AHIP Certification: How Annual Education Helps You Serve Your Clients - Western Asset Protection
AHIP certification

AHIP Certification: How Annual Education Helps You Serve Your Clients

School may be out for most people, but for Medicare insurance sales agents, the arrival of summer means it’s time to start studying for the annual AHIP certification. You might not be eager to hit the books when you’d rather be hitting the beaches, but here’s the thing – AHIP certification isn’t just some red tape to get through. It’s a chance for you to brush up on your Medicare knowledge so you can better serve your clients.

The Annual AHIP Requirement

Medicare sales are heavily regulated, and before you can sell Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans, you need to meet the annual training and testing requirements set by CMS. AHIP provides a popular way to do this.

AHIP’s Medicare + Fraud, Waste, and Abuse (MFWA) course is CMS-compliant and used by more than 100,000 Medicare agents and brokers each year. The course is taken online and includes review questions to help you prepare for the test.

What You’ll Learn

In the MFWA course, you’ll learn about Medicare basics as well as fraud prevention. Topics include:

  • Medicare eligibility, coverage and benefits
  • Medicare Advantage and Part D plan types
  • Nondiscrimination
  • Marketing and enrollment requirements
  • Identifying fraud, waste and abuse
  • The human and financial cost of fraud, waste and abuse
  • Fraud, waste and abuse compliance requirements
  • Who commits fraud, waste and abuse
  • Reporting fraud waste and abuse
  • Legal tools used to fight fraud, waste and abuse

Other AHIP Training Options

In addition to the MFWA training, AHIP offers several other training options that may be of interest to Medicare professionals.

  • Continuing education credits are available in every state, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
  • The Medicare General Compliance Training Program covers compliance issues, including the core elements to include in a Medicare compliance program, common compliance risks, and takeaways from recent compliance audits.
  • The Medicare Primer covers the basics of Medicare, including eligibility rules and the four parts of Medicare, as well as comparisons between Medicare and Medicaid and Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage.

Are There Free AHIP Courses?

AHIP certification isn’t free. The MFWA training costs $175. However, you may be able to get a discounted rate if you enroll through a carrier you represent.

Although you may not be thrilled about the idea of paying for a test, the AHIP course offers a good value. By taking this course and passing the test, you’re not just meeting annual requirements. You’re also making sure you have the information you need to do your job well.

Annual Training Truly Is Important

If you’ve been selling Medicare for a while, you might think you don’t need to take another course. You do, however, and not just to fulfill a certification requirement.

Medicare is complicated. There’s a lot of information to keep track of, and it’s easy to forget certain details. Before the next AEP starts, you want to make sure you’ve brushed up on all the information that will help you serve your clients, and you want to double check that you’re not inadvertently making compliance errors that could jeopardize your career.

You also want to make sure you’re keeping up with changes. Things like coverage details and marketing prohibitions can change from year to year as CMS passes new rules. The AHIP training is your chance to make sure you haven’t missed out on anything.

AHIP Pro Tips

  • When you start, download all modules, and save them to your desktop.
  • Go through each section and pay attention; take time to understand the changes.
  • On test day, be sure to read all the multiple-choice answers on each exam question before selecting your final answer.
  • Leverage “Ctrl F” to search the PDFs for certain topics and keywords during your open book testing.
  • Practice working on your computer with two windows open – one for your test and one for the open book PDFs.
  • Carve out two to three hours for testing so you won’t be rushed and have time to review your work. With more time, you have a better chance of passing the first time.
  • Tag the hard questions and re-review them at the end of the test.
  • Don’t fail twice! Call your upline FMO/Agency partner if you are having issues.

Get Ready

The AHIP MFWA training for the 2024 plan year has already begun. Don’t procrastinate. Certification is important, so give this course the attention it deserves. After completing the training, you’ll need to take the test. It’s an open book, online test, but to pass, you’ll need to get at least 90% of the questions right.

You don’t want to procrastinate because once you complete your AHIP certification, you may need to complete carrier certifications. Getting these requirements out of the way will give you a running start on AEP preparation.

You’re the Expert Your Clients Count On

When your clients have questions about Medicare, they turn to you for help. The annual AHIP training is your chance to prove your expertise and shore up any areas where your knowledge may be weak.

Do you need assistance? We’re always happy to hear from you! Contact us.