Health Highlights: Q2 2023

Posted by The Jacobson Group

As we move through 2023, talent continues to be in high demand within the healthcare space. At Jacobson, our team regularly speaks with leaders across all areas of health insurance, gaining perspective into evolving talent needs and challenges. From expanding government programs to achieving quality goals and more, talent is a key factor in driving healthcare organizations forward. Below are a few current areas of focus. 

Medicaid ExpansionQ2 2023 Health Highlights-01 
The percentage of individuals who lacked health insurance reached an all-time low in early 2022, largely due to increases in Medicaid coverage under the Public Health Emergency. However, as Medicaid disenrollments resume following the PHE’s recent end,  as many as 17 million individuals are at risk of losing their state-funded coverage. It’s important for state plans to have the right talent and strategies in place to communicate eligibility to those affected, while also best serving their members and returning to pre-COVID operations. For private plans and exchanges, additional resources will be necessary to best support the PHE’s unwinding and expand their Medicaid offerings; yet the continued talent shortage is making this difficult.

Spotlight on Quality Departments
Many organizations continue to focus on gaining market share, fueled by maintaining a good standing with different quality measurements. In our Q1 2023 Insurance Labor Market Study, conducted in partnership with Aon plc, 50% of life/heath insurers planning to add staff this year were doing so to improve service delivery. Quality care and case management, along with a positive customer experience are paramount. However, along with understanding the intricacies of different programs such as HEDIS and Stars, it’s also vital to have internal resources who are thoughtful about putting best practices into action. 

Q2 2023 Health Highlights-02-1Ability to Interpret and Leverage Data
Technology roles remain in the highest demand across all lines of insurance. Data is becoming increasingly available and effectively interpreting and leveraging its insights is key. Organizations seek professionals with a rare blend of abilities to not just uncover relevant findings, but also communicate and apply this information to maintain quality and optimize pricing. Effectively utilizing and presenting data is a craft and requires multi-talented individuals who are innovative in driving business forward. 

Increased Mid-Level Talent Gap
Amid the talent shortage, entry-level positions have become a gateway for growing a pipeline of health insurance professionals. We’re seeing organizations initially hire people as contractors, and then move them into other departments when and if they prove themselves. 

Career paths and professional trajectories are also moving at an accelerated pace. In today’s market, it’s not uncommon for health insurers to fill positions with individuals who don’t have the education and training necessary to fulfill the organization’s actual need. Promotions have become more frequent, often stretching individuals beyond their capabilities and pushing them to leverage their new titles elsewhere. As a result, the mid-level talent gap is broadening even further. When leaders consider who they can move into a role, it’s also vital to pinpoint how they will provide the tools, education and mentorships for those individuals to be successful. 

Q2 2023 Health Highlights-03

As health plans face new challenges and opportunities for growth, having the right talent in place will be essential to remain competitive. In the midst of the talent shortage, finding the right individuals with unique skill sets and specific expertise is often a prime differentiator. Intentional and strategic talent strategies are key in coming out ahead in the second half of 2023 and beyond.