How To Become A Licensed Medicare Insurance Agent
Are you stuck in a dead-end job? Are you thinking about becoming a Medicare insurance agent? Youre itching to get out of your current situation, but youre not sure if Medicare sales are right for you. The answer may be yes if the following applies to you:
All of these qualities are whats needed to become a successful agent. Youll partner with a network, and youll find viable leads that can convert into sales. More importantly, youll help seniors get access to the medical care they need.
This article will show you how to enter the Medicare sales industry. Lets explore.
What Is A Health Insurance Agent
Becoming a licensed health insurance agent or broker can be a wonderful feat.
However, the first step in getting licensed can be an overwhelming action especially if you are new to the entire medical insurance line.
It is no secret that health insurance is a precautionary measure that every living being undertakes to protect their future.
If one becomes ill or injured unexpectedly, health insurance is expected to be there to assist them in covering costs that you are unlikely to be able to afford on your own.
The outlay of health care can be prohibitively pricey and most times very confusing thus needing a licensed insurance agent.
This invariably means that as a health insurance agent you are doing a very important job for humanity.
So you should learn the best types of health insurance that apply to your client at all times.
An agent is a licensed salesman who works on behalf of one or more health insurance firms, creatively presenting their products and services to potential customers on a commission basis.
An agent cannot be legally recognized as a licensed insurance agent without the required license from their respective states.
Such agents are also expected to have complete continuing education requirements in order to maintain their licenses.
In the business world, health insurance agents know how to sell health insurance.
When you work for an insurance company, you help them meet sales goals.
What To Bring To The Exam: Becoming A Licensed Medicare Agent
An original copy of the Certificate of Completion from a completed pre-licensing course of study
A current, signed form of identification. The identification document must:
- Be issued by the government
- Contain both a current photo and your signature
- Finally have a name that matches exactly with the name used to register for the exam
The passing score required on each exam is 70%.
In fact, Prometric notifies the Department of Insurance of your exam results within 2 business days.
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Getting Contracted And Appointed
You have to get contracted with each carrier to get appointed to sell their products. Here is a checklist of what most insurance carriers require for you to become ready to sell:
- Copy of your current resident and non-resident state health insurance license
- Copy of your current E& O policy
- The complete legal questionnaire provided by the insurance company
- A background check
- They were passing carrier-specific annual certifications. This is specific to MA & MAPD plans, but more Medicare Supplements are also starting to implement annual certifications.
The time this will take is all dependent on how many insurance carriers you plan on getting contracted with. Because Medicare is highly regulated and many carriers have different processes to get an insurance agent ready to sell , you will need to be patient during this process. It can take some time to receive your approvals from each company. Most carriers require their certifications to be passed annually before that years Medicare annual election period .
Identifying An Insurance Agent Training Program
According to the above, insurance agents are not necessary to complete standard degree programs to function in the insurance sector.
To obtain their license, individuals must first take pre-licensure activities to establish fundamental competence in the insurance products that will be sold to their consumers.
This can be accomplished through a variety of service providers, or agents found online can visit provincial training facilities that have been certified by their states insurance division.
When conducting research on pre-licensure programs, the cost, length of the program, and the delivery method are all important considerations.
Its essential to recall that every insurance policy whether its for casualty insurance, life insurance, or property insurance necessitates certification.
Actually, there is no universal qualification that enables agents to market any insurance product available.
A prospective agent should be aware of the sort of product with which they will be working and the area in which they will be working before completing a pre-licensure internship.
This will ensure that they fulfill the licensing criteria in their residing state.
To potentially improve their employment options, agents who choose to enlist or continue their education in an associate or bachelors degree program can utilize the search engine.
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Become A Ucare Broker
When you are appointed with UCare, youll represent some of the most competitive Medicare, Individual & Family, and D-SNP plans in Minnesota. UCare is proud of our reputation for great customer service for both members and brokers. Our local brokers have a proven track record of representing their clients best interest and needs with the highest level of integrity in the industry.
Medicare Insurance Agent Job Description At A Glance
Ill keep this very simple. When you become a Medicare insurance agent, your target market will be individuals in the following two categories.
A Medicare sales career can be very rewarding personally, professionally, and financially as it allows you the ability to build strong relationships and help a lot of people. Check out our full guide to selling Medicare here.
Medicare is also a phenomenal way to support your existing customers so they arent going to another agent.
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Certify To Sell As An Agent
Advantage and PDP plans require AHIP certification in addition to product certification.
AHIP is defined as Medicare Fraud Waste and Abuse agent training. Be sure to complete AHIP from within one of the carrier links. Most offer a $50 discount. What does that mean? Using Aetna as an example, submit contracting for Aetna through Crowe and Associates. After the background process, you will need to complete certification. The first step of that verification is to verify that you are AHIP certified. At this point, transfer to the AHIP certification modules. Aetna will discount the course to $125. The fee to take the course directly through the AHIP site is $175. Completing AHIP via a carrier link produces the same transcript. You only need to complete AHIP training one time. AHIP certification is transmitted to carriers during the certification process.
Medicare supplements do not require certification. United HealthCare is an exception. UHC requires its own product certification.
Upon completion of product certifications, you are ready to sell! Now what?
S To Becoming A Medicare Insurance Agent
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Secure A Health Insurance License
Medicare agents must be licensed in their resident state. Actually, agents must hold a valid health insurance license in every state they plan to sell in.
Licensing entities are run by the each state. Therefore, the process may differ slightly. The first step is a pre-licensing course. This course can be classroom based. Or, it can be self-taught. Weve had success with the Kaplan programs. Once pre-licensing requirements have been met, you will need to sit for a state exam. Again, this varies by state. To find the most accurate information, google Health insurance license < your state> . Each state has its own licensing process. Occasionally, these change.
After passing the exam, results will be reported to the National Insurance Producer Registry . NIPR allows you to print a copy of your license and retrieve your National Producer Number . You will need these to contract with carriers.
What Certifies A Health Insurance Agent
To receive a California license to become a health insurance agent or broker a person must complete a state approved insurance course, pass a licensing exam, be fingerprinted for a background check, and have their application approved by the California Department of Insurance. Additionally, they must be appointed by the health insurance companies for whom they sell for. To maintain their license, they must take a required number of hours of specific continuing education courses every two years. Health insurance agents must comply with all California Insurance codes and laws or their license may be revoked.
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Contract With Medicare Companies
While your FMO will do a lot of the work for you, youll still have to provide some documents to get contracted with Medicare carriers.
Some of the documents you may need include:
- A copy of your state health insurance license
- A copy of your E& O policy
- A copy of your AHIP
- The carriers legal questionnaire
- Completion of carrier-specific certifications
Carriers will also get your consent to run a background check prior to issuing your contract. The contracting process can take some time, so you need to plan ahead if you are trying to get contracted for a specific period, like the Annual Enrollment Period.
What Is Medicare Insurance
Before an agent starts a Medicare insurance career they must understand the differences between Original Medicare and additional Medicare plans provided by private insurance companies. Medicare is our socialized health care system that provides health coverage for individuals aged 65 or older and/or the disabled. Original Medicare is comprised of two parts: Part A which covers hospital bills and Part B that covers doctor bills. Original Medicare is less comprehensive than other health care plans therefore the majority of seniors sign up for or purchase Medicare insurance policies from private companies to fill the gaps in coverage or provide additional coverage above traditional Medicare. Agents sell policies such as Medicare supplements, Prescription Drug and Medicare Advantage plans to clients to help them lessen the costs associated with hospitalizations, emergency room visits, doctor visits, prescription drugs, etc.
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What Type Of Senior Market Products Will I Need
As an independent agent serving the Medicare Supplement market youll have numerous product options to pick from including a broad range ofMedicare Supplement Products, Medicare Advantage products , Prescription Drug Plans andAncillary Products, but in the end your portfolio will bedictated by your territoryand to some extent, your sales model.
To suit your territory best youll need a product that is available, competitive, and serves your customers preferences and best interests.
of our seasoned marketersto find out what products are performing well in your area.
Get Your Health Insurance License
Obtaining a health insurance license in your residential state is the very first step in becoming a Medicare insurance agent. Its also probably the step thats going to take you the longest. Youll need to take a course either in a classroom, online or by self-study and work hard to understand the material.
Youll learn about deductibles, coinsurance costs, claims adjudication, insurance networks, healthcare laws, ethics, and compliance standards. Some states require a specific number of hours of study prior to taking the exam, and some do require that you have classroom training. This training is usually completed within a week. Some vendors offer life insurance training in addition to the health insurance portion. If you are able to do it, it can be beneficial to get this completed at the same time.
Once you have completed the learning and studying phase, youll take an exam. If you pass, youll have your license in just a few days!
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Set Realistic Sales Goals
Speaking of budgeting and income, before you become a Medicare agent, its important to calculate your income and expenses.
There are no guarantees with commission jobs insurance agent included. Youll need a flexible budget with room for dips in your income.
But that doesnt mean you cant estimate your income and expenses to set reasonable sales goals and objectives.
As of this writing, Medicare agents receivean average of $250 renewal fee per member per year. In addition, you receive anywhere from $300 $500 for signing up a new client, depending on the state you live in.
Its also important to note that commissions vary based on the products and plans you sell and the carrier. Working with multiple carriers means more opportunity and access to potential clients.
Its best to have a financial nest egg to fall back on when first starting out.
What Is The Contrast Between Agents And Brokers
Although the phrases agent and broker are sometimes used interchangeably, there are some significant differences between the two.
An insurance specialist who has received specialized training can assist you in enrolling in a health insurance plan.
While agents may work for a single health insurance company, brokers work for several insurance firms.
Agents and brokers who wish to sell Marketplace health plans must be licensed in their respective states and have signed agreements with the Marketplace.
The majority of states mandate that brokers behave in the best interests of their clients.
Agents and brokers are frequently compensated by insurance firms to sell their policies .
Some may refuse to sell plans for companies that they do not represent in any way.
As an agent or broker, you can help your clients become eligible for a premium tax credit as well as other benefits.
However, an agent or broker is expected to enroll clients in health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace if they are qualified to benefit from the savings.
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Benefit 3 Youll Stay Informed
Although you retake your AHIP certification exam every year, you still need to do more. Training sessions will connect you with industry publications and the latest updates from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Training to become a great agent doesnt end with your certification. You can become a top-tier Medicare agent, and training is a massive part of that. So contact us to step up your training game today!
How Can A Medicare Agent Or Broker Assist With Medicare Options
A Medicare agent or broker can assist in narrowing down selections and selecting the most appropriate one.
They learn about their clients health objectives as well as their financial situation in order to accomplish this.
They give solutions that allow one to achieve objectives while staying within their budget.
They can assist with enrollment into the health coverage and plan of choice.
If the plan a client is currently enrolled in changes coverage or does not fit their needs, a quick look at the contact information of an agent or broker can help intensely.
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Continuing Education Requirements 4 Hours:
To retain the specialty certification for medicare-related products, an individual must complete in each reporting period following the reporting period in which the licensee completed the certification course, at least 4 hours of department certified medicare-related products continuing education. To find courses which qualify, please view the Course Inquiry on the Compliance Express / Sircon.
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Are you thinking about becoming a Medicare insurance agent? If so, youll be happy to hear that the Medicare health insurance market is growing at a rapid rate.
For one, all baby boomers will be over the age of 65 by 2030, which will expand the size of the older population so that 1 in every 5 residents will be retirement age.
Census predictions also state that for the first time in US history seniors will outnumber children.
These growing seniors numbers are set to create a high demand for medicare health insurance agents.
Whats more, its not just the general public who are aging. So are insurance agents. The average age of insurance agents is currently 59.
This means that over the next few years, a large portion of existing agents will likely retire. This is predicted to only but spur the demand for independent insurance agents.
But how does one go about becoming a Medicare insurance agent?
If youre wondering how to get started as a health insurance agent, keep reading as we break down all the steps in this ultimate guide.
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About The California Department Of Insurance
The CDI is the largest consumer protection agency in the state. Consumer protection is the core of its mission. It oversees over 1,300 insurance companies and over 390,000 agents, brokers, adjusters and business entities. The Insurance Commissioner, an independent statewide officer elected by popular vote, oversees and directs all of its functions.
The CDI means to protect consumers by:
- Overseeing insurer solvency
The State Licensing Exam
The next step to becoming a licensed Medicare agent is to pass the state licensing exam. The exam can be taken at various testing centers throughout your state, however, each state has its own insurance licensing exam and the requirements may vary, so be sure to read those specific to your state of residence when preparing for the test. Typically, you will need to bring with you an original copy of your Certificate of Completion from your pre-licensing course and a valid, signed form of identification that includes a photo. Be sure the name on the identification matches the name on your Certificate of Completion and the name you used to register for the exam. A score of 70% is required to pass the exam.
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