New York Life | July 7, 2022
Our “A Rewarding New York Life” series shines a light on the breadth of opportunity available at New York Life and explores how a role here could check a lot of boxes when it comes to finding a rewarding career and nailing that work-life balance.
With a history spanning over 177 years, New York Life is an insurance company that thrives on its people. And when it comes to group life insurance, New York Life has been protecting employees and their families for several decades.
In 2020, with the acquisition of Cigna’s group insurance business, New York Life took an exciting step. This was the largest acquisition in the company’s history and resulted in what is now known as New York Life Group Benefit Solutions (GBS).
We spoke to a group of our dynamic GBS employees about who they are, what they do, and how New York Life supports their personal and professional goals.
New York Life employee Christina D’Alesandro draws on her medical knowledge to review and assess short-term disability claims. Here she speaks about making the shift from medicine to insurance and why she has no regrets.
When I was a nurse in the hospital, we worked many different schedules—holidays, weekends, nights, and very long shifts. Now, my schedule is a lot more conducive to a healthy work-life balance.”
Ten years ago, life looked quite different for Christina D’Alesandro. Working as an ICU nurse in multiple intensive care units across Pittsburgh hospitals, Christina was struggling with the irregular shift patterns. Transitioning into the insurance industry seemed to make sense—it was a chance for Christina to use her medical experience in a different way.
“When I was a nurse in the hospital, we worked many different schedules—holidays, weekends, nights, and very long shifts. Now, my schedule is a lot more conducive to a healthy work-life balance.”
“With this type of work, it can be challenging. As a nurse in the hospital setting, advocating for a patient is much different than how we advocate for our customers and clients in the insurance industry. I have gotten a lot better over the years at maintaining healthy boundaries and learning how to overcome certain barriers.”
Outside of work, Christina uses her free time to continue to give back—volunteering at soup kitchens, food banks, and with a hospice agency. When it comes to time just for her, Christina loves yoga, cycling, and—understandably—napping!
As a Nurse Case Manager, Christina is responsible for assessing claims and making referrals. In her role, she’s able to use both her medical training and her vocational experience to ensure the customers get the best possible outcome.
“My main role is a short-term disability nurse case manager. This means I review medical information to assist the claims teams to make the most accurate determination on a file. I help them to answer any medical questions they have, including understanding diagnoses, medical treatments, length of healing, and, most importantly, someone’s functionality–what someone can or cannot do. I will perform outreaches to health care providers by phone and/or sending faxes, on claims that need further in-depth review, and I will make referrals to other programs, such as Your Health First or Medical Case management on claims that meet the criteria. I call the customers (patients) when needed to gain a better understanding of their condition and function. As a nurse case manager, you are part of a large interdisciplinary team, and we work with vocational rehabilitation specialists, physicians, pharmacists, and behavior health specialists to help facilitate safe and timely return to work.
“I would say the most rewarding part of my job is helping someone achieve a positive outcome. I really love using my experience and education to make an impact, whether it's helping the claims team understand the patient's functionality or understanding a specific diagnosis or care plan.”
Christina doesn’t work alone and values her relationships with her colleagues. She explains her team’s determination to maintain connection despite the challenges of remote working.
“I love being part of a team! Working remotely, we are structured in a way that we can work efficiently and effectively, regardless of our physical location. We still have our weekly calls and meetings and try to get together outside of work as often as we can. We're a very close-knit group of people.”
Having entered the world of insurance from a completely different professional background, how has Christina found the culture at New York Life?
“New York Life has a great culture. The business needs have to be met, but they are very understanding of the importance of a work-life balance. We all take our work seriously and feel a sense of responsibility to not only our customers, clients, and employer, but also our teammates. Those that I work with are happy to assist one another and given the strong work ethic of our team and the culture of New York Life, I think it is very easy to maintain a nice life outside of work.”
“I feel very positive about working for New York Life. I think they offer a lot of different opportunities for professional growth. They are a very stable company, and support a great work-life balance for employees. They make you feel respected and welcomed.”
New York Life is an equal opportunity employer M/F/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity
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