CEO Steven Auerbach of Alegeus aims to pare healthcare costs

MIT Healthcare Costs
Alegeus aims to keep out-of-pocket healthcare costs lower. (Image: MIT)
Steven Auerbach
Steven Auerbach

Alegeus CEO Steven Auerbach leads with a sharp eye on operations and a wry approach to motivating employees.

His company oversees health savings accounts that employees use to put away tax free money for medical expenses. The approach reduces out-of-pocket expenses. Alegeus has over 300 clients–including health insurance plans and third-party administrators–and administers benefit accounts for more than 30 million members. The company processes over $9.1 billion in consumer healthcare payments annually. Headquarters are in Waltham, Massachusetts, and offices are in Orlando, Florida, and Milwaukee.

One hallmark of Auerbach is his “Steveisms,” often off-the-cuff anecdotes and one-liners that he shares with employees.

They include:

  • Get more juice for the squeeze: This is for someone who is spending too much time on tasks that don’t matter or drive value. It is meant to help refocus on the results that are being worked for and the steps needed to get there.
  • Five minute tasks should take just that: Being a smaller sized company means that it can make decisions quickly without red tape. This saying is used to ensure teams are spending the right amount of time on choices versus debating a decision for hours and arriving at the same conclusion.
  • Trust but validate: “As CEO, employees often tell you what they think you want to hear,” Auerbach told FierceCEO. “For this reason, I always ‘trust but validate.’ While I trust my employees, I still check behind the scenes to confirm we operate with our eyes wide open. An individual that effectively validates the competitive market, client experience and internal operating metrics before providing recommendations earns my respect.”
  • Each of the phrases is meant to connect back to the core values of the company—including being results oriented and putting the customer first—to ensure teams are tracking towards business goals and driving value, Auerbach said.

Auerbach also said he strives to run the business by “nourishing meaningful relationships.” He said he blocks two hours a day to sit in on client calls and takes time to listen to the thoughts and concerns of the company’s 400 employees.

“Giving employees this time and visibility creates a highly collaborative and passionate work environment that fosters a strong company culture,” Auerbach said.

Auerbach’s feels deeply connected with what he does.

“Healthcare is personal,” he said. “Countless times I have witnessed my friends and family struggle with difficult healthcare decisions in an industry that has not traditionally provided the support required to navigate its complexities.”

Participating in the healthcare industry “holds the greatest opportunity to improve people’s lives,” he said. “Running a business that delivers innovative engagement capabilities to empower healthcare consumers is rewarding.”