At the foundation of everything we do is our “resident license”. This is your insurance license in the State that you live in. After you have your resident license, then you can easily add “non-resident” licenses for other States, if you want to. You will also want to get marketplace certification(s) in addition to your insurance license. The marketplace certification(s) might vary, depending on which States you get licensed in.
Please Note: your insurance licenses and certifications are on an individual level. Even if you have a separate business entity setup, like an LLC or corporation; your licenses are for you as an individual. You will need both a Life and Health insurance producer license
Step 1 – Get Resident Producer License
The very first thing that you need to do is get both your health and life licenses in the State you live in. To do this, you will need to do a pre-licensing course and pass the State exam.
Our recommended pre-licensing vendor is A.D.Banker. By using this link you can sign up and get a discount on the price of the courses. Just click the link, select the State you live in, and sign up for the Health & Life Pre-Licensing course. You will need to complete at least 40 hours of study time during the courses and pass the pre-licensing exam. As long as you follow the courses and pay attention, you will be setup to pass the State exam.
- Select your State then sign in or create a new user account
- Purchase the Health and Life Pre-License course
- Complete the courses and exams and then move onto the State Exam
You will want to find the government department in your State that oversees the insurance producer licenses. This can usually be done with a google search, or if you need any help just let your leader know. You will want to read any documentation about getting your insurance producer license in your State. Each State will also have their preferred vendor for the State exam. Sometimes the calendars for available test times fill up quickly, so be aware of the scheduling options for the State exam before you complete the pre-licensing courses, so there isn’t too much of a gap in time between pre-licensing and the State exam.
Fingerprints & Background Check
Getting fingerprints and a background back is part of getting your resident State license. Each State is a little different, sometimes it will be a separate task to complete and sometimes it will be incorporated into the state exam process.
Step 2 – Marketplace Certification
To sell marketplace health insurance plans (ACA, Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, etc) you will need to be marketplace certified. Approximately 30 States use the same “FFM” system (healthcare.gov) and the other approximately 20 States have their own “SBE” (State based exchange). At first, you want to make sure you are certified for whatever system your resident State uses. Then as you add more State licenses, then you can add more certifications if needed.
FFM stands for the federally facilitated marketplace (healthcare.gov) which is the system that approximately 30 states use for the Affordable Care Act plans. This information is for plan-year 2022. If you have a producer license in one or more of the FFM States, then get your FFM certification after you get your license(s).
- If you don’t have a CMS account, you will select new user registration during this process. CMS is most known for it’s involvement in Medicare, but it also oversees the federal marketplace for health insurance.
- FFM States: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
SBE stands for State Based Exchange. When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law, each state was supposed to create their own marketplace (exchange). To date, only approximately 20 states have stopped using the federal marketplace and have created their own. It is recommended that you become certified for the marketplace in each of these states that you are licensed.
- SEB States: California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Idaho, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington
- Select each state you are licensed in and want to be certified in. The additional training for the SBE can sometimes take a few hours to a few days, some systems will only allow you to do so much each day or your account has to be approved before it lets you complete the certification.
Step 3 – Add Non-Resident Licenses
When you are ready, you can add more state licenses to your portfolio. Please consult with your leader before do this. They can help you with which states would be the most beneficial for your situation. You can be licensed in all 50 states if you want to be, but isn’t necessary. Lot’s of agents are only licensed in one state for a long time, so don’t fee like you need to take on the added cost of additional state fees.
When you do want to add additional non-resident state licenses, there are organizations that will help you get licensed which make it easier than going directly to each State. Two of the most popular licensing organizations are Sircon and NIPR. We recommend NIPR and have found them to have a very easy and user friendly system, but a lot of people like Sircon as well.