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Asst Dir Technical Benefits

At Northwestern Mutual, we are strong, innovative and growing. We invest in our people. We care and make a positive difference.

Summary:

Provides technical leadership and direction to the Disability Income Division to support accurate and fair administration of claims.

Primary Duties & Accountabilities:

  • Responsible for providing technical expertise to support the continued build out of the Disability (DI) claims foundation and infrastructure. Working collaboratively with the claims leadership, advises and leads projects to evolve technical guidelines and procedures. Provides oversight for the claims denial and recovery process and resolves claim conflict through formal and informal dispute resolution practices, including via litigation.

  • Provides technical expertise and thought leadership to the life, disability, or long term care benefits division in the handling of complex, sensitive or large benefit amount, including disability and life waiver of premium claims.

  • Responsible for claims administration compliance with applicable state laws and regulations.

  • Responsible for establishing claim handling standards/best practices and administration of claims in accordance with the company's claim philosophy.

  • Responsible for collaborating to build the future of claims administration. This includes, identifying and facilitating claim handling process improvements, technological/digital advancements in claim handling and related divisional projects. Expectation is that depth of technical expertise and thought leadership will be proactively utilized to drive business solutions to business problems and help to build the future.

  • Responsible for collaborating with other leaders to establish technical proficiency standards for claims administrations and for building the support infrastructure for effective training, coaching, mentoring, feedback loops that are needed to develop proficient analysts. Strong capability to develop technical and soft skills of technical leaders. Also actively involved in providing feedback on claim handling staff and developing skills of analysts.

  • Fully demonstrates the capability to serve as both a technical expert and also a technical leader of the division and the department.

  • Accountable for resolution of high volume of contested Life, disability and LTC claims. This includes collaborating with the law department in lawsuits, giving depositions and representing the company at trial, mediations and other negotiated resolutions. Establishes parameters for negotiated compromise of claim lawsuits. Serves as liaison between claim staff and the Law Department on wide variety of legal issues.

  • Manages complaints, appeals and highly contentious claims. This includes regular contact with policy owners, their legal counsel, agents and field management. Exercises creativity and judgment in use of conflict management principles to resolve conflict, including via negotiation, mediation, and settlement.

  • Serves as a technical leader. May serve as a manager within the Division, which includes leading or potential to lead a team of senior consultants, teamwork on development of divisional and departmental strategy, active engagement, management and supervision of technical leaders, including mentorship and support as vital. Represents NM's disability claim operation to the life, disability claim or LTC industry and to others within the home office.

  • Responsible for maintaining and updating guidelines utilized in evaluating and coordinating claims.

  • Responsible for developing and maintaining a strategic mindset and approach to claims administration and engaging in active collaboration with the Benefits leadership teams to establish a vision for the future of claims administration, including process improvements, client experience, and the requisite technical expertise and soft skillsets needed by analyst and technical leaders.

  • Collaborates with the leadership team to set strategy to achieve the vision and execute on such strategy.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

  • College degree in business or related field.

  • Eight to ten years work experience including work with insurance products and claim processes and procedures.

  • In depth knowledge and understanding of insurance products, underwriting processes, medical and financial information, claim philosophy, and claim handling practices and procedures

  • Knowledge of and experience in managing claim legal issues and the litigation process

  • Excellent judgment and decision-making skills

  • Experience in negotiation and conflict management

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills

  • Proven track record to lead others formally or informally, work effectively outside of silos with others, mentor and develop others.

  • Ability to practice collective leadership by serving as an effective leader and leading teams.

  • Experience in project leadership or similar efforts.

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This job is not covered by the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Required Certifications:

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We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or status as a protected veteran, or any other characteristic protected by law.


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