As healthcare professionals, we are accustomed to having job security based on the fact that people everywhere get sick or injured and need our services. But when you are no longer working bedside doing hands-on patient care, how secure is your job?
The number of Case Managers an insurance company needs is based on the number and size of the contracts the company has. It requires a business sense to understand how job security comes into play.
We are going to look at how secure these jobs are, steps you can take to increase your job security, and what you can do now in your current job to get your next job, just in case 🙂
I’m often asked just how secure those work from home insurance jobs are. People will mention that someone they know worked for X company and got laid off. Or there may be talk in the news about massive layoffs at an insurance company.
And yes, this does happen. But by understanding how these companies operate you can greatly decrease the chance of being let go. And if you are let go, there are things you can do to make getting another job, possibly even a better job, easier.
But first, you have to get the job!
Insurance companies hire based on the number of contracts they have. If they feel they will win new contracts and need more nurses for CM, UM, or other positions, they will post for these positions.
If they get the contract they will hire. If they don’t get the contract they will stop the hiring process immediately. That is why many case managers get through the interview process thinking all went well, only to be told the position is not being filled.
Many of the very large companies that hire work from home case management positions all over the country have smaller “departments” or “lines of business”. So while one may be hiring, another may be laying off because they lost a contract. And while you would think they would just move people from one “department” to another. Often that is not the case, and those laid off will have to “reapply” for other positions.
So, what can you do once you have the job to keep it?
Of course, you will do all of the things you normally do to be a good employee. But again, working for an insurance company is based on the number of contracts the company has. So in addition to being good at your job and being a good employee, you need to have some business savvy. Mainly, you need to know how to keep the contract.
You need to think like an owner. Yes, you heard me right. You need to take ownership and think like a business owner for the contract or contracts you are working on. Your job, in addition to Case Management, is to keep the contract. Because no contract = no work for you.
How do you do this? By keeping the contracting company happy! Let’s face it, nobody likes change. So if you can keep the company you have a contract with happy, you will increase the chance of keeping the contract.
Know who you are dealing with
Start off by learning about the company. A quick Google search and LinkedIn sleuthing can help you determine the company’s culture, mission, and values. Knowing the culture of the company and what its values are as they relate to its employees, will help you to align your work with these values.
Do they offer their employees healthcare only because they are required to? Then they will not be interested in going above and beyond for their employees. But if they have a culture of supporting their employees, they will want to discuss extra-contractual benefits to help employees who fall through the cracks.
This information will help you understand where to focus your efforts and what to keep track of. By keeping track of the hard and soft cost savings, you can show the financial value you bring to a company that values money. By keeping track of the stories of the people you have helped, you can show the value you bring to a company that values its employees.
Whose money is it?
Is this a self-funded contract (the contracting company is using their own money to pay out claims) or fully insured (the insurance company is paying claims)? Understanding who is in control of the money is important because whoever controls the money is the real decision-maker when it comes to claims.
If the contracting company is upset that so many fully insured claims are denied, you can suggest that they look at different contracts that would include the items that keep getting denied. If on the other hand, they are self-insured, you can discuss with them if they would like to be approached with cost savings and extra-contractual benefits opportunities.
Make them look good!
If you have contact with someone at the contracting company, make them look good and make their life easier. When contract renewal time comes around, you want this person to be reporting how easy you are to work with and how they would be devastated if you lost this contract.
This is easier than you would think. Simple things like:
- Answering their calls instead of letting them go to voicemail whenever possible
- Returning calls promptly
- Doing what you say you will do, when or before you say you will do it (overdeliver).
- Asking if there is anything else you can do for them
- Praising them to their boss
Worst case scenario
Obviously, you can only do your part. And sometimes the contract will still be lost. In this case, by doing the things above, you will be in a better position to get a new and maybe even better job.
By being an awesome employee that your boss loved to have work for them, they may be able to help you move to another position in the company. Or, if they take a new position they may be able to take you with them.
Remember those connections you made? The people who love working with you because you took a true interest in them and their company? Now is the time to reach out to them and see if they would like to have you work for them. And even if they don’t have an opening, you can at least use them for a reference. 🙂
There is so much that is out of our control when working for a large company. But there are things that are within our control. Focusing your attention on what you can control leads to better job satisfaction and in this case, better job security.