From the engaging and imagination-provoking design of a kindergarten classroom to the unexpected theme of an honors English paper, teachers spend their days seeking and creating new and innovative ways to reach their students. Part of that process is considering the students themselves; thinking about those particular children, their strengths, the areas where they need to grow, and tools and resources that might best help them succeed.
I think this is one of the reasons so many of us respect and perhaps are in awe of great teachers — their job is never one-size-fits-all and they continually adapt lessons and themselves to ensure all students find the classroom experience rewarding. We can all appreciate the results of their hard work, flexibility, communication, and innovation.
Learning From the Best: Teachers
I’m proud to say this is the approach we take when creating coverage plans at Independence Blue Cross. One of the most exciting and interesting aspects of my job each day is to work with a team that is continually searching for and building new plan options. We’re striving for plans that are not just proven to provide the best possible care and keep overall health care costs low, but that consider the special needs of each of our group customers. Like each teacher’s classroom, each of our clients are made up of unique individuals with distinct medical histories and led by benefits administrators and companies with their own goals and values. We want to provide plans that work for those unique customers.
One such type of client is, in fact, our education customers. In our decades serving groups of educators, we’ve learned that even though there are multiple stakeholders different perspectives, like the school administration and the union representative, all striving towards the same goal — to create a health care plan that meets the needs of everyone at the table. We share that goal, and make every effort to provide a strategy based on the distinct needs of the group.
Tailor-made Plans in Action
With one recent education group, the largest school district in Montgomery County, we had the opportunity to truly build a custom suite of offerings that matched this group of educators and their needs.
The process began by reviewing their past utilization data; we soon discovered the school district had a high incidence of members with lower back pain. We suggested harnessing the flexible reach of digital messaging via a customized text message program that provides information to help members better manage this condition. Text messaging was a great option for this group; in fact, it’s ideal for educators in general. Teachers are often out of their chairs and away from their computers, so digital messaging is an easy way to get a consistent message to members across multiple locations. This is especially helpful as some of our districts coordinate communications to more than 20 schools.
This group’s superintendent very much wanted overall health and well-being to be a strong part of the group’s plan. Features included and supported mental, spiritual, emotional, social, and financial health. Our multi-prong solution also included telemedicine, an onsite worksite well-being program, and connecting them with our Center for Health Care Innovation. There they developed programs and workshops that encouraged new ways of thinking and approaching everyday challenges.
They are now developing a way for the students and faculty to work on their health together as part of the curriculum, promoting age-appropriate healthy strategies and challenges. The changes have been extremely well-received, and we’ve seen a significant increase in engagement from the members.
We have learned by initiating a dialogue with our education clients, being open to new ideas and creative approaches, and working together, we can be the best community partner and service provider. This is a lesson that can be applied to so many situations in my career, and probably within yours – there is always opportunity to challenge yourself and improve to better connect with your customers. Like everything else in life, I’m sure there is so much more to learn and discover.
This article was originally published on LinkedIn.