Medicare Certifications: What to Know

Episode Summary

The transcript provides a comprehensive overview of everything a new insurance agent needs to know to get certified to sell Medicare plans. It covers the step-by-step process agents should follow, from contracting with carriers to completing AHIP and carrier-specific certifications.

The first step is getting contracted with Medicare carriers like UnitedHealthcare, Humana, Aetna, etc. The contracting process timeline varies by carrier - it can take anywhere from 1-2 days up to 10-12 weeks. During this contracting period, agents can start the AHIP certification course.

AHIP (America's Health Insurance Plans) is the main Medicare certification that is widely accepted industry-wide. Most major carriers require AHIP certification to sell Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans. Taking AHIP through a carrier provides a $50 discount off the $175 retail price.

The AHIP certification consists of 5 learning modules, followed by a 50-question exam that agents need to pass with a 90% or higher score. Agents get 3 chances to pass the exam within a single purchase of the course. If they don't pass in 3 attempts, they have to repay and retake the full course.

After completing AHIP, agents must go through carrier-specific certifications and training. These courses are shorter for agents recertifying versus new agents, but ensure an understanding of the carrier's specific plans, systems, and compliant selling processes.

Both AHIP and carrier certifications must be renewed annually. Agents can't just take the courses once - they need to retake AHIP and abbreviated carrier recertification courses every year.

The transcript recommends finishing all Medicare certifications by October 1st at the absolute latest. This provides 2 weeks before the Annual Enrollment Period to get ready and order sales materials. It notes that ordering materials early is essential to avoid backlogs, even for agents planning to sell digitally.

For brand-new agents, the AHIP certification process can take a minimum of 10-15 hours. It's wise to break up studying over several days or weeks rather than cramming it all in at once. While studying, agents should also start planning marketing and sales strategies for AEP.

In summary, the transcript provides a very thorough, step-by-step explanation of what new agents need to know to get certified to sell Medicare plans. It covers details like the AHIP exam structure, carrier-specific training, annual renewal requirements, recommended timelines, and best practices for new Medicare agents. The guide will equip new agents with the knowledge needed to get Medicare-certified and ready to sell for AEP.


(0:00:00) - Nick Cindric shares tips on getting Medicare certifications
(0:00:42) - What would be the first step for new agents looking to sell Medicare
(0:01:45) - Most carriers do accept the AHIP and it's their preferred method
(0:03:22) - The cost for the exam is $175. But the brokerage here, we do have an AHIP reimbursement program
(0:05:38) - The first step is taking an AHIP certification. So it is not one of those things like a driver's license
(0:08:13) - Is AHIP required for all Medicare products or just some
(0:10:41) - Time is of the essence with anything in insurance, but especially health insurance
(0:13:41) - You're going to need certifications to get into the Medicare business
(0:15:40) - Nick: We empower insurance agents to sell more, earn more, and stay independent

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