First, understand the purpose of the life insurance (e.g. support a family if the primary income earner is lost). Second, calculate how much life insurance is necessary to accomplish your purpose (e.g. if you need to replace $50,000/year for five years, get a $250,000 policy). Third, select a life insurance company that has a strong financial rating (AAA or AA) from one of the rating agencies like AM Best or Fitch.
As a part of my interview series with leaders in healthcare, I had the pleasure to interview Shaun Greene who is an experienced leader in healthcare reform. Shaun is currently the head of business operations at HealthPocket along with the general manager of AgileHealthInsurance.com. He was the founder and CEO/COO of the ACA Co-Op in Utah and prior to that, he launched eHealth, Inc. into the Medicare marketplace. He began his working career as an Army infantry officer and earned his airborne ranger qualifications.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I was looking for an industry that gave me a sense of service and doing something bigger than myself. I was considering a job in the health/life insurance industry versus one in the charter school movement. I selected insurance only because the job was in my wife’s hometown. I love it but I often wonder what would have happened if things had been reversed.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting in the industry? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that.
Years ago, I was leading operations to transition Big Three Auto retirees from group Medicare to individual Medicare. One day I took an escalated call from a retiree and I mistakenly gave him my cell phone number and said to call me anytime. Well, he gave my number to two friends and they gave it to two friends, etc. etc. etc. I was getting several calls daily starting with, “I was told you could help solve my Medicare problem…” It got so bad, I was convinced my cell phone number was on a billboard in Detroit. In hindsight it is funny, but the long days and nights of fielding calls was hard. However, I must admit it was pretty rewarding to hear what was not working so I could improve operations/service and I have applied that lesson since then to facilitate obtaining unfiltered feedback from customers (invaluable).
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
We just launched AgileLifeInsurance.com to make life insurance more accessible to Americans. A recent HealthPocket survey found that nearly 40% of Americans do not have life insurance, and we are looking to close that gap. AgileLifeInsurance.com is a simple but informative site that we will continue to improve to help Americans get the coverage they need.
Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Is there a takeaway or lessons that others can learn from that?
My tipping point was when I was an air operations officer for my infantry battalion where I had to manage planning. It was then that I was able to see the importance of how solid planning ensures success. Since that time to now, I have become a fanatic about having a plan. Most plans change upon execution, but I know without a plan as a baseline, these inevitable changes will drive failure.
What advice would you give to other people in the insurance field to thrive and avoid burnout?
Take your continuing education requirement serious and always look to learn more not just about your particular insurance segment but other related areas of insurance. Learning about new areas keeps things interesting.
As an “insurance insider”, you know much more about insurance than most consumers. If your loved one wanted to buy a policy from another person, which 5 things would you advise them to find out about before committing to a policy? Can you give an example or story for each?
First, understand the purpose of the life insurance (e.g. support a family if the primary income earner is lost). Second, calculate how much life insurance is necessary to accomplish your purpose (e.g. if you need to replace $50,000/year for five years, get a $250,000 policy). Third, select a life insurance company that has a strong financial rating (AAA or AA) from one of the rating agencies like AM Best or Fitch. Fourth, understand the provisions of your policy (e.g. the conditions for the insurance contract) and fifth, ensure the premium fits your budget (e.g. if you can only afford $50/month, make sure you keep your premium about there as non-payment of premium will cause cancellation).
Insurance agencies or companies are often known to be very creative and innovative marketers. Do you use any clever and innovative marketing strategies that you think large legacy companies should consider adopting?
Internet marketing is our specialty and it is driven by some very creative people. We work with many legacy insurance companies who leverage our technology platform and creative marketing to drive sales.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My wife Amy has been both my foundation and my motivator who has helped me achieve success in life. It was her who inspired and helped me make the transition from the military to business via the Harvard Business School. My business school application was a team effort that Amy and I worked on together. It required the writing of several essays where we created a compelling application that was ultimately successful.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
My passion is payment reform in healthcare. The ACA has helped millions of people, but it has not done anything significant to solve the issue of healthcare inflation. I would like to inspire a movement to move virtually all healthcare payments to a bundled payment system that would bring market forces to our healthcare system which would solve the healthcare inflation issue.
Thank you for all of these great insights!