Q: Why is it important to get your MAPD certifications done early?

A: Great question, and getting your certifications completed early is important for several reasons.

First and foremost, it’s a requirement in order to be able to write the MAPD product, which is the lifeblood of many agents and agencies business models. With something being so important to your business, it makes a lot of sense to get them done early. However, there are some other reasons that getting certifications done early is very important.

It will make your late summer/early fall much easier on you as an agent, and allow you to focus in on setting up your AEP appointments and getting your marketing plans put into motion, both of which are very important to a successful AEP. Certifying early also will typically allow you to take part in the first pre-orders for supplies for the upcoming season. It’s always everyone’s goal to have supplies in hand and ready to go by Oct 1st at the latest, but inevitably there are a lot of agents that will wait and do their certifications later in the summer or even in September, and many times, those agents are left without supplies on opening day. Another important reason you should consider getting certified early is to avoid potential problems at the carrier level. Over the years, I’ve seen many agents wait on completing certifications, and the carriers being backlogged on processing appointments and certifications, and their certifications

It’s always everyone’s goal to have supplies in hand and ready to go by October 1st (at the latest), but inevitably there are a lot of agents that will wait and do their certifications later in the summer or even in September, and many times, those agents are left without supplies on opening day. Another important reason you should consider getting certified early is to avoid potential problems at the carrier level. Over the years, I’ve seen many agents wait on completing certifications, and the carriers being backlogged on processing appointments and certifications, and their certifications

Another important reason you should consider getting certified early is to avoid potential problems at the carrier level. Over the years, I’ve seen many agents wait on completing certifications, and the carriers being backlogged on processing appointments and certifications, and their certifications do not process until several days after the agent actually completed them, in some cases causing a delay in either their appointment or in being able to order supplies.There are also instances of agent and carrier error on certifications as well, that if the process is started early on certifications, can be fixed in plenty of time to still be in a good position for the start of the new AEP.

In short, we all would rather not have to do certifications every year, but in the big picture, you can only help yourself by getting your certifications done as early in the summer as possible. So, go ahead and jump in there and get your certifications done, put it behind you and get ready for a GREAT AEP. You can check out our resource center to help with all of the 2018 carrier’s certification instructions.

Answered By: Matt Goheen, Regional Vice President