Choosing an FMO: The Questions to Ask and the Answers You Want

Not sure what to ask to find out whether an FMO is right for you? We’re sharing the 10 questions to ask and the answers you want to hear.
choosing an fmo
1 May 2022

Choosing an FMO: The Questions to Ask and the Answers You Want

Interested in contracting with an FMO? Before choosing an FMO, you need to find out which FMO will work the hardest for you. Do your research, but don’t simply accept the answers on their website. Take the time to look into the FMO’s services, policies and values to guarantee you’re finding the best fit for you. 

We’ve put together a list of clarifying questions for you to ask before you make your choice. 

How much experience does your FMO have?

When looking for an FMO, you want to work with an organization that has experience. They’ve been in the business a long time, they have a history of serving their clients well, and their clients own insurance agencies similar to yours.

#1. How long has the FMO been supporting independent Medicare agents?

The longer, the better. If the FMO you’re researching has been around for quite a while, chances are they’ve been successful in their work and they know the ins and outs of how to support independent Medicare agents. 

#2. Do the Medicare insurance agents you know work with this FMO?

Great minds think alike. So if other independent agents you respect have chosen this FMO, you can expect that they provide the service you need to reach your business goals. Another bonus? You have access to invaluable direct feedback.

Is your FMO independent and efficient?

Yes, you’re going to an FMO for support as you build your book of business. But remember, they’ll be working for you. You don’t want to compromise either your independence or your time when you choose an FMO. 

#1. Does the FMO offer an open release policy?

Avoid any arrangement where you’re inextricably bound to an FMO. What happens if you’re not satisfied with their work or you find you don’t need them anymore? Or maybe you want to change the structure of how you do business and an FMO is no longer necessary. You don’t need to justify the reason. You’re in charge. Make sure the FMO has an open release policy that allows you to terminate your relationship with them at no cost.

#2. Does the FMO expedite contracting? 

An FMO should make your workflow easier, not harder. If your potential FMO doesn’t provide expedited contracting, you can expect the nightmare of paper contracting. Choose an FMO that provides expedited contracting to avoid that hassle. 

Will your FMO protect you?

Let’s take a moment to think about the consequences of working with a bad FMO. You’re looking for an FMO that will lessen your administrative and marketing burden, not one that will create legal problems by cutting corners.

#1. Does the FMO have a compliance department?

A compliance department ensures adherence to the CMS-mandated marketing guidelines. In fact, the FMO’s compliance department should provide a high-level of customer service that helps you avoid any potential problems and training that prepares you for compliance issues and reviews.

#2. Does the FMO keep you updated on changes to the law?

Navigating the rules of selling Medicare insurance on your own is undeniably intimidating. From how you can market to who and when, many of your advertising choices are bound by CMS regulations that are frequently updated. Your FMO should help you stay on top of these changes with regular communication.

What about insurance carriers and support services?

When choosing your FMO, make sure they offer access to the insurance carriers and support services you want. 

#1. Does the FMO contract with the insurance carriers you want to sell?

Ask your potential FMO if they provide the tools and guidance you need to succeed—especially in terms of the insurance carriers you work with. You shouldn’t experience any gaps in providing your clients with the policies that work best for them.

#2.  Will the FMO train you?

Your FMO provides services for you and your business. So look for an FMO that will empower and prepare you to be the best Medicare insurance agent you can be.

Is your FMO open and available?

You’re looking for accessibility. An unresponsive FMO is no help.

#1. What are their hours?

Before you choose an FMO, check their hours of operation. You don’t want the FMO to be off the clock when you need them most.

#2. Does the FMO communicate openly?

Communication is key. Whether you have questions, problems or suggestions, you want to be able to reach your FMO through the channels that work for you. Ideally, your FMO accepts different types of incoming messages so you can reach them anytime from anywhere.

Before you choose an FMO, ask the right questions to assess their ability to support your business. For more information on how Financial Grade can serve you as an FMO, contact us today!


image credit: shutterstock/fizkes