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  #1  
Old 01-04-2020, 08:28 AM
opendo21 opendo21 is offline
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Default Fellowship Exams: Advice Needed

Hello all,

I really need advice on how to prepare for the fellowship exams in health as an overseas student. My early exams were with the IFoA, but after taking the FSA modules and working a few years as a consultant. I have spent most of my working life in life insurance but recently became interested in Health Insurance and would like to complete my exams with the SoA due to it's breadth from both the technical and business perspective. I also found the Health Economics module really interesting and relevant to my work.
However, I have the following concerns;

How many study hours are needed for the DP exams and are the SoA study notes sufficient to prepare?

From a cost perspective; which additional materials would I require considering that I will be personally financing my studies in a third world country? From my little research I know we have MATE and Infinite Actuary, but both are quite expensive and I think MATE also organizes a physical seminar before the exams.

Also are health actuaries still in high demand in the US and Canada? The public health insurance market here is really nascent and may take another 4-5 years for sufficient traction and stability to occur. Although there are a number of HMOs mostly selling employer based plans.

Lastly, what does a typical day of an health actuary look like?... any links or description will be really appreciated.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 01-06-2020, 09:38 AM
act2106 act2106 is offline
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Originally Posted by opendo21 View Post
Hello all,

I really need advice on how to prepare for the fellowship exams in health as an overseas student. My early exams were with the IFoA, but after taking the FSA modules and working a few years as a consultant. I have spent most of my working life in life insurance but recently became interested in Health Insurance and would like to complete my exams with the SoA due to it's breadth from both the technical and business perspective. I also found the Health Economics module really interesting and relevant to my work.
However, I have the following concerns;

1. How many study hours are needed for the DP exams and 2. are the SoA study notes sufficient to prepare?

3. From a cost perspective; which additional materials would I require considering that I will be personally financing my studies in a third world country? From my little research I know we have MATE and Infinite Actuary, but both are quite expensive and I think MATE also organizes a physical seminar before the exams.

4. Also are health actuaries still in high demand in the US and Canada? The public health insurance market here is really nascent and may take another 4-5 years for sufficient traction and stability to occur. Although there are a number of HMOs mostly selling employer based plans.

Lastly, what does a typical day of an health actuary look like?... any links or description will be really appreciated.

Thanks
I think you might get more of a response to your exam-specific questions in an exam forum, but you might get some here. Here's my perspective:

1. This varies greatly, even more than with the preliminary exams. I think the 100 hours of study per exam hour rule might be a decent but very rough guideline, and it might be a little high for FSA exams. For preliminary exams I found that rule to be very accurate for me, and for a 5.5 hour exam I probably had to spend something like 400-500 hours studying (and probably more on the high end of that) to be prepared.

2. The SOA study notes alone are definitely not enough to prepare - not even close.

3. I liked MATE and TIA. I used MATE more than TIA. I also used a third source which I also found to be pretty effective, but not as much as MATE and TIA.

4. I think credentialed, experienced health actuaries are in high demand in the U.S. It sounds like if you follow your plan you'll be a fully credentialed health actuary with little or no U.S. health experience. I don't know what the demand would be for that. I also have no idea about Canada, except for my impression is that they have far fewer health actuaries due to universal coverage.

That last question is hard to answer and varies quite a bit by role and company.
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:42 PM
Bassooner Bassooner is offline
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Originally Posted by opendo21 View Post
How many study hours are needed for the DP exams and are the SoA study notes sufficient to prepare?
Note that the SOA study notes aren't really notes; they're a collection of articles that form part of the exam syllabus (along with portions of a few books and some additional online articles) compiled into a single binder by SOA. That's why it's definitely not sufficient to use just these -- they're only a fraction of the total source material. What you're likely thinking of for study notes is more like the MATE study manual, which is an outline/summary of most of the material on the syllabus.

Edited to add: This subforum is more for questions on health/disability work in practice; for your exam-related questions you'll get better info and responses in the SOA Group / Health exam subforums.
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  #4  
Old 01-07-2020, 12:43 PM
opendo21 opendo21 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2017
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Originally Posted by Bassooner View Post

Edited to add: This subforum is more for questions on health/disability work in practice; for your exam-related questions you'll get better info and responses in the SOA Group / Health exam subforums.
Thanks.. will post in the appropriate forum.. Really appreciate the comments here
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