Maestro Health

Inc – Wellbeing vs. Wellness

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By now, most employers understand that wellness needs to play some role in their employee engagement strategies. But wellness as we currently think of it falls short. While fitness trackers and healthy snacks programs are good steps forward, there’s more to be done. 

We need to move away from thinking about wellness and think instead about overall wellbeing. Most wellness initiatives today focus on a person’s physical health, not their overall wellbeing, which can lead to lack of engagement and wasteful spending. An effective approach to overall wellbeing begins with understanding the barriers that employees face in their everyday lives that prevent them from finding their healthy.

The following three components are key to overall wellbeing: 

Physical Health: Having the health and energy to get things done on a daily basis.

  • While this is the most obvious component of employee health and wellbeing, it should be noted that traditionally healthy choices and actions help us avoid preventable chronic conditions. Chronic conditions can ultimately affect your financial health (medical bills/debt) and your emotional health (stress). Employer-sponsored benefits and wellness programs that drive education and engagement are critical components in driving physical health. Employees need to understand how and when they should access healthcare to ensure they remain on track to achieving their heathy. For some, it may be hitting 10,000 steps on their Fitbit, while others would like to see a decrease in their A1C levels.

Financial Health: Effectively managing your economic life.

  • Physical health affects financial health and vice versa. An employee – even one with a moderate salary and benefits – may be unable to afford or access care, healthy food options and more. Similarly, an employee who can’t cope with financial pressures at home may develop health issues down the line. Employers should offer employees access to financial services and resources to help them understand and overcome financial obstacles.  

Emotional Health: Being able to cope with the ups and downs of life without it impacting your day-to-day.

  • Emotional wellbeing is impacted by both financial and physical health, so employers should not overlook it when establishing their programs. Employers can offer mental health services like mental health days, Employee Assistance Programs and even mindfulness incentives to encourage employees to take care of their emotional health. 

Bottom line: Employers play a huge part in their employees’ overall health and wellbeing; and ultimately, they’ll feel the impact if something is wrong or goes wrong. Physical, financial and mental health are all intertwined and must be addressed if you want to have better outcomes and productivity while lowering costs.

mCHATS: Celebrating Maestronite Women

Even though International Women’s Day was earlier this month, we’re continuing the celebration by bringing you another mCHAT. Next up is Nancy Reardon, Chief Strategy & Product Officer, who’s discussing all things career, role models and overcoming obstacles.


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Any advice you can give to a woman looking to advance in her career?

  • Bloom where you are planted.

  • Be so good that no one can ignore you and the opportunities will follow.

  • If given a “seed,” grow a garden. Be an attentive listener and add value between the lines. This means being very proactive and finding your own opportunities to shine – don’t wait for your path to be paved.

  • Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions – silence assumes you know.

  • Be comfortable with who you are.

What advice do you have for men in the workplace who want to express their advocacy for women empowerment in the workplace and aren’t sure how to start?
Stealing from Nike – “Just do it.” It’s not about male or female in my opinion, it’s about leadership, teamwork and camaraderie. Male leaders should take the same approach with women as they would for a male counterpart; some of my best colleagues and advocates have been men. 

What do you like about Maestro Health? 
It begins and ends with our people – Maestronites. We hire people who possess and live by our core values: teamwork, humility, urgency, bold thought, honesty, preparedness, biz-love, fun, kindness. These are attributes you simply cannot teach.

The end result is  an expressive workforce made up of diverse opinions and backgrounds. This is what makes us stronger as a company. I feel truly privileged to work at a company that values what makes us unique – as opposed to calling out why we are different. 

3 Reasons I’m Excited to Be Here

By Florian Bezault, Chief Financial Officer

It’s official. I am a Maestronite. While I have spent most of my career with AXA working on everything from corporate finance to investor relations & risk management to healthcare operations, I’m beyond thrilled to begin this next chapter of my career as Chief Financial Officer at Maestro Health. Here’s why:

1. I share a passion to transform U.S. healthcare with my fellow Maestronites.
It’s no secret that the U.S. healthcare industry has reached its tipping point. The U.S. spends over $3 trillion on healthcare each year, yet Americans aren’t getting any healthier and the majority find it nearly impossible to navigate the complex healthcare landscape. That’s why I’m so proud to be working for a company with a mission to disrupt the industry by making employee health and benefits people-friendly again and to take consumer engagement to the next level.

2. It’s clear why CFOs love our approach to employee health and benefits.
I’ve been diving in and learning more about the solutions Maestro Health offers employers. The more I learned about our health plan management approach to self-funded benefits, the more I was convinced this is a no-brainer solution for any CFO in the U.S. While healthcare costs are at an all-time high (so much so that companies like Starbucks are paying more on healthcare than coffee beans) the (me)SELF-FUNDED BENEFITS™ solution has been saving our clients an average of 20 – 30 percent off their healthcare costs in the first year. For some companies, this could be millions of dollars in savings.

3. The culture at Maestro Health is one that cannot be beat.
At many companies, office culture is something that people like to talk about, but few truly walk the walk. I have quickly discovered that isn’t the case at Maestro Health. The values aren’t just painted on the walls at each office. The people in each office truly embody the values themselves. In the short time I’ve been working at Maestro Health, I’ve met people from all walks of life, that display the same level of teamwork, humility and bold thought while collaborating and working together.  

I am eagerly taking this next step in my career with Maestro Health. I’m excited to be a part of transforming the U.S. healthcare industry at such a critical time by solving the challenges experienced by far too many across the country.

The AXA Acquisition: Culture for the Win

By Sheryl Simmons, Chief Human Resources Officer

By now you may have heard the news – Maestro Health™ has been acquired by AXA, the French-based global insurance leader. This is a huge step for Maestro Health in furthering our company’s mission of making employee health and benefits people-friendly again. One of the major factors that ignited this decision was our people and culture.

Having our culture be a driving factor for this acquisition is an incredible compliment to the entire Maestro family. 
One of our in-person meetings with the AXA team took place in our Charlotte office, where it became evident how deep our culture runs. At the end of the second day of meetings, several AXA representatives approached me and asked, “Is it always like this?” They were referring to the way the people at Maestro Health, including the leadership team, interact with each other. We operate with transparency and foster a supportive environment where ideas can be shared and healthy conversations naturally happen, even when we don’t agree. I think they were surprised by how much we genuinely enjoy working together. Not only could they see our core values painted on our walls, but they witnessed Maestronites regularly embodying those values.

AXA has been very open in sharing that after discovering how closely our culture and vision aligned with theirs, they knew they wanted to join forces with us.

They saw us as so much more than an employee health and benefits company – they wanted the opportunity to invest in our human capital.
At Maestro Health, we like to refer to ourselves as “the most experienced startup.” When our company was founded in 2013, our CEO Rob Butler, set out to hire and acquire the most talented and smartest people he could find. This was apparent to AXA as our teams demonstrated their breadth of experience and industry knowledge.

AXA appreciated the fact that our culture doesn’t pigeonhole people into a particular corporate style. Maestronites come from many walks of life and reside all over the U.S., but our baseline is our core values – from there we build on that sameness while we embrace our miles in geography and diversity in our employee base. The AXA team was able to see this for themselves, rather than just hear me and others speak about it. That made a huge impression on them.

Let the fun begin.
I’m thrilled to begin this next chapter with Maestro Health and AXA. I’m extremely proud of the culture and talent our company possesses, and that it led to such a unique acquisition that will transform the U.S. healthcare market. It’s also exciting to imagine the difference Maestro Health can make in the international market to solve the challenges HR teams are experiencing overseas. From where I’m sitting, we’re already ahead of the game.

Click here to learn more about how AXA and Maestro Health are taking a step towards transforming healthcare.

The AXA Acquisition: Behind the scenes

By Rob Butler, Chief Executive Officer

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As you may know by now, Maestro Health has been acquired by AXA. It’s been hard to keep the news to myself especially when you take pride in leading a company with an open book-type culture. So, when you know your company is about to take a huge next step in their mission to transform the U.S. healthcare industry, yet you’re unable to share your excitement until the appropriate moment, it’s tough. So, now that I’m able to, I’d like to share the behind scenes events that has led to this momentous occasion for Maestro Health.

As a privately-owned company, acquisition was always an inevitable outcome.  However, this happened way before anyone imagined it, and frankly, fell into our lap. This was not in our plans, nor was it on our radar. I actually took the first meeting with AXA last spring on a recommendation from a friend. Since that meeting, a pretty interesting chain of events occurred – one that culminated in Maestro Health being acquired by a French company that happens to be the largest insurance company in the world ($100 billion in annual revenue, in euros, that is).

Wow. Just writing that number is a bit mind boggling.
It’s kind of cool to think that after only four short years since its founding, Maestro Health is now part of the AXA family— an international company that operates in 64 countries and has over 1mm clients. What an opportunity for both our employees and clients.  

Acquisitions by large companies like this don’t always feature great outcomes for all the key parties such as clients, employees and management teams. Many times, it will be a good thing for some of the key constituents, but rarely do all the parties have favorable outcomes. We CEOs stand up in front of our employees, clients and partners and ensure them that all will be OK, and sometimes it is – but, frankly, sometimes it’s not. 

This one just made too much sense to say no.
Imagine. If you were in my shoes and sat down over the course of three months and discovered the 42nd most recognizable brand in the world shared the same vision, strategy, culture and aspirations as we do – to ultimately transform the U.S. healthcare market by simplifying the experience, lowering costs and empowering consumers—or what we call “making health and benefits people-friendly again.” And then, to top it off, you uncovered they were seeking to enter the U.S. market with a continuum of care model that truly empowers consumers in making the right healthcare decisions—exactly what we have. If you are like me, when I first heard it, I didn’t believe it. So, I listened closer. And it got better. They also recognized that the HR profession wasn’t meant for professionals to be bogged down in paperwork or disparate systems that left them no time to build teams or support their employees. In addition, they saw that the current system of health and benefits is not setup to truly empower employees (consumers) to lead healthier, happier and ultimately, better lives—inside and outside of the workplace. I was now thinking this could be very interesting. And then the final piece. They looked at our comprehensive platform, maestroEDGE™, and knew this was exactly what was needed to turn the U.S. healthcare industry upside down.

I must admit, even with all the proverbial stars aligning, I still just wasn’t sure. When I started Maestro Health, I did so by hiring and acquiring the most talented and driven people I could find who shared our vision and mission to make employee health and benefits people-friendly again. We built this company with a lot of long nights, hard work and determination—and have had a ton of fun along the way. I needed to make sure this partnership would be in the best interest of those wonderful people that have become my second family.

That’s when I knew for sure.
AXA has no team in the U.S. to run Maestro Health, nor any desire to do so. They insist we stay long-term and run the company. When I heard that, and fact checked it, I knew. Here was my chance to keep our team and employees together for a long time to come. That’s exactly what I was looking for and maybe the most important factor in considering an opportunity like this. There is so much we want to accomplish and keeping the team and employees together is vital to that success.

Besides our employees, clients win big too.
I’m thrilled that we will eventually have a breadth and depth of products and services that most others cannot provide – with the same people and same service teams our clients know and trust. And of course, going from the most experienced startup to now being a part of the 42nd largest brand in the world (and the number one global insurance for eight consecutive years) will provide even more reassurance to our clients that we have long-term financial viability dedicated to the long haul. Plus, being a standalone subsidiary ensures we won’t get lost or stifled with corporate bureaucracy and lose our entrepreneurial spirit, which our clients appreciate so much. We are going to get our cake and eat it too, which is pretty rare, in my experience.

Thomas Burberl, AXA CEO, visited the U.S. and invited me to sit down and talk. I’ve had the privilege of meeting several Fortune 500 CEOs. Thomas, by far, is the most genuine. He wants to make an impact in the U.S. and the lives of every healthcare consumer—and he is committed to doing so. He said he heard we had a great team (I’m biased, but yes, I believe we do), and he asked me if I would stay and run the business. I shook his hand on that day and promised to do just that. I intend to keep my promise.

This is going to be a fun ride.

Click here to learn more.

Inside mLIFE: The Wall of Heroes

Each year, the Maestro Health™ Charlotte office participates in a tradition that has become known as the “Wall of Heroes” and “Wall of Hope” in honor of cancer awareness month. Throughout the month, Maestronites post photos, words of encouragement and stories from cancer survivors and those who have lost loved ones to cancer. Here’s one of those stories from one of our Maestronites, Susan Hobbs:

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When asked if I would like to write a few words on why I helped create and participate in the “Wall of Heroes” and “Wall of Hope” I hesitated, as I am not a writer and sometimes struggle to find the words that convey my feelings. But then I was reminded of how important it is for us to tell our stories, because we never know who may have gone through or is currently going through something similar and is struggling or feeling alone. I love telling the story of my little hero, but I will try to keep it short.

 In June of 1990, my life changed forever. While in the hospital after giving birth to my daughter, my husband visited with our four (almost five) year old son Matthew, who wasn't feeling well. Later he told his dad he couldn't hear out of his "telephone" ear (his left ear he used while talking on the phone). The next few days led to a doctor's visit with an ear infection diagnosis, horrible headaches to lethargy, then an MRI a week later that showed Matthew had medulloblastoma. My baby had cancer.

Over the next eleven months, we grieved the loss of the healthy, vibrant life of our little boy but we also celebrated his life and the blessing and miracle that he was and still is to us. We made every second as full of life as we possibly could for him. As a huge basketball-lover, he was able to go to as many Charlotte Hornets games as he felt up to, met his favorite athletes (even Michael Jordan) and never lacked love and support from everyone he met. He was such a warrior.

We are a family of strong faith and I can honestly say that we never gave up hope. Sadly, Matthew lost his fight on June 4th, 1991. This year marked 27 years since I held my baby. But, I will always hold him in my heart and I believe and thank God I will one day see him again.


So, I participate in the “Wall of Heroes” and “Wall of Hope” to help keep Matthew’s memory alive and to help raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer. To be honest, before Matthew was diagnosed, I don't think I gave much thought to childhood cancer. I knew it existed but had no clue how many children were diagnosed each year or the lack of funding there is for research for a cure. Sadly, I now know.

There are so many others, as the wall shows, whose lives have been touched by cancer. Some have happy endings as they celebrate their survivor and their hero. And they continue to hope.

But sadly, others are remembering their loved ones that lost the fight. And we also continue to hope. We all hope for a cure. And we all celebrate our heroes!

I’m grateful that I work for a company like Maestro Health that gives us a place to share our experiences and continues to work to make the healthcare experience easier, especially during difficult times.

Check out the photos posted by our Maestronites on this year’s Wall of Heroes.

 

Where's Maestro?

By Rob Butler, Chief Executive Officer

May we first send our thoughts, support and best wishes to the city of Las Vegas for the recent horrific tragedy. Sure seems like our blog takes second precedence in the sheer scope of things.

Speaking of second precedence, you might find yourself feeling like something is missing this year. Yep. You won’t see our glowing yellow booth.
You won’t see the sessions recorded by our digital doodle artists.
And unfortunately, we won’t be hosting our rooftop party, like we had last year.

While last year’s conference was nothing short of incredible, this year, although HR tech is important to us, another precedence has emerged. Clients, clients and more clients.

People got bit by the Maestro bug last year and since then we have been busy onboarding and taking care of business (Bachman-Turner Overdrive for all those in my generation). We’ve also been partnering with key channel partners as well like Aflac, Allstate and Pear Benefits, while adding over 100+ new employer clients including some really cool ones like HDR. We’re investing time and resources to combat their administrative headaches and support HR by customizing new HR suites that fit their unique needs.

We have promised both our employer clients and our channel partners a “we’ve got your back” service experience and we meant it. Never wanting to be thought of as just a vendor who simply “sucks less,” we hire people who have a passion to make employee health and benefits people-friendly again. We’ve beefed up our customer service and operations with 48% net new hires year-to-date. They act as an extension of our clients’ HR teams, providing full transparency every step of the way.

And, it’s not just the people answering the phones who display this passion for service. Last month, our tech team persevered through natural disasters and worked diligently to release the latest version of maestroEDGE™ and (me)BILLING ADMIN™ for our clients on time, despite our Orlando office being affected by Hurricane Irma.

So yeah, we support and love HR Tech, but our clients come first. You won’t be seeing the big, yellow booth this year, but you can still visit us at our (scaled down) booth #2452 at HR Tech or check out what we’re up to at wheresmaestro.com.