Dave’s Corner: Carrier Versions of AHIP

Welcome to another addition to Dave’s Corner!

Today David Russell, Empower Brokerage’s Regional Sales Director goes over the differences between AHIP and carrier versions of AHIP.

In order to sell Medicare Advantage, agents must take a certification called AHIP every year before product certification. Most carriers will not allow access to their certifications until an agent’s AHIP has been passed and transferred over. There are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, UnitedHealthcare does not require it to sell their products. Instead, they let you skip a few of their product certification modules if you do apply your AHIP. Other carriers offer their own versions of the AHIP exam, but these cannot be transferred over to different carriers.

Cigna Healthspring offers Pinpoint, which is very similar to AHIP, but is $89. This is a quite a bit of a discount compared to the cost of AHIP, which is $175. So, if you go in to certify for Cigna Healthspring and take their Pinpoint, it will take the place of AHIP. However, it is only valid for Cigna Healthspring. If you plan on offering other carriers in the market, they will not accept Pinpoint as a credible AHIP substitute. Therefore, you will still have to go and take (and pay for) your AHIP. Several carriers do offer a discounted price of $125 for AHIP if you take it through their portal. Among these are Humana, Cigna Healthspring, United Healthcare, and Allwell, and Aetna.

Dave recommends going ahead and taking your AHIP through a carrier that offers a discount. You can even do it through a carrier that offers their own version. One reason to do this is because of the discount but also because some carriers will reimburse your remaining AHIP fee if you sell and keep a certain amount of policies on the books after the rapid disenrollment period! As for Cigna, you will be reimbursed for keeping 5 policies. Allwell offers reimbursement after keeping 2 policies, and Humana offers the reimbursement for keeping 10 policies. Taking the actual AHIP will allow you to take the test only one time, and transfer it over to other carriers.

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