From Conference Room to Living Room: Insurers Go Remote

Like scores of other businesses across the country, a major part of health insurers’ response to the coronavirus outbreak has involved transitioning employees from working in an office to working remotely. However, that task is not always as simple as telling associates to skip their commute, as one health insurance executive tells AIS Health.

Philadelphia-based Independence Blue Cross started preparing as early as two years ago to allow its employees to work from home as part of its business-continuity strategy, explains Mike Vennera, the insurer’s senior vice president and chief information officer. That effort involved two primary tasks: switching workers from desktop to laptop computers and running small work-from-home pilots with certain departments to troubleshoot any issues that might arise. Vennera notes that Independence was also able to test out its remote-work capacity when large snowstorms hit the Philadelphia region.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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