Kim Shepard, Cigna

The Healthcare Benefit

from Kim Shepard

From an employer’s perspective, healthcare has long been viewed as an important employee benefit — and its importance as a benefit has increased dramatically over the past decade. But within that context, two elements of healthcare have also increased in importance: preventive wellness programs, and individual engagement in one’s healthcare coverage plan.

Healthcare is going through a lot of changes. What doesn’t change is the need for better health in Arizona and around the country. Health plans like Cigna and the healthcare professionals who partner with us are working to transform our system to focus on prevention and the health of both body and mind.

It’s important to change the way we think of health benefits as something only needed when sick. Instead, learn about what your plan offers and understand what tools and services are available throughout the year. Start by scheduling a preventive care annual checkup and make it a point to talk with your doctor about how you feel, physically and emotionally.

I share more on this topic regarding Cigna specifically in this April issue’s cover story, which also presents information from several of the other healthcare service providers that work with businesses, large and small, throughout the Greater Phoenix area.

How to manage change is another ongoing issue for organizations, and Valerie Zeller suggests many of them manage change as an afterthought. In feature article “Agents of Organizational Change,” she discusses leveraging program and portfolio management to lead change, rather than to simply react to it.

Do you have any negotiations coming up? In their Roundtable feature, Samuel Dinnar and Lawrence Susskind, authors of Entrepreneurial Negotiation, offer tips to smoothing over potential problems and ensuring a better outcome.

Considering multilevel marketing as a business model? Coppersmith Brockelman attorneys Shelley Tolman and Marvin Ruth share legal pitfalls to avoid and note that laws and standards are still evolving for this popular business model.

By the Numbers this month goes in-depth on the subject of influencer marketing, Briefs includes an article that addresses the increasing need among employers for American Sign Language interpreters, Startups shines a spotlight on a mortgage company that plows all its profits to a nonprofit organization, and the Technology page offers two interesting articles: one that gives a peek at the significant difference 5G is going to make in mobile technology, and another that explains the difference between the internet and the Web (no, they are not the same thing). This is a short roundup of the typically varied articles you’ll find in this issue of In Business Magazine.

This April issue also presents the annually updated Business Healthcare Services Guide, a comprehensive guide for executives, human resources professionals and others who are interested in offering their employees more in the way of benefits, healthcare and wellness programs. 

It has been my pleasure to work with In Business Magazine on this Healthcare edition, and hope you will find it enjoyable and informative reading. 

Sincerely,

Kim Shepard
Arizona Market President
Cigna

Kim Shepard is Cigna’s market president for Arizona. She has been in the industry for more than 35 years and specifically with Cigna for just more than 16 of those years. In addition to her time at Cigna, Shepard has served in leadership roles at UnitedHealthcare and Hewitt Associates. She is a board member of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, and is also active with Greater Phoenix Leadership and the American Heart Association. 

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