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Career Story: Underwriting Unit Leader For A Health Insurance Company

Underwriting Unit Leader For A Health Insurance Company

Job Title: Underwriting Unit Leader

Type of Company: I work for a health insurance company headquartered in Connecticut.

Education: BA, Communication Sciences, University of Connecticut

Previous Experience: I worked as an underwriter at Cigna and then transferred to another major insurance company as an underwriter. I was subsequently promoted to Underwriting Unit Leader.

Job Tasks: I manage a team of seven renewal underwriters. We provide medical renewals (rate increases) for groups that have between 125-3,000 eligible (or full-time) employees. My team calculates the needed renewal increase by looking at the group's historical claims experience in relation to the premium they are currently paying and using that claims history to evaluate what the needed increase is. My day-to-day responsibilities include providing the underwriters the support they need to do their jobs. For the most part, I answer their questions, help them with aspects of the job they're unfamiliar with, and provide them with feedback on their performance.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is that every day is different from the previous. Each group we deal with is different and has its own unique challenges. The days go by very fast.

The worst part of the job is that there are peak periods. The busiest time of the year is between July and the end of November. During that time, we are working on our January renewals (which is our busiest renewal month). The company I work for needs to make a fair profit. Sometimes (especially in this economy), the sales team as well as the groups that are receiving the rate increases get upset about the rate increases.

Job Tips: Take a negotiating course, as there is a lot of internal and external negotiating in this job. Taking a negotiating course will prepare you with the different methods to use when you are working through a negotiation.

Take a writing Course. We write many e-mails that explain why we are implementing a particular rate increase. A writing course will help you write concise and easy to read e-mails.

Take an algebra course. We use simple algebra in our day-to-day jobs.

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