In addition to investing in resources, it’s equally important to invest in the things that matter to the agents – like being attentive, supportive, and responsive. There is nothing more frustrating for agents than to be under an FMO that isn’t responsive. Green Leaf prides itself on being attentive, supportive, and responsive and we put our agents first.
Reputation in the Industry
Medicare insurance is a very small niche industry. It isn’t easy to become an FMO and many of the FMO’s in your area have likely been FMOs for several years (or even decades) and are well known by local medical groups, insurance carriers, and other agents and agencies. If you are considering starting out or looking to change FMOs, it’s a good idea to interview the benefits of an FMO to see if it’s a good fit for you and your business.
FMO Release Policies
Release policies are something that should be understood and talked about up front, but almost never are. When you sign a contract to represent an insurance carrier through an FMO (or other agency type), the agreement you are signing may allow or refuse a release when requested. There can also be additional rules in place from insurance carriers that can allow you to be released without permission from the FMO, but these rules vary by carrier. Basically, even if you are an independent agent, it might not be that easy to change FMOs once you have joined one depending on the contract you signed when joining and the release policy of the FMO and/or insurance carrier.
When you first join an FMO or agency, it’s a good idea to ask for a “pre-release letter” before you sign a contract to represent any insurance carrier through them. FMOs may tell you verbally that they will release you if you ever want to leave, but it is better to have it in writing.
Final Thoughts on Medicare FMOs
Choosing an FMO to work with is one of the most important decisions you can make in your Medicare insurance career. You may end up having to make this decision more than once as your business evolves and you better understand what type of FMO fits you best.
Do your homework, ask for recommendations from people you trust, ask for a pre-release letter, ask a lot of questions, and read any FMO agency agreements carefully. Make sure that you are comfortable with every word in the agreement before you sign.
Is the FMO making you promises that sound too good to be true? Can the benefits of an FMO compliantly deliver on their lead promises? Are there strings attached?
Just as we tell Medicare beneficiaries that there is no one right health plan for everyone, there is no one right FMO for all agents and agencies.
If you’d like to talk to us to see if Green Leaf – Medicare FMO might be the right fit for you, give us a call. We would welcome the opportunity to tell you more about us and to answer any questions that you may have.
President, Green Leaf – Medicare FMO
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