A field marketing organization (FMO) offers many benefits to independent agents and agencies. FMOs are also commonly called IMOs (independent marketing organizations) and NMOs (national marketing organizations) and vary through the insurance industry, but all have one thing in common: they market, sell, and distribute insurance products.
But not all FMOs are created equal. They come in various shapes and sizes, offering a wide variety of products and services for independents. Yet, there are a few common denominators to look for when exploring and choosing an FMO.
Having a dedicated product/sales consultant makes a big difference when it comes to doing business. Product and sales consultants help you cut out the market research and analytics of what products to offer your clients and why. Additionally, having access to support teams that provide expedited contracting, handling escalated issues such as commission audits and licensing/appointment issues truly comes in handy to keep you doing what you do best.
FMOs generally provide free access to agents and brokers to a CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) approved quoting tool. This will enable you to quote Medicare Advantage Insurance Plans (Medicare Part C), Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans (Medigap Policies), and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans. If you’re working with a top FMO, they may also provide additional product lines within their quoting tools and portals.
FMOs offer a range of products that can be tailored for your portfolio, ensuring you remain competitive in your market space. FMOs generally offer agents and brokers with regional and national health plan and insurer options, including brand name and highly ranked plans.
An FMO can offer contracts to agents that they might not be able to acquire individually. They can do this because of the volume and relationship the FMO has developed with the carriers. This puts an FMO in a unique position to have a quality selection of products to offer agents.
They typically make a percentage of commission on top of the full commission you make. This works great for independents because it leaves more profit in your accounts. Higher level contracts are available based on the size of your agency, number of agents, amount of revenue, etc.
It’s important to partner with an FMO offering top or full commissions on your sales. Look for FMOs that don’t pay out commissions unless the carrier or insurer requires payment from the FMO. In most cases, carriers pay out commissions directly to the agent or broker. This means that an FMO can offer the highest commission levels from the carrier while still allowing agents to work as independently as possible.
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Choosing an FMO to work with is not just about having access to top insurance products and commissions, it’s about finding a one-on-one agent service that is prepared to meet your needs.
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