissions. They earn a commission regardless of which insurer has the right coverage for you because they work with a variety of insurers. In contrast, some agents can only show you plans from a single insurance company. Even if that is a big name company, your choice of plans is still drastically limited when you work with such an agent.
Your need for an agent you can count on doesn't end when you buy the plan. If underwriting makes a counter offer that raises your premium or excludes coverage for a pre-existing condition, you'll need an agent who is willing to negotiate with the insurer as your advocate. If you are aware of a pre-existing condition, a good agent can help you explain it on the application in the most favorable light. Experienced agents also know which insurers have the most relaxed underwriting practices of accepting pre-existing conditions.
Since many insurers raise premium rates annually, you'll also want to find an agent or broker who offers free annual plan comparisons. Let your agent shop for insurance for you every year to be sure you continue to get the best rates and coverage in the years to come. That can help you save on premiums year after year. While your health remains good, it's simple to switch health insurance for Tennessee whenever you get a notice that your premiums are being raised.
Once you know what to look for in an agent or broker, you'll have a better chance of finding the best deal on health insurance in Tennessee. Knowledgeable agents educate their clients, and can warn you when limits on coverage are less obvious. When you find agents and brokers who want your business for a lifetime, you'll get better service and greater savings.