Individuals who are considering becoming health insurance agents can benefit from information about training programs, the licensure exam and the career itself.
Health Insurance License
To become a licensed health insurance agent, it is necessary to complete state-specific pre-licensure courses and pass state-administered examinations. States typically have a department of insurance that provides information on specific regulations and requirements for health insurance agents; these departments usually have websites. A state may approve independent training centers and exam preparation providers to help candidates prepare for licensure, and these resources are often noted on the department websites.
Training courses may be found at community centers, colleges and other state-approved locations. Prices vary based on the state but often include textbooks in the fee. The pre-license courses often include topics like:
- Health policy types
- Preferred providers
- Private health insurance plans
- Dental insurance
- Disability income
- Group health insurance
Continuing education courses may be required for licensure renewal at specific intervals, according to state law. Agents interested in finding out how long their licenses are valid can check their state government website.
In order to take an examination, aspiring health insurance agents must pay a fee; sometimes, the fee is included within the cost of a training program. If the course is state-approved, all topics and subjects included on the exam will be covered in the course. Insurance basics and state-specific insurance laws are two of the main areas the exam evaluates. In some states, health and life insurance are combined within a single examination, so test-takers must have knowledge of both types of insurance.
After completing the exam, the student will likely be given his or her score instantly. If he or she passes, he or she becomes a licensed insurance sales agent.
Health insurance sales agents sell policies that cover medical care in emergencies and routine checkups, as well as prescription drugs. Options include both short-term and long-term disability insurance policies, and salespersons often provide several products within health insurance and dental insurance to clients. The clients may include companies, governments and individuals. Day-to-day job duties can include:
- Calling potential clients to convince them to purchase insurance
- Explaining coverage options and policy features to potential clients
- Managing policy renewals for existing clients
- Advising existing clients on possible policy changes
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for health insurance agents are expected to increase by 9% between 2014 and 2024, which is faster than the national average. As of May 2016, the mean annual wage for these workers was $67,760.
Before they can start working in the field, health insurance agents must earn licensure, which requires passing an exam on health insurance-related topics. They can prepare by completing state-approved pre-licensure training programs.