What to Look for When Choosing an FMO
Updated: Sep 28
Whether you're a new agent or agency, or reviewing FMO offerings, it is important to review several key considerations that should be taken into account when selecting the right FMO to partner with.
Culture & Values
Your FMO should be more than just a contracting entity - they should be your partner in helping you grow your business. We recommend meeting and speaking with your FMO and their team before making a decision; after all, they are the ones that will be shepherding your success.
At Executive FMO, we believe that transparency is the cornerstone of any successful partnership. We are committed to transparent contracting that starts with establishing your commission levels at the appropriate contract level.
By setting your contract levels at the appropriate level, we can ensure that your book is positioned for maximum valuation. This means that you can grow your agency with confidence. Sometimes, agents and agencies receive the appropriate commission payment but find that their book was set up at a lower level with the difference paid in cash. This can be detrimental to the valuation of your book as this will be based on your contract levels with the carriers.
When choosing an FMO, there are several questions you should ask to better understand your contract terms:
Do I retain my book of business?
Am I paid by the FMO or directly from the carrier?
How are charge backs handled?
Are advances available for certain contracts?
Will I receive commissions for renewals?
Understanding how your commissions are paid is critical to ensuring that your payments are received in a timely manner. We believe that routing your commissions through an FMO can result in unnecessary confusion and unanticipated delays. At Executive FMO, all downlines own their book of business with commissions paid directly from the carrier or Third Party Administrator (TPA) - we never touch with your commission payments!
Range of Products
When choosing an FMO, it is important to ensure that they offer a wide range of products that align with your business model and client needs such as Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, Prescription Drug, Ancillary, and Final Expense contracts from a diverse network of carriers and companies.
Maintaining a diverse portfolio of contracts and plans allows you to meet your client's changing healthcare needs. Furthermore, you can position your sales team to capitalize on changing market trends in real-time.
As a standard service, many FMOs offer a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform and an electronic quoting and enrollment tool such as SunFire. While this is common practice, there are several points to consider when examining technology offerings:
Is your CRM encrypted and HIPAA compliant?
Does your CRM allow you to upload media and other content?
Do you have an encrypted, HIPAA compliant storage solution for call recordings?
Does your CRM have customized automations for a client post sale journey?
Does your FMO offer website development?
Customized CRMs allow you to easily input, track, and manage your client data including required follow-ups. These systems can be customized with automatic text and email campaigns to engage new leads and implement a post-sale journey to promote retention.
Remember, while compliance is everyone's responsibility - you are ultimately responsible. Executive FMO offers all downlines free, HIPAA-compliant CRMs, SunFire and MarX access, and unlimited, encrypted cloud storage for call recordings.
Your FMO should partner with you to ensure understanding and compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations and carrier policies. The insurance industry is heavily regulated and your FMO should prepare you with insights into best practices to ensure compliance with provisions such as:
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH)
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (“GLB”),
Federal and State Do Not Call (DNC) registries
HIPAA Business Associate agreements
Importantly, your FMO should be at the forefront of industry headwinds and challenges such as the CMS Final Ruling CMS-4201-F that recently targeted Medicare Advantage marketing and the proposed FCC regulations on lead generation.
Whether you're a field agent serving your local community, a telesales agent covering multiple states or a growing agency with a national footprint, it is important that your FMO is ready to meet your growth trajectory. With more than 10,000 people turning age 65 in the United States each day, it is paramount that your agency has the tools needed for success.
Executive FMO proudly serves all 50 states and Washington, D.C.