agHow to Become a Medicare Insurance Agent
Let’s breakdown how to become a Medicare insurance agent. Below are the four basic steps.
- Secure a health insurance license.
- Determine your market demographic – location and products.
- Contract with carriers.
- Certify to sell.
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. We’ve 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 it’s own licensing process. Occasionally, these change.
After passing the exam, results will be reported to the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR). NIPR allows you to print a copy of your license and retrieve your National Producer Number (NPN). You will need these to contract with carriers.
Get E&O Insurance
Medicare carriers require agents carry errors and omissions insurance (E&O). E&O insurance is a form of professional liability insurance. It can be pricey. We offer agents a low cost policy. Click here to download the agreement.
Determine Your Market Demographic – Location and Products
If you are a new agent, start small! You will be more successful at becoming an agent if you do. You can always grow by adding carriers, products and states. Become an expert with a few carriers. Then, add a few more.
How do you know where to start? Determine which carriers are most competitive in your market area. We’d be happy to help with that. Call the office at 203-796-5403.
Contract With Carriers
While agents can contract directly with the carriers, success depends on the support you receive. Crowe and Associates is one of the nation’s top Medicare FMOs. Learn more about what we offer our agents.
The first step is to complete a contracting kit. Agents can complete one kit for all carriers. Click here to download a Crowe and Associates contract. Email completed contracts to Lisa@CroweAndAssociates.com. Alternately, fax the contract back to 1-203-567-6235. Be sure to include a copy of your insurance license, E&O certificate and a voided check for commission deposits.
This master contract will trigger contracting for the individual carriers you’ve selected. In most cases, that means you will need to complete carrier links. Completing these links will trigger carriers to complete background information on you. Once you have cleared backgrounding, you can begin to certify. Product certifications are an important part of the process. Understanding plans will make you a more effective broker.
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?
Next Steps to Becoming an Agent
These video webinars will help you understand how to get started.
Familiarize yourself with quoting and enrollment tools. This webinar demonstrates using Sunfire vs Connecture.
Learn how Medicare commissions are paid. Click here to learn more.
Click here to subscribe to email and text alerts. Check out all of our webinars here.
A Bit About Leads
Getting leads is one of the more challenging hurdles. However, it does not need to be. Leads come in so many forms. Start with your current contacts. Network not only with you personal contacts, but create professional ones. Remember, people turn 65 every day. And that will never change. While we offer free t65 lists to our agents, that is only one lead source.
Keep in touch. Click here to join our mailing list.