What Does “Ready to Sell” Mean for Insurance Agents?
“Ready-to-sell” or RTS (as the carriers call it) is a status insurance agents must have with carriers before the Annual Enrollment Period begins if they want to be able to sell certain Medicare products for the upcoming plan year (certifications are not required when selling Medicare Supplements). Each year insurance agents will need to complete a few requirements to be classified as “ready-to-sell”. Below we’ve outlined what is needed to be “ready-to-sell” a carrier’s Medicare Advantage plans and stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) products.
In Order to Sell Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, You Have to Become Contracted With Carriers
The very first requirement to sell an insurance carrier’s products is to become contacted, or appointed to sell their products. Some insurance companies have separate contracts for product lines, such as an ACA plan may require different contracting than an insurance company’s contract to sell their Medicare products. Once you submit the appropriate paperwork to the carrier, the normal turnaround time is between 7-10 business days (If the Annual Election Period (AEP) is coming up, turnaround times can grow to be as long as 4-6 weeks). Choosing an FMO like Agent Pipeline can help make the contracting process as streamlined and easy as ever. Working with Agent Pipeline as your FMO also provides you with exclusive access to proprietary insurance products, technology, lead programs, and marketing support to help grow your business and sell more.
After you’ve become contracted with the carriers you want to offer, there are additional requirements below you must meet before you can begin selling.
You Must Become Certified to Sell Medicare Advantage and Part D Plans
Carriers require insurance agents to complete annual certification in order to sell their Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug plans. Additionally, insurance carriers will create specific curriculums insurance agents must complete in order to obtain RTS status. Carriers use the RTS status to ensure the insurance agents selling their Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans have been specifically trained on the product, ethics, and compliance expectations of the company.
The trainings an agent must complete to be considered “ready-to-sell” include but are not limited to Medicare and Fraud, Waste, and Abuse (FWA) training as well as any carrier-specific product training.
AHIP: Medicare Training and Fraud, Waste, and Abuse (FWA)
Medicare training and FWA training is offered by many third-party providers an insurance agent is free to choose from and must be completed each year. The most widely accepted Medicare training and FWA training is offered by AHIP, however other providers (like NAHU’s Medicare certification program) are gaining traction as well. As long as the training is recognized by the carriers an agent is contracted with, the provider they receive training from is not overly important. Find out if you are ready for AHIP.
Carrier-Specific Product Training
Several Medicare insurance carriers will have their own specific product training an agent must complete to sell their Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug products. These product trainings must be completed annually just like the Medicare and FWA training, due to the different and ever-changing offerings. Upon completion, carriers will provide you with a certificate of completion (when working with an FMO the carrier will give them a report detailing your RTS status). If are using a Medicare enrollment tool, Like MedicareCENTER, then you will need to appear on the carrier’s RTS report before you will be able to enroll any of your clients in that carrier’s products.
Note: Some carriers will send you a confirmation notice for your “ready-to-sell” status after completing their RTS requirements. If you don’t receive a confirmation of your status it may be in your best interest to contact the carrier in question to confirm your status.
Agent Pipeline is here to assist you on your journey to achieving your “ready-to-sell” status. Check out Expedition AEP to complete your Survival Training and get your certifications done as early as possible. After completing certifications early and gaining their RTS status, an insurance agent can order supplies for the upcoming selling season. Both new and returning agents will find useful links to carrier certifications & resources, AHIP discounts, and more (including this handy AHIP highlights checklist)!
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