Hello readers! Welcome to a highly informative article that will guide you about the health insurance licensing exam.
By the end of this article, you will be able to understand everything related to the health insurance licensing examination – the requirements, process, scheduling, preparation, and obtaining the license.
Here is what we will cover in this article:
So, without wasting any more time, let us delve into the pool of knowledge and help you emerge as an expert insurance professional!
About Health Insurance Licensing Exam
To work as a health insurance agent, it is essential to acquire a license after successfully passing the state exam.
The health insurance licensure is intertwined with the life insurance license – as they both are closely related.
The health insurance license qualifies the agent legally to write about, explain and sell the health insurance products offered by the state’s law.
The health insurance license allows you to sell long-term care, disability insurance, HMOs, PPOs, HSAs, casualty insurance, and even some types of life insurance policies and products as permitted by the state.
After obtaining the license, the individual can work for an insurance producer for any insurance company, build their insurance brand, or work as an independent agent with no limit to earning potential.
Generally, to become a licensed health insurance agent and practice legally, the exam requires the candidate to complete the pre-licensing course and test alongside passing the criminal background or felony check.
However, insurance license examinations and their pass rates vary for each state. Every state sets the examination requirements, application procedure, and content outlines that align with their law.
For example, to become a health insurance agent in California, if the candidate is 18 years of age or above with a minimum of 20 hours of pre-licensing education.
Whereas in Pennsylvania, the candidate is required, by the law, to take a minimum of 24 hours of pre-licensing classes and pass the licensing exam.
Some of the common laws relative to the insurance license include:
- Be a resident of that state (for example, to be the resident of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts)
- 18 years of age
- Conform to the pre-licensing requirements such as:
- A complete pre-licensing course that includes a minimum of 40 hours for life, accident, and health authority instructions or at least 20 hours for either accident and health only or life only
- Pass the pre-licensing exam within two years of health insurance license application
- If applying for variable life or annuities, the candidate must have proof of passed 6, 7, or 63 FINRA series
- A clean record- no felony or criminal act that can be a ground for denial, suspension, or revocation
- Pass the exam administered by the Prometric test centers
- Pay the correct (as set by the state) licensing fee, in-person or online
Some states have reciprocity state licensing agreements with each other.
So if a candidate has a valid insurance license for a particular state, they can apply for a license in another state with a reciprocity agreement and skip the additional tests or insurance courses.
Furthermore, if individuals have a professional designation that aligns with a state’s law and license requirements, they may be exempted from certain educational exams and testing.
License Application Process
If you are applying for the first time, the licensing process can be difficult to understand.
You can register online or get the form and submit it to the relevant department.
Here are a few simple steps to follow (explained in detail later)
- Provide the social security number (submission code) and your contact information to register (you can register online, by phone, via fax or mail, or in person)
- Pay the correct fee
- Schedule an appointment
Any individual can apply for the agent license process if they match the numbers for the submission code with the corresponding numbers on Submission Requirement Charts.
The numbers on the chart will determine what needs to be submitted for the license application process. These are listed under the state’s law’s Resident or Non-Resident columns requirements.
Once you know the submission code, the application is further processed by submitting the required documents.
Payment of License Fee
Check the required fee on the website or with the department. You can pay the fees via paper check, credit card, e-check (electronic funds transfer).
However, if the e-check or the paper check is returned due to insufficient funds or incorrect information, you will be charged an additional $20 fee.
The licensing fee is non-refundable. If the license is issued for one year or less, the candidate will be charged a half fee. However, for more than a year, the full fee is charged.
For example, if you are a New York resident, the full licensing fee is $80, and half is $40. The fee might differ for non-residents and different states.
A health insurance license is valid for 2 years. The license’s expiration is determined by the candidate’s date of birth.
- If the candidate’s birth year is an even number, the license tends to expire on the birth date in an even-numbered year.
- If the candidate’s birth year is an odd number, the license expires on the birth date in an odd-numbered year.
If the candidate misses their scheduled appointment, arrives late, or for any reason disqualifies from the test, the exam fee will be forfeited, and another fee will be required to reschedule.
Schedule Your Appointment
You can apply and set the schedule online or via a paper application.
If the license applicant requires assistance with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accommodation or ESL consideration, they must consider the “special test considerations” including:
- Submit the professional documents that conform to their disability to the ADA to make testing arrangements.
- Write a personal letter and a letter of certification to the ESL authorization if English is not the primary language.
Also, when scheduling your license appointment, make sure that testing does not occur on holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Labour Day, etc. So, always check with the test centers.
Exam Preparation Tips
Once you have scheduled your licensing exam, you must get down to preparation.
With a plethora of online study guides, review content outlines, practice tests, and online course materials, it is not difficult to pass the exam if you prepare the right way.
Here are some useful study tips to help you prepare and develop a great self-study schedule:
- Choose up-to-date and efficient study materials (you can obtain reliable study tools and course reviews from authentic sources such as Kaplan, Identogo, and Sircon)
- Use the correct and latest licensing candidate handbook
- Try to enroll in the pre-license course
- Practice exam questions available on the Prometric website
- Choose relevant course content outlines to understand the area of the subject you appear for, for example, adjuster licensing, producer licensing, etc.
- Schedule the exam only when prepared
Arrive at least 30 minutes before the exam to not mess up your chances of acquiring the license.
Working as a health insurance agent or broker allows you to pursue your career on your terms and earn to your maximum potential.
To acquire the health insurance license, learn about the state’s license requirements, get the application process right, pay the correct fees and schedule your license exam only when you believe you are fully prepared.
There is no shortcut to success, passing an exam, or getting your insurance license. Instead, you have to work your way through the process.