Health Insurance, The Steps to Getting Your License
When I first started looking into getting my license to sell health insurance, I had a difficult time figuring out what was involved. I was confused on which license I needed to get, how to apply, where to take classes and so on. Taking the first couple of steps is the most difficult part. Once you get past the first few steps, things tend to make more sense. This article is intended to make those first steps a bit more bearable.
First things first:
A license to sell health insurance is also a license to sell life insurance. If you want to sell others types of insurance, like property and casualty, that requires separate training and a separate exam. This type of license is called an "Insurance Agent" license. The license we will be referring to in this article is Life and Health Insurance License.
You will need to go look at the laws in your specific state, but most state laws are pretty basic and very similar. You will need to take a 40 hour class, which will get you a certificate of completion. The certificate of completion will then grant you access to taking the state licensing exam. Here in California, like everything else, it's a bit more difficult. In California, you are required to take an additional 12 hour ethics course, totaling 52 hours in all.
Registering for Class:
I had a heck of a time finding somewhere to take my classes. I searched and searched before finally landing on Kaplan Financial's website. Now this is not an endorsement, but rather a suggestion to other companies offering courses, that your marketing efforts are terrible, because I could not find you products anywhere. Either way, you pay a modest fee of a couple hundred dollars or so, and schedule your classes.
Taking the Class:
Make sure you are on time. The instructors are fairly strict on ensuring you put in the correct number of hours. Due to the strict government regulation of the financial industry, professors can get fined big bucks for allowing students to walk in late. So make sure you show up early.
The classes themselves are pretty intense, so doing homework reviewing materials prior to class will prove beneficial. My class was a monopoly, with 99% of the students representing one firm. On the first day, most students were dressed to a T, but by the last day jeans and t-shirts were the rule. Also, if you own or represent a business, like any other gathering, bring business cards. It's good to get to know people in the field, so network, network, network.
Schedule the exam:
Once you have finished the course, you will get a certificate of completion. This is basically your gatekeeper to taking the exam and getting your license. Most states will have online scheduling tools. At this point, you're ready to go.
Once you have passed the exam, which requires a score of 70% or higher, you are legally allowed to sell life and health insurance.
I hope this helps make things a bit easier for you aspiring producers out there.