If you know the health plan that you want, and you have some comfort level with the world of insurance and its often confounding terminology, you could work directly with an account manager or salesperson at the insurance company. Keep in mind that when you buy insurance this way:
- Some insurers will not sell direct.
- Initial premium quotes are usually “representative.” Actual rates are based on your business and employee population, so your premium rate can vary greatly from the initial quote. You won’t know your actual premium until you go through the application and underwriting processes. This is also true when you work with a broker, whether traditional or web-based.
- You will be responsible for handling all service issues, including:
- Initial enrollments
- Annual enrollment periods, and
- Problem resolution (billing, eligibility, claims, etc.).
It is possible to buy group insurance directly over the Internet. Here are some things to keep in mind when buying insurance online:
- Three types of websites provide information for consumers shopping for health insurance: broker sites, health plan sites and purchasing alliance sites.
- At broker sites, you have a variety of plans and insurers from which to choose.
- Not all transactions can be completed online. With some transactions or brokers, you must complete the transaction by mail or phone.