March 20, 2018

Deborah Watkins: Leveraging Technology to Recruit Talent

By: Deborah Watkins, CEO, Care Bridge International

Deborah WatkinsAccording to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 50 percent of the insurance industry workforce is older than 45. The past 10 years have seen the greying of the industry accelerate at a remarkable pace with the number of employees aged 55 and older increasing by 74 percent. Today, the number of insurance workers aged 55 and older is nearly 30 percent higher than the rest of the economy.

As a result of this aging workforce, the insurance industry faces an unprecedented wave of retirements. By as early as next year, it is predicted that 25 percent of the industry’s current workforce will be on the verge of retirement. Within 15 years, nearly half of all insurance professionals will be retired. With less than 27 percent of industry employees falling under the age of 35, the current bench of less-tenured employees within insurance is not large enough to match the departure of retiring professionals. In fact, it is estimated that the industry will need to add 400,000 open positions to its bench by 2020 in order to remain fully staffed.

What can companies do to attract and retain insurance talent for sustainability?

According to Michael Costonis, Senior Managing Director, Accenture, “Nothing turns off millennials more quickly than coming to work on day one and facing a legacy system dating back to the mid-1980s, with less sophistication than many of the personal devices they use.” Today’s tech-savvy workers expect technology based tools to improve business processes to help drive their success.

Today’s young professionals aspire to work for organizations on the forefront of new and provocative technological breakthroughs. They are intrigued and excited by the emergence of disruptive inventions and technologies. In addition, millennials want the organizations that they are associated with to understand and embrace the importance of technology.

In the insurance industry, technology based solutions can be used to recast an adjuster’s workload into a more efficient and meaningful process. The key to moving toward a more technology centric environment and improving customer service is to automate workflows and processes where improved efficiency is necessary. This provides ample time for tasks that require human touch, such as establishing rapport with injured workers. New tools have been developed that can easily address common claims issues to achieve a greater sense of refinement in claims management. For example, there is intuitive software created specifically for medical reserve forecasting that “red flags” claims at risk for high exposure, thereby improving final claim outcomes.

As an InsurTech, technology-based company, we see how eager millennial talent is for innovation in the property and casualty industry. When we describe our value proposition, the younger workforce enthusiastically seizes the opportunity to have validated, efficient and user-friendly tools at their disposal to enhance productivity and produce precise claims outcomes. Our valid and reliable medical reserving tools generate medical reserve exposure in minutes, offering a robust data analytics dashboard for management analysis and data driven decision-making. Our technology eliminates the guess-work from medical reserve forecasting in a platform that increases productivity, reduces cost and improves efficiency. Each of these assets attract top millennial talent within an aging industry.

During the 2017 NCCI Annual Issues Symposium, topics were focused on adopting and adapting to change and how to embrace technology solutions in the Property & Casualty industry. We believe this change will also attract the talent that is desperately needed to fill critical roles within the industry as today’s leaders age out of the workforce in the immediate future. Technology is maintaining an increasingly powerful role in the insurance industry. In this ever-changing workforce, utilizing innovative technology is not only essential to entice and retain talented young professionals, but crucial for the insurance industry to position itself as a desirable career path for millennials. The time to adopt new technologies and drive innovation is now.

About Deborah Watkins
As the CEO of Care Bridge International, an Insurtech company, Deborah Watkins has worked closely with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and congressional staff advocating for improvements in the Medicare Secondary Payer program. During her career, Watkins received the 2010 Oracle Titan Award and Gartner 1to1 CRM Silver Award for technology implementation. She has worked closely with industry leaders, including NCCI to produce “Medicare Set Asides and Workers Compensation” presented at the 2014 Annual Issues Symposium and September, 2014, Research Brief. She has a Master of Science in Nursing and a Master’s in Healthcare Leadership (MBA/MPH) from Brown University and is a past board secretary for the National Association of Medicare Set Aside Professionals (NAMSAP). Watkins is an experienced clinician and insurance executive, having spent most of her career in the management of complex medical claims integrating technology and evidenced based clinical and technical processes. She was directly involved with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s early pilot program for Medicare Advantage C, formerly Medicare + Choice. Deborah is a speaker and subject matter expert on issues pertaining to healthcare, Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare Secondary Payer, care coordination and Life Care Planning. She is also a Registered Nurse (RN), Certified Case Manager (CCM), Certified Registered Rehabilitation Nurse (CRRN), Certified Life Care Planner (CLCP), and Medicare Secondary Payer Consultant Certified (MSCC) professional.

About Care Bridge International
Care Bridge InternationalUsing data intelligence, Care Bridge International offers integrated technology based solutions for future medical valuations, medical reserve setting, claim settlements, litigation, care coordination, Medicare set asides and dually-eligible Medicare/Medicaid beneficiaries. For more information about our Analytic-Powered Outcomes® please visit,

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