What if a new job could completely change your life?
Becoming a Medicare supplement agent is about more than just steady work in an exciting career. It's also about making people's lives better and making a real difference in the world.
Interested in becoming a supplement agent? Keep reading to discover our complete guide to getting started!
What Does a Medicare Supplement Agent Do?
We've put together a complete guide to starting a new career as a Medicare supplement agent. Before we really get started, though, it's important to outline what this job is all about.
You will be selling Medicare supplemental insurance to those who are eligible for Medicare due to either age or disability. This insurance is sometimes referred to as "Medigap" insurance because it helps cover the "gaps" in standard Medicare coverage.
At a glance, you may think this is just another sales job. However, you're selling insurance to people that can enhance the quality and even length of their lives. That's why supplement agents find this job so fulfilling: you get to spend your days helping people out.
In other words, it's steady and fulfilling work. And when you go to sleep at night, you'll rest easy knowing that you made the world a bit better than it was when you woke up that morning.
The Health Insurance License
As you might imagine, there are many steps to selling health insurance. The first step (and arguably the most important) is getting your health insurance license.
This is a license given by the state where you intend to sell health insurance. Before you can pass the exam, you must study a variety of subjects relevant to your future job as a supplement agent.
These topics include deductibles, healthcare laws, ethics and compliance, co-insurance, and more. You will also learn all about various networks (such as HMO and PPO).
We'll be honest: getting your health insurance license isn't easy. But you can make the process easier by intensively studying for your exam.
Hit the Books
In some states, you handle all of the studying on your own. Other states offer their own classroom training with veteran health insurance agents as the teachers. And in some cases, health insurance vendors may offer their own training to help you pass the exam.
All of these are different paths to achieve the same goal: passing that exam. And once you've passed the exam, you are now licensed to sell healthcare insurance in that state.
Keep in mind that as a Medicare supplement agent, you may have an opportunity to sell other products to the same clientele. If you get a chance during your training, you may wish to study for your life insurance certification at the same time. Once you become an agent, you will then have multiple types of insurance you are licensed to sell.
Passing your health insurance exam qualifies you to sell many general health insurance products. And at this point, you are qualified to sell Medicare supplements. But you may wish to take this time to complete additional training, such as that available through America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).
By passing separate exams and completing separate company certifications, you can qualify to sell products such as Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans. If you only wish to sell supplements, however, this additional training is completely unnecessary.
The Right FMO
One reason that it's good to be a Medicare supplement agent is that you can work on behalf of multiple insurance companies. This helps provide a steady stream of clients and boosts your overall profits.
Fortunately, you don't have to approach each of these insurance companies on your own. Instead, you work with a Field Marketing Organization (FMO) will help you get appointed with the different companies.
After your appointment, you will be able to sell Medicare supplemental insurance as well as prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans, if you took the AHIP. As you can imagine, the more versatile your selection of products, the likelier you are to make sales.
Protect Yourself With Insurance
Most insurance companies will require that you have Errors & Omissions insurance. This insurance helps protect you if you should give a client misleading or incorrect information and they decide to take some form of legal action against you.
It's possible that your FMO will provide their own insurance to you. If not, you will need to handle it on your own in order to safely sell insurance to clients.
E&O insurance will typically cost between $300 and $500 per year, and the coverage usually ranges between $1,000,000 and $3,000,000. Ultimately, this insurance is a small price to pay to protect yourself from very litigious clients!
Signing the Contract
While the FMO will help you get appointed with different insurance companies, you will still need to sign individual contracts per company. These contracts typically require you to present the relevant paperwork. If you are looking into Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans then you'll have to pass each company's own certification exam in addition to AHIP.
Generally, the insurance company is going to need a copy of your health insurance license and a copy of your current Errors & Omissions insurance paperwork. You'll also need to complete a legal questionnaire that your FMO has provided you.
You must consent to a background check and pass a certification exam that is unique to this insurance carrier. When the smoke clears, you will be able to sell insurance on behalf of this particular carrier. Keep in mind you'll need to repeat this process with every carrier that you intend to work for.
Once you are selling Medicare supplement insurance, you'll need to complete continuing education hours each year to stay current on evolving Medicare policies and procedures.
Get Started Today
Now you know how to become a Medicare supplement agent. To be a successful agent, though, you must produce a steady stream of sales.
We specialize in providing you with high-quality leads that lead to easy sales and ongoing profit. To see what we can do for your career, come buy our leads today!