Health Insurance for Realtors: Overview, Tips & Providers

Starting a career as a real estate agent is like starting your own business. You need a solid business plan that includes your marketing budget, financial safety net until you seal your first deal, tax strategy, and ensuring you have the right benefits, like health insurance. 

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reported that 28%–33% of its members were uninsured in any given year. Agents may choose not to get insured for many reasons, such as cost or lack of information. So, you may have wondered, do real estate agents get health insurance or even need it? Well, I’m here to help you explore all the health insurance options for realtors so you can take care of yourself while staying on top of your business.

The Importance of Health Insurance for Realtors

Let’s face it: in today’s world, stressors surround us. If it’s not the demands of the job, it’s the screen time; if it’s not the screen time, it’s the household to-do list. The list goes on. However, one of the things we can do to combat stress and take care of our overall well-being is to have secure health insurance. Here are some reasons to consider: 

  • Peace of mind: It’s comforting to know that you or your loved ones will be cared for when needed, which can help reduce stress. 
  • Financial protection: You won’t have to worry about paying high medical bills out of pocket. 
  • Preventative services: Regular check-ups with your doctor can help you stay healthy and avoid serious illness.
  • Treatment: If you need medical care, you can rest assured that you’ll be covered.
A list of real estate agent insurance options showing health, dental, vision, and more.
A list of insurance options for real estate agents (Source: NAR)

Do Real Estate Agents Get Benefits? 

Unlike traditional 9–5 jobs with benefits like a 401K, paid time off, and health insurance, real estate professionals are independent contractors and, therefore, essentially self-employed. This status means that these benefits are not provided to agents, which many see as a con of the profession

It’s an industry that demands a great deal of resilience and self-reliance. Some real estate companies and associations offer health insurance for realtors, but independent contractors are generally responsible for arranging their healthcare coverage. It’s important to note that there is no longer a tax penalty for not having health coverage. However, California, the District of Columbia, and Maryland all have their own exemption processes. 

Tips on How to Find Healthcare Options for Realtors 

You now know how important health insurance is for real estate agents. But I bet you’re still asking, “How do real estate agents get health insurance?” I’ve compiled some tips to help you navigate your search and find the perfect option.

Tip 1: Check With Your Brokerage 

Do real estate agents get health insurance from their brokers? Brokerages don’t typically offer health insurance for real estate brokers and agents unless you’re an employee, such as the managing broker of an office. Still, they may provide options that include a slight discount for their agents. Check with your managing broker or office manager to determine what health insurance options your brokerage provides. At the very least, get the information and use it to compare with other options you’re considering. 

Tip 2: Ask Your Real Estate Associations  

Real estate associations are good places to look for health insurance options. Part of our association dues pays for benefits that most agents never use. These benefits can include discounts on gym memberships, health insurance options, access to different apps or training, and more. Reach out to your local association to see what they offer, or use the REALTORS® Insurance Place through NAR to find an option that could work for you.

Tip 3: Work Another Job 

Realtor health insurance cost can be a burden for some agents. Working another job to secure health insurance may be the route some need to take temporarily. Although working as a part-time real estate agent is not ideal when you want to grow your business, plan to transition to a full-time real estate agent, which includes how you will invest in your health insurance coverage. 

Tip 4: Use Alternative Options 

Companies like Mira or Lemonaid Health don’t require health insurance to assist with some medical needs. Although this is not traditional health insurance, it is a way to access health care when you may be on a more limited budget or need care while saving for conventional insurance. Weigh the pros and cons of using an alternative option instead of investing in traditional health insurance.

Pro tip: Do a Google search in your local area for out-of-pocket clinics. Some of these clinics still offer primary care and may allow payment plans.

Tip 5: Tap Into Major Providers  

You can go directly to major providers for your health insurance needs. Most major providers, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield and UnitedHealthcare, have small business plans that real estate agents can take advantage of. If you are entering the real estate industry from another job, contact your current health insurance provider to ask how to keep your plan when you become an independent contractor. 

Tip 6: Get On Your Spouse or Domestic Partner’s Plan

If you’re married, joining your spouse’s health insurance plan is worth considering. It could be the most cost-effective option for you. Chat with your spouse about adding you to their plan, and take some time to go over the costs involved. You might discover that you can save a lot of money while getting good coverage.

Similar to getting on a spouse’s insurance plan, some states allow you to get insurance through a domestic partner if you are not married but live with a partner. Check with your state to see the rules and regulations regarding what’s considered a domestic partner and if the insurance company recognizes this distinction. 

Tip 7: Work With an Insurance Broker 

Much like we help our clients find the perfect property, insurance brokers help us find the best health insurance deal. They do the hard work of sifting through options, saving us time and hassle. You can easily find health insurance brokers online or ask agents in your office if they work with one.

Top Insurance Providers for Real Estate Agents

Now that you’ve gotten the hang of searching for health insurance options, let’s dive into some info about specific health insurance providers for real estate agents. These are just some options to consider as you start your search. 

  • REALTORS® Insurance Marketplace: As a NAR member, you have access to various health plans and supplemental options. These plans include the private Members Health Insurance Exchange, which provides insurance plans from top-rated carriers. You can also find flexible-term health insurance plans, known as short-term plans.
  • Pick Health Insurance: This website provides a convenient platform for users to compare prices across major health insurance providers. Some featured providers include Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Cigna, and UnitedHealthcare.
  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a law that aims to make health insurance more accessible and affordable for people in the US. It focuses on preventive care and essential health benefits, offering many options to meet different healthcare needs.
  • Medicare and Medicaid: Government-sponsored insurance programs. Medicare is for people aged 65 or older or those under 65 with a disability. Meanwhile, Medicaid has strict income requirements and could be an option for new real estate agents.
  • CrowdHealth: This platform offers a unique healthcare solution through crowdfunding. It’s not insurance, but it helps with managing healthcare expenses. You can get financial support from other members or give back by helping cover their medical costs.
A woman checking her healthcare crowdfunding request with an incoming call from a doctor.
Example of how healthcare crowdfunding works (Source: CrowdHealth)

Health Insurance vs E&O Insurance

Realtor insurance can be confusing because there are different types of coverage. You may have heard of the real estate term “errors and omissions (E&O) insurance,” but this differs from realtor health insurance. Health insurance covers the individual’s medical needs, while E&O insurance shields real estate professionals from potential legal challenges. Let’s break it down further: 

  • Health insurance: Health insurance is like a safety net that you have through a contract with a health insurance company. It helps cover your healthcare costs and provides important financial protection in case you have an accident or get sick.
  • Errors and omissions (E&O) insurance: Professional liability insurance protects businesses and their owners from client claims for errors, omissions, negligent acts, or financial loss. E&O insurance can help cover damages, court expenses, and settlements.

FAQs: Health Insurance for Realtors

Bringing It All Together

We’re used to focusing all our attention on growing our businesses to be successful real estate agents, but let’s not forget that our real wealth is our health. When we take care of ourselves, we also care for our businesses. Do you have health insurance? If not, do you feel more prepared to make a choice now?

The post Health Insurance for Realtors: Overview, Tips & Providers appeared first on The Close.

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