Skip to main content

Wondering Where Your Underwriting Job Went?

Is the inward focus on underwriting on its way to being replaced by an outward focus on the customer experience? Maybe.

Should you be concerned about your underwriting job? Perhaps.

From Jay D'Aprile's blog "Insurance Industry Talent Tracks" here's how healthcare reform may affect your career in insurance underwriting:
"In the end, healthcare reform will force health insurance companies to compete on their ability to control costs and provide effective delivery of medical care. Health insurance carriers will have to refocus their business strategies away from underwriting “good business” to crafting strategies that instead rely on improving margins through implementing efficient network strategies, lowering administrative costs and creating strong customer service experiences. Unfortunately, for people in underwriting positions this does not add up to good news. Healthcare reform is going to eliminate the underwriting function in the health insurance industry. On the other hand, professionals that can help health insurance companies improve their margins will be in high demand. Network development executives that understand how to partner with doctors and hospitals and can design effective network strategies will be coveted by insurance carriers. Also, health insurance companies will focus on improving the “customer experience” to attract membership. Therefore, skills in information technology, claims and customer service/call centers management will be desired. Finally, finance executives and actuaries who focus on financial reporting, medical management and provider network evaluations will continue to be in high demand."
I don't wish unemployment on anyone. (Well, yes I do but that's another story.) Still, a renewed focus on improving the customer service experience is not the worst news I've ever heard.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Becoming Consumer Friendly In Five Easy Steps...Or Not

An article at hhnmag.com offers hospitals 5 steps to becoming more consumer friendly.

If you still think there's a secret sauce to your hospital becoming more "consumer friendly," these 5 steps are as good a place to start as any.  Unfortunately, it's a little like that old Steve Martin comedy bit where he says he'll teach you how to be rich. The first step is to go find a million dollars.

Step 1 from the article is realizing that "...a Medicare beneficiary with chronic conditions is different from a young mom who brings her kids in for an annual check-up." This is market segmentation for beginners, and, yes, one size decidedly does not fit all. I'm sure your marketing team's been saying this for a while.

Steps 2-5: have a strategy, metrics, a champion and resources. OK. Hard to argue with any of those.

But those things, alone or together, won't overcome culture. They're important components to be sure, but insufficient without a …

My Take On Anthem-Cigna, Big Dumb Companies and the Executives Who Run Them

After last Friday's Appeals Court decision, Anthem's hostile takeover of, er, merger with Cigna has but a faint pulse. Good. Unplug the respirator. Cigna's figured it out but Anthem is like that late-late horror show where the corpse refuses to die. Meanwhile, 150 McKinsey consultants are on standby for post-merger "integration" support. I guess "no deal, no paycheck..." is powerfully motivating to keep the patient alive a while longer.

In court, Anthem argued that assembling a $54 billion behemoth is a necessary precondition to sparking all manner of wondrous innovations and delivering $2.4 billion in efficiencies. The basic argument appears to be "We need to double in size to grow a brain. And just imagine all those savings translating directly into lower premiums for employers and consumers." 

Stop. Read that paragraph again. Ignore the dubious "lower premiums" argument and focus on the deal's savings.

$2.4 billion saved from a p…

Being Disrupted Ain't Fun. Deal With It.

Articles about disrupting healthcare, particularly those analogizing, say, Tesla's example with healthcare's current state, are frequently met with a chorus of (paraphrasing here) "Irrelevant! Cars are easy, healthcare is hard." You know, patients and doctors as examples of "information asymmetry" and all that. Well, let me ask you this: assuming you drive a car with a traditional internal combustion engine, how much do you know about the metallurgy in your car's engine block? I'll bet the answer is: virtually nothing. In fact it's probably less than you know about your own body's GI tract. Yet somehow, every day, us (allegedly) ignorant people buy and drive cars without help from a cadre of experts. Most of us do so and live happily ever after (at least until the warranty expires. Warranties...another thing healthcare could learn from Tesla.) Now, us free range dummies - impatient with information asymmetry - are storming healthcar…