Recently I’ve been getting a lot of questions about when recertification for AHIP and Humana will be available, and the best cost/benefit timing for getting newly certified for Medicare Advantage plans. Normally these web based modules come online for the upcoming season in late July, but it appears they are going live sooner than ever. AHIP training for 2014 plans will actually launch next week! For Humana, you can re-certify and newly certify for 2014 beginning July 15th.
Here are some tips for getting your desired outcomes with training and certification each year:
Budget enough time to get it done properly – AHIP training really beefed up in content last year, so if it’s anything like 2013 you should budget for 2-3 hours of completion time. Remember, the training ends with a test that you must pass with a 90% or better, and Humana’s recertification (or online pre work for new certification) must be passed with an 85% or better. Humana’s online modules may also require some time, maybe 2-3 hours as well. In other words, budget a half day to get through it.
Put away distractions and focus on the material – You only get 3 tries to pass these tests so you definitely don’t want to rush through the content. As one agent said to me recently, “I was overconfident and blew through my 3 tries too quickly”. If you struggle with the tests during the first 2 tries, do not take it a 3rd time until you talk to some people! Call Humana’s ASU. Call your FMO. Just get with someone who can assist you with a review of the material, and help you prepare before you make your final attempt. Sometimes agents experience technical issues, and can get an additional try. However, carriers like Humana have systems in place that allow them to see exactly when you logged in, logged out, time spent on each page, etc. so there’s no opportunity to create additional tries by citing technical issues unless they can be validated.
Your renewals are dependent on successful passing – Whether you are planning to enroll beneficiaries into MAPD/PDP plans this fall, or just service your existing clients enrolled in season’s past, it is imperative that you maintain the appropriate certifications with all applicable carriers or renewals cannot be paid. Carriers will only continue to pay renewals if you are equipped to represent the plans as they are designed each season, which requires annual maintenance of the certifications. It’s definitely an investment of time, but well worth it.
Take advantage of the early availability of this training – It may be a blessing that these opportunities to get certified for 2014 so early have arrived. We still don’t know all the details about the health reform certification criteria, and as noted a couple months ago, it is probably in your best interest to spread this workload out over a wider period so your normal routine is not as affected.
Strongly consider taking your AHIP training through the Humana Agent Portal – By doing so, you can accomplish a few things. One, it’s easier to share your results with Humana, basically in real time. Two, you can still use that AHIP score to share with any other carrier you choose, even though you accessed through Humana. Three, you get a discount on the AHIP fee of $50, which brings your out of pocket cost to $100. Additionally, if you manage to complete 5 MAPD enrollments OR 25 PDP enrollments during AEP Humana will reimburse you the $100! Something worth taking advantage of. Now here’s the catch: In order to take the training this way I’m describing, both AHIP and Humana training for 2014 must be live, which means the soonest you could start would be July 15th. Still earlier than previous seasons, if you are willing to start on or shortly after July 15th.