How to Become a Medicare Sales Agent [Step-by-Step Guide
Are you hoping to build a lucrative career without having to work for someone else? Want to earn money for years and years, after making a sale?
Then you should become a Medicare sales agent. Medicare is focused primarily on the baby boomer generation.
And for the next decade, thousands of baby boomers are hitting retirement age every single day. That spells a huge opportunity for you if you get trained as soon as possible so you can capitalize on the opportunity.
But it’s not just a job you can apply for and start tomorrow. While it’s available to all licensed insurance agents, there’s a process to becoming a Medicare-specific sales agent.
Wondering why you should add Medicare to the list of products you offer? Want to know how to become a licensed Medicare sales agent? Keep reading to find out how.
Benefits of Becoming a Medicare Sales Agent
Selling insurance, regardless of what type you focus on, is a reliable career. With training and dedication, you’ll be able to earn an above-average salary year after year.
But those who specialize in selling a specific type of insurance, like Medicare, tend to make much more than generalist insurance salespeople. When you sell Medicare plans, not only will you earn a nice commission on a customer’s first year, but you’ll earn smaller, recurring commissions year after year.
If you build a system of attracting new customers each month, then the recurring commissions you earn can really add up, boosting your income earning potential.
Plus, when you want to stop actively working, you can still earn recurring commissions, giving you additional income in retirement. Very few careers offer this type of benefit.
So is selling Medicare lucrative? It can be, particularly if you already have experience selling insurance.
Consider that the average Medicare sales agent salary is around $65,000. That means that top performers can earn much more than that, without having to wait decades to climb the corporate ladder.
How to Become a Medicare Sales Agent
Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Here’s what you’ll need to do to get started.
Get Your Degree
There are no college requirements for becoming a Medicare sales agent. However, if you plan to work for an insurance company, your actual employer might require, or encourage applicants, to have a degree.
If you are still in school or are considering going back to school, pursue a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, or business. Marketing is definitely helpful too, especially if you plan to branch out on your own at some point.
Take a Pre-Licensing Course
In order to sell insurance, you’ll first need to get certified in your state and get a license. The best way to do this is to take a non-mandatory, pre-licensing course.
This course will prepare you for all things insurance, navigating the marketplace, and equip you to pass your licensing exam.
Get Your License
Once you’ve gone through your initial training course, you can sign up to take your licensing exam. There are a few requirements in order to take the test, which can vary by state.
In general, you can expect to submit a background check and may need to take an in-person course. If you fail to pass the exam, you’ll be allowed to retake it later on.
As an insurance agent, you’ll be required to continue your education throughout the year. This is important as laws, regulations, and plans change all the time. So staying up to date as a sales agent is key to serving existing clients and selling to new ones.
If you plan to sell any specialty insurance policies, there may be an associated course and exam required for those as well. Getting additional insurance certifications will boost your resume and allow you to serve more customers.
Get Your Medicare Sales License
Finally, if you want to sell Medicare plans, you’ll need an additional license. Your first step is to take AHIP Medicare training. Upon completion of training, you’ll need to pass an exam before you can sell Medicare insurance plans.
Then, each year you want to continue selling Medicare plans, you’ll need to pass the required exam, which may have additional training content associated with it.
You also may need to take company-specific training, depending on which insurance plans you are going to offer.
Should You Become an Independent Agent?
Independent insurance agents have the most freedom and flexibility. While you still need to work hard, putting many hours in, you are working for yourself.
You can set your own schedule, work from home or get a proper office, and even work while traveling. The downside is that work is always with you.
One important skill for independent agents to learn is to unplug when necessary. Otherwise, you might work yourself to death.
Independent agents have the freedom to sell any companies insurance plans, which means you can actually recommend and sell the best plans for a particular client.
Plus, commissions are generally higher when you are on your own. The downside is that you are on your own.
You’ll be responsible for finding clients and training yourself in marketing and sales skills.
When you work for one particular company, they may feed you leads, provide high-quality training, and give you access to resources and connections in the industry.
There are pros and cons to each approach. Decide which path leads to the life you desire and pursue that one wholeheartedly.
Skills Needed for Success
Becoming successful in any career or business takes hard work, dedication, and the mastery of certain skills. When it comes to Medicare sales agent jobs, you need to focus on a handful of skills.
First off, people skills. You are working directly with people. They are concerned about their health and their finances. Oftentimes, they are skeptical and afraid.
You need to have compassion for people and be able to make people feel comfortable and safe.
At the same time, you need to develop your sales skills. You need to know how to guide a client through the nurturing process and close the sale in the most authentic way possible.
And of course, you need to know how to market yourself and network, as those are key skills to keeping your phone ringing.
Take the Next Step
Now that you know how to become a Medicare sales agent, it’s time to take action. If you’re young and in school, pursue the right type of degree that will empower your future career.
If you already sell insurance, consider getting certified for Medicare plans so you can double down and boost your income.
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