What Is a Health Insurance License?

Under the laws of all states, if you sell health insurance, you need to hold a health insurance license. Usually, states require a specific license for selling health insurance, but in some states, a general license may be issued. You must get a license from any state in which you sell insurance. Learn more about licensing requirements here. Schools offering Insurance Billing & Coding Specialist degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

About the Health Insurance License

Health insurance is designed to provide coverage for individuals who have been injured or become ill, and it protects them against some financial loss due to the medical situation. Merely collecting payments on an insurance policy usually doesn't constitute selling and doesn't require a license. However, explaining products to clients, processing applications and signing clients up for policies are acts that do fall under the label of selling insurance. If you plan to engage in any such activities, you are legally responsible for getting licensed under the regulations of your state department of insurance. As a licensed health insurance seller, you may also be permitted to sell disability, long-term care and some types of life insurance, according to some states' laws.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Median Salary (2014) $47,860 (for insurance sales agents)
Entry-level Education High school diploma or equivalent
Programs Prep programs are available to provide aspiring agents with the knowledge and strategies to pass the exam to become a licensed insurance provider
Work Environment Office setting

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Since licensing is regulated at the state level, each state sets its minimum requirements and outlines its own application process. Becoming licensed generally requires the completion of pre-licensing education and testing and successfully passing a criminal background check. In California, the Department of Insurance will issue an accident and health agent license if you are at least 18 years old and have at least 20 hours of pre-licensing education. In Pennsylvania, you can become licensed by the insurance department if you complete 24 hours of pre-licensing classes and pass an examination.

Some states that have similar pre-licensure requirements have reciprocity agreements with one another, meaning that if you hold a valid insurance license in one state, you can apply for licensure in another that has reciprocity without taking additional classes or tests. States may also exempt you from education and testing requirements if you hold certain professional designations that required you to fulfill similar coursework and examination requirements.


Maintaining your health insurance license means that you must complete a minimum number of hours of state-approved continuing education within the licensing period. Continuing education subjects may include ethics, Medicare and health insurance plans. The study of such topics might help you to remain knowledgeable about current regulations, changes in the industry and updates to insurance products. Courses and programs from national organizations and providers such as the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) are approved in all states. You may also select state-approved continuing education that is specific to your state through local continuing education providers.

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