Better Benefits Podcast Episode #1: How to Build a Better Benefit

by
Laura Cave
Updated
January 11, 2021
4
min

At Brella, we’re on a mission to build a world where health hardships don’t create financial burdens. Fortunately, a lot of good people beyond our company are also working toward this goal using employee benefits. We're building a better supplemental health plan, but exciting new things are happening in major medical, dental, HSA's, and other products all across the industry. We thought it was time for an employee benefits podcast to host conversations about what we can do together to ease the financial burden of health issues.

Better Benefits is a new employee benefits podcast for employers, benefits advisors, brokers, and insurance experts who are ready to do things differently to help bring down costs for employers, employees, and their families.

In our inaugural episode, listen as our founding team shares how we built our revolutionary supplemental health insurance plan. You'll also get a preview of what’s in store for the Better Benefits podcast.

Listen to Better Benefits Episode 1: Why Better Benefits

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Better Benefits Podcast Episode #1 Show Notes

Maxwell Health founder, Veer Gidwaney, spent over a decade thinking about how to make benefits and insurance simpler for employers and their teams. Despite Maxwell Health’s success, something still wasn’t working. 

Employer-sponsored benefits are still the primary way American families cover the cost of healthcare. Yet, half of Americans today fear medical-related bankruptcy, and health insurance deductibles are at an all time high. Traditional supplemental plans only cover narrow groups of serious illnesses, and they have covered-accident or hospital admission requirements that limit their benefits. 

As a result, too many employees with insurance run the risk of having to pay large out-of-pocket medical bills the first time they have a health issue every year. Too often, these bills exceed their savings, leading to financial hardship. 

That’s when Veer founded Brella and was introduced to Amanda Turcotte, who became our Chief Insurance Officer. Together, they set out to build a better benefit that could help ease the financial burden that too often comes along when health hardship strikes. 

It started in the fall of 2019 with a 6:30am text message.

An early bird herself, Amanda was more than happy to talk to Veer about designing a better supplemental benefit.

Amanda brought years of experience underwriting and designing new insurance products for major insurers like Guardian, Chubb, and AXA. More recently, she was a partner at a startup and owned her own consulting company in which she practiced human-centered design to better understand consumer problems. 

Armed with research and plenty of personal experience with her own family, Amanda set out to design a new kind of supplemental plan that would cover the vast majority of reasons someone would need urgent medical attention, from moderate conditions like pneumonia to catastrophic conditions like cancer. The new plan also allows employees to personalize their coverage to suit their family’s age, health plan and budget.

Then COVID-19 struck 

After designing the plan in 2019 and submitting it to the Texas Department of Insurance, COVID-19 sent communities all over the world into lockdown. Although we designed the plan before we knew about the novel coronavirus, Brella covers many common complications of the disease, including pneumonia, acute respiratory failure, and sepsis. Brella is the only supplemental plan that can help ease the financial burden of complications of COVID-19 with no hospital admission requirement. 

In this episode, Veer and Amanda share the highs and lows of building an insurance product from the ground up. They also reveal their best leadership advice for managing change and asking for what you want. 

We ask all our guests to share a resource or book that had a profound impact on them either personally or professionally. Amanda recommends Women Don’t Ask by Linda Babcock, which is being re-released in early 2021.

We hope you'll join us

Future guests include former Segment President at Humana, Beth Bierbower, former President of Group Protection Business at Lincoln Financial, Dick Mucci, and Dave Chase of Health Rosetta.

You can follow Better Benefits on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. If you liked the episode, give us a rating on your favorite podcast platform and don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode! Stay tuned!