WIL NEXT 2020: Alex Lanning, CBIZ Benefits and Insurance Services

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Alexandra Lanning is director of communications for CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Services. Her collegues regard her as confident and possessing excellent instincts, which led to her leading the company's coronavirus/COVID-19 task force. Before that, she established a CBIZ Young Professionals group that raises funds for nonprofits and supports leadership and career growth. She was nominated by Robin Widdis, VP of Operations, Employee Benefits.

What the nominator said
Robin Widdis, VP of Operations, Employee Benefits
"I have worked for CBIZ for more than years and have had the opportunity to work with many people and rarely do you get to work with someone as gifted as Alex... She stepped into action within a week of the pandemic and we had a team of people ready to go daily providing ideas, podcasts, newsletters and video information our to our clients and prospects. She has truly inspired us to take our internal and external communications to the next level for our clients and our internal teams."
Digital Insurance: To what behavior, personality trait or practice do you assign the most credit for your success in your career so far?
I owe my success to my entrepreneurial spirit. As I see it, entrepreneurship is the mindset of looking at the status quo and seeing an opportunity to do things better. Throughout my career, I have dedicated myself to always playing to win and being a driver for positive change. I look at problems as an opportunity to make something better. I continue to challenge myself and those around me to always do more than what’s expected and find innovative solutions to solve common problems.

Working with many employers, it was clear that employee communication was a problem throughout the benefits industry. With this knowledge, I established our National Communications Practice, dedicated to helping employers and employees connect to better articulate the value of benefits allowing our clients to attract, retain and engage top talent and ultimately impact their bottom line.
Digital Insurance: Is there an area of insurance you see as needing improvement from a digital perspective?
As the industry continues to change and evolve, one thing that continues to be a challenge is explaining health care and insurance to the average person. Education and access to resources is something I am passionate about and something that is severely lacking in the traditional insurance model. Employees have very low health literacy and understanding of the insurance industry, which leads to waste in cost and consumption. Today many employers lack access to resources to adequately reach employees and bridge the gap.

My suggestion to improve this is to invest in digital resources that integrate health care delivery and make it more accessible and easier to navigate. Though there are many apps and multimedia solutions available, there are very few that take into consideration the whole person, are streamlined and affordable. Create an ecosystem that allows individuals to monitor their health, manage their finances, and consider their holistic wellbeing and lifestyle goals. I envision this in the form of a mobile app that holds individuals accountable, assists in the decision support process and gives instant access to benefits and HR information, insurance carriers and providers all in one platform. Without the ability to make smarter choices during the moments that matter in the employee's life, we will continue to see low levels of engagement and high levels of confusion. Integrating resources will empower employees with the tools they need to make transformational improvements.