By 2030, all baby boomers will be at least 65, having enormous effects on the already expanding Medicare market. Many insurance companies have already begun preparing for this peak, and for good reason – the possibilities for earning are limitless, especially for life insurance.
Selling Medicare is lucrative for many reasons, but it’s no pleasure cruise – especially for independent insurance agents. Whether you are interested in selling Medicare Supplements, Medicare Advantage, or Plan D insurance, there’s much to learn and do.
The Medicare market is for professionals of all levels, so whether you’re a beginner or an expert, you can succeed. Here is everything you need to know about selling Medicare to get the most out of your brokerage. So is selling medicare lucrative?
Captive vs. Independent Agent
If you’re considering selling Medicare insurance, the first thing to decide is between being a captive or an independent agent. Ask yourself if you want to focus on insurance sales, or are you interested in owning the business book?
An independent agent is someone who starts their own business – and only you know if you’re ready to do so. A captive agent, then, is someone who sells insurance for a company – which means fewer commissions in their pocket.
It’s recommended you take considerable time weighing the odds and examining yourself honestly. Once you’ve made a decision, you will have begun your journey in an expanding and potentially lucrative field.
Do you need a license to sell Medicare? Licensure and AHIP.
When selling insurance products, agents are required to be licensed according to their state’s Department of Insurance requirements. So that means that you will need to get medicare agent training so that you can get some medicare sales. Some states require general health insurance licenses, while others require specific Medicare-related licenses – so check your state’s requirements.
In addition to general training for licensure to sell Medicare, you may need specialized training and certification. This is true for those selling prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage.
For these products, you need AHIP training, composed of two parts: Medicare and FWA (Fraud, Waste, and Abuse) certification. These courses teach extensively about Medicare plans and how to legally comply with Medicare’s extensive sales guidelines.
In addition to AHIP, to sell these products, you’ll need certification specific to the companies and products themselves. AHIP certification offers directly and through Medicare Advantage or Part D carriers, with certain discounts available.
Worth noting is that some plans do not require AHIP certification if you are only interested in standard licensure. Such plans include some Medicare Supplement plans in addition to certain dental, vision, and hearing plans – depending on the carrier.
No matter what, you should educate yourself by reading the government literature, updated yearly – the Medicare and You 2020 Handbook. This covers everything relevant to Medicare and can be downloaded from Medicare or obtained from your local Social Security office.
The Medicare Sales Process for the Insurance Agent
The key to a lucrative venture in the Medicare market is a solid sales strategy, and this requires knowing your demographics. Knowledge will help you meet your clients’ needs and establish lasting relations that are crucial for all agents in medicare sales.
You must then decide how you will sell to clients: will you visit face-to-face or through electronic communications? Which method(s) you choose depends on your individual marketing style, but you must know your medicare audience regardless of medium.
Selling to the senior market, for example, often requires a marketing approach that is more to the point and rooted in honesty. Seniors have seen marketing techniques evolve over decades; thus, forgo elusive tactics – your medicare clients will be more compelled by sincerity.
While Medicare is marketed primarily to the over-65, there are other demographics that are eligible for coverage whom you should accommodate. This includes persons under 65 receiving SSDI or diagnosed with kidney failure, and they need appropriate consideration and coverage, too.
No matter who you are selling medicare to, be your client’s advocate and well-versed in what you sell – Medicare. If you’re only there to make sales, people notice, and you’ll leave empty-handed; but if you show that you care, they will too and you will make that medicare sale.
Moreover, tell friends and family you sell medicare insurance – this multiplies the demographics you can access via personal recommendations. When opportunities arise, you’ll have people who can vouch for your character and skills, which goes far in insurance sales.
What to Know About Medicare Insurance Products and FMO’s
Independent insurance agents have several products to choose from when structuring their portfolios, each affected by jurisdiction and sales model. These options include Ancillary, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Supplement products, in addition to Prescription Drug Plans.
If you’re stressed about the sheer vastness of products available, this is understandable; however, that breadth can be an advantage. The more options to choose from, the more likely a client can find a plan that genuinely works for them. This will give you an advantage and improve your medicare business plan.
Additionally, online quoting engines make your job easier by giving you instant access to accurate information regarding pricing and plans. This way you can digest and compare the numerous insurance products, narrowing results by certain factors unique to your client. This will help you with medicare sales jobs.
Add each product to your portfolio by setting up an appointment with its respective insurance carrier. Usually, this requires completing an independent agent agreement or contract beforehand. For instance, you can add life insurance (long term if applicable), medicare advantage plans, medicare supplements, or find something unique that is on the market to add to you portfolio.
However, most insurance companies won’t offer you a direct contract without being an employed or captive agent. If you’re an independent agent, you’ll rely on Medicare Insurance FMOs, which help optimize your brokerage through contract negotiation.
FMOs, therefore, are something like business partners for independent insurance agents, so you must choose yours wisely. You can do this by isolating your goals, conducting extensive research, asking essential questions, and reviewing multiple companies before deciding.
What Are Medicare Lead Services?
In any field, clients are essential to the growth of the business. In the context of insurance, medicare leads provide essential information that helps determine an agent’s client base to locate sales potential.
It takes hard work and dedication to collect contact information from people interested in Medicare products and costs. That’s why companies exist that specialize in leads, and the price for which they sell lead information reflects extensive effort.
Worth noting is how each medicare lead service is different in terms of coverage depending on policy and location. However, even if a service cannot meet all your needs, integrity may outweigh all else if it’s consistent and dependable.
Weigh the facts: if you have good medicare leads and a good marketing strategy, then purchasing insurance leads makes sense. But if you don’t test a lead service beforehand, your closing ratio ultimately may not offset the price you pay.
Once you have decided on a lead service, you then must choose how you will follow your leads. You can send mail, telemarket, or knock on doors – each method has its opportunities, so consider each one carefully.
And don’t forget Business 101: referrals are the most valuable leads you can get. Ask when dropping by to re-explain their benefits: they will be reassured by you and likely be happy to help.
How much can you make selling Medicare? And other perks
The main question on the mind of an aspiring agent like yourself is likely to be concerned with making money. But how much you make all depends on self-education, application, and commitment to excellent relations with clientele.
A key to Medicare insurance sales is residual income, which earns you passive income for years, potentially a lifetime. Each sale garners initial payment and income for every year your client remains enrolled or switches to a similar plan.
Through residual income alone, selling Medicare can create a six-figure salary in as little as three to four years. Having a monthly residual income can provide the financial safety net to experiment with other ventures like cross-selling.
Any agent stands to gain more if they are their boss – and this is also true for insurance agents. By owning your own business, all commissions go straight to you from the beginning, all while experiencing certain professional freedoms.
Additionally, the insurance market rewards its highly successful agents, not only as a token of appreciation but as an investment. If you want an exotic trip or luxurious vacation, chances are the company contracting you may reward your hard work.
Every time you make a sale to a client, it opens the door for more sales in other insurance areas. Facilitate loyal, lasting relationships with your clients – it’s a small trick the big companies rely on you can employ!
The Door Has Been Opened!
In short, selling Medicare insurance is one of the best markets you can join, offering multiple pathways for income and success. By finding the right FMO and committing to a solid strategy, your goals as an independent agent will materialize swimmingly.
But it’s important to remember that selling someone a worthwhile plan or supplemental is more than making a sale. As a medicare insurance agent, you do essential work ensuring others stay healthy during increasingly unsettling times.
There will always be a need for Medicare insurance, and thus for a great Medicare insurance agent. By following these tips, you can transform your brokerage and succeed as an independent insurance agent. All while helping to make the world a more medically secure place!