If you are thinking about making a career change in 2024, you should consider a career as a licensed independent Medicare agent. Approximately 26 million Baby Boomers will age into Medicare through 2030. Now is the ideal time to tap into this wave of Medicare enrollees. As a Medicare agent, you’ll have a career that is personally, professionally, and financially rewarding.
What Does a Medicare Agent Do?
A Medicare agent is a licensed health insurance agent who helps people who are eligible for Medicare find the right plan for their needs and helps them enroll in that plan. This potential market includes seniors over the age of 65, those turning 65 and enrolling, and individuals under the age of 65 who are receiving Social Security disability income. Agents can sell Medicare Advantage plans, prescription drug plans, Supplement plans and Special Needs Plans. Many agents boost their income potential by selling ancillary products, such as dental and vision coverage, hospital indemnity plans, life insurance, annuities, and long-term care insurance.
Agents work on a commission basis – which means the more you sell, the more money you make. They earn commissions on new enrollees as well as on renewals. By building a residual income, you will be able to increase your earnings each year. The average salary of a licensed Medicare Agent in Texas in 2023 is $71,224, but many agents make much more than this.
As a Medicare agent, you are your own boss. This means you are in full control of your career development and earning potential. You will also have the flexibility to set your own schedule – you can even work part time.
What Skills Does a Medicare Agent Need?
Being a Medicare agent is not for everyone. Medicare agents who have built successful businesses tend to share a common skillset. Some of the traits you’ll need include:
- Entrepreneurial mindset – You should be a focused, hardworking, motivated self-starter who enjoys the challenge of managing your own business.
- People skills – You should enjoy working with people (especially seniors) and educating them about Medicare. This requires empathy, patience, and good listening skills.
- Customer service focused – You should be responsive to customer needs. You must be willing to solve your clients’ problems and provide them with ongoing support throughout the year.
- Outgoing personality – You should enjoy building relationships, networking, and interacting with the public.
- Attention to detail – You must be able to closely follow CMS marketing and communication guidelines, provide detailed plan information to clients, and submit completed enrollment applications with no errors.
- Organizational skills and time management – You must be able to keep track of important documents, monitor the needs of many clients, manage multiple enrollment periods, and meet important deadlines.
- Comfortable with change – You should work well in an environment where the rules and regulations are constantly changing. You should enjoy learning, continuing your education, and receiving further training.
If you recognize yourself in the skills listed above, you have the potential to be a successful Medicare agent.
Steps to Become an Agent
1. Take a Pre-Licensing Course
This is the best way to prepare for the state exam and increases your chances of passing.
2. Pass the Texas State Exam
Once you pass the exam, you will be licensed in the State of Texas. You must submit to a fingerprint and background check.
3. Contract with a Medicare Field Marketing Organization (FMO) Like PTT Financial
An FMO distributes health insurance plans to agents on behalf of various carriers. Contracting with an FMO can help you get contracted and appointed to sell with multiple insurance companies.
As a new Medicare agent, choosing the right FMO is crucial for maximizing your results. When considering an FMO, ask the following questions:
- What type of training does it provide?
- What carriers is it appointed with?
- What type of marketing support does it offer?
- Does it help with lead generation?
- Does it provide technology and tools, such as a CRM, quote engines, and online enrollment tools?
- Does it provide errors and omissions insurance? (This provides financial protection if you give wrong advice or omit information by mistake.)
4. Complete Your AHIP (America’s Health Insurance Plans) Certification
Most insurance carriers require agents to have AHIP to sell Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug plans. You must complete this certification annually, in advance of Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), which runs from October 15th through December 7th.
5. Get Contracted and Appointed with Multiple Carriers
You must complete agreements with each of the carriers whose products you want to sell. You must complete these certifications annually, prior to AEP.
6. Maintain Your License and Complete Continuing Education Requirements
Medicare’s rules and regulations are always changing. Agents must stay up to date to remain compliant.
Ready to Get Started?
PTT Financial makes it easy to get started on your new career path. We’ll support you every step of the way. We offer an insurance licensing class almost every month. (Make sure to choose Life & Health/Harlingen location when searching for classes.)
Questions? Our experienced team is here to help. Contact us today and make your dream career a reality.