Like many other professionals, health insurance agents and adjusters must attend continuing education courses. Health insurance continuing education is mandated by statute in some parts of the United States. Similarly, it is required by many employers to keep employees up-to-date on the latest health insurance information and ethics. The factors to consider when choosing health insurance continuing education courses are state laws, employer recommendations, price, the type of course and relevance.
As health insurance regulations are ever-changing, many states now require licensing and continuing education to adjust or sell health insurance. Failure to obtain proper continuing education can result in loss of license and fines, so it is important to check with the department that regulates insurance in your state to determine how many credits are required and whether they are required annually or biannually. Employers may have their own health insurance continuing education requirements aside from those that are state mandated. Sometimes the required training is done on-site.
The price of continuing education should also be explored. Some employers may reimburse for courses or expenses related to the courses, such as travel or lodging. Also, some insurance companies will offer their own continuing education courses, absorbing the cost entirely. If you work for an insurance company, check with your employer to see if any are available within the company. If it is necessary for you to go outside the company, approximately 15 credit hours will generally cost less than $100, depending on the type of course.
The type of health insurance continuing education course is also important for your search. If you are taking courses on your own time, you will need to find ones that are flexible and that are offered in the setting in which you learn best. Some courses may be offered in a weekend seminar. Others may be available as evening classes at a local college or university. Many choose to take online classes to make sure there are no schedule interruptions. Some states do have requirements that the online classes be monitored, though.
One last point to remember when searching for your health insurance continuing education course is the relevance of the coursework. Although centered on the health insurance field, courses do focus on different subjects. After ensuring the courses meet the above criteria, potential students should take courses that are relevant to their career path. Some agents may want to focus on senior health insurance sales, while adjusters may want to focus more on good faith practices.