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Saturday, March 25th
Agile Health Insurance is the ecommerce division of Health Pocket Inc. and part of the Benefytt Technologies brand family. Agile is a licensed agency that is able to offer a wide variety of insurance plans, from ACA coverage to short-term medical insurance, limited medical insurance, dental insurance, and more.
No unpleasant surprises in the application process
Let's assume you're looking for an ACA plan. Here's what you can expect from the process at Agile Insurance when you click on the "Find a Plan" button. First, you'll be asked for your zip code - at this stage, your name, email and phone number are optional (We always prefer to withhold as much information as possible while we're browsing health insurance plans and platforms). Next, you'll enter the age and sex of the person you're trying to insure, along with any dependents (such as spouse or children), and then indicate if they're a tobacco user and if they're eligible for any other coverage (job, Medicaid, CHIP). This platform also lets you enter the name of a particular doctor, specialist, or hospital if you need to know which insurers they accept before you choose. Ditto that for any prescription drugs you're taking.
See quotes without disclosing personal info
We like that consumers can see all of the plan options without entering their personal information, although you'll have the option of entering your email address to save your progress. When we entered a 25-year-old male, nonsmoker, in the state of Florida, we got just over 200 plans to choose from, with monthly premiums ranging from $29.03 to a staggering $807.34. United Healthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Cigna were the three big-name insurers we spotted in the list, with smaller companies like Oscar and Ambetter as well.
Too many hand-offs
Once you've chosen a plan, you'll be walked through the enrollment process. Essentially, you'll be using Agile's platform to represent you while setting up your Obamacare coverage. However, you're going to see a lot of name changes as you use this platform to find health insurance. It starts out as Agile, then clicking to get an ACA quote takes you to the Health Sherpa website, and then even there it was labeled as American Service Insurance Agency. There's nothing straightforward here: you could get lost trying to keep track of who, exactly, is getting your personal information and where you should turn if you have a question or problem along the way.
Low grade from the BBB
We also weren't happy to learn that Agile Health Insurance had a "D+" rating from the Better Business Bureau at the time of this review. According to the BBB's explanation on the listing for Agile's parent company, Benefytt Technologies, the "business has failed to resolve underlying causes of a pattern of complaints" . On the BBB site, there were 75 complaints filed in the most recent three-year period, describing some of those frequent issues: misrepresentation during the insurance purchasing process, billing disputes, and denial of claims for what customers were led to believe would be covered expenses.
Whose fault is it, anyway?
This service tries to remove any blame from itself by saying that it's "the other guy's fault" , more or less. Their response to the BBB asserts that they're just a technology platform that connects clients with health insurance carriers, and so if there's a problem with overselling and under-delivering, consumers should be mad at the insurance company. But, given that there are plenty of rival health insurance platforms who aren't getting dozens of complaints (or a bad grade from the BBB), we don't buy Agile's reasoning here.
Not recommended for health insurance
Agile Health insurance has nothing to beat out the competition. There are lots of ways you can get your medical coverage online, so why would you choose a platform with a poor reputation with the Better Business Bureau, too many names to keep track of, and a disappointing history with respect to customer service? We don't recommend using Agile Health (or any Benefytt company) to buy health insurance.
About half of Americans have health insurance from their employer. But what if you're not one of them? Not only can it be risky to go without insurance - one trip to the ER for kidney stones can easily result in a bill of $75,000 or more - but the IRS will also penalize you for not having qualifying health coverage. Ouch.
The good news is that you have coverage options that might come with a tax credit used to reduce your monthly premiums, if you need to find health insurance on your own. Those plans come through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace, but if you've tried to navigate the government site on your own, you already know it can be confusing at best.
Don't worry, there's more good news: there are a number of health insurance platforms that can help you sort through your options and get coverage. You won't pay extra for using one of these resources, and you'll often get the benefit of knowledgeable guidance from a licensed insurance agent. If you don't understand the difference between PPO and HMO or between deductibles and coinsurance, you should make sure you have an expert on hand to walk you through the process of picking a plan.
However, not all websites promising to help you with your health insurance are trustworthy. While some are exactly as they appear - services staffed by licensed agents, authorized to act on your behalf to enroll you in a plan - others are just lead generators who get paid to pass along your information to any number of insurance agencies, marketing companies, and who knows where else.
How can you tell which health insurance websites are on the up-and-up? Keep an eye on these criteria as you decide where to start shopping for coverage:
To help you get the medical coverage you need, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best resources for finding health insurance plans. We're confident that this information will make it easy to navigate the often-tricky world of healthcare and buy the right plan for your needs.
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