October 27, 2021

The Insurance Industry and Agents

 I am astonished, almost to the point of being amazed. Let me explain. 

After you past the insurance test and get licensed in the state you past the test, that is the end. 

Everything is radio silence, UNLESS you were doing this to work as a captive agent.  

A captive agent means that you work FOR an insurance company...like Allstate.  A JOB. 

If you are doing this to be "uncaptive" or a "broker" to represent several insurance companies then nothing, you are totally on your own to figure it out. 

As I was studying for my license the topic/type of insurance that interested me the most was for eldery - Medicare.  I also certainly have an interest in Cancer Insurance (I know the importance of it) and Life Insurance, but when I looked at where to start it seemed to me that everyone turning 65 will need Medicare so you have people who actually need the insurance. 

So, back in the September timeframe I started to research what it takes to sell Medicare Insurance.  If I thought studying for the state exam was a lot of information studying for Medicare was just as bad, maybe worse.  You have to take and pass an annual certification.  Basically it is 4 modules and a bunch of just PowerPoint Slides  -  no audio  -  no video -  just slides you read.  It took me WEEKS to get through all of that. I passed.  

In the middle of going through the Medicare Certification called AHIP I found someone locally on

line that I thought could help me understand this industry so I contacted her and met with her.  She  explained FMO's.  Those are Field Marketing Organizations. She would not however tell me which FMO she was with, because that would be giving me too much information.  Okay. 

Basically what it boils down to is most insurance companies (I think throughout the industry but certainly for Medicare) don't "employ" agents (captive) they use non-captive agents as FIELD Marketing and these FMO's sign-up these agents to CONTRACT with each of the insurance companies and in return the FMO's and the person who signed you up (the lady I met with) gets an "override" commission for each policy the non-captive agent sales. Good Grief.  How did this happen?  When did this happen? 

So, I sign up with her and the FMO, go to a meeting with about 50 other independant agents and take notes.  I'm still in disbelief of the process. After this I start CONTRACTING with the health insurance companies.  Each company has a different process.  

It has gotten to the point that I need to STOP and get further information (that you don't know to ask upfront), such as: 

1. If I want to be "released" from my contracts with the FMO what is their policy on releases?

2. Do they offer any type of training? 

3. What exactly is the commission structure? 

4. Do they provide leads (another unbelievable process)? 

5. How are they different than other FMOs?

I placed a call and got a call back from someone at the FMO and waiting for a call back.   

In the meantime I found some training on line for Medicare Training.  I've signed up and it's pretty good...but I am paying for this training.  Obviously there is a need for training.  

This is one of those, you don't know what you don't know. Good thing I like to learn. 

August 14, 2021

Annuities, Life and Health Insurance

Over the past 2 YEARS (that's right I said years)  I have been leisurely studying the VA laws and statues about life insurance, health insurance and annuities.  It has been fastinating and I learned a lot. 

Well at about the 1.5 year mark I decided to study to become licensed in VA.  I spent many many weekends studying and took the State test last month and passed it.  It was interesting because the more I studied the more there was to study.  When I took the test it was a hog pog of questions many I knew, some I didn't but none the less I passed.  I will say that you have to study to pass, it wasn't easy, but why would it be because you're dealing with money so they are going to make it a little hard. 

After I passed the test you have to apply for your license.  Completing the license was an interesting process as well. I understood not wanting people who have a criminal record to be able to become licensed but didn't know they cared if you owned child support.  That seemed strange to me, almost like they were trying to eliminate certain people from being licensed.  It made me want to run for office, work on understanding and changing laws.  It's all so crazy to me. Anyway went through the license application and then went to get my fingerprints. 

Fingerprints are no longer a messy process of getting ink on your fingers. Who knew.  The last time I was finger printed it was to work at the police department.  Well now finger printing is electronic, you put your fingers on a tablet and it's digitized.   A day after I got the finger prints I went on line to check the status of my application and it as approved and I could print my license.  

Seems easy...no it was not...remember I studied for 2 YEARS.  

So now what?  I want to start with selling MedicareWhy, because it is needlessly confusing.  It's ridiculously confusing for seniors.  So now I need to get a certificate to sell Medicare Advantage Policies.  I've signed up and it looks needless hard and confusing...more than studying for the license itself, but I am going to plow through it because honestly I want to understand it for myself and for others who won't take the time to do all this studying. 

I will then start selling Life Insurance, Annuities and Health Insurance.  I don't particularly like sales.  How do I know this...because I didn't like selling real estate, or my art at art shows, or when I had the gift shop.  I like educating people, I don't like and won't sell to them.  Honestly I don't think I'll need to.  

I will dovetail insurance with the black folder project.  Looking forward to it. 



January 23, 2021

Make A Promise To Yourself Everyday

 "Live today like you will die today." 

        ~Ridea Richardson

January 9, 2021

Cousins Dropping Knowledge Speak with Elder Law Attorney

Click Here to Listen to the Podcast

CDK has a fascinating conversation with Attorney Karren Pope as she shares heartbreaking stories of families without the proper documentation and the need for all of us to be prepared for death and dying especially during this time of COVID.

She shares with us information that we all need to know about this area of law and about life, living, and relationships.

If you do not have a Last Will and Testament, Living Will and Financial Power of Attorney why not?