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If you love working with people, do not mind comparing and crunching numbers but also enjoy making the sale, being a health insurance agent may be for you. While agents may work for a company or independently, they do command a respectable average salary and often enjoy some benefits and perks.
Health insurance agents help consumers decide which health insurance carrier and policy best suits their needs. Captive agents are employees or contracted with only one specific health insurance provider. Brokers are another type of insurance agent that contract with several different insurance providers to give you the best price and policy they can. Health insurance agents also assist their clients in problems with health insurance claims or disputes regarding coverage.
The U.S, Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the middle 50 percent of insurance agents earning between $33,070 and $68,730 with the median wage of $45,430 in May 2008. The following year the Occupational Employment Statistics listed the mean salary of all types of insurance agents as $45,500 per year. The two industries health insurance agents are in, listed as "agencies, brokerages, and other insurance related activities" and "insurance carriers," made an average $61,660 and $61,210, respectively.
A health insurance agents salaries varies widely by their geographic location, as evidenced by state mean salaries. For example, the Occupational Employment Statistics department of the Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the average or mean salary in May 2009 was $44,010 while a health insurance agent in Florida averaged $59,540. In Rhode Island, the mean salary was $80,280 a year.
Independent health insurance agents may not receive the benefits of company agents, notes the BLS. They may have higher commissions, which means a higher annual salary. Some independent agents even work without a set wage or actual salary, receiving wages only on sales commission. While a health insurance agent employed by a company typically receives a lower overall salary than independent agents, the BLS says they enjoy benefits such as travel expenses, marketing expenses and retirement plans that independent agents must pay out-of-pocket.
Based in Southern California, Daniel Holzer has been a freelance writer specializing in labor issues, personal finance and green living since 2004. His recent work has appeared online at Green Your Apartment and other websites. Holzer studied English literature at California State University, Fullerton.