Now I know you may be thinking, why go through a broker. All they do is take commission and refer my details to the Medical Aid to action. Why go through a middleman. Surely, they will just slow down the process and how do I know they will add value?
The reality, however, is a lot more nuanced than that. Remember that a brokers job is to be the liaison between you the client and the Medical Aid. They will be skilled in researching the relevant options, they will know the right questions to ask. They will be able to follow up and escalate queries that you would otherwise have to do yourself and remember, they know the company. They know who to escalate to, how the company handles claims, queries, complaints and escalations. They are your go to guy or girl with regards to any queries or help needed regarding your Medical Aid. That is how they add value and a good broker can be worth their weight in Gold so to speak.
It doesn’t seem to be such a bad deal now, does it? Also remember that their commission is not paid by you, it’s paid by the relevant company. You need to find out what the broker does i.e., are they a broad generalist, do they assist with medical insurance from any Medical Aid company or just one specific company. Their are uses for both. If you know which Medical Aid you like and want to go ahead with, then it makes sense to use the ‘specialist’ so to speak for that particular company. If you are still open to which company and plan you should go with, however, then it makes sense to go with the generic open broker who will peruse any number of Medical Aid companies and plan options to find you the best one. Brokers also often get the best rates for their clients. This is not something you will get by just going through the corporates website to enrol or even by phoning them directly. They all want to earn their commission and one of the most important things in terms of their revenue is that they need their clients to be happy and to keep on using that broker, hence the broker will usually fight tooth and nail for you, as long as it’s a reasonable request or issue. From my experience, brokers are able to get things done and in a quicker turn around time than almost any client with perhaps the exceptions of direct friends and partners of the executive board members etc.
The broker will start by getting all of your particulars, name, DOB, etc and once all of that is gathered, they will go through an in depth fact finding mission with you to find out what it is exactly that you are looking for, how many people you need to be covered, what type of cover and are there any add ons that you are interested in, have you had medical insurance before and if so with who and for how long, what are your expectations from the broker and the list goes on. Believe me though, once this is done thoroughly as any good broker will ensure it is, they will know exactly what they are looking for and they will have most probably asked you questions that you yourself had not considered during the interview. They will address your fears, hopes and expectations and while keeping your feet firmly on the tarmac will use all of their capacity to find you the best deal. Bear in mind that all plans come with some limitations and there is no such thing as perfect medical insurance or a perfect plan but if your brokers on the ball, they should be able to get you the best deal possible. Creating value for you. That’s their job.