QBE Re's Head of US Health Reinsurance, Michael Coghlan, discusses his career, exciting developments from QBE Re and his predictions for the health reinsurance market.
Tell us about your role at QBE Re
I’m Head of US Health Reinsurance at QBE Re.
What is your career background?
I have over 20 years in the US health reinsurance space. In addition to QBE Re, I have worked at two other major reinsurers, and had a brief stretch on the broker side at Guy Carpenter. Prior to reinsurance underwriting, I was an underwriter on the primary side of the health business, working for a large Blues plan, and started my career at The Prudential in the Employer Group medical benefits space.
How did you get into reinsurance?
I was recruited for a medical reinsurance underwriting position at a large Princeton-based reinsurer and was fortunate to work with some of the smartest leaders in the health industry.
Can you tell us more about what you’re currently working on?
QBE Re Health is in a unique and desirable position. We are building out our team of underwriting, actuarial and claims specialists during a very dynamic time in our market. Specifically, since the passage of the ACA (Affordable Care Act) in 2010, and the removal of limits, the excess market has needed to develop and provide capacity for the reinsurance need. Moreover, the self-insured market has experienced growth for large carriers, and the MGU specialist that can provide unique solutions to employers.
What new developments should we expect to see from QBE Re?
We continue to be interested in providing more than just capacity to our proportional reinsurance customers. We are building out our underwriting, actuarial and claims management staff so that we can be more value-adding, working alongside our risk partners. We remain focused on growing our traditional Excess of Loss portfolio, and we are also looking to further develop pricing around a gene and cell therapy reinsurance solution for this market.
What is the most rewarding project you have been a part of?
I think it is still on the horizon. I know our work on client reporting, program-specific feedback and the gene and cell therapy solution we are evaluating will be very rewarding. I am excited to be working on solutions that benefit our customers and demonstrate our value as a risk partner. Incorporating these projects into the QBE Re Health solution arsenal will help us to integrate our expertise and bring value to our customers.
How do you expect the industry to change in the coming years?
As an industry, we need to solve the coming challenge and cost related to cell and gene therapy. I am confident we will, but I remain even more concerned about the increased utilisation that is on the immediate horizon for Cart T therapies and solutions. While I am less optimistic that we are going to be able to constrain the very large dollar costs that unique and prestigious facilities charge, I believe, through better case management and unique financial solutions, like RBP, price transparency and bundled payment arrangements, we will find solutions.
What excites you the most about your role?
Two things, putting together good deals that provide a reinsurance solution for a risk need and building a winning team. It is both exciting and personally rewarding to put people in winning situations and see them succeed.
What’s one interesting fact about you?
I have participated with my family in a Polar Bear plunge every January, for over 15 years, raising money for the Special Olympics of NJ. It is cold but a worthy cause.