The health insurance industry is a multi-trillion-dollar business. Licensed health insurance agents have the opportunity to earn six figures per year by selling policies and assisting people with signing up for coverage.
In order to become a licensed agent, you must take rigorous courses in both health care law and also specific state requirements that apply to your region.
You will need to pass an exam at the end of these classes before being able to get a license in your area. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can become a licensed health insurance agent in your area.
Determine What Kind of Insurance Agent You Want to Be
There are different types of licenses that you can get, which will determine what kind of insurance products you’re allowed to sell.
Licensed health insurance agents have the opportunity to work with many different companies in their job, but they need a license for each one that they want to represent.
For example, some states allow agents who have received their certification through an independent training institution (ITI) the ability to provide services on behalf of any company or agency represented by said ITI while other states only permit them to offer these services via an employer-sponsored plan.
The most common type is called Licensed Health Insurance Agent (HIA). This allows individuals like yourself to be licensed and act as representatives for multiple agencies/insurance carriers.
If you’re interested in becoming a Licensed Health Insurance Agent, but want to specialize in certain insurance carriers or products (such as Medicare Supplements), there are additional licenses that you can apply for.
Licensed Major Medical Plan Agent:
This allows individuals with this designation to sell major medical health plans on behalf of licensed health insurers who wish to make these available through the private open market.
Licensed Accident & Sickness Plan Salesperson:
This allows licensees like yourself to be able to offer accident and sickness policies that cover an individual against loss caused by bodily injury, death resulting from such injuries, medical expense benefits related thereto, and/or other insured events specified under specific terms.
Choose Which Insurance Products You Want to Sell
As a Licensed Health Insurance Agent, you will be able to work with many different companies and can choose which ones you want to represent.
In general, the products that insurance carriers offer are divided into these categories:
- Life & Annuities
- Individual Medical Plans (i.e., major medical plans)
- Group Medical Plans (employer-sponsored health care)
- Dental & Vision Coverage
- Supplemental Coverages for Medicare, also known as Medigap coverage.
- Other supplemental coverages such as critical illness/cancer indemnity policies.
- Long-term care insurance products
Carefully Review Your State’s Requirements
In most states, you will need to take a pre-licensing course and pass an exam before taking the state licensing exams.
This is typically called Licensed Health Insurance Agent (HIA) Certification or Licensed Major Medical Plan Agent Certification.
It’s important that to understand if your first choice doesn’t require this certification, but another insurance carrier does. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting time and money on licenses that won’t help advance your career.
There are also other AHIP certified requirements for getting Licensed Health Insurance Agent certification in most states including passing background checks from both your local police department as well as the FBI.
This also includes submitting fingerprints at a law enforcement agency or enrollment facility.
Take the Insurance License Exam
Once you’ve met all these requirements, it’s time to take the state licensing exam.
It is recommended that you review for this test in much the same way as any other standardized tests (i.e., SATs or GRE).
Many Licensed Health Insurance Agents also partner with local insurance companies and associations when preparing for their exams. As such, becoming a member of one of these groups can help expedite your career advancement process even further.
Complete a Background Check
In order to be a Licensed Health Insurance Agent, you will need to pass a state and federal background check.
As with any other exam that requires fingerprinting, this can take between one or two months before being authorized to sit for these exams.
This is because the government agency responsible for administering these examinations must verify your identity prior to releasing the results of their findings.
You’ll also have an opportunity during this time period (usually around three weeks) where you’re allowed to review all documents on file related to your background check including but not limited to:
- Court records
- Driving records
- Social security number verification
- Education verification (i.e., transcripts)
- Military service verifications
- Professional license history checks (i.e., cosmetology licenses).
Submit Your Application for a License
Once you’ve passed your background check, the last step before receiving Licensed Health Insurance Agent certification is submitting your application for licensure.
This usually takes between one to two weeks depending on which state you are applying in.
You will be required to pay any fees associated with this process as well as additional licensing/certification documentation that may not have been included during the initial application review period (usually about three months).
The Licensed Health Insurance Agent exam consists of multiple-choice questions only and has a time limit of 90 minutes within which candidates must complete their test.
This includes answering 100 questions per session along with an additional ten bonus questions reserved exclusively for those who finish early or wish to use them at the end if they run out of time.
Get Approved by an Insurance Company to Begin Selling Products
Once your Licensed Health Insurance Agent certification has been approved by the state, you are now free to sell any products offered through your partnered insurance carriers.
This includes life insurance policies as well as supplemental health insurance plans such as critical illness coverages or long-term care coverage for seniors.
However, it’s important that Licensed Health Insurance Agents also follow all standards set forth by their local governing bodies including industry organizations like NAIFA (National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors) whose members must comply with strict ethical codes at all times.
Ready to Become a Licensed Health Insurance Agent?
As you can see, it’s not too difficult to become a licensed health insurance agent. To learn more about this subject, continue reading this blog for more helpful articles.