Some providers are going the extra mile to make the health insurance industry more transparent and more consumer friendly by opening physical retail outlets.
The PBS News Hour / “The Rundown” blog reports: “Health insurers increasingly want to make shopping for a new health plan as easy and convenient as dropping into a local retailer to buy a TV. In recent years, a number of them have opened stores where consumers can stop by to talk with a customer service representative about buying a plan or resolve questions about their current coverage.” Some stores “sponsor health fairs or community seminars on nutrition and exercise,” and even “have primary-care doctors on-site.”
Bravo to the insurers that have so far opened stores: Highmark, BCBS Florida, and UnitedHealthcare. Going to an insurer’s retail location sounds like a great way to get a feeling for a specific provider, but your broker is probably still in the best position to help you compare plans and find the right one for you.