EPIC is not your average insurance broker and consulting company, and Craig Hasday isn’t your average president. The unique San Francisco-based firm has proven expertise in both mainstream and specialty industries. While the company serves clients in accounting, education, hospitality, and healthcare, it also offers property and casualty coverage—such as coverage for terrorism and valuable fine art collections—and manages ransom and war risks for luxury super yacht owners.
With fifty-seven thousand clients, the brokerage founded in 2007 is now one of the fastest growing in the insurance industry. It takes a dedicated team of professionals with deep expertise and experience in specialty insurance to build a responsive and innovative company truly able to provide customized advice, direction, and support. Hasday is EPIC’s lead expert in healthcare.
The president of the national employee benefits practice helps administrators navigate employee benefit plans, understand cost transparency, and address spending waste in an ever-changing field. “Times are tough in healthcare, and the creative solutions we bring to our partners help them optimize benefits programs so they can thrive,” he says. The measures also increase employee retention in a landscape plagued by burnout, competition, and the Great Resignation.
Now more than ever, hospitals, clinics, and health systems need someone like EPIC in their corner. Hasday has over thirty years developing and deepening niche expertise in the benefits space, which has equipped him with a unique talent. “I like to think I can see the future,” he says.
By that, Hasday means he stays ahead of emerging trends to help clients develop proactive solutions before gaps and liabilities emerge and solutions are hard to come by—something the Queens native has done his entire life and career. He studied accounting, became a CPA, and worked as the CFO for an international thoroughbred horse racing company.
Hasday enjoyed life as a CFO as his company found success. In fact, he once owned 2 percent of Theatrical, the winner of the 1987 Breeders’ Cup Turf Award. But in 1989, his uncanny ability to predict the future compelled him to make a change. “I noticed that healthcare was changing, and costs were escalating. Those changes brought opportunities I wanted to get out in front of,” he says.
Not only is Hasday a trained financial analyst, he also had worked with CEOs and HR leaders. He knew those people would need help adjusting to changing cost controls and creating new employee benefits programs. The opportunity drove him to join his father’s insurance company.
Unfortunately, a minor heart attack cut their days as colleagues short. The elder Hasday survived but retired and left his son to manage the business, which merged with Frenkel Benefits in 1992. As president of Frenkel, Hasday managed the organization and taught clients how to step outside of life as passive observers of change and truly manage healthcare costs.
Frenkel went from $2 million to nearly $7 million in annual employee benefits revenue in less than ten years with Hasday at the helm. Simultaneously, the brand developed a reputation for strong global benefits plans, retirement services, and other creative solutions.
Hasday noticed another emerging trend in 2004: employers embracing the idea of encouraging healthy behaviors to control health plan costs. He bought Onsite Wellness and made Frenkel one of the first middle market employee benefits company with an internal wellness division.
As managed care plans took hold and complicated the delivery of employee health benefits, Hasday invested in building a robust communications team and developed compliance resources, among other improvements. Frenkel continued to grow and became a part of EPIC in 2017.
Now as the leader of benefit practice at EPIC, Hasday is surrounded by other visionary and like-minded leaders, who help elevate his own process. “The management, leadership, and culture here take us to the next level,” he says. “With my partner, Larry Kirshner, we used to make all of the decisions, and now I have the support of others who add value to what we are able to accomplish together.”
The company stands out among the national brokerages in an era of consolidation. A highly collaborative and regionally controlled structure anchored by a strong national leader gives the firm an ability to be both responsive and strategic.
Hasday develops and deploys the national strategies that support those local offices and manages compliance issues and emerging products, like individual coverage HRAs. Brokers within the EPIC ecosystem can deliver the right services for their specific markets, while tapping into the resources offered by a holistic platform.
In addition to his work as president of the company’s national employee benefits practice, Hasday also uses political action to steer healthcare in a positive direction. He sits on the board of the National Association of Health Underwriters Principal’s Council, has taught at New York University, and has met with or testified before state and national legislative bodies.
“What strikes me most about Craig is his recognition that relationships are key to driving EPIC’s business forward,” says Tony Contessa, regional vice president of the New York and New Jersey region for the Select & Middle Market Segment at Cigna. “He values partnership and collaboration as much as I do, which gives us a framework for achieving the best outcomes together.”
Today, Hasday again looks into his proverbial crystal ball in an attempt to predict the future and prepare EPIC clients for healthcare disruption. The environment sees continuing forecasts of higher medical costs and significant changes to the healthcare landscape, including Amazon expanding Amazon Care, Walmart building health centers, and the CVS purchase of Aetna, as well as virtual care delivery and other options. This places more control and greater demands for proactivity in the hands of individuals. Low-cost, high-quality medical care is in high demand.
Hasday looks at these factors and has one prediction. “Healthcare as we know it isn’t sustainable for employers,” he says. Costs are on the rise, the population is aging, chronic conditions are more common, working arrangements are changing. It’s a complex system.
At Cigna, good health and well-being are the cornerstones of our purpose and the driving force of our passion. We are champions for affordable, predictable, and simple health care. As a global health services company, our goal is to provide the right services and solutions, in the right setting, at the right time, to address the diverse health needs of our customers and patients in a highly personalized way—each and every day. We see health care as an investment in the growth of your business. Because we’re much more than a health partner. We’re a growth partner. Our data-driven insights improve both employee wellness and productivity, while our quality health care mentors provide your employees with the ongoing guidance they need to thrive. And when they thrive, so does your business. To learn more about how Cigna can help you continue to grow, please visit us at: Cigna.YourNewGrowthPlan.com