Why We Love It
$64,790Potential Avg. Salary
9.3%Job Growth Rate
Growing DemandJob Outlook
Deal MakingCareer Attribute
Health insurance agents help individuals and groups select and enroll in health insurance plans and related benefits. They consider the budget and preferences of individuals who need health insurance and use those considerations to recommend plans with affordable premiums and sufficient coverage.
What is a Health Insurance Agent?
The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in health insurance agent roles:
- Market services and cold-call individuals to expand leads for potential buyers
- Negotiate the enrollment of one or more individuals into health and supplementary insurance plans
- Meet with potential buyers to determine needs and budget
- Review a variety of health insurance plans to find those that provide the best coverage at a price the buyer can afford
- Assist buyers with the application process for securing new health insurance coverage
A Day in the Life
Health insurance agents work on behalf of one or more health insurance companies to increase enrollments in individual, group, and supplementary insurance plans. While some health insurance agents may be employed by a single insurer, most have contracts to sell plans from multiple insurance companies. Health insurance agents make the majority of their income—if not all of their income—via commissions from enrollments, so they spend a lot of time recruiting and working with buyers.
While the primary product sold by health insurance agents is health insurance plans, they also sell supplementary products as well. They may sell dental, vision, and life insurance plans, and they may also sell supplementary coverage like short-term and long-term disability, critical illness coverage, and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) coverage. These can be sold to individuals or groups as add-on benefits for health insurance plans or as separate voluntary benefits.
Health insurance agents may specialize in selling coverage to individuals or groups. Agents who sell to groups commonly work with employers who are looking for options to provide employees with employer-sponsored health insurance. These agents work with representatives of the company to determine what plans should be offered, and then they help both the employer and its employees apply for and enroll in the plan by answering questions, submitting paperwork, and explaining plan options.
Typical Work Schedule
Most health insurance agents work full-time schedules, and most choose their own schedules rather than working any set hours each week. They may need to be available to work with employers during normal business hours, and they may also need to be available in evenings and on weekends to work with individuals who need to meet outside of normal business hours because of work conflicts.
Projected Job Growth
In order to remain profitable, insurance providers must have a constant influx of new customers. For this reason, demand for health insurance agents is expected to increase in the coming decade as more insurance providers seek to expand their coverage to new markets and customers.
Health insurance agents may work for insurance agencies as salespeople, may be self-employed, or may work directly for one of the major U.S. health insurance companies: United Healthcare, Aetna, Anthem, Cigna, or Humana.
How To Become a Health Insurance Agent
For many health insurance agents, a high school diploma is a sufficient level of education for finding work in the field. However, all states require insurance agents to be licensed to sell insurance. Becoming licensed to sell health insurance requires passing a detailed examination. Aspiring health insurance agents can take courses in classrooms or online to learn the material needed to pass the exam, or they can purchase books and guides and engage in self-study to pass the exam.
There is no correct way to study for the exam; it really just depends on your preferred learning style. The exams are computer-based and must be taken in person at a testing facility in the state where licensure is being sought. Additionally, agents who sell in multiple states must be licensed to sell in each of those states. Often, if you can secure a role as a health insurance agent before becoming licensed, your employer may be willing to pay for the costs of study materials/coursework and the examination fee.
While no formal postsecondary education is required to become a health insurance agent, many aspiring agents find that studying business in college as part of an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program is beneficial. Because agents must be able to sell effectively to earn a living in the role, college courses in psychology, public speaking, and marketing can provide helpful skills that can be used when selling insurance policies. Most health insurance agents also receive training on the job.
Health Insurance Agent Salary Data
We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.
National Anual Salary
National Hourly Wage
How do Health Insurance Agent salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Health Insurance Agent's can make an average annual salary of $64,790, or $31 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $34,220 or $16 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.
Salary Rankings And Facts
#232 Nationally for All Careers
Above Average Salary Nationally
Highest Education Among Health Insurance Agents
- 1.7% Doctorate
- 6.3% Masters
- 40.1% Bachelors
- 9.3% Associates
- 26.3% College
- 15.3% High School
- 1% Less than High School
Job Growth Projections and Forecast
2014 Total Jobs466,100
2024 Est. Jobs509,500
Job Growth Rate9.3%
Est. New Jobs43,400
How does Health Insurance Agent job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 43,400 jobs for a total of 509,500 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 9.3% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.
Growth Rankings And Facts
#227 Nationally for All Careers
Above Avg. Growth Nationally
What Companies Employ The Most Health Insurance Agents
|Industry||Current Jobs||New Jobs Needed||% Increase|
|Insurance agencies and brokerages||265,000||33,900||34%|
|Direct insurance (except life, health, and medical) carriers||45,200||-3,300||-3%|