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  #1  
Old 01-24-2017, 11:09 PM
McBride McBride is offline
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Default What is health consulting like?

Title says it all. I've always heard that consulting was a lot of hours and little time for studying, much less anything else. While I know there is some exaggeration there, is consulting pretty much the same across disciplines?
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Old 01-24-2017, 11:27 PM
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ShivamS ShivamS is offline
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It really differs depending on firm, location, manager, clients, etc.

Really tough to generalize.

The only thing everyone agrees on is that consulting pays more than insurance and lots of opportunity in healthcare consulting with the new Presidency.
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Old 01-24-2017, 11:39 PM
TDM612 TDM612 is offline
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Depends on the type of consulting firm.

If it's benefits consulting (i.e. WTW, Mercer, Aon Hewitt), you would largely consult for employers trying to figure out what kind of health plans they should offer to their employees based off their specific needs, then setting prices/proposals for them.

Other health consulting firms would consult for health insurers, like Milliman, to help them with Medicare bids or offer various other services. Basically, when insurers don't have the manpower to hire their own staff to handle the work, they outsource it to consultants. I'm sure there are other consulting services that would probably consult for hospitals or whatever. There are consultants for just about everything.

Generally, how consulting would differ from insurance is that your job revolves around clients, which bring in revenue for the consultancy. There's typically much higher pressure to meet deadlines to retain clients and to keep them happy, which would explain the longer hours and busier seasons as a whole. You're likely to be assigned to multiple projects at once, with differing clients, so you'll need to be able to juggle around many different small tasks versus zooming in one or two very complex projects at an insurer.
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Old 01-25-2017, 12:17 PM
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Benefits consulting -can- be very non-technical. I know actuaries that are basically generalists with a slight computational flare. I'm also in benefits consulting, but I'm more involved in deeper technical initiatives and doing review of rate and reserve setting for large/jumbo clients.

Can be great experience. Not every consultant is a hyper extroverted suit (although it helps). It can be very chaotic and weirdly competitive. Billing hours is a little annoying.
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Old 01-25-2017, 02:30 PM
Hartke Hartke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDM612 View Post
Depends on the type of consulting firm.

If it's benefits consulting (i.e. WTW, Mercer, Aon Hewitt), you would largely consult for employers trying to figure out what kind of health plans they should offer to their employees based off their specific needs, then setting prices/proposals for them.

Other health consulting firms would consult for health insurers, like Milliman, to help them with Medicare bids or offer various other services. Basically, when insurers don't have the manpower to hire their own staff to handle the work, they outsource it to consultants. I'm sure there are other consulting services that would probably consult for hospitals or whatever. There are consultants for just about everything.

Generally, how consulting would differ from insurance is that your job revolves around clients, which bring in revenue for the consultancy. There's typically much higher pressure to meet deadlines to retain clients and to keep them happy, which would explain the longer hours and busier seasons as a whole. You're likely to be assigned to multiple projects at once, with differing clients, so you'll need to be able to juggle around many different small tasks versus zooming in one or two very complex projects at an insurer.
This is in line with my experience. I was in health benefits consulting. At the time, employers were very concerned about their employee cost share. Also many were looking at the attractively cheep HSA plans to replace rich PPOs. IIRC, HSA plans were about 1/2 the cost of a rich PPO to the ER.

was interesting to see how each ER looked at benefits. Each one had their own weird way of justifying plan changes. one place was was afraid to change their PPO deductible from $100 to $300, another had like 6 different levels of grandfathered plans.
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Old 01-26-2017, 12:34 AM
McBride McBride is offline
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Thanks for the feedback. Some of it actually sounds like what I've experienced at my current employer even though we are basically an insurance company.
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Old 01-27-2017, 12:15 PM
Locrian Locrian is offline
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Other health consulting firms would consult for health insurers, like Milliman, to help them with Medicare bids or offer various other services. Basically, when insurers don't have the manpower to hire their own staff to handle the work, they outsource it to consultants.
Even some that do have the manpower have consultants either review their bid or build a whole new bid. Which can be outrageously expensive, but still nothing remotely as expensive as a mistake.
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Old 01-27-2017, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartke View Post
This is in line with my experience. I was in health benefits consulting. At the time, employers were very concerned about their employee cost share. Also many were looking at the attractively cheep HSA plans to replace rich PPOs. IIRC, HSA plans were about 1/2 the cost of a rich PPO to the ER.

was interesting to see how each ER looked at benefits. Each one had their own weird way of justifying plan changes. one place was was afraid to change their PPO deductible from $100 to $300, another had like 6 different levels of grandfathered plans.
It gets interesting, particularly when you start setting strategy around mergers or when a company is in a cost-cutting crisis, where they start first.

Now, when they start having actuaries deal with eligibility vendors and ID cards... that's a little silly.
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:59 AM
neofan neofan is offline
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Another question regarding consulting.

At carriers, managers are not expected to do anything other than managing. At consulting firms, are they more flexible in terms of roles (no finite line between managers and professionals)? For example, a principal may have to dive in to get some work done (not really true but just assuming) if it means meeting the goals and deadlines.

Last edited by neofan; 02-16-2017 at 12:57 PM..
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Old 02-16-2017, 12:45 PM
Chopin-Lover Chopin-Lover is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neofan View Post
Another question regarding consulting.

At carriers, managers are not expected to do anything other than managing.
Based on my experience at two different carriers, this is definitely untrue.
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