How COVID-19 has changed the mindset around work and retirement

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Like much of everything else in healthcare, COVID-19 has changed the mindset of how people and companies think about work and retirement.

The pandemic pushed some people to retire early, said Christine Janofsky, CFO at eHealth, which works in the Medicare, Medigap and Part D space.

Janofsky saw this trend at the height of the pandemic last year. She heard people say, she said, “‘With everything going on, this is really making me rethink things.’ This pandemic has helped people take a step back. That’s driven a part of the population to retire.”


Resulting workforce shortage challenges have CFOs thinking differently. Organizations need to attract and retain talent in the new remote/hybrid work environment.  

“The pandemic has been interesting,” Janofsky said. “It’s shown what people think about employees and customers. How morale really affects productivity. When we think about the last 18 months … how it will impact the workplace.”

COVID-19 has expanded the role of CFO from being more than the numbers person, though that remains number one.

“As I think about the CFO role and finance, many CFOs have naturally broadened their roles from what they used to be,” Janofsky said. “If I look at the most successful CFOs, they’re bringing more than finance. Numbers are always a priority for CFOs. What’s becoming more important is to be that inspiring leader and to motivate teams. That’s going to drive success in the organization.”


Janofsky became CFO of eHealth in September and also serves as the company’s senior vice president. She formerly served as senior vice president and chief accounting officer at Lincoln Financial Group.

eHealth, based in Santa Clara, California, is an online health insurance exchange that helps customers compare and choose plans from over 200 health insurance carriers across 50 states and the District of Columbia.

eHealth entered the Medicare annual enrollment period with over 160,000 Medicare beneficiary customer center accounts. Open enrollment began on October 15 and ends on December 7.

Agents match beneficiaries to the right plan and are commission blind about the plans they sell. Sales integrity agents confirm the choices. The company gets paid a commission after a customer selects a plan and the information is sent to the carrier.

Digital health technology is central to the process. An eHealth customer center was launched in October 2020 that allows beneficiaries to create secure personal profiles describing their prescription drugs, preferred doctors and pharmacies, their current Medicare insurance plan and other relevant healthcare data. 

eHealth recently migrated to a cloud-based platform.

“We help everybody determine the right plans for them, around technology,” Janofsky said. “As you think about digital healthcare, there’s an influx of funding to companies. It’s a time for all industries to embrace digital transformation to improve the customer experience.”

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
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