As Congress and the Administration consider meaningful proposals for national health reform, one key test of public approval for any sustainable and equitable plan will be ensuring continued access to the services of state-licensed agents, brokers and consultants who serve as American consumers’ counselors and advocates.
Professionally licensed health insurance agents, brokers and consultants provide valuable services to individuals and employers to obtain prices for coverage that best fits their needs. Licensed specialists design benefit plans, explain coordination issues of public and private benefits to individuals/employees, and solve problems that may occur once coverage is in place. They are also at the forefront of helping to design and implement cutting-edge health promotion and wellness programs for employers—a focus that everyone agrees is key to combating increasing health care costs.
Some contend that agents and brokers add unnecessary expense to the cost of health insurance and that a government-run entity can substitute for the role and value of professional benefit specialists. However, the record clearly indicates that government bureaucrats are ill-equipped to provide the personal service, timely objective information, guidance and accountability that professionally trained and licensed agents and brokers deliver on a daily basis.
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