Become a Certified Application Counselor or Renew Certification

There are both federal and state requirements that must be met in order to become a Certified Application Counselor (CAC). Both requirements involve training and an exam. First, your organization must apply to CMS and be approved as a certified organization. Then, each staff member who will assist patients or other consumers with applying for coverage on the Health Insurance Marketplace must take training and pass exams at both the federal and state of Wisconsin levels. CACs must take on-going training to maintain certification. Review the steps below, and download the Certified Application Counselor Requirements_7_2016 checklist from the Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association.

Table of Requirements for CAC Initial and Continuing Certification

INITIAL REQUIREMENTS – FEDERAL. Complete these activities only once per organization, and once for each new CAC.
Federal Requirement Instructions
  1. Application: Each organization interested in employing (either as paid employees or un-paid volunteers) Certified Application Counselors must first apply to become a “CAC organization”
Complete this application:
The individual named as the authorized representative on the application should hear back on the application within a few weeks. The follow up email will include a contract that must be signed and return in order to complete the process.
  1. Contract execution: Each organization that has applied to become a CAC organization will receive a contract via email.
Upon receipt of the confirmation email from CMS – CAC Application Review Team, an authorized individual must sign and return the attached contract to CMS.
  1. Assign CAC numbers:Each organization must assign their staff and volunteers intending to act as CACs a CAC Number
After approval as a CAC organization, the organization must assign each CAC a unique CAC number which will consist of the organizations number (8 characters) e.g. NYCACA00 and adding five characters. See confirmation email from CMS – CAC Application Review Team for additional instructions.
  1. CMS Training: Each individual potential CAC must complete a required CMS training and pass an exam.
2016 – 2017 training instructions can be found here:

  1. CAC Agreement
Each CAC must enter into an agreement with their CAC organization. CMS provides a model agreement in their initial confirmation email.
  1. CAC Certificate
Each CAC organization must issue a CAC Certificate once they have completed their requirements. CMS provides a model certificate in their initial confirmation email.


INITIAL REQUIREMENTS – STATE. Complete these activities only once per organization, and once for each new CAC.
State Requirement Instructions
  1. CAC training: Each individual potential CAC must complete an initial 16 hour training.
The statewide Covering Wisconsin conference will provide CAC initial training.  There are also vendors offering training courses across the state, and the fees and offerings may vary depending on the vendor.  To view a list of approved courses visit In the “Lookup” area, select “Wisconsin,” search for “Courses,” select the course type “Pre-Licensing Navigator PE Training,” and click “Search.” Select the Education type “Prelicensing,” select Course Category “Pre-Licensing PE Training,” and click “Search.” The training required for CACs is the same as the training for navigators, which is why you will see reference to “navigator” in some of the materials.
  1. CAC examination: Each individual potential CAC must pass an examination.
To register for the exam, go to the Prometric Wisconsin page: Follow the steps at the bottom of the page to review the licensing information, register and schedule an exam (Test ID = 22-14). You must create an online account to register and see the course listings.
  1. Organizational Registration and CAC affiliation: Upon authorization by the Marketplace to provide CAC assistance and CAC completion of all training/education requirements, the organization must register with OCI and provide a list of all individual CACs and any other non-navigator assisters it employs, supervises, or affiliates with.
Registration includes completion of this form: and submission to vog.n1500705275isnoc1500705275siw@s1500705275tnemu1500705275codla1500705275ico1500705275. Each time a CAC joins or leaves the organization, the organization must update its listing with OCI by completing this form: and submitting it to vog.n1500705275isnoc1500705275siw@s1500705275tnemu1500705275codla1500705275ico1500705275
ONGOING REQUIREMENTS TO MAINTAIN CERTIFICATION – FEDERAL. Maintain these activities on an ongoing basis.
Federal Requirement Instructions
  1. Re-certification Training
Each CAC must successfully complete re-certification training annually. The re-certification training is the same 2015-16 training that new CACs will be required to take. CMS encourages all CACs to take the new training even in cases where the CAC’s annual re-certification may not be due for several months. Training is now available. A full guide to training can be found here:
  1. Ensure that CAC certificates and agreements with CAC Organizations are up to date.
CMS allows each CAC Organization to determine a process by which affiliated CACs can confirm they have met the necessary training requirements. Each organization must be sure that their agreements with CACs are up to date and that each CAC is issued a new official CAC certificate with an expiration date that is one year from the date of issuance. See Enrollment Assister Bulletin 2016-01 for more information.
ONGOING REQUIREMENTS TO MAINTAIN CERTIFICATION – STATE. Maintain these activities on an ongoing basis.
State Requirement Instructions
  1. Continuing Education Requirements: Each individual CAC must complete and appropriately attest to 8 CE credits prior to October 1 of each year.
Find guidance on this process here: The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) does not require prior approval of the course content. Training that includes the following topics satisfies the requirement:1. Principles of health insurance 2. Wisconsin health insurance laws and regulations 3. Public health program law, regulations and guidance including BadgerCare and Medicare 4. Federal Affordable Care Act law, regulations and guidance 5. Privacy and Security Guidelines – Personally Identifiable Information (PII) In addition, CAC organizations must attest to each CAC’s completion of 8 CE credits by October 1 of each year by using this form: