Thinking about selling Medicare? There are a few steps you need to get started in Medicare sales. And although it may seem a little daunting, it’s not a difficult process if you take it one step at a time.
- Obtain life and health insurance license
- Begin contracting with Medicare carriers
- Take certification modules and get certified in AHIP
- Start selling
Obtain Life and Health Insurance License
To get started in Medicare sales, the first step will be to obtain your life and health insurance license. You can get this through your state’s department of insurance.
It involves an application, background check, fingerprints, and passing the test.
With a license in hand, you can begin selling many life and health products without additional certifications. Medicare Advantage and Part D plans will require a few extra steps (which is a good thing, since not just everybody with an insurance license will be competing against you!)
Begin Contracting with Medicare Carriers
The next step is to begin contracting with Medicare plan carriers, such as UnitedHealthcare, Aetna, Humana, BCBS, etc. Some carriers allow you to contract directly with the plan rather than going through an FMO, or upline. But it’s generally best to take advantage of the extra layers of support you get when contracting through an FMO.
Some carriers won’t allow you to offer competing plans if you contract directly to them. As an independent agent, you will want to have the ability to put your clients in the best-fit plan. Be careful not to leave any business on the table if the one product you offer won’t work for them.
If you’re brand new to the world of Medicare and don’t know which carriers you should contract with, consider working with a partner. A marketer or new agent advisor with the FMO you’ve chosen can make suggestions based on their knowledge of your market.
Since every carrier has its own contracting process and required certifications, it’s best not to overwhelm yourself with too many contracts at first. Start with one to three of the big carriers, and then you can always add more later.
Take Certification Modules
At some point in the contracting process, you will be required to take certification modules and pass a test. AHIP is a universally accepted certification course that can be sent to the carriers and fulfill either most or all of their requirements.
Most carriers, though, will still have you complete some additional carrier-specific or product-specific certs, but AHIP takes care of the hard part. AHIP can be tricky, but if you find yourself struggling to pass, your FMO should be able to assist you with training and support.
One thing to note is that UHC doesn’t require AHIP certification, so if you’re getting into the business early in the year, it might make sense to contract with UHC and wait on the other carriers until late June/early July, when the new plan year AHIP is released.
Now that you have completed contracting and certifications, and received your agent writing i.d. numbers, it is time to get out there and start selling! Your FMO/upline will train you on the products, marketing strategies, sales process, tools, technology, and help you get in front of people.
If you feel like you are all alone, it might be time to find a new agency to work with.
It may sound like a daunting process, but with the help of your FMO, you’ll be up and running in no time! Once you get your feet wet, you’ll see how rewarding it is to help seniors with this very important aspect of their lives, and you get paid pretty well to do it!
One last thing… you don’t have to quit your job to get into Medicare sales! It’s a great way to supplement your income and start building renewals. And before you know it, you’ll be financially free to do whatever you please. Best of luck!
David Ireland | Medicare Sales Director, Central Region
Learn more about selling insurance with these similar articles:
Want to learn more about selling Medicare?
Check out The Broker Link Podcast where David Ireland dives deeper into selling Medicare. Listen on Apple podcasts or on Spotify.