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Breaking Down the Difference Between Specialized Continuing Education Training and General Online CE Training

November 6, 2021   |   by Alex Strautman
online-ce-training

A requirement for health insurance agents in most states is to complete a specified number of Continuing Education (CE) Credits during each licensing term. In California, licensees are required to complete a minimum of 24 CE Credit hours every two years based on their license type. Three hours of ethics CE training must be completed as a part of California’s CE requirements. In Nevada, the CE requirement is 30 credit hours (including three hours of ethics) during each three-year license term.

Additional training hours are required for California agents engaged in the sale of Long Term Care (LTC) Insurance – both during the first four years of being licensed and as part of an agent’s license renewal.

CE Course Options

Generally, the CE Credit hours awarded are equivalent to the length of the course; that is, for a one-hour presentation, you can expect to receive one hour of CE Credit. You can get your CE Credits through online course work or in-person events. That may include in-person or online training offered through a General Agent like Word & Brown (if you’re a California broker), through a trade group such as a regional or national health underwriter association, or through a third-party training program offered by organizations like Kaplan Financial Education, WebCE, or others. Our guide, 6 Steps to Getting Your Health Insurance License, includes more information about distance educational opportunities and online training resources.

Certainly, the convenience of training online offers a lot of appeal; however, it’s important to recognize that courses developed by General Agents and insurance underwriting associations often offer more directly applicable, customized, and up-to-date content and information to address the changing insurance marketplace, as compared to a vendor from outside of the industry.

For example, Word & Brown’s in-house Compliance team works year-round to develop new courses and presentations to help brokers stay on top of what’s happening with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), ERISA, COBRA, and industry-specific topics like the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act.

Our annual Week of Webinars (WOW) gives California brokers the opportunity to earn half of the CE Credits needed to fulfill their Department of Insurance training requirements. In 2021, we offered 13 CE Credits over five days, and 10 of the courses were new. Among them were Sunsetting the COVID-19 Pandemic, Leave Laws and Employee Benefits in a Pandemic, COBRA Administration During COVID-19, 2021 Legislative Update from Washington, DC (presented by Marcy Buckner, JD, Senior VP of Government Affairs at the National Association of Health Underwriters), Account Based Plans: Pandemic Changes, Diversity and Inclusion, and SCOTUS and the Constitutionality of the ACA. This course was especially timely as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (for the third time since 2010) on efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

Beyond WOW, we offer information on our website about ongoing educational opportunities through our in-house developed courses – plus those offered in partnership with regional, state, and national trade groups (such as the Orange County Association of Health Underwriters or NAHU). We also offer courses to benefit your clients – and that qualify for HRCI (HR Certification Institute) and SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) professional development credits.

Wherever you receive your CE training, it’s important to remember that in order to receive credit for courses taken, a certificate of completion needs to be submitted to California or Nevada authorities (or whatever state or states where you are licensed). Details on state guidelines are available here for California or here for Nevada.

Ask Your Rep for Information

To learn more about our in-person and online training, talk with your Word & Brown representative or contact any of our six regional offices in California and Nevada. We’re constantly developing new courses to help you and your clients gain a better understanding of compliance, products and services, security, and technology.

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