Life after the seminar!

I know, I know, I know! It’s been a few days since I last posted.

I bet you have all been waiting with baited breath for my next post too.  Well, wait no more!

The last two days, I had to drive to Champaign for a seminar on Health and Life insurance.  I have to tell you, I am not that great at driving in Chambana.  In fact, I kind of hate it.  Hate is usually a strong word, I know, but in this instance it is not strong enough.  Anyway, I followed my GPS (thank goodness my data restarted the day before I had to drive there), and I actually had a pretty nice drive to the hotel the seminar was being held at.

I had been warned by ****, the individual who works on crop insurance here at the bank, that it would be a somewhat boring seminar and I should expect to be tired and overwhelmed.  But, that is about all the preparation for the seminar that I had.  Keep this in mind when I write about how well I did after.

I learned all kinds of interesting life insurance and accident/health insurance info. at this seminar.  As well as laws and regulations of being a producer and selling insurance.  Contrary to what I was told, I actually found some of the seminar far less than boring, in fact, I would go so far as to say some of it was fun and interesting.  Especially the second day when it came to the health insurance portion.

Any who, I met some really cool peeps in that class.  There were six of us, so it was relatively small and it gave the speaker time and flexibility to give us a little more attention than if it were a huge number of people in the seminar.  In fact, I met one girl who will be working with Health Alliance, Two who will be working with north west and then two other agents who are in independent companies like myself.  Lunch was nothing to worry about as well for the most part all went to eat together and talked about our lives rather than insurance.

After the first day (Monday), it was recommended that we take the 1st practice test.  It would be  practice test on life insurance.  The goal was to miss no more than 20 questions on this first test (which would give a 60% passing rate).  The next practice test for life we are suppose to be reaching a goal of 85%, or no more than 7 missed.  Well, I did the test Monday night, even though I was exhausted and my family was talking up a storm, plush I had a headache.  I only missed three questions!!  That’s right folks, I scored a 94% right out of the gate.

I was a little nervous Tuesday when we had to take the final for the seminar.  We then had accident/health and the laws and regulations.  I did not know going into it, that we would be taking a test right then and there.  I mean, two days of studying and we were ready for the final?! Anyway, I took it no problem, 100%.  I thought I had this in the bag.  I called Tuesday night to schedule my state test, because yes, we just had to take a test to prove that we were ready to take a test.  Then after taking the second test I get to apply for my license.  So, in essence, you take a test to prove you can take a test, to prove you can apply for a license.  Seems like too much red time to me.  But gotta do what you gotta do.

Anyway, all of this just to say, I am now ready for the next step.  Unfortunately, I don’t take my test until September 14th, so this leaves time for me to forget the information, unless I study like I’m suppose to. Don’t worry I already did another practice test today.  This time on the accident/health.  I only missed 4!  The goal for the first practice test on accident/health was also no more than 20, so I made that goal and then some :).

thanks for reading, and thanks to those who encouraged me to do what I wanted.  This just feel right.

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CSR/Administrative Assistant – multitasking like a pro!

Have you ever wondered what it is like to work at an Insurance Agency?

Well, never fear you can find out here!

I may not be the world’s best or leading source on any of this information, but I am learning and experiencing what it is like.  Currently we are in a “slow” period for the agency.  Which means open enrollments have not yet started coming around and clients are really in need of anything major.  Just regular maintenance here and there.  For instance, this morning I had a phone call from a client who needed my help determining why he was receiving an EOB from his insurance company asking for his medicare summary.  All I had to do was speak with customer service to find out for him.  However, it is that extra mile for the client that makes them come back to us time and again.

During this slow time, I am taking the opportunity to learn everything I can related to insurance.  For instance, ever wondered how the Health Care Reform Act affects you?  Well, maybe one of these random blog postings will answer that question for you.

First, maybe we should start with what all those acronyms used in the Health Care Reform actually mean.  This list is by no means all encompassing. I should note, I found this list on zywave today and am using some of their terminology when describing the acronyms. 

ACA: The affordable Care Act – used to refer to the final amended version of the health care reform legislation.

CHIP – Children’s Health Insurance Program (for low-income and sometimes pregnant women who do not qualify for Medicaid)

EBSA – Employee Benefits Security Administration. (responsible for compliance assistance regarding benefit plans).

EPO plan – Exclusive Provider Organization plan (only covers services in the plan’s network of doctors, specialists or hospitals; except in case of an emergency).

ERRP – Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (temporary program to provide coverage to early retirees).

FSA – Flexible Spending Account

HDHP – High Deductible Health Plan

HMO – Health Maintenance Organization (type of plan that typically limits coverage to care from medical providers who work for a contract with the HMO).

HRA – Health Reimbursement Arrangement or Account

HSA – Health Savings Account

IRO – An Independent Review Organization. performs independent external reviews of adverse benefit determinations.

OOP – Out-of-pocket limit (maximum amount you have to pay for covered services in a plan year).

POS Plan – Point-of-service plan, you pay less if you go to doctors, hospitals and other health care providers that belong to the plans network (will require a referral from your doctor for specialists).

PPACA – Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

PPO – Preferred provider organization.   Contracts with medical providers to create a network of participating providers.  You pay less when using these providers, but can use providers outside the network.

SHOP Exchange – Small Business Health Options Program. Each health insurance exchange must create to assist eligible small employers when enrolling their employees in qualified health plans offered in the small-group market.

So why does my heading say multitasking like a pro?

Well my friends, when working in an insurance agency, you might have many clients files open at one time.  Working on multiple claims or issues all at once.  when an email comes in you have to be prepared to answer it, you really want each client to feel they are the top priority in your office.  So far (in my almost month working her), I have found that at any given time, I am working on customer service claim issue for one person, while I get an email from another group wanting someone added to their insurance or terminated from their insurance.  You have to be able to handle the fast pace when its around and the slow pace during the slow times.  That’s what I’ve been learning.  I’m writing this blog as a way to help me remember what I’m learning in the insurance world, and to help inform you, the public, my friends, hopefully some strangers as well.

That should be all for today folks.  Check back tomorrow to see what adventures await.