Josiane Peluso is the current Director of Marketing and Sales for the New York Health Plan Medicare Dual/Special Needs Plan (D-SNP) for United Health Group. United Healthcare is committed to helping people live healthier lives and to making the health system work better for everyone.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Josiane received her Bachelor of Science from St. Francis College and her Masters in Community Health Education from CUNY Brooklyn College. She then shifted her focus to United Healthcare within its Medicaid group. Here, she put her Health Education Certification to good use as she created and managed the member outreach team and member incentive programs.
Through dedication and a never-ending need to keep learning, over eight years of working at United Healthcare, Josiane was promoted to her current position. Her team focuses on reaching out to low-income seniors who qualify for Medicare. Josiane takes pride in her teams’ success.
In her free time, Josiane spends time reading, hiking, and playing golf with her husband.
What brought you to United Healthcare?
I was drawn to its mission and values. It’s a great company, giving so much back to the community through its “Do Good. Live Well” employee volunteer initiative, community outreach and member educational programs. It promotes healthy living and education to encourage better health choices and health outcomes. We’ve reached a time where the opportunity to help people live healthier, more fulfilling lives is at an all-time high. United Healthcare has been striving to enhance the performance of the health system and improve the overall health and well-being of the people we serve and their communities. We support the physician/patient relationship and empower people with the information, guidance and tools they need to make personal health choices and decisions. Being able to help others in those ways was an important factor in my decision.
When you first started, what was the most challenging aspect you had to adjust to?
I had to change my mindset from only being responsible for my own performance to being responsible for the performance my department.
What do you love most about your current position?
A lot of people that we cover have multiple chronic conditions. Not only does my team get to help them find the right coverage, but we’re able to explain how they can best utilize their benefits with meeting their needs. My team provides all the benefit information so our members can take full advantage of what their coverage allows. It’s all about helping people. I am so grateful I get to be a part of something that is truly helpful to the community.
My team itself is very community based. We want to reach as many people as we can, so we are constantly creating new campaigns that get the education out there. We work to position our product through marketing initiatives and community outreach.
When you were first starting out, was there ever a time you doubted this was the right decision for you?
There was a little doubt in the beginning. In this field, you are accountable for meeting sales targets and creating a better member experience. When a day ends and those metrics weren’t met, I think it’s natural to question yourself. I had a firm belief in what I was doing and why I wanted to be here. I just needed to gain more experience with how to accomplish those goals. Once I consulted with more experienced professionals to learn how to adjust my approach, I was able to move forward with better outcomes. It was a learning process in the beginning.
What is one marketing strategy, other than referrals, that helps generate new business?
With our focus being the aging, low income communities, we have found most success through local grass roots marketing efforts. We need to reach as many potential members as possible. Creating multi-channel, community-based marketing has been most effective for us. We focus on local campaigns that promote some of our most competitive benefits. We have mobile offices we park on the street to help answer questions community residents may have about navigating the health care system or the benefits they qualify for.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
Over the last 6-9 months, I’ve had to realign resources to maximize the best outcomes for sales.
What do you think makes you successful?
I have a lot of grit. I am resilient and have learned to withstand adversity. The higher you’re promoted, the greater your responsibility is. You are held fully accountable in a leadership role. I have learned to take criticism and turn it into a learning opportunity.
It’s also important to appreciate the challenges you face because those are the moments that help you grow. Having a positive approach, looking for what I can learn from these new experiences helps me be successful.
What had been your most satisfying moment in business?
Some time ago, I was conducting a seminar and I had the opportunity to speak with an individual who, at the time, was struggling to pay for medications that were keeping him from falling extremely ill. He had several chronic illnesses and was not able to afford his medications. He asked many questions, and in the end, I was able to connect him with a state funded prescription drug subsidy program that helps residents with the cost of prescription medications. It is those moments that make this such a great position to be in. It’s why I enjoy it so much. I really do just love to help people.
What does the future hold for you and what are you most excited about?
I am always most excited about learning more. I have an insatiable desire to just keep learning. I can’t say with any certainty what the future holds for my current position because insurance is a constantly changing field, but the opportunity to learn something new and grow who I am is what I love about doing this job.
What books have inspired you?
“The Path Made Clear” by Oprah Winfrey is one I recently read that I really enjoyed. I also loved “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill but right now, my team and I are all reading “Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions” by Keith Rosen. It’s an excellent resource for a manager to use when trying to encourage a team to access their full potential.