You have to be “ready-to-sell” with carriers before the Annual Enrollment Period if you want to sell Medicare products for the upcoming plan year, but what does it mean to be “ready-to-sell” Medicare plans?
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To achieve Medicare “ready-to-sell” (RTS) status, agents must meet a few requirements annually. Here’s what’s required to be “ready-to-sell” a carrier’s Medicare products.
You’re Contracted to Sell Medicare Plans
This may be a little obvious, but in order to be “ready-to-sell,” you have to contract with carriers to sell their Medicare Advantage, Part D, and Medicare Supplement products. If you don’t, you won’t have anything to sell!
Once you’re contracted with a few carriers, don’t make the mistake of assuming you’re all set to sell their plans. You still have other “ready-to-sell” requirements to meet!
You’re Certified to Sell Medicare Advantage & Part D Plans
While you may be able to contract with a carrier once and not have to recontract with them to sell in future years, you must complete certain certification trainings every year, especially if you wish to sell Medicare Advantage and Part D plans. (Most carriers don’t require Medicare Supplement agents to complete certifications.) These Medicare agent certification requirements include Medicare and Fraud, Waste and Abuse (FWA) training as well as product trainings.
Medicare and FWA Training
Acceptable Medicare and FWA training is usually offered by third parties, like America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), Pinpoint, Sentinel Elite, and the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU). The most widely accepted Medicare and FWA training among carriers tends to be AHIP’s certification training, but acceptance of NAHU’s Medicare certification program is growing.
Carrier-Specific Product Trainings
In addition to Medicare and FWA training, many Medicare Advantage and Part D carriers also require that agents complete their own specific product trainings annually. These trainings vary from carrier to carrier, and year to year, because each carrier focuses on their specific plans and offerings (e.g., new plans, service areas and expansions, new features, etc.)
Make Getting “Ready-to-Sell” Medicare Products Easy!
Now that you know what being “ready-to-sell” Medicare plans means, it’s time to start work toward achieving that status! We aim to make this process as easy and straightforward as possible for new and returning Medicare agents with our free tools and blog posts like this. Simply create a free profile on our site to gain access to our free online contracting tool and certification center, which includes details, dates, requirements, and links for major Medicare Advantage and Part D carriers’ certification trainings! Our full-time licensing and administrative support departments will follow up to help you complete the necessary tasks, as well as be your advocate with the carriers you contract with.
Already contracted with carriers through Ritter? You can easily check if you’re “ready-to-sell” with each of your carriers in the Ritter Platform! Simply log in to the Platform and confirm you’re ready to go by following the instructions here. Please remember, even if your contract status says Appointed, you may not be considered “ready-to-sell.” You must check that you have completed your carriers' certification requirements for the current and/or upcoming plan year as well, depending on which plan year(s) you’d like to sell for.
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Becoming “ready-to-sell” is a pretty simple process, once you know what to do. While it may be tempting to view it as another hoop you have to jump through to sell Medicare plans each year, think of it as a way to make sure you have all your ducks in a row before the busy season starts! You don’t want AEP to arrive and not be ready to maximize your earned commissions. The “ready-to-sell” process just helps you ensure you’ll be set to go!
Note: Carriers may send you a “ready-to-sell” confirmation notice once you’ve completed all their RTS requirements. If you don’t receive these, you may want to contact your carriers to confirm you’re all set. We’ve had agents assume they’re good to go with carriers, only to find out at the start of AEP, they still had certain requirements to meet (e.g., certification trainings) before being able to sell.