Tag Archives: Blue Cross Blue Shield

Teamwork Lessons From Navy SEALs

Navy SEALS are the ultimate team. Through precision teamwork, they accomplish almost-impossible feats, such as safely hunting down Osama bin Laden at night in a foreign country. While each SEAL is a formidable fighting machine, it’s the team that does amazing things.

Working in the insurance industry isn’t hazardous to life and limb, but it’s also a team endeavor. Success requires well-honed teams of underwriters, actuaries, agents, marketers, IT experts and others. No one succeeds without good teammates — something I was taught during team-building activities and something I was reminded of recently.

After attending a Blue Cross Blue Shield conference in San Diego, 32 of us attended a Navy SEAL boot camp on Coronado Island. This “light” boot camp was a great experience, giving us a small insight into what our servicemen and -women go through during initiation and the importance of teamwork in the military and business.

We were put into two teams of 16 that were then broken up into four boat crews with people of similar heights.

There was the usual physical training, during which we were told we were too hot (so we had to cool off and get into ocean) and then too clean (so we had to roll in the sand) and then too dirty (so we had to get back into the ocean). There were team obstacle races, memory games, log drills, runs, cold ocean work and more — all starting at 5:30 a.m.

So why wasn’t I in my comfortable hotel bed at that early hour? Because it was fun, and, once I started, I didn’t want to let my team — or myself — down.

Finishing the boot camp was something I couldn’t have done on my own, but having teammates meant I didn’t get an automatic pass. I still had to learn to work with those teammates in the same way mountain climbers must work with theirs — and you must work with yours.

See also: The Keys to Forming Effective Teams

Here are some lessons I learned while at the boot camp:

Help, encourage and trust your teammates 

While racing and carrying a log overhead, the first thing our four-man boat crew did was try and assess how we could best help each other carry the weight. We knew we needed to step in-time so that we would not trip on each other. Walter, an ex-Marine, called out the steps from the rear. During the race, another teammate’s shoulder became very sore due to a recent operation. I moved forward to take his weight. We stayed positive, encouraged each other — and we ended up beating the young guys.

Communicate and establish a shared vision

At first, it was a little hard to communicate (as none of us knew each other), but we knew that the sooner we could communicate the sooner we’d have an advantage. Together, we decided what the core mission and everyone’s role was. This might seem obvious, but it’s easy to lose sight of goals when faced with challenges. Whether you support your team by linking arms and sitting in the ocean while being pounded by waves or implement software or work to win market share, a shared vision will keep the team focused and on-track.

Be flexible, keep it fun and stay warm

You might have a plan, but be ready to make adjustments at any time. Just when we thought we understood a drill, our instructors would make it a little more interesting. Todd, my teammate with the sore shoulder, got our boat crew singing during our runs. I encouraged our crew to hug to stay warm when many began to shiver from the cold-water drills. Together, as a team, we finished the boot camp. There were some who gave up or got hurt; they grabbed a doughnut and a coffee and left. But we hung in there, breaking the boot camp activities down into one task at a time — and we got through each of those tasks together.

All of us will inevitably have our own mountains to climb and oceans to cross. Yet, regardless of the landscape, we will require the help of others to reach our destination. Through the power of positive teamwork, we can harness skills beyond our own and achieve success we might not otherwise see.

Why Doctors Don’t Trust Insurers

Having health insurance and dependable healthcare is one of the biggest concerns for people all over the world, but, unfortunately, there are many doctors who simply don’t trust the health insurance their patients use. No matter if you currently have health insurance, knowing what your doctor feels about your coverage can give you a deeper insight into just how well (or poorly) insured you truly are.

One of the main reasons physicians don’t trust health insurance providers is because they feel insurance companies prevent them from offering patients the absolute best care. It’s understandable to be upset at the idea of not being able to perform your job to the best of your abilities.

Insurance providers that are considered the most trustworthy include Blue Cross Blue Shield and Cigna, while those deemed the least trustworthy are UnitedHealthcare and Humana. These results stem from a 2015 survey conducted by the ReviveHealth Payor Trust Index, with responses from more than 600 specialists and primary care physicians. One thing to note is that Blue Cross Blue Shield earned a combined trust index rating of about 60 out of 100, which was the highest score but which also leaves an abundance of room for improvement.

The Future of American Health Insurance

The two most important factors physicians cited as influencing their opinions about how health plans help or hurt the quality of care they deliver were the level of coverage and number of claim denials.

Physicians might also soon have to contend with new medical insurance companies made up of two or more of the most difficult companies to deal with, such as through the proposed merger of Anthem and Humana. If the deal goes through, physicians might find health insurance companies to be downright insufferable.

Additional Reasons

Besides having their hands tied, doctors provided the ReviveHealth Payor Trust with several more reasons they distrust health insurance companies. Physicians also don’t believe insurance providers do their best to honor commitments made to policyholders. Nor do they believe that companies advertise themselves accurately or honestly. Respondents to the survey also said insurance providers take advantage of doctors.

If even doctors don’t trust insurance companies, where does that leave their patients? Not only do doctors have a better idea than their patients about how the human body works, doctors also have a better idea about how the health insurance industry works. If you’re considering health insurance plans, or if you’re thinking about switching insurance providers, ask your doctor for recommendations.