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Training time! Annual Individual Under-65 and Medicare Advantage training update

It’s that time of year again … training season! This year we’re excited to announce a much different and improved process that we believe will be a welcome change — all required training will be available online.

We wanted to inform all existing agents about what to expect over the coming weeks as we roll out your required Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield training materials.

There are two training tracks: Individual Medicare Advantage (Arkansas) and Individual Under-65 (Arkansas). We’ve partnered with a new vendor, PinPoint Global, to replace Gorman for Medicare core training. We’ll also be using PinPoint Global to host and track all training requirements and key milestones for both Individual Medicare Advantage and Individual Under-65 training.

Whether you’re completing a requirement through CMS (i.e., FFM training), AHIP (i.e., you choose to do your core Medicare training through AHIP), you’ll be able to track your progress all through your Arkansas Blue Cross Pinpoint account.

Based on what you’re currently appointed to sell, each agent will be assigned to one or both of these tracks.

Here are screenshots of each track, which will give you an idea of what your training and tracking portal will look like.

Individual Medicare Advantage
Individual MA training status screen
Individual Under-65
Individual U_65 training status screen

Timeline and What to Expect

The PinPoint site for Arkansas Blue Cross training will go live on or around August 14, 2017. When this happens, all agents will be notified, pre-registered and assigned training tracks based on current product appointments: Medi-Pak Choice, Individual Under-65 or both. You will receive an email blast about the site going live, and an email from PinPoint so you can register. Once you register, you can see your assigned training tracks.

All content and courses will not be immediately available, however, you will be able to complete some of the courses and start knocking out some required training modules. Around September 8, 2017, we’ll email all agents to let them know the remaining content has been loaded to your Arkansas Blue Cross PinPoint account.

Note: We also will be conducting regional face-to-face trainings. These will be supplemental, optional and will not replace the online training.

Individual Medicare Advantage Training (Arkansas)

Medicare Advantage / Fraud, Waste and Abuse

AHIP already launched plan year 2018 Medicare Advantage and fraud, waste and abuse (FWA) modules. Arkansas Blue Cross will accept AHIP’s 2018 training as a substitute to the PinPoint Medicare and FWA training. Like last year, AHIP will transmit your completion results to us, but you must tell AHIP to do so. Doing this is easy — here’s how:

  1. Go to www.ahipmedicaretraining.com/clients/arkbcbs
  2. The pages will look familiar to you. You'll be prompted to transmit your already-completed courses to Arkansas Blue Cross and will see confirmation of this transmittal. There is no cost to you to transmit already-completed module results.

You also can complete the Medicare Advantage and FWA training through PinPoint, once we launch our portal on August 14. The cost is $89.95. There isn't a cost to set up a PinPoint account or send your AHIP Medicare Advantage training results to us.

Medi-Pak Choice Product Trainings

The Value of Blue, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement product training modules will be available August 14 when the Arkansas Blue Cross PinPoint site is live. You'll be able to take the test after you complete the modules.

Required Additional Product Training

Available on September 8! Required additional product training will include content that goes into greater detail than the Arkansas Blue Cross product trainings. Until the content is available and loaded onto PinPoint, you’ll see “coming soon” listed next to the course title. We will notify everyone once final content is loaded and available.

Other Milestones

Any additional milestones or training requirements will be listed in your PinPoint account. Once the last requirement is marked as complete, you will have completed your training and will receive a “ready-to-sell” email. Displaying these milestones in PinPoint allows you to know exactly where you stand in your plan year 2018 training process.

You can select any remaining incomplete milestones to see exactly what we’re doing at Arkansas Blue Cross, and when you should expect it to be marked as “complete.”

Individual Under-65 Training (Arkansas)

2018 FFM Training Certification

Training should be available to agents in early August. Below are the instructions that all agents should follow, based on last year's FFM training certification process, which we expect to be the case again this year.

To access the training module, visit portal.cms.gov.

CMS_FFM Training Process Homepage

You will be prompted to complete identity proofing (if you haven't already done so). Access the “Complete Agent Broker Training Link."

CMS_FFM Training Process Access Page

Choose one of the three training vendors. MLMS is free, which is the bottom choice shown in screenshot below. No continuing education units (CEU) are offered with this vendor, but it will satisfy your certification requirements.

CMS_FFM Training Process_Choose a Course

You will not satisfy this requirement and cannot market/sell plan year 2018 products until your National Producer Number is on the FFM completion list for 2018. You will only be added to this list – Arkansas Blue Cross will review the completion list every 48 hours and update the status within your Pinpoint Portal – if you see “complete” as illustrated below.

CMS_FFM Training Process_Marked Complete

New! Renew Arkansas Exchange Producer License through September 2018

After conversations with the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace and Arkansas Insurance Department, here's what we know:

  • Last year, existing Exchange Producer Licensees had their license auto-renewed through September 2017. All Arkansas Exchange Producer licenses are set to expire at the end of September, so it is imperative that agents are proactive in getting this license renewed. Arkansas Blue Cross will not be able to renew your Individual U-65 appointment unless this is renewed.
  • This year, existing licensees will have to do the following to renew their Exchange Producer License. Agents cannot renew their license until 50 days prior to expiration — however, you can begin submitting a renewal application on August 13, 2017. If you try to submit the renewal application sooner, it will not work. We strongly recommend agents complete their renewal application and submit the renewal payment as soon as the renewal application becomes available on or around August 13. Here's how you renew your license:
    1. Complete the 2018 FFM training as described above (the state will verify your completion).
      • Since this is a pre-requisite, we recommend all agents complete their FFM training as soon as possible and before submitting the Exchange Producer License renewal application.
    2. Submit an online renewal application (screenshots below)
    3. Submit the $35 payment

PinPoint will run a report, nightly, which will check to see if your Exchange Producer License has been updated on the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR). Once it is updated until September 30, 2018, this milestone will be marked complete.

Detailed Steps to Submit Online Exchange Renewal License

Visit nipr.com. Walk through the screenshots below.

Select "Resident Licensing Renewal."

NIPR homepage

Then select "Renew."

NIPR_Select Renew

Select your state.

NIPR_Select State

Choose "Renew here."

NIPR_Renew Here button

Choose to renew as an individual, then select next.

NIPR_Individual Renewal_and_Next

Enter your last name and NPN.

NIPR_Enter Name_Enter NPN

Enter the last four of your social security number and your date of birth.

NIPR_Enter SSN_Select Next

Click on your name under the User Menu.

NIPR_Click Your Name

Select what you want to do (see selections below).

NIPR_Select License_Application_Residency

Add Arkansas as your selected state.

NIPR_Add_Arkansas

Below is the landing page where you'll see the Exchange Producer License Renewal Application link. It will not display until on or around August 13.

NIPR_Exchange Producer License Renewal Application

Wrap Up

Arkansas Blue Cross will send agents additional information as we get closer to the launch of our PinPoint training portal. Here is a summarized timeline:

July 16, 2017: Arkansas Blue Cross sends instructions to existing agents of what to expect.

Early August: 2018 FFM training modules are launched for Individual Under-65 agents.

August 14, 2017: Four significant things will happen the week of August 14.

  1. Existing agents will be pre-registered on PinPoint and assigned Individual Under-65 and/or Medicare Advantage training tracks based on current appointment(s).
    • Arkansas Blue Cross will send an email letting you know this is available with instructions on how to register.
  2. Individual Under-65 existing and new agents can renew and/or apply for their Arkansas Exchange Producer license on NIPR's website.
    • We strongly recommend that agents complete their FFM training as soon as it becomes available, and then submit their Exchange Producer License renewal. Remember, the state requires you to have an active Exchange Producer License, and it will expire on September 30, 2017.
  3. Most, but not all, Medi-Pak Choice training content will be available for agents.

  4. Arkansas Blue Cross will allow interested agents to register for optional face-to-face supplemental trainings held throughout each region of the state.

September 3: The week of September 3, we'll post the final training modules for both Individual Under-65 and Medi-Pak Choice to your Arkansas Blue Cross PinPoint portal.

Note: Agencies hoping to appoint new agents this selling season will soon receive information on this. Core training will be available to them, with a few additional items, through PinPoint. There will also be a face-to-face training for new agents.

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