How to Become a Medicare Insurance Agent in 2022 | Nectar

If you’ve ever considered learning how to become a Medicare insurance sales agent, there’s never been a better time. public interest in medicare advantage is growing rapidly.

In 2020, 39% of Medicare beneficiaries had benefit plans. With a growth of 9% year over year, the number of subscribers continues to increase. Experts believe that by 2030, Medicare Advantage plans will serve 51% of people on Medicare.

Reading: How to become medicare insurance agent

the variety of coverage is also increasing. the average new subscriber has access to an all-time high of 33 separate plans. it is a confusing picture, which means there is a pressing need for informed agents.

You can make a difference and make a living selling medicare advantage plans. To get started, you’ll need to learn about the different coverage options and eligibility rules. You’ll also need to obtain a license, connect with operators, and complete some training.

It seems like a lot at first, but don’t worry. This article will tell you everything you need to know, starting with why it’s a good bet in the first place.

is selling medicare lucrative?

In short, yes. The average Medicare Advantage policy pays about $287 a year in commission if the purchase replaces an existing plan. however, you can get about twice as much ($573) if you write a new medicare benefits plan for someone who hasn’t had one before.

Assume for now that you sell mostly replacement policies and an average commission of $300 per policy. For example, if you sell 200 Medicare Advantage plans in your first year, you could earn $60,000 in Advantage commissions alone.

If you maintain that level in the second year and retain 80% of existing policyholders, your lead commission will increase to $100,000. That revenue will continue to grow annually, assuming you add new customers each year and maintain a good percentage of your customer base.

It’s easier than you think. It is estimated that 10,000 people turn 65 every day. by 2050, 22% of the us. uu. the population will be 65 and older, up from 16.9% in 2020. that’s a lot of new customers.

medicare licensing and training

medicare advantage is a great line to sell, whether you’re new to selling insurance or a seasoned insurance professional looking to diversify your portfolio. But no matter how much experience you have, you need the proper Medicare insurance sales agent training to complete the certification process.

why training matters

Medicare products and regulations change every year. As a result, new plans come on the market and existing plans change their offerings.

There are also sweeping changes to the entire perk. In 2021, for example, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services introduced new mandatory cost-sharing for prescription drug payments, and those changes will take effect in 2022.

Changes like these are why all Medicare insurance sales agents are required to complete annual training. By completing this training before you begin and maintaining it each year, you will be better equipped to provide quality service and coverage.

how long does it take to complete the medicare training?

If you have never trained to sell Medicare before, set aside two to three weeks to complete all requirements. the best time to start is as soon as possible, even if the next open enrollment period is months away.

You need to know as much as possible about Medicare to gain the trust of policyholders. therefore, the earlier you start, the deeper your learning will be.

Starting early also means you can start onboarding more clients sooner. If you start this process well in advance of open enrollment, you’ll be ahead of the competition and positioned for early success.

If you have never trained to sell Medicare before, set aside two to three weeks to complete all requirements. the best time to start is as soon as possible, even if the next open enrollment period is months away.

You need to know as much as possible about Medicare to gain the trust of policyholders. therefore, the earlier you start, the deeper your learning will be.

Starting early also means you can start onboarding more clients sooner. If you start this process well in advance of open enrollment, you’ll be ahead of the competition and positioned for early success.

what kind of medicare related licenses do i need?

As with the sale of other types of insurance, you will generally need a health insurance license to sell Medicare plans. Specific licensing requirements vary by state, but you’ll need a resident license for your own state and nonresident licenses for any other state you plan to sell in.

You can find this information, including the documentation you’ll need to submit, on each state’s insurance department website. Once you’re ready to apply, visit the National Registry of Insurance Producers (NIPR).

nipr provides new licenses and renewals for agents in all 50 states. Its intuitive process helps minimize paperwork and data entry, so you can get your health insurance license quickly without slowing down your business. the process works for both resident and non-resident licenses.

To sell Medicare plans, you’ll also need to complete the United States Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) certification process. These certifications exist to help protect seniors and reward officers who do things the right way.

ahip and fwa certifications

To sell Medicare Advantage plans, you will need to complete the United States Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) certification in addition to each company’s product and compliance certifications. These certifications exist to help protect seniors and reward officers who do things the right way.

ahip certification

Ahip Certification is a requirement of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). cms medicare rules and regulations are subject to change each year, so all agents selling medicare must take the updated ahip certification test annually.

a hip medicare training covers:

  • ‌eligibility basics
  • ‌available benefits
  • ‌prescription drug coverage options‌
  • marketing and registration rules and compliance
  • ‌The test costs $175, but many carriers offer a discounted rate of $125 when you take it through one of their portals.

    ahip allows only three attempts on the final exam, so it’s wise to spend some time preparing. There are many self-study ahip courses available to help you study so you can pass it on the first try.

    For more details on ahip certification, please visit the ahip website.

    fraud, waste and abuse (fwa) training

    fwa training covers:

    • ‌tools and industry practices to detect medicare fraud
      • ‌the human and financial cost of fraud, waste and abuse
      • correct notification procedures
      • ‌Previously, agents had to take this training separately from the ahip program, but now ahip offers both under the same umbrella.

        As with hiring carriers, you can gain a competitive advantage by completing your ahip and fwa training ahead of time. This way, you won’t have to waste time working on these courses as the open enrollment period approaches.

        See also: How Much Does a Pediatrician Visit Cost Without Insurance in 2021? | Mira

        securing transportation contracts

        once you are licensed, you will need to contract with medicare providers to sell their products. this process is also called “being named”.

        Certain carriers allow you to skip the contracting process if you already sell their other products. others require you to enter into a contract for each new product line you sell. double check with your point of contact at each carrier to ensure you understand the proper procedure.

        Once you submit your engagement paperwork with a carrier, expect processing and background checks to take seven to 10 business days. Please note that turnaround time may take four to six weeks if open enrollment approaches.

        Please read your contract carefully when you arrive. It will list everything you need to know about partnering with the carrier, including product requirements and how you’ll get paid for your sales and renewals.

        See also: How Much Does a Pediatrician Visit Cost Without Insurance in 2021? | Mira

        carrier courses and recertification

        Carriers will often require you to take product-specific courses in conjunction with your ahip training. the carrier may even cover the cost of your hip training. this varies by carrier, as do product details and compliance training. Always get clarification from each carrier you work with.

        Once you’ve started selling, you’ll need to recertify with each operator annually. By doing so, you ensure that you stay up-to-date on Medicare regulations and annual changes in each company’s offerings.

        what kind of medicare product options should i offer?

        When you sell Medicare, you actually have several product options to consider.

        See also: How Much Does a Pediatrician Visit Cost Without Insurance in 2021? | Mira

        medicare advantage

        See also: Why Include a Personal Accident Plan in Your Insurance | Life Matters

        Also known as Medicare Part C, this coverage combines and enhances the benefits offered by original Medicare (Part A and Part B). they may also include drug coverage (part d). These plans are quite popular, with 42% of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in one as of 2021. CMS sets a cap on these fees each year. for 2022, that’s $573 per beneficiary for first-time enrollment and $287 for renewals. Some states, like California, have higher limits.

        See also: How Much Does a Pediatrician Visit Cost Without Insurance in 2021? | Mira

        medicare supplement (medigap)

        another option for medicare beneficiaries is to stay with original medicare and supplement it with medigap coverage to help cover some of the costs of care. These plans tend to be more expensive for the plan holder but less lucrative than the Medicare advantage for you as an agent. Commissions are based on a percentage of the Medigap premium, rather than flat fees like with Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plans.

        See also: How Much Does a Pediatrician Visit Cost Without Insurance in 2021? | Mira

        prescription drug plans

        You can also sell stand-alone prescription drug plans (Medicare Part D) for Medicare beneficiaries who wish to purchase them separately. for 2022, these commissions are capped at $87 for first-time enrollment and $44 for each renewal.

        See also: How Much Does a Pediatrician Visit Cost Without Insurance in 2021? | Mira

        auxiliary products

        You can also increase your profits by selling supplemental insurance products designed to fill gaps in Medicare coverage. This could include long-term care insurance, hospital indemnity, dental plans, or vision and hearing insurance.

        Ultimately, your product offerings will be dictated by your territory and sales model. To compete well, you’ll need to choose products that are available, competitive, and in the best interests of your customers.

        See also: How Much Does a Pediatrician Visit Cost Without Insurance in 2021? | Mira

        where to get your medicare products

        Choosing your product offerings is just the beginning. For each product you plan to sell, you will need to make an appointment with that insurance company to complete an independent agent agreement or contract.

        Unfortunately, there are very few insurance companies that will offer you a direct contract if you are not a captive or employed agent. That means you’ll need to purchase most of your independent agent contracts to sell Medicare through a Medicare insurance field marketing organization (FMO).

        working with an fmo usually gives you access to much better deals and product deals. These organizations have connections to multiple carriers and can offer you more connections and better commissions than you would earn if you tried to work directly with individual carriers. they also often offer assistance with training and certification requirements.

        See also: How Much Does a Pediatrician Visit Cost Without Insurance in 2021? | Mira

        what to look for in an fmo

        Choosing an fmo is an important step in the process of preparing to sell medicare coverage. If you make the right decision, you can drastically improve your chances of success. look for an fmo that offers:

        1. fully vested contracts (meaning you own the contract and your business goes with you if it ever leaves fmo)
          1. many transportation options
            1. help with compliance, training and certification
              1. additional marketing benefits (such as affinity associations and cooperatives)
              2. See also: How Much Does a Pediatrician Visit Cost Without Insurance in 2021? | Mira

                how to choose medicare companies and plans to sell

                Most new agents want to rush in and offer all medicare advantage plans from day one. It’s an understandable ambition, but it can quickly become overwhelming.

                See also: How Much Does a Pediatrician Visit Cost Without Insurance in 2021? | Mira

                reducing it

                ‌Think about the needs of your current or potential customers. Consider the different scenarios you might encounter: policyholders’ health statuses, budget issues, coverage preferences, etc. aim for a variety of plans so you can meet these different needs.

                Also consider the marketability of each product. many operators have minimum product requirements, for example at least one entry per product. Failure to meet these criteria may result in termination.

                if possible, start with the larger carriers like aetna, cigna, humana, or united. these companies comprise the majority of the market share and tend to be easier to sell.

                When you’re ready, connect with your regional carriers. contract with the big guys first and then switch to their smaller counterparts once you get more experience.

                each operator can have several plans. this is what you should consider when choosing which one to offer.

                star rating

                Learn how each of your plans scores on Medicare’s five-star quality rating system. These ratings assess a plan’s performance in five different areas:

                • ‌preventive care
                • ‌chronic disease management
                • ‌plan responsiveness
                • ‌customer service
                • ‌complaints and member abandonment
                • ‌Pay special attention to the plan’s rating for quality of care and customer service. these mean more to your subscribers.

                  premiums and plan costs

                  Before offering a plan, identify your premium and how it compares to your customers’ price points. Then, compare it to similar plans, especially if you’re new to the business and don’t have existing clients with real-life budgets.

                  Consider the benefits of the plan. Examine how those benefits relate to cost factors like copays and coinsurance, then compare those cost-benefit balances across plans.

                  Medicare subscribers don’t always consider copays and coinsurance when budgeting for their plans. develop a way to explain what your out-of-pocket costs will be for each plan. calculate different real-life scenarios, such as high-need vs. low-need subscribers.

                  Each customer will have their priorities when it comes to out-of-pocket expenses. therefore, have a wide enough variety in your portfolio so that you can cater to everyone. That includes not only the high-premium, low-visit-cost crowd, but also those who prioritize a low premium over potentially high out-of-pocket costs.

                  provider network

                  If you plan to transfer your current subscribers from other plans, find out if your providers are in-network. Not having to change doctors is often important for older adults.

                  determine the size and diversity of the plan’s network in order to assist new clients. identify what costs a customer might incur if they go out of network and ask the carrier if they require referrals.

                  medication form

                  Your potential customers are likely to have questions about prescription drugs, so get them answered early. find out:

                  • ‌what types of prescriptions are on the plan’s drug formulary
                    • ‌what are the costs at different plan levels
                    • ‌Carriers divide their tiers differently; a brand-name drug might be in tier 2 (lowest cost) in one plan, but tier 3 (highest cost) in another.

                      Inspect these factors when choosing a plan to offer and analyze them when shopping to meet the needs of a specific customer. always know how each potential plan covers a client’s medications.

                      additional features and benefits

                      People consider Medicare Advantage plans in part because they offer certain benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t. claims to offer plans with a variety of “extras” such as:

                      • gym memberships and discounts
                      • ‌transportation to medical appointments
                      • ‌over-the-counter medications
                      • ‌meal benefits
                      • ‌Analyze vision, hearing, and dental benefits and determine how these services contribute to the cost of each plan.

                        brand names

                        Consider the popularity of a brand name, especially if you’re just starting out. people tend to trust insurers they have heard of. If you’re not sure if a brand is known outside the industry, ask a friend or acquaintance if they know it.

                        See also: How Much Does a Pediatrician Visit Cost Without Insurance in 2021? | Mira

                        order medicare enrollment kits from providers

                        Each company has its own Medicare Enrollment Kit, which includes brochures members need when considering enrolling. Different carriers include various materials in their kits, but most contain:

                        • ‌a medicare advantage enrollment application
                        • ‌a pre-enrollment checklist, which provides key information about the plan, including physician networks, copays, benefits, and coverage area
                        • ‌updated star ratings for different plan options
                          • ‌a resource guide showing customers how to access commonly needed services
                          • ‌information about low-income subsidies, including guidelines that tell clients if they may qualify
                          • ‌county-specific coverage information
                          • ‌When you first sign up with a provider, request enrollment kits for each area you cover. Every county is different, so you’ll need to order multiple enrollment kits for the products you plan to offer. ask the carrier if there is anything else you need to order for new and potential customers.

                            Examine each enrollment kit when it arrives. make sure it contains everything you need. if not, ask the carrier if they or you can add what’s missing.

                            learn about the medicare supplies ordering process

                            Some providers automatically ship enrollment kits after you complete your certification. others don’t. As soon as you’re certified, find out how a given carrier handles supply orders. inquire about:

                            • ‌when can you buy medicare supplies
                            • ‌if the insurance company will send enrollment kits automatically after you certify and how many
                              • ‌if the carrier limits the number of enrollment kits you can order at one time and if there are any exceptions
                              • ‌what is the process for ordering supplies
                              • ‌if you can place your order by phone, email or online
                              • ‌how long will it take to receive your order
                              • ‌Each carrier will have different procedures. consider keeping a written record of how to obtain additional supplies from each.

                                order enrollment kits in advance when possible

                                You’ll want to have plenty of enrollment kits available by the time open enrollment begins, usually October 15. Consumer-facing materials for the upcoming year are typically available Oct. 1, when most carriers begin shipping kits and supplies.

                                See also: Credit Life Insurance | Bankrate

                                Consider pre-ordering your kits so your requests are at the top of the list when your carriers begin distribution. this gives you a better chance of having your materials on hand in early October, so you can hit the ground running when open enrollment begins.

                                Many carriers will host a product launch event, either in person or via webinar, prior to shipping enrollment kits. attend these whenever you can. you will receive useful information about what might be new or different this year.

                                Finally, maintain good relationships with your carrier’s representatives. reach out to them and ask them about kit shipments and releases to stay on their radar.

                                how do i find medicare eligible prospects?

                                Finding high-quality leads that are easy to convert is one of the most important aspects of building your medicare sales business. That’s why you need to learn as much about how to market your business as you do about how to sell your products.

                                To find good leads, be prepared to try different types of marketing. Remember that with Medicare, you are dealing with an older clientele who may prefer more traditional methods. Don’t overlook the importance of print advertising, direct mail marketing, and in-person networking for this audience.

                                That said, you shouldn’t ignore the ways you can reach these potential customers through modern digital channels. Website, email, and social media are important ways to connect with eligible Medicare prospects.

                                One of the most effective ways to quickly grow your business will be to buy high-quality leads that are sourced specifically for you. more on how it works below.

                                See also: How Much Does a Pediatrician Visit Cost Without Insurance in 2021? | Mira

                                what kind of sales tools will I need?

                                Once you start connecting with prospects, it’s important to make sure you have all the tools you need to make the sale. Here are some essentials for your Medicare sales business.

                                electronic contracting solutions

                                In today’s world, most contracting transactions are going digital. You need simple e-procurement software that makes it easy for you to create, send, sign and execute Medicare contracts with your clients without the tedious printing and manual signing of yesterday.

                                See also: How Much Does a Pediatrician Visit Cost Without Insurance in 2021? | Mira

                                medicare quote tools

                                A wide range of software solutions are available to make it easy for you to provide clear and accurate Medicare quotes to your customers. choose one that allows you to offer quotes from multiple providers at once, incorporate discounts, and estimate health care costs so you can get a complete view of your options.

                                See also: How Much Does a Pediatrician Visit Cost Without Insurance in 2021? | Mira

                                client/prospect management system (cms/lms)

                                This is a critical tool for managing your book of business. From the first time you connect with a potential customer throughout your customer lifecycle, you can track and record important information to help you serve them better. store quotes, contracts, payments and renewal information. keep up with birthdays and other important life events. and set reminders to follow up or reconnect on a regular basis.

                                See also: How Much Does a Pediatrician Visit Cost Without Insurance in 2021? | Mira

                                your medicare enrollment center

                                yourmedicare’s enrollment center combines all of the above to allow you to create quotes, fulfill contracts, and manage all of your critical customer information in one place.

                                help protect yourself with e&o insurance

                                As a Medicare insurance sales agent, your role is to help your clients prepare for the unexpected and help protect themselves from financial risk. You may have the best of intentions, but sometimes things don’t go as planned.

                                If a client thinks you’ve harmed them in any way, they might try to take you to court. For example, this could happen if a client discovers that a particular service isn’t covered and ends up paying out of pocket for her, or if he identifies a potentially better plan that he didn’t mention.

                                e&o insurance, or errors and omissions insurance, helps protect you from these lawsuits. it will not prevent a client from filing a lawsuit, but it may mitigate or eliminate your court costs and/or settlements.

                                Without adequate coverage, these costs can run into the millions of dollars. That’s part of why some traders require you to have e&o before you can trade with them.

                                As an insurance agent, you know how important it is to help protect your clients’ finances. however, do not underestimate the value of protecting yourself as well.

                                start working towards a rewarding career selling medicare

                                All of these certifications, training requirements, and legal protections can make selling Medicare insurance feel overwhelming at first. But don’t let them stop you from reaching your ultimate goal: a rewarding and lucrative career.

                                Whether you choose to be an independent insurance agent or work with a team, you can build and maintain a good business selling Medicare Advantage plans. the key is to stick with it and cultivate a long-term customer base.

                                here are two ways to do it.

                                independent assurance agents

                                If you prefer to be self-employed but appreciate strong support, consider working as an independent insurance agent for security.

                                vendor assistance

                                ‌the insurance platform allows you to sell insurance when, where and how you want. With access to Assurance’s team of user interaction specialists to help you resolve any carrier issues you face, you’ll never have to figure things out on your own.

                                Most of the time, you won’t even have to contact carrier representatives. instead, you’ll have access to a wide variety of training sessions available each week to further your knowledge of how to sell medicare.

                                In addition, the guarantee will assign you a dedicated sales manager. Your sales manager will work closely with you to help you reach your sales goals.

                                quality leads

                                ‌Perhaps most importantly, security frees you from the pressure of getting leads. instead, the security sends you pre-qualified leads. As a result, when you get calls, you’ll be talking to people who have already expressed an interest in finding the right Medicare Advantage coverage.

                                These leads cost you nothing; you don’t have to worry about paying for marketing or other limits on your earning potential. instead, you can focus entirely on what you do best, and that’s selling medicare insurance.

                                profit potential

                                You’ll also be part of Assurance’s lucrative commission structure, which allows you to earn all year long, not just during open enrollment.

                                buy medicare contacts through nectar

                                Some independent agents prefer not to work through someone else’s platform. If you’d rather choose to be your own boss and possibly run your own business one day, consider buying Medicare contacts directly through Nectar.

                                nectar is ideal for agents who are less enthusiastic about marketing and networking. Maybe you don’t think these skills are your forte, you’re currently in the process of ramping up your marketing efforts, or you’d rather not let marketing eat up valuable selling time.

                                quality leads with high intent‌

                                With Nectar, you won’t have to play cold leads or worry about having enough leads to get you through a week. As a result, you can reduce the amount of time and money you spend on marketing. nectar does the sourcing for you.

                                nectar relies on a variety of marketing methods to identify high-intent medicare shoppers on several different websites. we then match the right buyer with the right agent based on the buyer’s needs and the agent’s portfolio. this keeps the shopper experience personal and direct.

                                every lead you receive through nectar will be real and fresh. It’s the same kind of qualifying you’d do on your own, just you don’t have to do it all yourself. instead, you can leave most of the work to nectar and focus on selling.

                                See also: How Much Does a Pediatrician Visit Cost Without Insurance in 2021? | Mira

                                take advantage of live call transfers

                                If you want to go a step further, Nectar also offers Medicare Live Call Forwarding. This is the exact opposite of cold calling: potential customers call you and are ready to buy. you tell us when you want to receive calls and what your ideal prospect is like. We call interested buyers on the phone, verify that they are a good fit, and route their call directly to you. all you have to do is make the sale.

                                start talking to medicare shoppers today

                                nectar offers real-time medicare prospects and live medicare call forwarding, as well as life, auto, and other forms of health insurance. And unlike an employer, Nectar will never take any of your commissions.

                                Are you ready to accelerate your Medicare Advantage portfolio? Sign up for Nectar today and start receiving your personalized leads.

                                See also: How Much Does a Pediatrician Visit Cost Without Insurance in 2021? | Mira

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