Prior to selling insurance at UnitedHealthcare through her position as Account Executive of Small Business for Chicago/Northwest Indiana, Carla Cohen was on the other side of the exchange, buying insurance. Cohen was a broker for 20 years before getting licensed to sell insurance and working at UnitedHealthcare. During her time as a broker, she was awarded the Leading Producers Round Table award for exceptional sales achievement for 20 consecutive years. This equipped her with an expansive knowledge of sales going into her position at UnitedHealthcare.
Although she has only worked at UnitedHealthcare for just over a year, Cohen had developed relationships with UnitedHealthcare staff long before transitioning into her role at the company. Cohen worked in the human resources (HR) department at her previous company prior to becoming a broker, so when she learned UnitedHealthcare was looking for someone to work in sales and selling insurance, she knew she was fit for the job.
“I knew a lot about UnitedHealthcare as a broker because I bought it. I also knew a lot of the people, so I had relationships prior to my coming here. My happiest memories are of those relationships,” Cohen said. “I’ve known a lot of people at UnitedHealthcare for 20 years, so my draw to come to UnitedHealthcare was because of some of the people that were there. I was not going blind into a new company, not knowing a soul. I knew people, and I still work with them on a daily basis which is really fun.”
Cohen has found a passion for selling health insurance because it is something that everyone needs and benefits from having. She noted that the need for insurance is greater now than before and that anyone who has a job or asset needs to have insurance.
“It's just like car insurance and homeowners insurance; if you don't have a claim, you don't think about your insurance. When you have a claim, you appreciate it,” Cohen said. “It's something that everybody needs, but it's not on their mind until they actually need to go and get care. Until they actually have to go get a checkup or something is going on with them, it's not a concern.”
Helping people prepare for those moments when they need their insurance is what drives Cohen to assist people beyond selling the product. Although her job is about selling insurance, she often pushes beyond that boundary to help people navigate their insurance.
If individuals have a claim issue or a question about what is covered by their insurance, they should call a different department, but they often call Cohen. She takes it upon herself to funnel them through the right departments so they can receive the help they need.
“I can't give them the answer, but I still work as the middleman because I think it's important. I try to handhold them and make sure they do know where to go and how to do it,” Cohen said. “When people call, they're obviously calling because they’re going to the doctor, somebody's sick, or something else is going on. Instead of just saying, ‘Call the number on the menu card,’ you want to try to help them as much as you can.”
Beyond her work at UnitedHealthcare, Cohen enjoys helping people in other ways through plugging into volunteer opportunities.
“I am involved in my community, I like to volunteer with a lot of different organizations. I like to give back because I think it is important to the community. A lot of times, people ask me about health insurance while I’m volunteering, so I’m actually able to get leads to UnitedHealthcare,” she said.
Cohen also enjoys gardening, refinishing antiques, cooking, and exercising.
To learn more about insurance plans at UnitedHealthcare, visit uhc.com.