Whether it’s your first time or your fifth, completing the annual AHIP certification is important for licensed insurance agents selling Medicare plans.

Today, we answer some frequently asked questions about AHIP certification.

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Do I need to pass AHIP if I already passed last year?

Yes. Since plans and regulations change year to year, you must pass the test annually in order to sell.

The good news is you’re already at an advantage if you passed last year, because you’ve proven to have a good foundational knowledge of Medicare sales.

Note: Many carriers require agents to continue certifying with them to receive renewal commissions. AHIP is oftentimes part of carriers’ certification requirements.

How many attempts at the AHIP test do I get?

Three. If you fail three times, you can re-enroll and purchase another set of three attempts; however, many carriers will not accept three failures in a given year and prohibit you from selling their product during that plan year.

How long must I take between failed attempts?

It depends. There’s no set time you need to wait before trying the AHIP test again.

If you fall just below the passing threshold and feel confident in your knowledge, you can give it another go immediately. If you miss the mark by more than a few points, we’d recommend taking more time to study before your second or third attempt.

Do I have to take AHIP directly through their website?

No. If a carrier offers AHIP certification through their broker portal, you’ll be directed to a customized AHIP page for that carrier. In many cases, certifying through a carrier’s broker portal will give you a discount off your AHIP training that you wouldn’t receive by going directly through AHIPMedicareTraining.com.

How much does AHIP cost?

$175 in 2018.

Can I get a discounted price for the test?

Yes. Many carriers offer discounts on AHIP if you take the test through their broker portal. In 2018, many carriers offer $50 off the $175 price.

Additionally, some carriers offer full AHIP reimbursement as a production incentive. Talk to your Ritter representative to contract with a carrier who offers AHIP incentives.

Is there a deadline to pass AHIP to sell in 2019?

Technically, yes. Passing AHIP is the initial step to completing most carrier certifications, so you won’t be “ready to sell” any MA plans until you do so. The 2019 AHIP course will eventually be replaced with 2020’s early next summer.

Is AHIP an open-book test?

Yes. You can print the training modules and use your notes while taking the test.

Is AHIP a timed test?

Yes. The final exam is 50 questions, and agents have two hours to complete it. The training modules for each section before the final exam are not timed, and may take a few hours to get through if it’s your first time reading them.

What score do I need to pass?

90 percent. If you get a higher AHIP score, that’s great!

How much should I prepare?

It depends. If you’ve passed the AHIP exam before, you should be well-prepared to take it again. That’s the point of certifying in the first place — to become an expert!

If you’re a first-timer, don’t hesitate to set aside a week to prepare using the training modules. Medicare is a complex topic for all of us, and you want to be the most knowledgeable agent, right?

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We’ve written about AHIP and why you need it before. Read the post