What Is An Fmo
FMO is an acronym for Field Marketing Organization which is a company approved to distribute health insurance plans on behalf of various insurance companies. An FMO will help you get appointed to sell with multiple insurance companies.
Once contracted with a wholesaler , these are the products you will be approved to sell:
When you get your health license, simply sticking a I sell Medicare Insurance sign on your office window wont get you off to a fast start. You must become appointed with various insurance carriers to be able to sell their products, negotiate commission agreements, and get the marketing support from an experienced team to help you maximize your results.
Below are some questions I always suggest you ask before committing to any FMO:
- What kind of Medicare sales training do you provide ?
- What carriers are you appointed with?
- Will I be paid directly from the insurance company or will my commissions be assigned to the FMO?
- Do you provide E& O insurance?
- How can you help me with Medicare leads and getting in front of interested prospects?
Brandons Suggestion: Speak to multiple Medicare FMOs to determine the best fit for you. Simply taking the biggest commissions is a grave mistake. Be patient, talk to numerous FMOs and go with the one that your gut tells you is the right work environment for you.
Errors & Omissions Insurance
E& O insurance is insurance intended to protect you should you give a client incorrect or misleading information for which they take legal action against you. This can be purchased though most property and casualty agencies as well as many insurance associations.
Some FMOs will provide you with E& O insurance. If they do not, then you will need to purchase on your own.
A typical E& O policy coverage limit is $1,000,000/$3,000,000 and will run you $300-$500 per year. Most insurance companies will require this.
Brandons Suggestion: We have heard great feedback from those who joined the National Association of Professional Agents . They have a great E& O program for independent health insurance agents.
Become A Certified Insurance Agent
Being a Covered California Certified Insurance Agent means you are at the forefront of the effort to make affordable health insurance for all Californians a reality. Insurance agents can become certified with Covered California once they complete all requirements of the certification process. There are two categories of agents, explained in detail below, which have different requirements for certification.
How To Become A Medicare Sales Agent Step
Are you hoping to build a lucrative career without having to work for someone else? Want to earn money for years and years, after making a sale?
Then you should become a Medicare sales agent. Medicare is focused primarily on the baby boomer generation.
And for the next decade, thousands of baby boomers are hitting retirement age every single day. That spells a huge opportunity for you if you get trained as soon as possible so you can capitalize on the opportunity.
But its not just a job you can apply for and start tomorrow. While its available to all licensed insurance agents, theres a process to becoming a Medicare-specific sales agent.
Wondering why you should add Medicare to the list of products you offer? Want to know how to become a licensed Medicare sales agent? Keep reading to find out how.
Benefits of Becoming a Medicare Sales Agent
Selling insurance, regardless of what type you focus on, is a reliable career. With training and dedication, youll be able to earn an above-average salary year after year.
But those who specialize in selling a specific type of insurance, like Medicare, tend to make much more than generalist insurance salespeople. When you sell Medicare plans, not only will you earn a nice commission on a customers first year, but youll earn smaller, recurring commissions year after year.
So is selling Medicare lucrative? It can be, particularly if you already have experience selling insurance.
How to Become a Medicare Sales Agent
Find And Contract With An Fmo
Many Medicare insurance agents, and other agents, choose to form a partnership with Field Marketing Organizations or FMOs.
These FMOs are organizations that provide professional services to independent insurance agents and brokers.
They give agents the opportunity to sell products from a number of different carriers to make sure they are as competitive as possible.
These FMOs help do a good portion of the back-end work for an agent, like generating leads, training, marketing, and more.
Many FMOs offer perks to insurance agents and brokers that go beyond being able to offer products from more than one insurance company.
They can help with marketing costs and offer other services that can save you money.
Working with an FMO is free to you, but be wary of working with the wrong ones.
Some dock commissions, keep contracts captive and offer little in the way of marketing and lead programs.
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How To Become A Medicare Advantage Insurance Agent
When an American turns 65, they can go with original Medicare for health insurance or a Medicare Advantage plan. As the American Association of Retired Persons explains, private insurers provide Medicare Advantage plans. These may offer coverage that works better for some individuals than original Medicare. With the baby boomers steadily aging, selling plans from Medicare insurance companies can be profitable. It’s tightly regulated by the government, though.
To become a Medicare Advantage agent, first acquire a health insurance license. Next, take the certification test for Medicare Advantage. Then contact insurance wholesalers who can provide you with policies to sell.
Becoming A Licensed Medicare Agent
Insurance sales can be a lucrative career for the right people. After all, if you become a Licensed Medicare Agent it can be a great choice. If you are not only a motivated self starter but you also enjoy interacting with people, you may succeed in the field of insurance sales. In order to sell Life and Health insurance, you must become licensed. Becoming a licensed Medicare agent is not difficult but there is a process. We list a step-by-step walk-through of the process as you can see below.
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Continuing Education Requirements 4 Hours:
To retain the specialty certification for medicare-related products, an individual must complete in each reporting period following the reporting period in which the licensee completed the certification course, at least 4 hours of department certified medicare-related products continuing education. To find courses which qualify, please view the Course Inquiry on the Compliance Express / Sircon.
Agents: Independent Or Captive
You can now decide on which direction you want to take your career. You have a few options.
A Medicare insurance agent helps people consider and evaluate different Medicare plans. They guide people toward choosing the one that is best for them.
A Medicare insurance agent needs to be familiar with the ins-and-outs of every Medicare plan. They have to know what plan works best for a person and their needs. They need to describe plans in great detail, tailoring their words to what a person wants.
A Medicare insurance agent also needs to be a good salesman and marketer. They need to respect the brands of insurance companies, building off of them to sell products to clients.
As an insurance agent, you can be independent. You can work with different insurance companies, enrolling people in plans with any of them. Independent agents have terrific flexibility, but they have to train themselves on their own with some guidance.
Independent Agents reach out to potential clients on their own, without support from insurance companies. You will need a strong work ethic and independent streak to succeed as an Independent Agent. You will need an eye for marketing because you will be building your own brand within Medicare insurance.
You can also be a captive agent, partnering with one insurance company or agency and selling their plans. This company will provide you with training and internal support. You will be able to form connections within the industry and may receive leads.
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Become An Insurance Agent
You can sign up with a Field Marketing Organization . Insurance companies approve FMOs to sell insurance and train agents on their behalf. A captive agent can sign up with one insurance company in particular or an FMO.
When you sign a contract with an FMO, you can sell Medicare Advantage, prescription drug plans, and supplements as long as they are appointed with those lines of authority.
An FMO helps you get appointed with insurance carriers. An insurance carrier must approve you before you can sell their products. An FMO may also provide discounts on errors and omissions insurance, which covers you against lawsuits from clients.
Once you get approval, you can start courting customers. You can tap into your networks and attend events. You can hold presentations, offering your services and experience.
A Medicare insurance agent works a forty-hour workweek. You will spend many of your days with clients. You will keep them updated on their current policies and sell them new ones.
In the evenings, you can expect to complete paperwork and prepare more presentations. You may need to work additional hours and weekends, especially as you start your career.
If you sign with an FMO, your income will likely be commission-based, could be per product, per hour, or salaried. The average pay is around $50,000 a year for Medicare insurance agents during their first year.
Pass The Ahip Medicare Training
Getting your health insurance license is step one in the process of becoming a Medicare agent.
Next, youll need to take the Medicare training and certification offered by Americas Health Insurance Plans . Not only do you need to undergo training and take the exam, but you need to pass with a 90% or better. This test will allow you to sell Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Programs. It is not needed to sell Medicare Supplements alone.
Not just anyone can sell Medicare-related products. The Center for Medicare and Medicare Services requires agents to obtain special certifications.
CMS oversees all insurance companies, agents, and agencies that sell their products. Its important to note that AHIP training is offered annually for the following Medicare plan year, so be sure to plan ahead.
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Becoming A Licensed Medicare Agent Apply For License
After passing the exam, apply for your license by completing an application at the National Insurance Producer Registry website.
Most companies will require that you have an active Errors and Omissions Policy. As a matter of fact, Crowe and Associates offers its contracted agents E& O insurance at a very competitive rate.
Get Your Health Insurance License
Obtaining a health insurance license in your residential state is the very first step in becoming a Medicare insurance agent. Its also probably the step thats going to take you the longest. Youll need to take a course either in a classroom, online or by self-study and work hard to understand the material.
Youll learn about deductibles, coinsurance costs, claims adjudication, insurance networks, healthcare laws, ethics, and compliance standards. Some states require a specific number of hours of study prior to taking the exam, and some do require that you have classroom training. This training is usually completed within a week. Some vendors offer life insurance training in addition to the health insurance portion. If you are able to do it, it can be beneficial to get this completed at the same time.
Once you have completed the learning and studying phase, youll take an exam. If you pass, youll have your license in just a few days!
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Independent Vs Captive Agent Or Broker
Independent Medicare agents and brokers may seem like the most intuitive choice to make. They have some advantages over captive agents.
For one, because they represent different insurance companies, you get to choose from a wider variety of plans when working with them. And because they’re not employed or bound to just one insurer, you’re more likely to get objective recommendations from them.
However, the downside is that there’s a chance they don’t have comprehensive expertise on the plans individually simply because they represent so many.
On the other hand, working with a captive agent means that you get advice and recommendations from an expert who likely has extensive knowledge of the health plans they sell. The disadvantage with captive agents is that you don’t get to explore techniques from other insurance companies that may fit your needs better.
What Are Some Benefits And Incentives To Selling Medicare
Is selling medicare lucrative? How much do agents make selling Medicare plans? That depends on several factors, such as the product type, insurance carrier, etc. Here is a list of just a few of the benefits you may experience when selling Medicare products as an independent agent:
- Residual Income – When you sell a Medicare supplement or Medicare Advantage plan you will receive residual income from that sale for years to come, creating a passive income from each sale.
- Own Your Business As an independent agent commissions are paid directly to you and generally vested from day one, so you truly own your book of business and the renewals that come with it.
- Incentive Trips Many insurance companies will reward their top agents with exotic trips and vacation packages. Have you been to Italy yet?
- Additional Product Sales Whether it be annuities, life insurance or critical illness policies, Medicare products serve as a great door-opener for agents to develop a relationship with their client that will help assess their needs for additional products and coverage helping you increase client loyalty and your overall profitability.
Selling Medicare related products can be a very rewarding and lucrative career that offers the opportunity to own your own business and enjoy passive income for years into the future. If you are looking to partner with an FMO that works with independent agents, give us a call and let us explain what we do to help our agents succeed.
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What Is My Sales Process Going To Be
Do you plan to visit your customers face-to-face? Or do you prefer the ease ofconducting your business electronically and over the phone?
Both are viable options, especially now that the vast majority of competitive and reputable insurance companies have adopted an e-application process for agent use.
We recommend you use a relationship selling method when. It is critical to learn about the demographic you’re selling to and offer the best service and product that honestly addresses their needs.
Seniors have seen advertising and sales tactics evolve over many years and are quick to see through them. A sales technique not based on an honest desire to help will raise immediate flags in their minds.
Where To Get Your Medicare Products
Choosing your product offerings is only the beginning. For each product you plan to sell, youâll need to make an appointment with that insurance carrier to complete an independent agent agreement or contract.
Unfortunately, there are very few insurance companies that will offer you a direct contract if you’re not a captive or employed agent. That means you’ll need to acquire most of your independent agent contracts for selling Medicare through a Medicare Insurance field marketing organization .
Working with an FMO generally gives you access to much better contracts and product offerings. These organizations have connections with multiple carriers and can offer you more connections and better commissions than you would earn by trying to work directly with individual carriers. They also often offer assistance with training and certification requirements.
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Become A Medicare Provider Or Supplier
Ready to become a Medicare provider or supplier? This guide will help you enroll in three steps.
Do not use this guide if
- Youre a DMEPOS supplier. DMEPOS suppliers should follow the instructions on the Enroll as a DMEPOS Supplier page.
- Youre an institutional provider. If youre enrolling a hospital, critical care facility, skilled nursing facility, home health agency, hospice, or other similar institution, you should use the Medicare Enrollment Guide for Institutional Providers.
Use this guide if any of the following apply:
- Youre a health care provider who wants to bill Medicare for your services and also have the ability to order and certify.
- You dont want to bill Medicare for your services, but you do want enroll in Medicare solely to order and certify.
- You wish to provide services to beneficiaries but do not want to bill Medicare for your services.
- You want to enroll as a supplier who does not dispense or furnish durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies .
Step 1: Get an NPI
If you already have an NPI, skip this step and proceed to Step 2.
Keep Your Information Current
Its important to keep your enrollment information up to date. To avoid having your Medicare billing privileges revoked, be sure to report the following changes within 30 days:
- a change in ownership
What To Look For In An Fmo
Choosing an FMO is an important step in the process of preparing to sell Medicare coverage. If you make the right choice, it can drastically improve your chances of success. Look for an FMO that offers:
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