Top 10 Health Insurance Specialist Certifications
This article provides an overview of the top certifications for health insurance specialists, including requirements and benefits.
Published 16 min read
Certifications are an important tool for a health insurance specialist to stand out in the job market. Certifications show potential employers that the individual has knowledge and experience in specific areas of the health insurance industry. They demonstrate a commitment to professional development and continued learning, as well as a willingness to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and regulations. Having certifications also shows that an individual is reliable and knowledgeable, making them more attractive to employers.
The purpose of this article is to review top certifications for Health Insurance Specialists and explain how they can help to advance their career.
What are Health Insurance Specialist Certifications?
Health insurance specialist certification is a professional credential that demonstrates a person's knowledge and understanding of the health insurance industry. It is awarded to individuals who have successfully completed an approved course of study, passed a comprehensive exam, and met other requirements as set by the certifying body. The certification provides evidence that the individual possesses the necessary skills and knowledge to handle the complexities of health insurance policies.
Having a health insurance specialist certification can help individuals stand out in the job market when applying for positions within the healthcare industry. It can also be beneficial for those already working in this field as it can provide them with additional education on topics such as healthcare reform, coding systems, claims processing, and policy interpretation. Furthermore, having this type of certification may open up more career opportunities for individuals looking to further their career in this area. Finally, it could also provide employers with peace of mind knowing that their employees are knowledgeable about health insurance policies and regulations.
Pro Tip: Invest in a health insurance specialist certification to increase your knowledge and expertise in the field. This certification will provide you with the credentials to better serve your clients and demonstrate your commitment to providing quality service. Additionally, it can open up more career opportunities and give you a competitive edge in the marketplace.
Related: What does a Health Insurance Specialist do?
Top 10 Health Insurance Specialist Certifications
Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Health Insurance Specialists today.
1. Certified Professional Coder (CPC)
Certified Professional Coder (CPC) is a certification program offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). It is designed to provide healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to accurately code medical services. The certification is highly sought after in the healthcare industry, as it demonstrates a mastery of coding principles and practices.
The CPC certification requires passing an exam that covers topics such as anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, ICD-10-CM/PCS coding systems, HCPCS Level II coding system, and CPT coding system. The exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions and takes approximately four hours to complete.
To become certified as a CPC, individuals must first join the AAPC as a member. Membership fees vary depending on the type of membership selected. After joining the AAPC, candidates must then register for the CPC exam and pay an additional fee for taking the exam.
In order to maintain their certification status, CPCs must complete continuing education credits every two years in order to renew their certification. The cost of renewal depends on how many credits are required for renewal and whether or not they choose to purchase additional materials from the AAPC.
2. Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC)
Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) is a professional designation awarded by the National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research to individuals who demonstrate proficiency in the insurance industry. The CIC designation is recognized as the premier insurance credential and is held by more than 40,000 professionals worldwide.
In order to obtain the CIC designation, an individual must complete five courses covering various topics such as personal lines, commercial lines, life and health, agency management and ethics. Each course requires 30 hours of instruction and can be taken either online or in-person at a local college or university. After completing all five courses, individuals must pass a comprehensive exam administered by the National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research.
The cost of obtaining the CIC designation varies depending on where you take the courses and how you choose to pay for them. Typically, it costs between $1,000 - $2,000 to complete all five courses and take the exam. Additionally, there is an annual fee of $75 to maintain your CIC status.
3. Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)
Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) is a professional designation awarded by The American College of Financial Services to individuals who have completed an extensive course of study in the field of life insurance. The CLU designation is recognized as the gold standard for life insurance professionals, and it is highly respected in the industry.
The CLU program consists of eight courses, which must be completed within five years. These courses cover topics such as financial planning, estate planning, taxation, investments, and risk management. In order to receive the CLU designation, applicants must pass a comprehensive examination that tests their knowledge and understanding of these topics.
To obtain the CLU designation, applicants must first complete all eight required courses and pass the comprehensive exam. Applicants can enroll in these courses at The American College of Financial Services or through an approved online provider. Once all requirements are met, applicants will receive their CLU certificate from The American College of Financial Services.
The cost to obtain the CLU designation varies depending on how you choose to take the courses. If you take them through The American College of Financial Services, there is a one-time fee of $2,250 plus applicable taxes and fees for all eight required courses. If you take them through an approved online provider, there may be additional costs associated with each individual course.
4. Accredited Health Insurance Specialist (AHIS)
Accredited Health Insurance Specialist (AHIS) is a professional designation awarded by the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU). The AHIS designation is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of knowledge and expertise in the health insurance industry.
The AHIS program consists of three courses, each of which must be completed within two years. The curriculum covers topics such as health insurance law, regulations, policies, and procedures; risk management; and consumer protection. After completing the three courses, applicants must pass an exam to become certified.
To get started in the AHIS program, applicants must first become members of NAHU. Membership fees vary depending on the type of membership chosen. Once membership is established, applicants can register for the three courses required for certification. Each course costs $295 and can be taken online or in-person at select locations around the country.
Once all three courses are completed and passed with a minimum grade of 70%, applicants may take the AHIS exam, which costs $175. Upon successful completion of the exam, applicants will receive their AHIS certification from NAHU.
In total, it takes approximately six months to complete all requirements for becoming an Accredited Health Insurance Specialist (AHIS). The cost for becoming an AHIS ranges from $465-$595 depending on whether you choose to take the courses online or in-person.
5. Certified Health Insurance Executive (CHIE)
Certified Health Insurance Executive (CHIE) is a professional certification program for health insurance professionals. It is offered by the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU). The CHIE designation is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the health insurance industry, including its products, regulations, and trends.
It typically takes about six months to complete the CHIE program. To get certified, individuals must first pass an exam that covers topics such as health insurance fundamentals, policy and plan design, underwriting principles, legal and regulatory issues, sales and marketing strategies, and consumer protection. After passing the exam, candidates must also complete a two-day online course in order to receive their certification.
The cost of the CHIE program varies depending on your individual circumstances. The exam fee is $395 for NAHU members or $495 for non-members. The two-day online course costs an additional $295 for NAHU members or $395 for non-members. Finally, there may be additional fees associated with obtaining continuing education credits required to maintain your certification status over time.
6. Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS)
Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) is a certification program offered by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP). It is designed to provide professionals in the employee benefits field with an enhanced understanding of the complexities and nuances of employee benefits. The CEBS program consists of five courses, each focusing on a different aspect of employee benefits.
The five courses are: Group Benefits, Retirement Plans, Compensation Practices & Principles, Health Care Reform & Compliance, and Strategic Issues in Employee Benefits. Each course requires approximately 60 hours to complete.
To obtain the CEBS designation, individuals must complete all five courses and pass a comprehensive exam at the end of each course. The exam is administered by IFEBP and consists of multiple-choice questions as well as essay questions. Upon successful completion of all five exams, individuals will receive their CEBS designation from IFEBP.
The cost for the CEBS program varies depending on whether you choose to take individual courses or complete the entire program at once. The cost for each individual course ranges from $1,000-$2,000 per course depending on if you are an IFEBP member or not. If you choose to complete the entire program at once, it will cost around $6,000-$8,000 depending on your membership status with IFEBP.
7. Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU)
Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) is a professional designation awarded by The Institutes, a leading provider of risk and insurance knowledge. It is the highest credential in the property and casualty insurance industry, demonstrating expertise in all areas of the business.
The CPCU program consists of eight courses that cover topics such as personal lines, commercial lines, law and regulation, finance and accounting, ethics, management and marketing. Each course requires approximately 120 hours of study time to complete. After completing all eight courses, candidates must pass a comprehensive exam to earn their CPCU designation.
To be eligible for the CPCU program, applicants must have at least three years of full-time experience in the property/casualty insurance industry or an undergraduate degree in any field plus two years of full-time experience in the property/casualty insurance industry.
The cost for each course varies depending on which institution you take it from and whether or not you are a member of The Institutes. Generally speaking, it costs around $1,000 per course plus additional fees for textbooks and exams.
Overall, it takes approximately two years to complete all eight courses and earn your CPCU designation.
8. Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA)
A Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) is a professional who specializes in managing and analyzing patient health information. RHIA certification is offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). To become an RHIA, you must have an associate degree or higher in health information management from an accredited program, pass the AHIMA RHIA exam, and meet other requirements.
It typically takes two to four years to complete the educational requirements for RHIA certification. This includes completing a degree program in health information management, gaining relevant work experience, and passing the AHIMA RHIA exam.
To get certified as an RHIA, you must first complete a degree program in health information management from an accredited college or university. You can find accredited programs through AHIMA's website. After completing your degree program, you will need to gain relevant work experience in a healthcare setting and then pass the AHIMA RHIA exam.
The cost of becoming an RHIA varies depending on where you go to school and how long it takes you to complete your degree program. Generally speaking, tuition costs range from $10,000-$20,000 per year for a two-year associate’s degree program. The cost of taking the AHIMA RHIA exam is $350 plus any additional fees associated with registering for the exam.
9. Certified Healthcare Risk Manager (CHRMP)
Certified Healthcare Risk Manager Program (CHRMP) is a professional certification program developed by the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM). The program is designed to recognize and promote excellence in healthcare risk management. It provides healthcare professionals with the knowledge, skills and abilities to effectively manage risk within their organizations.
To become certified, applicants must have at least three years of experience in healthcare risk management or a related field and pass an examination administered by ASHRM. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as patient safety, legal issues, regulatory compliance, insurance and claims management, quality improvement, and more.
The CHRMP certification process typically takes six months to complete. During this time, applicants are required to complete an online application form, submit official transcripts from an accredited college or university showing completion of at least 12 credit hours of coursework in healthcare risk management or a related field, and pass the examination administered by ASHRM.
The cost for the CHRMP certification program varies depending on the type of membership chosen by the applicant. For non-members, the cost is $1,200; for members of ASHRM it is $900; and for students it is $600.
10. Licensed Health Insurance Agent/Broker
A Licensed Health Insurance Agent/Broker is a professional who helps individuals and businesses purchase health insurance plans. They are knowledgeable about the different types of health insurance available, as well as the regulations and laws that govern them. Agents/Brokers can help you find a plan that fits your budget and meets your needs.
It typically takes between 4-8 weeks to become a Licensed Health Insurance Agent/Broker depending on the state you live in. To become licensed, you must first pass an exam administered by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). The exam covers topics such as state insurance laws, ethics, and general knowledge of health insurance products. After passing the exam, you will need to complete an application with your state’s Department of Insurance. Once approved, you will be issued a license number which will allow you to legally sell health insurance plans.
The cost for becoming a Licensed Health Insurance Agent/Broker varies from state to state but generally includes a fee for taking the exam and an additional fee for filing the application with your state’s Department of Insurance. You may also need to pay for any additional training courses or continuing education courses required by your state.
Do You Really Need a Health Insurance Specialist Certificate?
The short answer is no, you do not need a health insurance specialist certificate to work in the field of health insurance. However, having one may help you stand out from other candidates and give you an edge when it comes to job opportunities.
Being certified can show employers that you have the necessary skills and knowledge needed to be successful in this type of role. It also shows that you are committed to your career and are willing to take the extra steps required to become an expert in this field.
Additionally, having a health insurance specialist certificate is a great way to gain more credibility and respect within the industry. Having such a certification indicates that you have gone through rigorous training and understand all aspects of health insurance, including understanding regulations, laws, and policies related to the industry.
Overall, while having a health insurance specialist certificate is not necessary for working in this field, it can provide some advantages if you choose to pursue one. It can help set you apart from other applicants and demonstrate your commitment to being an expert in this area of healthcare.
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FAQs About Health Insurance Specialist Certifications
1. What is a Health Insurance Specialist Certification?
Answer: A Health Insurance Specialist Certification is a professional certification that demonstrates an individual's knowledge, skills and abilities related to the health insurance industry. It is offered by various organizations and can be obtained by passing an exam or completing a course of study.
2. How do I become certified as a Health Insurance Specialist?
Answer: In order to become certified as a Health Insurance Specialist, you will need to complete the required education or training program and pass an examination administered by the certifying organization. You may also need to meet certain requirements such as having two years of experience in the field.
3. What are the benefits of becoming certified as a Health Insurance Specialist?
Answer: Becoming certified as a Health Insurance Specialist provides several advantages including increased job opportunities, higher salaries, and greater respect from employers and peers in the industry. It also provides access to continuing education opportunities and resources that can help you stay up-to-date on changes in the health insurance industry.
4. How long does it take to become certified as a Health Insurance Specialist?
Answer: The amount of time it takes to become certified as a Health Insurance Specialist depends on your educational background, experience level, and other factors such as whether or not you have completed any additional courses or training programs related to the health insurance industry. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from several months to over one year depending on these factors.
5. Is there any cost associated with becoming certified as a Health Insurance Specialist?
Answer: Yes, there are costs associated with becoming certified as a Health Insurance Specialist which include fees for enrollment in courses or training programs, exam fees, and membership fees for professional organizations related to the health insurance industry.