All the new brain science seems to point to a simple fact.
The brain responds to novelty and new learning. This applies equally to the part of the brain dedicated to California health insurance in agents and brokers. Obviously there is no "health insurance" area of the brain the concept still holds that it's a good thing to keep your insurance acumen up to speed and expanding all the time in order to best serve your clients.
The California health market is increasingly complicated, dynamic, and just plain confusing and that trend only looks to increase with health reform changes instituted over the past few years and next decade.
Continuing education is not only the right idea but it's the law in terms of keeping an agent or broker's license in good standing.
Let's take a look at how continuing education works to provide an educated and competent health insurance agent base ready for the new changes.
As with most things insurance related, California continuing educations is under the guidance of the California Department of Insurance or DOI. Depending on how long a California health agent has had his or her license in effect, there are different hourly requirements for education pertaining to the particular license in question.
In California, the two most common licenses with unique CE requirements are Health and Life; and Property and Casualty. Health and Life is combined together as is Property and Casualty for all intensive purposes since the the various components are generally intermixed and sold by the same agent. You could say that health and life deals with insurance of people (morbidity and mortality) while P&C deals with insurance of things although Workers Comp blurs the line here.
These are separate licenses however and they
will each have their own exclusive CE
requirements to keep their respective license in
The number of hours required differs according to how new the license is.
The general rule is that a license agent or broker must complete 24 hours of accredited CE course for every 2 year period. The CE credits are specific to the license in question which means that 10 hours of P&C CE credit will not count towards a Life/Health license held by the same person. There is also an Ethics 4 hour requirement which is to be completed each 2 year term for a California health and life agent. This is in addition to the 24 hours of license specific CE.
The CE courses can now be completed online which makes the process much more convenient than 10 years ago which involved classroom or mailed tests.
The goal of the California health license CE is to not only delve deeper into a given market (say Medicare Supplements) but also to reacquaint California brokers with common insurance requirements such as how long documents must be held.
California health agents such as ourselves are exclusively focused on health insurance so we live and breath this information on a daily basis but let's say you have a P&C agent, maybe a Farmer's of State Farm agent, who does quite a bit of home insurance but gets the occasional request for health insurance related info.
This is where CE can be very effective in keeping licensed individuals up to date on the changing health market. Any California health insurance shopper can go to the Department of Insurance website and request information on a specific agent to verify that their license is in good standing and even evaluate their carrier appointments and even see what Continuing Education they have had.
This is an important feature pointing towards
transparency and professionalism in the
California health agent community...a goal we
firmly support at
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