So, you want a Medicare sales job but aren’t sure where to start?
This article breaks down the seven steps required to start and maintain a successful career in Medicare sales and build a residual six-figure income in five years or less. We also provide you with the trusted organizations and resources that will jump-start your business.
I’ll 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.
Here are the 7 steps you need to follow to become a Medicare insurance agent.
Learning how to get a Medicare license is simple but takes work to maintain each year in order to retain your residual income.
To become a Medicare insurance agent, you must first get a health insurance license in the state you currently live in (this is called your resident state health insurance producer license). You can use www.Prelicensetraining.com to obtain your study material needed before you scheduled your insurance exam.
Aside from being a requirement, you will receive the fundamental training essential for you to understand how health insurance plans work, including Medicare.
Here are some of the important areas of study you will find in the health insurance license process:
There are several vendors who offer health insurance license training, and many states may require specific hours of study prior to taking the health insurance exam. There are two potential requirements you’ll need to meet to get your health insurance license to sell Medicare.
Some states require and offer classroom training with a seasoned licensed health insurance agent who prepares you for the exam. This is a nice option by giving you access to someone who can answer questions as you progress through the course. This classroom training takes roughly a week to complete with the goal of passing the exam at the end of the class.
Go to www.prelicensetraining.com
To become a Medicare Agent: Take the Health and Accident course and the code and ethics $39.99 each California only
To become a Medicare and Life insurance agent: take the Life Accident and Health combo which includes Code and Ethics $80.00 for California only.
Once you pass your state health insurance exam, you are officially certified to sell health insurance products in your resident state once the testing center transmits your successful test score to the state. That process typically takes a few days to process. Get fingerprinted send to state Cost $137. Then go to Apply for your California Insurance License $188.00
It is worth noting that many health Insurance exam vendors offer a life insurance certification at the same time you are preparing for your health certification. While having a life license is not required to sell Medicare products, it is a good idea to have this license under your belt to provide your client with other insurance product needs down the road.
All you need to do is use a health insurance license vendor and follow the specific details for your resident state.
Tamie’s Suggestion: My suggestion would be to schedule your exam first so you can give yourself a deadline to study towards. Doing this changes how you prioritize your study behavior and will get you one step closer to starting a career selling Medicare. I’ve also found those that do this are more likely to pass on their first or second try. If your specific state has other requirements like background checks and fingerprints, you’ll need to account for the time that takes as well.
Now that you are licensed to sell health insurance, you must take and pass with 90% or better an annual Medicare training and certification through America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Cost is $175 with a Discount of $50 if taken with an appointed carrier ($125).
It is important to understand that selling certain Medicare products requires special certification as determined by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS regulates Medicare plans, the insurance companies, agents, and agencies who sell them.
AHIP certification usually begins in late June or early July for the following Medicare plan year.
For example, if you take your certification exam in late June or July 2023, you are likely to be certified to sell the 2023/2024 product to eligible seniors during the 2023 annual enrollment period.
FMO is an acronym for Field Marketing Organization which is a company approved to distribute health insurance plans on behalf of various insurance companies. An FMO will help you get appointed to sell with multiple insurance companies. Your FMO does contracting, and some training. An SGA and MGA manages GA’s who do all the Agent hands on training. Ask questions, research who will actually help you and those who sell you a bag of wind. JSA is very friendly and helpful to agents, they do not overpromise and underdeliver like most in this business. Be careful what you sign sometimes you are signing away your commission.
Once contracted with a wholesaler (FMO), these are the products you will be approved to sell:
Below are some questions I always suggest you ask before committing to any FMO:
E&O insurance is insurance intended to protect you should you give a client incorrect or misleading information for which they take legal action against you. This can be purchased though most property and casualty agencies as well as many insurance associations.
A typical E&O policy coverage limit is $1,000,000/$3,000,000 and will run you $300-$500 per year. Most insurance companies will require this.
Get Contracted and Appointed to Sell Medicare Plans
You must sign a contract with each insurance company to be appointed to sell. For example, if you want to sell Medicare plans with Aetna, Cigna, and Anthem, you’ll need to complete a contract with each of those entities through your FMO.
Below is a checklist of what most insurance companies will require to become ready to sell:
The time this process takes will depend on the number of carriers you intend to broker with for your clients.
Medicare is highly regulated and many of the carriers have different contracting and appointment processes to get their agents ready to sell (RTS). You will need to be patient during this process as it can take some time to get your approval from each company.
Most insurance carriers require their certifications to be passed annually prior to the upcoming Medicare annual election period (AEP).
Continuing Education State requirements on continuing education vary and it is critical to keep this up to date to ensure your license stays active and you can continue to receive commissions. Most states require the following:
You can choose from many different options from your insurance CE provider, and they will guide you through the requirements for your resident state.
Tamie’s s Suggestion: You can use any CE provider including WebCE for continuing education.
The key to really becoming a great top Medicare agent is by committing to ongoing Medicare agent training. A great way to do this is connect with your FMO (assuming it’s an FMO that offers Medicare) and ask what their Medicare agent training programs look like.
A good Medicare FMO will guide you through everything from compliance to Medicare sales language.
Becoming an independent Medicare insurance agent takes planning and preparation but can be extremely rewarding as you build toward a six-figure residual income.
Following these specific steps will help you get off to a fast start!
Tamie Mongold 951-795-1943