Businesses and individuals who continually research the market for better health insurance plans often have too many options.

Braving the marketplace on your own, or working with multiple insurance agents to decide on the right plan, can be both overwhelming and time-consuming resulting in feeling more confused than ever.

Not to worry! Finding the right insurance plan can be made much easier by using a professional, experienced insurance broker, or what we call a “health advocate.”

Health advocates act as a valuable middle person between you, the client, and the various insurance companies. Professional health advocates can explain to you any unfamiliar jargon and handle the nuance details of a plan that most are not aware of.

Working with a health advocate might seem like a luxury, but in most cases, it’s a necessity. By using one, you’re able to outsource a significant amount of work to an expert in the industry – work that can be accomplished quicker, without sacrificing the quality.

The pricing for your insurance policy using a health advocate will not cost any more than if you were to enroll directly with the health insurance company.

Health advocates represent numerous insurance companies, so they can give priority to the customer’s best interests. Once the she knows your specific needs, she is able to find a plan that best fits your situation and budget. Insurance is not a one-size-fits-all industry.

When you work with a health advocate, that person becomes your customer service representative for the life of the policy. This means the professional will call customer service on your behalf and settle any issues that may arise.

As the customer, when you have an issue, you call your health advocate and that individual will get the problem resolved. No more calling customer service and getting transferred, waiting on customer service hold lines, or speaking to someone different each time you call.

Next time you’re shopping for health insurance, remember that a health advocate can take the pressure off you, save time and money, and ensure the best possible outcome for your employees and for you.

Ashley Gasiorowski is a health advocate benefits specialist at Independent Benefit Advisors, Inc.;