Step-by-step for Agents: How to sell Marketplace coverage
The overall health of the federal Health Insurance Marketplace (FFM) has been improving year over year since 2018. More insurers are participating and offering more competitive commissions for agents and brokers.
Along with continued viability, the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn have caused some insurers to return to the Marketplace and expand their individual health insurance offerings.
If you are considering selling FFM insurance plans during the Open Enrollment Period (OEP), make sure you complete these eight steps before November 1st!
Step 1: Create a CMS Enterprise Portal Account
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services run the federal Marketplace. You will need to create an account through the CMS Enterprise Portal at https://portal.cms.gov/
Note: If you already have a CMS Enterprise Portal account, you just need to renew it.
Step 2: Request access as an agent or broker
In the CMS Enterprise Portal, you will need to complete the following set of selections: Request Access Now, FFM/Training – Agents/Brokers/Assisters as the title, and then FFM Agent Broker from the dropdown menu.
Step 3: Complete the ID Verification
CMS will need you to confirm your identity through some basic information. Once you’ve completed this step you’ll return to the CMS Enterprise Portal home page. From there, you will need to log out and wait a few minutes for your profile to be assigned as an agent/broker.
Step 4: Complete the Marketplace training.
In your CMS Enterprise Portal, navigate to Complete Agent Broker Training. Select the ‘Access Training’ link next to the Marketplace Learning Management System (MLMS).
Select the Individual Market curriculum and then ‘Complete Enrollment’. You will then need to complete all required training.
Note: You also can complete this training through a CMS-approved vendor. Many of these training will be paid courses, and they may also offer continuing education units (CEUs). The MLMS training from CMS is free, but it doesn’t offer CEUs.
Step 5: Privacy and security agreements
After you’ve completed the training, the final step in your CMS Enterprise Portal is to launch and electronically sign the CMS Privacy and Security agreements.
To do this, go to ‘Current Learning’ and select ‘Curriculum State’. From there, you’ll click the ‘Actions’ link to the right of a completed curriculum.
It is recommended that you save a digital or physical copy of your Registration Completion Certificate.
Congratulations — once you have completed this step, you are officially a FFM-licensed agent!
Step 6: Create a HealthSherpa Agent Account
To make the most of OEP, you’ll want to create a HealthSherpa Agent Account. This will allow you to quote, enroll, renew and track all your ACA clients through one account.
Over 36,000 agents have chosen HealthSherpa over HealthCare.gov because it’s free and an easier enrollment pathway designed with agents in mind: the average ACA application takes 8 minutes on HealthSherpa compared to 32 minutes on HealthCare.gov.
Step 7: Make sure you’re set up for success with HealthSherpa
Using your HealthSherpa Agent account is easy, but there are a few important setup steps to complete before your first enrollment.
Step 8: Get appointed with Marketplace carriers
Now that you’re a licensed FFM agent, you will need to get appointed with insurance carriers. Without carrier appointments, you cannot receive a commission for your enrollments.
If you’re not sure which carrier appointments to prioritize, you can run a few quotes for zip codes in your region(s) of focus. After you compile your list, Google ‘[Carrier] Marketplace Appointments’ to find the directions you’ll need to follow to get the appointment process started. Many carriers will ask you to create an Agent account and fill out a form.
If you are worried you will not get appointments in time, two other options for you are to join an agency or make use of HealthSherpa’s Referral Program.
With the HealthSherpa Referral Program, we pay you a bonus whenever you refer a client to us who wants a plan outside of your carrier appointments. After enrolling, this client will be visible from your Clients tab, so you can follow up with them the next year. Click here for directions on how to turn on the Referral Program from your HealthSherpa account. Please note that these directions reflect the bonus rate for the Special Enrollment Period (SEP), and it will be raised for OEP.
Already FFM-licensed? Create a HealthSherpa Agent Account Today
Don’t worry — it’s easy to get started with a free HealthSherpa for Agents account. HealthSherpa is an approved alternative to healthcare.gov, and we are able to help you enroll your clients directly on our site with Enhanced Direct Enrollment (EDE). Through a HealthSherpa account, you can enroll, track, and service your ACA clients year-round. Visit our HealthSherpa for Agents page today to learn more and sign up for an account.