Is AHIP Certification Required and How Do I Get it?

 

Originally Posted On: https://www.trkingim.com/what-is-ahip-certification/

 

What is AHIP certification?

In fact, what does AHIP stand for?

These are great questions to ask if you’re working in the insurance industry and want to earn more income and excel at your job. They’re also great questions to ask if you’re considering employment in the insurance industry, too.

To learn all about AHIP certification—what it stands for, who it’s for, how much it costs, and what you have to gain from earning one—read on.

What AHIP Certification Stands For

AHIP stands for America’s Health Insurance Plans.

Licensed insurance agents take the AHIP certification test to determine eligibility for sales of Medicare Advantage (MA) and Prescription Drug Plans (PDP) during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) for these programs. Thus, the reason AHIP Certification is a yearly process.

AHIP Recertification

If you’re already a licensed insurance agent but it’s time for you to recertify your AHIP certification, there’s a good reason.

Not only are the plans you potentially sell paid for on an annual basis, but they can also change drastically from year to year. The certification test proves that you’re up to date with the regulations upheld by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

AHIP Certification (Current Year and Beyond)

AHIP certifications are not impossible to attain. In fact, there are plenty of ways for you to succeed in your recertification or first attempt at the assessment.

Whether you’re in need of recertification or earning your first AHIP training, you need to know the ins and outs of:

  • AHIP certification costs
  • AHIP courses and training
  • Passing or failing the exam

Aside from the requirement to recertify annually, there are a few key details about the exam and certification that would benefit you to know. You’re most likely asking yourself a few questions about what to do in a worst-case or best-case scenario (e.g., passing or failing the exam).

AHIP Certification Cost

The standard cost for AHIP certification is $175. You may qualify for a discount if you go through the IMO/FMO (like us) or through an insurance company.

 

Pro Tip: The discount is usually standard for recertification and should save you $50, dropping the cost to $125.

AHIP Courses and Training

There are a few major sections covering Medicare and Fraud, Waste, and Abuse (FWA) included in the course. There are also specialized modules for AHIP training you have the option of taking.

How to Take AHIP Training

The majority of AHIP training is offered online. Some courses are self-paced, whereas others are on a strict deadline.

The only qualified AHIP certification training is through the organization, but you can enroll for courses from various insurance carriers, as long as they’re certified by AHIP.

There are self-study courses, professional designations, and continuing education webinars you can participate in to stay on top of your career.

Medicare Training

This portion of your AHIP certification should cover the bases of Medicare fee-for-service eligibility and benefits.

You’ll learn about general eligibility and coverage and the different types of Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans.

The course will also cover non-discrimination training and marketing and enrollment under the MA and Part D PDP plans.

This training is ideal for sales and marketing personnel, agents and brokers, health insurance plan sponsors and staff, and financial planners.

Fraud, Waste, and Abuse (FWA) Training

The FWA portion of AHIP certification covers how to initially identify FWA and provides an overview of industry efforts to detect fraud. You’ll learn about who commits FWA.

The course will cover the loopholes and obligations of reporting FWA. It will review Medicare Parts C and D FWA and General Compliance requirements.

You will also be given legal tools to fight FWA and be taught to understand the human and financial cost of FWA.

This training is ideal for sales and marketing personnel, agents and brokers, health insurance plan sponsors and staff, and financial planners.

Additional Specialized Courses

Aside from the major core courses above, below we’ll go over a few separate courses you can take to help separate you from other agents!

Disability Income Insurance

This training program allows you to add more expertise to your AHIP certification. Disability insurance courses allow you to earn a professional designation such as:

  • Disability Income Associate (DIA)
  • Disability Healthcare Professional (DHP)
  • Disability Income Fellow (DIF)

 

Pro Tip: Disability insurance courses enhance your AHIP certification and your experience and knowledge as an insurance agent. You’ll be better able to serve clients and members and help them to protect their standard of living.

Long-Term Care Insurance

The Long-Term Care Professional (LTCP) designation is a great idea to enhance your AHIP certification. You’ll be able to provide for seniors and protect them from health care costs which negate their retirement goals.

The LTCP destination arms you with the knowledge and skills to reduce stress and financial pressures when you offer this type of coverage to your clients.

Federal Marketplace Training

As a licensed insurance agent, your job is to help consumers understand confusing insurance policies from the government.

Receiving federally-facilitated marketplace (FFM) training keeps you abreast of the regulations which change so frequently. AHIP’s FFM training is CMS-approved, too.

You can take the course, which is required by CMS, individually to allow you to better understand the federal marketplace. As a returning insurance agent or broker, you can also use FFM training to update your ability to sell through the marketplace for the current year.

Taking the Exam

You can prepare for your exam in advance by reviewing the book, more so for familiarity’s sake. The actual exam is an open book format!

It’s a good idea to review the book ahead of time, if you can. You do get two hours to answer the 50 questions on the test.

An open book test can take more time to complete if you don’t know where to reference the answers in the text. Keep this in mind, especially if you’re new to being a licensed insurance agent.

The exam itself encompasses a Medicare Training Course, modules in Medicare Fraud, Waste, and Abuse (FWA), and CMC General Compliance. You’ll have to complete every section to be certified.

Passing or Failing AHIP Certification

You need at least a 90% on the AHIP certification. If you don’t pass with the required score, you can retake the exam. No worries!

Passing

You get three to six attempts for your AHIP certification exam, depending on the insurance carrier.

If you’ve already passed your the current year’s AHIP certification, you should be able to transmit your score to multiple carriers.  You’ll have to connect to AHIP’s website and transmit your score with every insurance carrier with which you are contracted.

Upon completion of your AHIP certification, you should receive a link to a printable certificate.

Failing

If you do max out your number of attempts for AHIP certification, there are different types of consequences.

As a currently licensed agent, failing your recertification may mean that you can’t receive any earned renewals for the plan year. As a new agent, you may have to wait until the following year to retake the AHIP certification.

If you fail more than three times, you will have to pay the full price of $175 for each retake, otherwise, you should only have to pay the discounted $125 the first three attempts.

Now That You Have an AHIP Certification

As a newly licensed insurance agent, you’re probably wondering what to do with your AHIP certification. Your best bet is to explore the various facets of your career with whatever insurance carriers you are contracted with.

 

Pro Tip: Each insurance carrier will also require you to pass and take additional training on top of AHIP.

You need to make your mark as an insurance agent. This means exploring marketing materials, especially if you went the extra mile and received a professional designation.

Returning licensed insurance agents who recertified their AHIP certification should also consider expanding into professional designation to increase their consumer base and marketability.

How to Market Yourself, Now That You’re Certified

The biggest concerns of most licensed insurance agents revolve around building a digital marketing presence. If you want to make the biggest impact on your clients, both current and potential, as well as deliver better service when brokering insurance, marketing your services is essential. 

Most insurance agents need assistance with digital marketing materials, which primarily entails creating and maintaining an insurance website that generates leads and performs in SEO. In today’s insurance world, specialized, targeted marketing requires a skillset most agents don’t possess. Consulting a topnotch insurance marketing firm is your best bet.

TR King Insurance Marketing is here for you, whether you have just received an AHIP certification or are renewing your certification and seeking to expand your impact as a licensed insurance agent.

We have the skills and knowledge you need to excel in today’s insurance market. We’ll make sure you have actionable content to know how to drive client traffic and business opportunities for your business.

Be sure to check out more of our content in the future when you need help reliably growing your business or learning more about insurance marketing and other related topics.