Agents who are looking to start selling Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance plans need to complete certain certifications and training.
Depending on what under-65 products you’d like to sell and the exchanges you’d like to do business through, there are different trainings you will need to complete. We’re answering some commonly asked questions about the certification and training process for agents selling marketplace insurance plans.
Listen to this article:
What certifications do I need to sell marketplace plans?
All agents looking to sell ACA products through HealthCare.gov, the federal exchange site, will need to complete the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) certification. This is the official training that is managed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Agents who need to complete this certification will complete it through CMS’ Marketplace Learning Management System (MLMS).
FFM certification does not cover any products sold in a state-based marketplace, such as Pennie or GetCoveredNJ. State-based marketplaces typically have their own certification trainings that agents must pass.
How often do I need to certify?
Agents will need to complete their certifications every year for the federal exchange and most state-based marketplaces. However, some state-based marketplaces such as New York only require training every two years. CMS does their best to continue to update these trainings when significant changes occur. For example, following the American Rescue Plan Act in 2021, CMS added a module of training to communicate the significant changes that occurred with this legislation.
How do I access the FFM certification?
You will need to access the CMS Enterprise Portal to complete the FFM certification. Sign into your account or create an account if you don’t have one already.
In the portal, find the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM)/Request for MLMS Training Access option under the Choose Your Application menu. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish creating your account. You will receive a confirmation once your account has been created.
Once logged in to the portal after confirming your account.
- Go to My Portal
- Select Add Application
- Find and select Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM)/Request for MLMS Training Access from the search bar
- Click Next
- From this new webpage, select Agent Broker Training Access and proceed using the Next button again
You will need to verify your identity when accessing the training for the first time. This can be completed through the internet or over the phone if needed.
From this point, you will be able to log in to the portal and access the training. Most likely you will only need to complete the Only an Individual Marketplace Agent Broker section if you only sell to individuals. There are other options if they apply to you.
Is there a streamlined training for returning agents?
Yes, returning agents can complete a refresher training to recertify.
New agents will need to take the full version of the training before they can begin training and selling marketplace insurance plans. Refer to this page from CMS for all the steps to complete the FFM certification.
Agents who sold ACA plans in the previous year are eligible to take a streamlined version of the training. Follow these steps to access the streamlined version of the FFM certification training.
How long does FFM certification take to complete?
The full version of the FFM certification will take a few hours to complete. There are 10 training modules and four exams. You must receive a score of 70 percent or higher to pass each exam. These exams can be retaken.
The refresher training takes an estimated 90 minutes to complete.
How much does the certification cost?
The best part of the FFM certification is that it’s completely free — both the new agent training and returning agent refresher course.
What is the deadline to complete certification?
The 2023 FFM training closed July 14, 2023. The 2024 FFM training start date and deadline is TBD.
How do I verify that my FFM certification is complete?
To verify that you successfully completed your FFM certification, please check for your NPN on the Agent and Broker FFM Registration Completion List (RCL). The RCL contains the NPNs of agents and brokers who have completed FFM registration for the current year. Your certification may take some time to process, but CMS updates this database as often as daily.
Who do I contact outside of Ritter if I need help with FFM certification?
If you run into a technological problem or a question while accessing training resources, CMS provides troubleshooting resources for agents.
The Marketplace Service Desk can be reached via phone at 1-855-267-1515 and handles the following inquiries:
- CMS Enterprise Portal password resets and account lockouts;
- Other CMS Enterprise Portal account issues or error messages; and
- General registration and training questions not related to a specific training platform.
The Agent/Broker Email Help Desk can be reached via email at [email protected] and handles the following inquiries:
- Escalated general registration and training questions not related to a specific training platform; and
- Agent/Broker Registration Completion List issues.
CMS recommends that, for faster assistance, you provide your FFM user ID and National Producer Number (NPN).
State-Based Marketplace Certification
What certifications do I need if I’m selling in a state-based marketplace?
If you’re selling in a state that operates a state marketplace, you will need to complete state-specific marketplace training. Access our Certification Center, after registering with Ritter, to find the links to the state certifications you’ll need to complete. We update this page whenever we receive new information so make sure you’re registered to have access to the most up-to-date information!
Who do I contact outside of Ritter if I need help with state-based marketplace certification?
If your concern is related to state-specific inquires, contact your state marketplace via the contact information listed on their website.
Where can I find state trainings to complete them?
Check with the appropriate state’s marketplace website to find the proper trainings.
How much do I need to prepare to pass?
We recommend reviewing state marketplace training materials to your own personal comfort level before completing the exam. Study until you feel confident in course material and then take the exam!
● ● ●
Completing the necessary training and certifications for the federal and state marketplaces doesn’t have to be stressful or confusing. We hope that by answering these frequently asked questions, you feel confident in your ability to sell ACA plans this Open Enrollment Period!