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  #1  
Old 12-19-2006, 10:46 PM
jandoval jandoval is offline
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Default difference in working in health insurance vs. health consulting??

I know this sounds similar to a million other threads, but I have a specific question.

I'm more or less just interested in working in the health field, and I'm curious whether there's a difference between the types of thing a health actuary would work on at one vs. the other. Is there really much of a difference?

I've read all the general threads on consulting vs. whatever but I'm really just interested in the differences in types of projects one would do vs. the other.

Do consultants basically evaluate plans for employers? What is their function?

thanks
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Old 12-19-2006, 11:19 PM
Not Mike Not Mike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jandoval View Post
I know this sounds similar to a million other threads, but I have a specific question.

I'm more or less just interested in working in the health field, and I'm curious whether there's a difference between the types of thing a health actuary would work on at one vs. the other. Is there really much of a difference?

I've read all the general threads on consulting vs. whatever but I'm really just interested in the differences in types of projects one would do vs. the other.

Do consultants basically evaluate plans for employers? What is their function?

thanks
Consultants do a lot of different things... basically, you're partly right. There's a lot to evaluating plans, though. Rate setting, contribution strategies, financial projections, plan design recommendations, savings estimates, etc, etc, etc. Medical, Rx, dental, vision, STD, LTD, life, and other plans. Also, retiree health analysis - FAS 106, claim cost development, Medicare Part D.

Work is A LOT more interesting when you're working for larger self-funded clients, as they are more sophisticated and do more cool stuff, meaning better, more interesting projects.

Actually, one of my FAVORITE things to do is to absolutely annihilate "analysis" or renewals that are done by health plans. Not that it's always actuaries doing that work, though, sometimes it just their underwriters, but there is a lot of fun to have in pointing out all of flaws in their calculations.

That said, you will probably have a bit of an easier time getting started with exams, and 2-3 years in could make the switch to consulting and have a nice bit of experience. But I'm not how much you'll learn or how interesting it will be.
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Old 12-20-2006, 02:28 AM
jandoval jandoval is offline
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That does sound fun.

Thanks for your answer, that helps a lot.
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:48 AM
DW Simpson DW Simpson is offline
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Originally Posted by jandoval View Post
Do [health] consultants basically evaluate plans for employers? What is their function?
http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actu...95&postcount=5

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Originally Posted by D.W. Simpson Webmaster
Health consultants look for both pricing and reserving backgrounds, as sometimes you'll be doing valuations of plans, or ratemaking, or work on plan design & strategy. Some of the consultants work primarily with companies to design plans and finance them; some others do provider-side consulting, where you're consulting on a health company's rates and possibly business strategy. And these aren't the only opportunities for health actuaries outside a traditional insurance environment: we've seen a rapid increase in health data management and analysis companies who will hire actuaries with strong statistical skills.
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Originally Posted by A D.W. Simpson Recruiter
That's a good overview of what one might do, and you could direct them to, for example, Milliman's website at http://www.milliman.com/services/hea...e/default.aspx
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Old 12-20-2006, 10:28 AM
Not Mike Not Mike is offline
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The last statement raises a good point...

Health consulting for a company like Milliman (provider consulting) is MUCH different than doing consulting on the employer side; my statement above isn't applicable to a company like Milliman.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:44 AM
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KingSlayer KingSlayer is offline
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The above is a good summary of health consulting. Can anyone comment on the work that a health actuary would do at an insurance company? Is it similar? Completely different? Would it be worth it to leave consulting to work at a health plan to get different experience? Would the experience even be that different?
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:21 PM
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JohnLocke JohnLocke is offline
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I think the variance between what different consultants do and what different ins company actuaries do is big enough that I wouldn't overly worry about it. Some consulting jobs I would hate, some ins company jobs I would hate. Depends on the situation.
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