October 6, 2014
2 minute read

Health Insurance Agent vs. Navigator: What’s The Difference?

If you plan on buying health insurance for 2016 through a government or state insurance exchange, the enrollment period begins soon – on November 1st. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or an experienced health insurance consumer, the shopping process can be confusing, sometimes even a bit overwhelming. Chances are you’ll need some expert assistance to guide you through the options, get the subsidies you deserve and help you enroll in the right plan. That help is generally provided through a health insurance agent or a navigator.

Although agents and navigators are similar in some ways there are some very important differences, and many consumers now understand that. In fact, in a recent survey consumers preferred using an agent three times more than they preferred using a navigator. When you line them up side-by-side, that preference makes a lot of sense.

How to Tell The Difference Between a Health Insurance Agent and a Navigator

Agent_infographic_Blog5Really, the similarities are straightforward. Both receive some training and are certified to act as guides for a state’s exchange. Both can help you—free of charge—to use the government insurance exchange to enroll in a health plan. They can also help you apply for government subsidies to lower your health insurance costs.

However, the differences are significant.

  • Health insurance agents are licensed by a state’s department of insurance. It’s their chosen career that they work at every day – to assist customers in finding and purchasing the right insurance to meet their needs. Navigators are frequently volunteers who work for non-profit organizations and assist individuals with insurance related matters only during the open enrollment period.
  • While licensed agents may have several years of experience assisting customers in understanding their health insurance options, the role of the navigator only began last year.
  • Only an agent can recommend a plan based on someone’s health care needs and budget; navigators are prohibited from providing any plan recommendations.

Licensed HealthMarkets agents must also pass additional professional examinations and participate in continuing education programs in order to assist insurance customers before, during, and after enrollment. That ongoing education helps ensure their knowledge in the health insurance field is current. Navigators, on the other hand, don’t have a similar education and preparation requirement.

At HealthMarkets, we help simplify the process of shopping for health insurance. With access to more than 200 different insurance companies and thousands of health plans nationwide, HealthMarkets can help find the right plans for you and your family either on or off the exchange.

Call us 24/7 at (800) 827-9990 or meet with one of our 3,000 local, licensed health insurance agents.

 

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© 2022 HealthMarkets Insurance Agency. All rights reserved.

To send a complaint to Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1- 877-486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week). If your complaint involves a broker or agent, be sure to include the name of the person when filing your grievance.

We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1- 844-704-7357), 24 hours a day/7 days a week, to get information on all of your options.

Attention: This website is operated by HealthMarkets Insurance Agency, Inc. and is not the Health Insurance Marketplace® website. HealthMarkets Insurance Agency, Inc. is licensed as an insurance agency in all 50 states and DC. Not all agents are licensed to sell all products. Service and product availability varies by state. Sales agents may be compensated based on a consumer’s enrollment in an insurance plan. No obligation to enroll. Agent cannot provide tax or legal advice. Contact your tax or legal professional to discuss details regarding your individual business circumstances. Our quoting tool is provided for your information only. All quotes are estimates and are not final until consumer is enrolled. Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.

HealthMarkets Insurance Agency offers the opportunity to enroll in either QHPs or off-Marketplace coverage. Please visit HealthCare.gov for information on the benefits of enrolling in a QHP. Off-Marketplace coverage is not eligible for the cost savings offered for coverage through the Marketplaces.

This information is not a complete description of benefits. Call the Plan’s customer service phone number for more information.

HMIA000703

© 2022 HealthMarkets Insurance Agency. All rights reserved.

To send a complaint to Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1- 877-486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week). If your complaint involves a broker or agent, be sure to include the name of the person when filing your grievance.

We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1- 844-704-7357), 24 hours a day/7 days a week, to get information on all of your options.

Attention: This website is operated by HealthMarkets Insurance Agency, Inc. and is not the Health Insurance Marketplace® website. HealthMarkets Insurance Agency, Inc. is licensed as an insurance agency in all 50 states and DC. Not all agents are licensed to sell all products. Service and product availability varies by state. Sales agents may be compensated based on a consumer’s enrollment in an insurance plan. No obligation to enroll. Agent cannot provide tax or legal advice. Contact your tax or legal professional to discuss details regarding your individual business circumstances. Our quoting tool is provided for your information only. All quotes are estimates and are not final until consumer is enrolled. Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.

HealthMarkets Insurance Agency offers the opportunity to enroll in either QHPs or off-Marketplace coverage. Please visit HealthCare.gov for information on the benefits of enrolling in a QHP. Off-Marketplace coverage is not eligible for the cost savings offered for coverage through the Marketplaces.

This information is not a complete description of benefits. Call the Plan’s customer service phone number for more information.

HMIA000703

© 2022 HealthMarkets Insurance Agency. All rights reserved.

To send a complaint to Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1- 877-486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week). If your complaint involves a broker or agent, be sure to include the name of the person when filing your grievance.

We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1- 844-704-7357), 24 hours a day/7 days a week, to get information on all of your options.

Attention: This website is operated by HealthMarkets Insurance Agency, Inc. and is not the Health Insurance Marketplace® website. HealthMarkets Insurance Agency, Inc. is licensed as an insurance agency in all 50 states and DC. Not all agents are licensed to sell all products. Service and product availability varies by state. Sales agents may be compensated based on a consumer’s enrollment in an insurance plan. No obligation to enroll. Agent cannot provide tax or legal advice. Contact your tax or legal professional to discuss details regarding your individual business circumstances. Our quoting tool is provided for your information only. All quotes are estimates and are not final until consumer is enrolled. Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.

HealthMarkets Insurance Agency offers the opportunity to enroll in either QHPs or off-Marketplace coverage. Please visit HealthCare.gov for information on the benefits of enrolling in a QHP. Off-Marketplace coverage is not eligible for the cost savings offered for coverage through the Marketplaces.

This information is not a complete description of benefits. Call the Plan’s customer service phone number for more information.

HMIA000703