By David Harvey | B.A. Political Science ’15
At The Meltzer Group, we help companies find world-class benefits to attract and retain the best employees. Health benefits are often every business’s second largest cost, which means that CFOs and HR directors turn to The Meltzer Group to help guide them through the complexities of health insurance.
It has been a few months since I joined The Meltzer Group. On any given day I analyze a company’s sources of health claims, perform actuary duties, track monthly trends and benchmark market trends among other responsibilities.
My liberal arts degree from George Washington University has helped me in the workforce in ways most people would not expect. No one said health insurance is easy to understand and our clients often want it both ways: More generous benefits for less money. These two goals often work against each other in the benefits world. However, my political science degree helped me develop critical thinking, analysis,and problem-solving skills, among others, therefore I understand how to weave through contradictory goals and find the best insurance products for our clients.
Learning is extremely important in this industry because health insurance is always changing. In just one week a new regulation could be passed, a carrier may announce it intends to spike premiums for their renewals, and an expensive brand name specialty drug could hit the market. That is why in order to balance new trends and information I tell my people the most important thing anyone can learn in college is how to learn! You can do this by reading more than your required materials in class, keeping up with your industry’s news, and most importantly doing independent academic research. Challenge yourself and become an expert in an industry that speaks to you.
A strong sense of math and statistics is also extremely important. If it were not for the series of statistics classes I took at GW, it would be difficult to understand the complex claims information I work with every day. Like learning an instrument, statistics takes time so start early!
In conclusion, the advice I would give to GW students and recent graduates is to work hard and learn hard! My experiences during my time at the university made this evident to me and now that I am in the “real world”, I am able to put these practices into play each and every day.