How to become a Medicare agent
If you’re interested in how to become a Medicare agent, the information below will give you a good idea. With the aging population and increasing demand for advice on Medicare plans, there is a huge need for knowledgeable Medicare agents. Good Medicare producers have a strong knowledge of the options available to seniors, know the rules and most importantly can explain them to seniors in a concise and understandable manner. Is having a career as a Medicare producer easy? Tricky question, it can be once an agent has built up a large book of business that produces recurring revenue. The trick however is building up a book in the first place. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to become a Medicare agent:
Step 1: Understand the Role of a Medicare Agent
When learning how to become a Medicare agent, it’s important to understand what the role entails. Medicare agents are licensed professionals who help seniors enroll in Medicare, choose a Medicare plan, and make informed decisions. They are also responsible for educating clients on Medicare rules and helping them understand their coverage options. A successful Medicare agent is able to explain the following to prospects:
- Basics of Medicare A and B and options for enrollment into them
- Rules regarding plan changes and election periods
- Differences between Medicare supplements, Part D plans and Medicare Advantage plans
- Helping the Medicare beneficiary figure out which plan type might best fit their specific situation
- Keeping them up to date with new plans and plan changes going forward
Step 2: How to become a Medicare agent: Insurance license
In order to become a Medicare agent, you must first meet the education requirements set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). There are multiple requirements. First, a Medicare producer must have a valid State health insurance license in the state they plan to sell in. If they are goign to sell in multiple states, they need to have a license in each of those states.
Step 3: Contracting
After receiving the insurance license, the next step in how to become a Medicare agent is to contract with the desired carriers. How many companies the agent contracts with is up to them but it is usually wise to have the most competitive carriers in the areas you plan to sell in. This might be 2 companies or 6 to 8 depending on the area.
CLICK HERE FOR CARRIER CONTRACTING (Filling out this link one time allows contracting requests to be sent to multiple carriers)
Step 4:How to become a Medicare agent: Certifications
There are two types of certifications when it comes to Medicare Advantage and Stand alone Medicare Part D plans. Medicare supplements do not require certifications with the exception of one carrier. The two types of certifications are AHIP and the individual carrier certifications.
- AHIP: AHIP is a national Medicare designation that agents need to pass annually in order to be able to offer Medicare Advantage and Part D plans. AHIP costs $175 per year. Agents can access AHIP for the discounted cost of $125 through our sponsored link:
- CLICK HERE FOR AHIP DISCOUNTED LINK
- Carrier certifications: All carriers require a certification be completed in order to offer their MA or PDP plans. The certifications must be completed ever year.
Step 5: Agent education on plan types, Original Medicare and election periods
Agents must understand the rules for all aspects of Medicare applicable to consumers. This includes knowing the rules to sign up for Original Medicare and the benefits. A full knowledge of Medicare Advantage plans, Part D plans and Medicare supplements is also needed. In addtion, agents need to know the Medicare election periods including AEP, OEP and SEP elections.
Watch a video on Medicare Advantage vs. Medicare supplements
Step 6: How to become a Medicare agent: Enrollment and technology
How will you be enrolling the members you work with? Will you be using paper applications in a face to face setting? Maybe you will be working face to face but enrolling members electronically or through voice signature. Either way, agents will need to understand how to enroll members. There are 3 platforms that give agent the ability to quote, compare and enroll. All three have basic CRM functions and quote and compare all carriers available in a given state.
Learn about Connecture, Sunfire and MyMedicareBot
Step 6: Marketing and more marketing
All of the information above is important but the most important part for a Medicare agent is the ability to market. Lack of prospects and opportunity is the number one reason agents do not make it in the Medicare business. Prospects will not just start showing up once an agent is licensed, contracted and ready to sell. If you are not getting in front of people face to face, online or over the phone, you are not going to sell and will not make money.
Learn about marketing for Medicare agents