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Justin Leader | Highlight Health

In this episode, Michael introduces Justin Leader, the CMO of Highlight Health and a self-funded benefits and risk advisor. Early in his career, Justin learned about the major shortcomings of the healthcare and health insurance industry and how it is built for profitability, not value. When he met Josh Spivak, the CEO of Highlight Health, they saw an opportunity to build a better solution for an underserved segment of the population. 

Highlight Health’s mission is to deliver affordable and accessible healthcare to the nation’s underinsured populations. Their product is not a health insurance product, but rather a healthcare product where in exchange for a fee, an employer’s underinsured employees get access to healthcare, education, and an advocate. The populations they serve typically don’t work enough hours to qualify for full time benefits, can’t afford their traditional benefits, or may be offered limited MEC or Minimum Value plans that really don’t offer access to comprehensive healthcare.   

Highlight Health’s goal is to systemically help people access 80-90% of their basic healthcare needs through their platform and mitigate risk for catastrophic events. Highlight Health differs from other vendors in the market by providing an advocacy service for members and negotiating with Hospitals to provide inpatient and outpatient care at zero or reduced cost through federally-funded programs. Highlight Health is busy collecting feedback and success stories from members and they look forward to a future full of collaborations and philosophically-aligned partnerships to better serve their members. 

Here’s a glance at what we discuss in this episode: 

  • 01:00 – Introducing Justin and Highlight Health. 
  • 02:40 – How he got into benefits consulting.
  • 05:45 – How he became a part of Highlight Health. 
  • 07:50 – The political approach to healthcare and the point that’s missed. 
  • 09:00 – There’s tremendous pain when trying to navigate the healthcare system.
  • 11:45 – The collective problem in healthcare and the responsibility all must take.
  • 12:40 – The working poor and healthcare illiteracy. 
  • 14:00 – The difference between health insurance and healthcare. 
  • 14:15 – The Highlight Health product; your friend in healthcare. 
  • 15:10 – They focus on accessibility and care; advocacy is a cornerstone.
  • 16:45 – They provide education and value to empower people to make better decisions. 
  • 18:22 – They take regulations and laws and leverage them to access care across the country. 
  • 19:30 – This is not a health insurance product, it’s a healthcare, capitated product.
  • 21:10 – Thoughts on GAP funding. 
  • 21:40 – How the drug component of Highlight Health works.
  • 24:30 – Highlight Health’s vision for the future. 
  • 25:20 – How community-based programs work and how Highlight Health would help a member get care in a selected hospital system. 
  • 28:40 – Their goal is to systemically help people access 80-90% of their basic needs through their platform and mitigate risk for catastrophic events.
  • 29:25 – They can provide compliance components and supplemental products. 
  • 32:00 – The employer’s get a simple, consolidated bill from Highlight Health.
  • 33:05 – Employee outreach: They communicate the programs appropriately and offer virtual support. 
  • 36:30 – They’re collecting feedback and success stories and are holding big institutions accountable for the community care they’re required to provide. 
  • 39:00 – He’s looking forward to getting people excited for something new, collaborations, philosophically-aligned partnerships, and to leave a legacy.


Highlight Health


About the Host, Michael Menerey

Michael Menerey is a Senior Vice President and Benefits Consultant with one of the largest Employee Benefits Brokerage & Consulting firms in the country. He is a partner in the Employee Benefits Practice and works in the Los Angeles office.

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