My last sales job fell apart in 2010. I lived on a tiny island with an economy based mainly on real estate and tourism. Neither of those were doing good. There were few job listings. I even mailed custom letters and resumes to the 50 top companies on the island and got zero results.
At the same time, I had seen an ad on Craigslist about becoming an insurance agent who focuses on Medicare Supplements, Medicare Advantage Plans and prescription drug plans. The money sounded good– it sounded too good to be true, which was a red flag– but I did not have any other real options. I spoke to the recruiter with a few questions. She told me about her easy success. I asked, “What’s the catch?” She said, “I honestly don’t know. It was easy for me. But statistically, 80% of new agents don’t make it.” I really appreciated her honesty on the statistics and thought, “What the heck? I might as well give it a go. I have no other options right now anyway.”
I knew little about insurance except some about my health insurance and a little about term life insurance. I paid my car and renter’s insurance. That was about it. I scheduled my insurance exam for two weeks away. I got a book from the library about how to study for it and crammed using that and by looking up the statutes on our state website, comparing it against the outline for the test. I passed the exam two weeks later. (In most states, you only must make around a 70% to pass.)
I then had to get my license. That took mailing in my licensing paperwork and fee, around $200. Within two weeks, my license was live in the system. Then I could be contracted with the carriers. Some carriers had me in the system in a few days, some in a couple of weeks. As soon as I was contracted, I could start their online trainings and the AHIP Medicare Training, which is the basis of my industry. I passed all of that within the next two weeks.
I wrote my first new business within the first month. That fall I was volunteering at the Medicare booth at Walmart, giving presentations for one of the major carriers and receiving leads directly from a couple of companies. Within a year, I had a living wage close to what I had recently left.
Now a decade later, my renewals– the amount I get paid whether I write new business or not– is over $20,000 per month. I also write new business of around $3000-8000 per month. None of this includes the overrides I make from agents I train and support.
If the future looks uncertain for you like it does for so many, there is a new career you can start and be up and running in a couple months. The industry projects that 10,000 people per day will turn 65 until the year 2029 and they all need help making their Medicare decisions. In fact, we have had an uptick in business as people are being laid off and need to start their Medicare. Many things are uncertain in the world right now. Medicare and people needing help with those decisions are a sure bet at these times.
Feel free to reach out if you have questions about the industry or want to know how to get started. You can also subscribe to my YouTube Channel: Med Geek YouTube or subscribe here: The Medicare Geek.