Get your Medicare Certifications Now

Episode Summary

This podcast episode provides a comprehensive overview of everything an insurance agent needs to know to get certified to sell Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans.

The host opens by introducing expert Nick Cindric from the Medicare team, who will be sharing insights on Medicare certifications. Nick gives some background on his experience, having worked for Humana managing agent contracting and training before joining the brokerage.

The first step Nick recommends is getting contracted with the carriers you want to sell for since this process can take 1-2 months depending on the company. While waiting on contracting, you can go ahead and start studying for the main Medicare certification - AHIP.

AHIP stands for America's Health Insurance Plans, and it is the industry-standard certification accepted by most Medicare carriers. The AHIP exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions, and you need a score of at least 90% (45 correct) to pass. You get three chances before having to repay for the course.

Here are some key facts about the AHIP certification:
- Cost is $175, but carriers give you a $50 discount when accessing through their portal.
- The 2021 exam is considered easier than previous years.
- Expect to spend 10-15 hours studying the 5 course modules before taking the exam.
- Take it ASAP once contracted to get it out of the way.
- You'll need to recertify annually.

In addition to AHIP, most carriers require you to take their certification course covering topics like plan specifics, compliance, and using their agent portal. These are relatively quick to complete.

Once you've completed all certs, order your Medicare plan materials right away directly through the carrier portal. Brochures, apps, and supplies can take weeks to fulfill, so order early.

An important note - once certified, if you sell at least 5 Medicare policies, the brokerage will fully reimburse you for the AHIP exam cost!

Nick recommends completing all certifications by early September at the absolute latest. This gives you plenty of time to study plans, develop marketing materials, and formulate your strategy before the Annual Enrollment Period.

The key takeaways are:
- Start carrier contracting ASAP
- Take the AHIP exam when able
- Complete carrier certs
- Order materials quickly
- Get certified by September
- Take advantage of reimbursement opportunity

While Medicare certification may seem complicated, following these steps and tips will have you certified and ready to sell with confidence for AEP. Reach out with any questions!


(0:00:06) - Broker Link podcast features Nick Cindric from the Medicare team
(0:00:32) - Nick Miller is helping agents get through Medicare certifications
(0:02:05) - What would be the first step for new agents looking to sell Medicare
(0:03:01) - Most carriers do accept the AHIP and it's their preferred method
(0:04:38) - If you do access AHIP certification through the carriers, they'll often give you a discount
(0:09:03) - Is AHIP required for all Medicare products or just some
(0:10:56) - The 2019 AHIP is a fairly easy exam compared to previous years
(0:12:09) - Time is of the essence with health insurance because there are annual enrollment periods
(0:15:19) - You're going to need carrier certifications before you start selling Medicare
(0:17:26) - Learn how to get started in Medicare sales with this quick and easy lesson

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