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How to Become a Medicare Insurance Agent

If you’re looking for a new career path in Hawaii, you may want to consider Medicare sales. Medicare salespeople have the opportunity to ensure our kupuna make the most of their Medicare options by helping them transition from private, employer health insurance to Medicare insurance or switching to a new Medicare plan that better suits their needs during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP).

Medicare sales can be a very rewarding career, both personally and financially, with ample opportunity to grow your business and provide information to seniors or adult children or spouses of seniors who want to help their senior family member learn about Medicare or find a better Medicare plan – always at no charge to the client.

If you want to learn how to become a Medicare insurance agent, read on for some basic steps.

How to Become a Medicare Insurance Agent

Here are five steps to becoming a Medicare insurance agent in Hawaii:

1. Get your resident state health insurance provider license

The first step to becoming a Medicare agent in Hawaii is to get your health insurance license*. Pre-licensing courses are not required in Hawaii but they can improve your chances of passing the exam on your first try. Studying for your licensing exam is also a great way to learn information about deductibles, co-insurance, healthcare networks, healthcare laws, professional ethics and compliance, and claims adjudication.

Once you have taken and passed your Hawaii state health insurance exam, you will be officially certified to sell health insurance products in Hawaii as soon as the testing center transmits your successful test score to the state, which typically takes a few days.

*You will need to maintain your license each year in order to continue working as an insurance agent and to retain your residual income.

2. Complete and Pass AHIP Medicare Training

Once you have your license to sell health insurance, you are required to take and pass annual Medicare training and certification through America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) – with a 90% or better score.

Special certification is required for selling certain Medicare products, as determined by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that regulates Medicare plans. AHIP certification usually begins in late June or early July for certification to sell Medicare plans for the following Medicare plan year.

3. Choose a Medicare insurance agency to contract with

Medicare agents need to contract with an insurance agency that has approval to distribute Medicare health insurance plans through one or more private health insurance companies. Once you have signed on with a Medicare insurance agency, you will be able to sell any Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Supplement plans, and Part D prescription drug plans that are locally available through the insurance companies that have contracted with that Medicare insurance agency.

When choosing a Medicare insurance agency to work with, there are several things to consider such as:

  • The Medicare sales training provided

  • The support provided for Medicare leads

  • The workplace culture

  • Whether you will be paid directly or through the Medicare agency

  • How the commission structure works

  • The number of carriers that work with the agency

  • Whether the agency provides E&O insurance (you will need to purchase this insurance on your own if the agency doesn’t provide it).

4. Get contracted and appointed to sell Medicare plans from each insurance company

Medicare agents are required to sign a contract with each health insurance company that works with the Medicare insurance agency in order to be appointed to sell their plans. For example, if the Medicare insurance agency you sign on to work with is contracted with UnitedHealthcare Community Plan, Kaiser Permanente, and HMSA, you will need to complete a contract with each of those entities through the Medicare insurance agency.

Expect to provide information, including a copy of your current health insurance license and your current E&O policy. You will also likely be asked to consent to a background check and to complete a legal questionnaire provided by the insurance company. Medicare agents are usually required to complete this contract process each year prior to the upcoming AEP.

5. Continuing education

Many states require continuing education classes to keep an active license. Click here to learn about Hawaii’s continuing education requirements for selling life insurance/health insurance.

Our independent insurance agents are dedicated to assisting people on Medicare and those who are ready to transition from employer coverage to personal retirement coverage. We help kupuna understand their benefits options and apply for additional coverage, as needed. Because we represent all the major Medicare Advantage and supplement plans in Hawaii, we are able to offer unbiased advice; all at no cost to our clients.

At PBC, our clients are our number one priority and we look forward to getting to know you and your needs. To learn more about becoming a Medicare agent at PBC, please send an email to Shawn Nakano at


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