The employer mandate provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will begin in 2014. The mandate states that a business with 50 or more full-time employees or full-time equivalents may face penalties if the health insurance coverage that is offered to its employees does not meet minimum standards outlined in the Act.
Below is a flow chart that will help to clarify what requirements an employer must follow in offering affordable health insurance coverage to their employees in order to prevent from a penalty.
The day has arrived to take your state insurance exam. You’ve memorized all the facts and figures. You have a thorough understanding of the material and how concepts relate to one another. You are finally able to distinguish aleatory from adhesion! This is great, but you feel a little anxious about what to expect and you want to make sure you’re ready.
To help remove any apprehension you may have towards your insurance exam, we have compiled a few helpful tips!
Get to the testing center at least 30 to 45 minutes before the scheduled time of your insurance exam. Arriving early is important because it allows you time to locate the facility and not feel tense going into the exam. It gives you time to relax and clear your mind. Being relaxed is crucial to your success on the exam. Read More
The insurance industry is highly regulated by both the state and federal government, requiring agents and agencies to maintain licensing compliance in each state they solicit and sell insurance. In addition to maintaining your book of business, your responsibilities as a licensed agent also include maintaining your resident and non-resident state licenses, appointments with carriers in each state you solicit insurance products and annual or biennial continuing education requirements required by your home state. To further complicate the issue, if you hold an insurance license in multiple states or you sell more than one line of insurance, the maintenance of your various state licenses is compounded.
For example, if you hold a resident license in Texas and want to maintain your Indiana non-resident license, you must renew it every two years on the last day of the license issue month and pay a fee in an amount of $90. However, if you hold a resident license in Illinois, for example, and want to maintain your Indiana non-resident license, your renewal fee would cost $250 since the Indiana Department of Insurance imposes a retaliatory fee, in addition to its renewal fee. And, in the event you forget to renew your license on time and need to reinstate it, you will be required to pay a reinstatement fee of $270 in addition to your renewal fee. Of course, this reinstatement fee is also increased in those states where retaliatory fees are imposed!
Sounds confusing, right? Read More
In preparing for your state insurance exam, the three most common study options include traditional classroom courses, insurance study manuals, and online insurance courses. One style of learning does not fit everyone, so let’s review what is included with each option.
Traditional classroom courses usually consist of an instructor verbally explaining insurance concepts from a manual or syllabus which may include a few visual aids to reinforce the material. Although an instructor usually has a good understanding of the material, his or her explanations may not always be concise, consistent and clear every time it is presented. In addition, since not every state requires the completion of a pre-licensing course before taking the state insurance exam, an instructor may or may not be certified by his or her Department of Insurance, depending on the state’s requirement.
Preparing for the state exam with only the use of a study manual often includes text, illustrations and exam questions. While the explanation of insurance concepts from a study manual may be consistent and clear, it may not always be up-to-date and it loses the interactive learning process associated with a classroom.
Online insurance courses take a multimedia approach by combining the interaction of a traditional classroom with the clarity and consistency of a textbook, while including some important additional benefits. Read More
At the time I took the state exam for my life and health insurance license, I was the licensing director at a large, nationwide agency. Every week we would enroll new employees in a local insurance school and then register them to take the state insurance exam. With every group that attempted the exam, I quickly began to notice a trend: around half of the individuals who sat for the exam, failed.
I decided that I would tutor anybody that did not feel comfortable with the material and that needed addition help. I ended up assisting hundreds of new employees pass their exam and saw the percentage of failed attempts decline. It was great helping new friends and associates get over that final hurdle, and attain their insurance license. Then, I was advised by upper management that I must obtain my license as well.
I completed the insurance class and diligently studied every day for two weeks. This is on top of already having a firm grasp of the information as a result of helping so many others prepare. As I hit the submit button at the end of my state exam, I had only one thought enter my mind:
I have no idea if I passed this exam
Trying to find the time in our busy lives to prepare for an insurance license test can be, at best, limited. Because of this, you will want to be efficient in preparing for your insurance exam. In addition, if you want to be successful in passing your insurance license test, you will want to avoid these common mistakes:
1. Focusing too much on practice exams
A common temptation students may have is to read the course lessons or manual only once, and then take practice exams over and over. Practice exams are intended to reinforce the material that is learned within the lessons and manual. By repeatedly taking exams and ignoring the course material, you miss the connectivity between concepts and their full meaning. While our courses offer hundreds of exam questions, and while each exam randomizes questions being presented, shuffles the order of questions and possible answers, over time your mind is storing these to memory instead of fully grasping a concept. Practice exams should always be secondary to the course material. Read More
Preparing for your state insurance exam might feel a bit overwhelming. For many of us, years have passed since our last exam in college or high school, and as a result, some essential study habits may have been forgotten. To help you prepare for your state insurance exam, let’s review some basic, yet important study tips.
Distractions are one of the biggest obstacles that disrupt the learning process. How many times have you found yourself reading something online, and before you know it, you are browsing items on amazon.com or flipped back to your Facebook or Twitter page without even remembering how you got there? This happens to all of us, even while writing this post, it just happens. For your brain to absorb new ideas, it’s crucial that you avoid multitasking and stay focused on only the task in front of you. Below are some common distractions that will slow your progress in preparing for your exam:
- TV – Even with it on in the background, the noise is still a disturbance
- Cell phone – Switch your phone to vibrate. Tell your family & friends your study times and ask that they do not disturb you unless it is absolutely necessary. This includes texting as well
- Multiple browser windows – Close all other browser windows except for the page in which you are studying. This will help prevent the temptation to browse other sites
- Instant Messenger – Mute or completely close out your Instant Messenger until after you have finished studying
- Children – Study after your kids leave for school or once they have gone to sleep
- Music – Listening to music while learning is still a form of multi-tasking
In addition to removing external distractions from your study area, you will also want to free yourself from internal distractions. In order to remain focused on the task at hand, you must prepare yourself mentally and maintain interest in what you are learning.
With the amount of information you need to know in order to be prepared for your insurance license exam, it is common to question whether or not you have spent enough time studying to take the next step and schedule your state exam. To alleviate this anxiety and help guide you through your online course, we developed an individualized Pass Report to gauge your readiness for the state exam.
Your Pass Report is similar to a personal instructor, guiding you through the course by illustrating the areas that need additional study time, as well as tracking and reporting your progress as you move through the course. Your Pass Report allows you to see how much time you have spent in each lesson within the course, your final exam, exam simulator results and your overall preparation for the state exam. Read More
The state insurance exam consists of various concepts that educate individuals on the insurance industry and how insurance products work so that they may properly advise clients when selling insurance. Topics covered on the exam include basic and advanced insurance concepts and principles, an overview of the insurance industry, agent responsibilities, and state insurance laws and regulations.
While each concept is important to understand in order to pass the insurance exam, some concepts will be more heavily questioned on the exam than others.
In preparing for the insurance exam, every state provides an ‘Examination Content Outline’ which lists the number of questions on the exam, the time limit in which the exam must be completed and the insurance concepts and topics tested on during the exam.
The Exam Content Outline also illustrates the percentage, or number of questions, of each section of the exam. For example, questions about Social Security might only total 2% of the insurance exam, while questions regarding state-specific laws and regulations may total 10% of the exam. This is significant because it acknowledges the sections of the outline that contain more questions, allowing you to streamline your insurance exam preparation in a more efficient manner.
Let’s review a few exam outlines to see how the process works: Read More