As a regular contributor to BenefitsPro Magazine, I was asked to reflect on the state of the industry after the most unusual year of 2020 for an article titled: Diary of a Bad Year. We all have experienced a lot of sadness, loss and dark moments, to be sure, but the industry as a whole proved to be more responsive and resilient than we might have imagined. For those without a subscription, please see the full article below.
Industry Reflections, The Key for Modern Essential HealthCare
October 2020 – Benefits Pro: Naama O. Pozniak
We all are experiencing a year like no other, you don’t need me to tell you that. Navigating the health insurance industry has never been boring, we have always faced one change after another, but this year has proven that our knowledge as healthcare professionals has never been more essential.
In California, we have seen an Open Enrollment season that never has truly ended, with the pandemic, job losses, wildfire disasters and protests. All of these changes have created a constant flow of new concern clients seeking help. Even the legendary health insurance for SAG will have to let go of all subscribers at the beginning of 2021! I can feel and sense the energy of loss all over. I can hear the heartbeat of every client and I can sense the fear that is currently influencing so many decisions. We have found ourselves navigating new and challenging situations that constantly change in real time, including Covid and diagnostic testing that should be covered, sometime get denied, and fought by my team on behalf of our clients.
We have been serving the majority of our clients remotely, thanks to my incredible, dedicated team who were able to smoothly transition to working from home. It became clear early on in the pandemic that we needed to be super-efficient, consistent, and creative at a time when our clients were suffering loss all around. We try to bring conscious culture, technology, and solutions to our employers' benefits options, serving them frequently either remotely or, as restrictions slowly lift, in a hybrid working model. There is a huge need for a compassionate, empowering way to heal, and we feel the need strive and provide clients with a stronger healthcare plans that can remind us how can we go back to being whole, to being healed.
Additionally, I must share that even though the amount of travel has decreased dramatically, travel insurance has never been in more demand. Cancellation, trip extension, and most importantly Covid coverage while abroad, or family uniting, is an absolute must. We are seeing quite an increase in inquiries from agents and clients for complex inbound and outbound policies, as a result of the U.S. being restricted from foreign travel policies. I do believe that savvy travelers will continue to incorporate such policies well into the future.
I have found the key to succeeding in the face of change, anxiety and uncertainty many years ago, and believe that it is actually essential to us all in the ‘New Now’ – a regular meditation practice. I have continued leading virtual meditation and stress reduction sessions to as many stakeholders as possible, to encourage the adoption of mindfulness practices by employers and leaders from all professions and industries. Opening the virtual door and allowing teaching, sharing and maintaining our connections, even remotely, has been a lifesaver in this insane year.
Mindfulness – the act of being present and aware – has been challenged in ways that we never dreamt before. The CE's that I wrote for the healthcare industry few years ago on how meditation can improve overall health and even reduce healthcare costs were received in a profound energy of change. My biggest learnings have been from technology leaders who have shared their progress and vision for the future, and the vital race to use data and AI to bring our healthcare system to a new level of delivery.
I am personally very positive about the current conversation. It is clear that a shift in mindset is happening, and my wish is for the collective advancement of medicine to rise. We can unlock the power of transformation in the very near future of health.