Learning On the Job: SET SEG Internship Program

Learning on the Job

Each summer, the SET SEG internship program brings a group of young professionals into the working world to give them hands-on experiences that encourage professional growth. For many of the 2023 interns, it was their first work experience in an office setting, and while there was much to learn, there was a consensus – SET SEG’s workplace culture is positive, supportive, and welcoming.

“SET SEG doesn’t just promise a welcoming and collaborative work environment, they deliver,” said Sydney Tomlinson, 2023 graphic design intern.

The SET SEG Difference

While SET SEG is a risk management company, there is an abundance of opportunities outside typical roles like underwriting, claims, and customer service. SET SEG comprises many departments that attract diverse talent, providing employment opportunities across the company including sales, marketing, finance, employee benefits operations, information technology (IT), and human resources.

Most departments have the chance to onboard an intern each summer, allowing college students to gain valuable insight and real-life job experiences. In some cases, these experiences even inspire young professionals to enter the risk management or insurance fields.

“Throughout the past year and a half interning at SET SEG, I have gained a lot of hands-on experience across the company. This has inspired me to pursue a career in the insurance industry,” said Cole Moyer, former intern turned student assistant.

Others who completed the internship program have even found full-time roles at SET SEG after college. Joe Kubeshesky, the 2023 project management intern, was hired after graduation as a full-time Associate Systems Analyst on the IT team. Joe was quick to express his gratitude for the opportunities provided by his internship experience, sharing that he and the other interns grew exponentially during their time at the organization, both personally and professionally.

“I learned to work hard and be confident in myself while being open to feedback,” said Kubeshesky. “It’s important to push beyond your comfort zone so you can grow and develop as a professional. I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to intern at SET SEG, it led to an amazing full-time role with the company!”

We're hiring! 2024 Summer Internship Positions

Have you heard? We’re hiring for 2024 Summer Interns! If you or someone you know is seeking an internship, apply today!

5 Reasons to Work with SET SEG

A: We’re NOT Your Typical Insurance Company

We are a risk management partner comprised of public schools—not a for-profit corporation.

Our members are part of a Property/Casualty Pool and a Workers’ Compensation Fund, meaning member districts are our shareholders. This also means the premium we collect belongs to our members, so when a surplus exists, those funds are given back in the form of net asset returns and premium reductions. Additionally, we provide Employee Benefit services to help our member districts take control of their healthcare costs and identify creative solutions to provide employees with high-quality benefits options.

Protecting public schools is a risky endeavor, and in Michigan, where the summers are short and the winters are freezing, providing affordable and quality coverage can be a challenge.

As our schools face these challenges, we like to remind them one thing: they’re not alone.

From our corporate programs and workplace culture to our philanthropic efforts through the Foundation, SET SEG sets itself apart in the insurance industry by putting schools first and employing talent with that same mindset.

5 Reasons to Work With SET SEG

1. We Encourage Professional Growth

Career growth is a journey, and whether that looks like a lateral move, a promotion, or even completely shifting departments, SET SEG works to foster an environment that allows employees to learn and grow as their career vision evolves.

By providing exposure to all facets of the insurance industry across the organization and relying strongly on collaboration, our team is offered opportunities to venture beyond their initial job description, whether that be through professional development, establishing new networking connections, or gaining experience in a different facet of the industry.

“In my experience at SET SEG, the organization truly invests in the person and not just the job that person is filling,” said Emorie Bond, former intern and now SET SEG Marketing Coordinator. “If you show interest and aptitude in other areas of the business, there are opportunities to explore options beyond your current position.”

2. We Are A Team

At SET SEG, everyone is working toward the same goal – to put Michigan’s public schools first. With less than 100 employees serving schools throughout the state, our close-knit staff have become a part of the education communities in which they work. Many of them were even former employees of the school districts they work with now.

“When I was a superintendent, I wish I had known just how much support and expertise SET SEG has and how well protected our school district was because we were a member of their programs,” said Greg Gray, Employee Benefits Sales Manager. “This organization is different because schools are all we do. From its creation more than 50 years ago to now, the people at SET SEG have committed their time, expertise, and resources into helping schools succeed.”

3. We Reinvest in Michigan Communities

In almost every aspect of our organization, we give back monetarily to our member school districts, and not just in our work collectively. Each department gets to see firsthand how Michigan’s public schools benefit from what we do every day, offering our employees a level of fulfillment not always prevalent in the insurance industry.

“I love that the work I do helps to affordably protect public schools from the risks they are facing on a daily basis, in turn allowing them to focus more on what matters most – educating the students of Michigan,” said Stephanie Anderson, SET SEG Underwriting and Loss Control Manager.

Click here to view 12 ways we give back and how this philosophy fits into our core values as a company.

4. We Prioritize Relationships Over Revenue

For SET SEG, building trust and lasting relationships with school administrators comes first over making the sale. In fact, it’s so ingrained in our workplace culture, we often employ former school district employees to ensure we continue to deliver the resources and guidance our members are looking for.

“For those of us in sales at SET SEG, we aren’t working for a commission,” said Paul Grienke, Insurance Education Specialist. “For us, it’s about putting the time into learning what a school district’s unique needs are and establishing that relationship with the administrators, so we have their trust in delivering the services and resources they need when they need them.”

5. We Offer Opportunity

SET SEG nurtures a culture of engagement. Employees’ voices are heard, and work exists on a collaborative plain. If you’re interested in joining the team in supporting Michigan’s public schools, click to view job opportunities available now!

SET SEG Makes the List: Best Places to Work

To deliver on all five of the elements listed here that sets SET SEG apart from others in the industry, we rely heavily on feedback – from school administrators, from our public schools, and from our employees.

We’re proud to have been included on Business Insurance’s Best Places to Work list every year since 2018 and plan to continue operating as an organization that values its employees and members every day.

Prioritizing Wellness During the 2022-23 School Year

Many may be excited for school to start after a long summer. However, the new school year can come with challenges. The 2022-23 school landscape looks different from previous years during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mask mandates are on the retreat, with many schools ending preventive measures such as quarantines and regular screening tests. Additionally, COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are available to school-aged children.

Although the school year seems to be back to normal, children will likely still feel overwhelmed with uncertainty, stress and other emotions related to school and social life. Likewise, teachers, caregivers, and parents may still seem stretched thin balancing caregiving and working. The return to school and its routine can impact everyone differently; therefore, it’s worth taking a proactive approach to wellness during this transition.

Below we explore healthy ways to cope with lingering uncertainty and make balancing all your personal and professional responsibilities manageable.

Checking In With Children

Despite schools, playgrounds and lunchrooms may seeming more normal this school year, children may experience stress and uncertainty. Children may even engage in more social situations than in previous years during the pandemic, which can create different environments.

As such, you should monitor your children for signs of anxiety or distress. Be on the lookout for changes in a child’s behavior and mood or physical symptoms, such as:

  • Increased defiance or irritability
  • Disturbances in sleep
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lack of concentration
  • Less energy
  • Sadness or crying
  • Nausea, muscle tension or dizziness
  • Refusal to go to school or engage in virtual schoolwork

If a child or others in the home shows any of these signs, they may have anxiety about their schooling situation. Children are resilient, but it’s still important to pay attention to signs of anxiety—and seek professional support if any warning signs persist.

Taking Care of Yourself

With school back in session, here are some healthy ways for working parents and caregivers to make the school year more manageable and balance their work and personal responsibilities.

  • Set reasonable expectations. Establish realistic expectations about what you think you can accomplish each day or week. Don’t be hard on yourself. Cut yourself some slack and focus on completing high-impact items and responsibilities.
  • Develop a schedule. Creating a routine that works around your work schedule and family needs is essential. Consider limiting certain activities such as housework, chores or extracurricular activities to one or two specific days to help everyone stay focused.
  • Set boundaries. If you feel stretched thin between being a good caregiver and an efficient employee, it may be helpful to set some boundaries. Remember that you’re in control of how you’re expending your energy and can free up mental space to allow yourself to be more present where and when it matters.
  • Create healthy habits. Be sure to get plenty of sleep and eat well so you can be fully charged to take on the day. It’s also important to stay active and incorporate movement into your daily routine. It may help to schedule a workout first thing in the morning, during lunch or in the late afternoon so it will fit in around school.
  • Make good use of weekends. If school and work both happen on weekdays, be sure to use the weekends to recharge, reduce stress and have fun as a family. If you prefer alone time, make that a priority. Everyone needs a break from responsibilities, whether that’s work or school.
  • Ask for help. Lean on your networks for support if you need help getting through the workdays. With many activities and school programs back, don’t wait to ask others for help if you’re overwhelmed. Be honest and communicate with your family and co-workers if your current situation isn’t working well.

It’s also important to recognize your unhealthy coping methods and find alternatives such as meditating, exercising or talking with a friend.

If you’re feeling stressed or experiencing burnout related to kids returning to school, talk to your manager about your situation and to learn more about employer-offered resources. Additionally, talk to your doctor or a licensed mental health professional if you’re concerned about your or your child’s mental health.

The Value of Personalizing Your Employee Benefits Offerings

With diverse backgrounds and interests, every group of employees is different. Instead of opting for a one-size-fits-all benefits package, consider providing benefits options that are as unique as your employees. For instance, many workplaces are multigenerational; the benefits needs of a 50-year-old man will likely differ from the needs of a 25-year-old woman.

One note of caution: as you find yourself tailoring benefits to employees, think strategically about those choices and limit the number of plans available. According to a Willis Towers Watson survey, 57% of employees prefer a moderate number of benefits options and indicated that too many choices would be overwhelming.

Ultimately, personalized benefits will require meaningful conversations with employees. While it’s impossible to offer benefits that will meet all the needs of every single employee, maintaining open communication with workers can go a long way toward that goal. Here are some general tips to consider when gauging the needs of your employees:

Benefit Insights for 2021 & Beyond

Are you prepared for the long-term effects of COVID-19 on your health plan?

Most health plans saw an overall reduction in cost in 2020 despite significant increases related to respiratory conditions caused by COVID-19. While this reduction may appear to point toward a healthier workforce (due to decreased contact with germs and illness) on the surface, digging a bit deeper reveals that many simply put off or avoided vital treatment and care.

Because of COVID-19 concerns, an estimated 41% of U.S. adults delayed or avoided medical care including urgent or emergency care and routine care.*

The deferment of care may not be initially life-threatening, but could lead to serious health implications, pain, and greatly increase future plan costs.

What does this mean for the employees on your health plan?
  • Existing chronic conditions will become worse without regular treatment and the probability of related complications increases.
  • The emergence of new chronic conditions can be missed and go undiagnosed and untreated.
  • Routine screenings for things like breast and colon cancer are missed, resulting in delayed detection.
  • Existing behavioral health treatments are interrupted, and a greater segment of the population is at risk for such disorders.

All of these add up to greater future costs for your health plan. While this may all seem overwhelming, there are ways to prepare for this increased cost and mitigate the effects on your health plan.

  1. Increase access to virtual care
    One of the biggest things your organization can do to help your employees and lower plan costs is to increase access to virtual care for both acute and chronic patients. Our new normal requires multiple avenues for patients to receive care. Also, robust access to virtual care eliminates the largest cause of care deferment during the pandemic.
  2. Encourage employees to use their healthcare and stop delaying routine care any longer
    It is important that your organization encourages employees to utilize their health plans to receive all of the care they may have deferred over the past year. While this may result in a spike in claims in the short term, the long-term benefits of a healthy workforce far exceed the immediate costs. While increased utilization may seem counter-productive to controlling health plan costs, it is routine care that helps keep employees healthy and protects plans from experiencing large, unexpected claims.

Mental Health & Short-Term Disability

Can short-term disability be used for mental health conditions?

The everyday stressors of life during the COVID-19 pandemic left many school employees dealing with new or exasperated mental health concerns. While every organization approaches mental health benefits differently, we have received questions about an employee’s ability to use short-term disability benefits to help with mental health issues.

Check out the information below to expertly navigate short-term disability benefits as they relate to mental health conditions.

Do mental health conditions qualify an employee for short-term disability?

The answer is — it depends! First and foremost, the determination that any illness qualifies an employee for short-term disability is based on three things:

  1. Your organization’s short-term disability requirements
  2. How the health plan administrator or carrier interprets the plan requirements
  3. A professional diagnosis of the illness

Oftentimes, carriers lean heavily on a professional diagnosis and treatment plan when evaluating whether a condition qualifies for short-term disability. The disability carrier will take into account:

  • the severity of the illness, and
  • whether or not it wholly and continuously disables an employee to the point that they can no longer engage in their regular work.

Does my organization have any say in whether an illness qualifies for short-term disability?

If your organization’s short-term disability benefits are fully insured (administered by a carrier), the carrier will determine whether an illness qualifies based on the criteria listed above.

If your organization’s short-term disability benefits are self-insured, your organization can decide whether an illness qualifies using the criteria above.

NOTE: Determinations should be made on a universal and reasonable basis. It is also important that all determinations, as well as the determination process, be adequately documented.

How should we handle short-term disability requests that are submitted due to mental illness?

We recommend following four simple steps to help your organization handle short-term disability requests for any type of illness:

  1. Clearly and adequately communicate plan requirements with employees. Make sure plan certifications are distributed to ALL employees to help create a baseline understanding of what the plan provides.
  2. File claims early and include all required documentation for appropriate healthcare professionals. This helps the process move as quickly and smoothly as possible.
  3. Take ALL mental health claims seriously. Maintain a sensitive and professional approach when assisting employees who are looking for any type of mental health support.
  4. Take advantage of your resources! If employees are requesting more mental health support, reach out to all partners, such as your SET SEG account executive, Employee Assistance Program (EAP), and insurance agent.

Q&A: Employers and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Q: Are employer-sponsored health plans required to cover COVID-19 vaccinations?

A: Yes, generally all non-grandfathered health plans are required to cover the costs of immunizations that are considered preventive services by the Patient Center Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act requires the COVID-19 vaccination to be covered within 15 business days after the recommendation is made by PCORI for it to be considered a preventive service.

NOTE: This coverage must be provided for both in-network and out-of-network providers during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

For SET SEG Family Healthcare Center Patients

Sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine today!

Q: Can employers require vaccinations?

A: Yes, employers can require employees to get vaccinated. However, make sure you consider how the following will interact with that approach:

  • State laws
  • Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Collective Bargaining Agreements
  • EEOC Guidance
Q: Are COVID-19 vaccinations required by law?

A: No, COVID-19 vaccinations are not required by law, and employers are not required to implement vaccination mandates on their employees.

Q: At this time, who is eligible to receive a vaccination?

A: The COVID-19 vaccination is available in phases of prioritized groups. This list will expand with time to include more groups of the population, which you can review periodically here.

Currently, the State of Michigan is permitting vaccinations for the following groups:

  • Childcare and Pre-K through high school staff
  • Healthcare workers
  • Long-term care workers
  • Residents who are 65 and older
  • Essential workers, including first responders, corrections workers, and inspectors
  • Congregate Care Facilities, such as homeless shelters
Q: Where in Michigan can I receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

A: Currently, vaccinations are available in Ingham County and the LMAS District Health Department. As this list grows, the State of Michigan will publish additional access sites here.

Q: What are some additional considerations and management tips for schools at this time?
  • Plan scheduling logistics: Determine how to best manage your employees’ schedules. Depending on what works best for your district, you may consider designating day-time hours for employees to receive vaccinations. These designated times may be staggered or all in one based on what is most beneficial to your district and your staff.
  • Check in with your carrier or TPA: Ensure your plan documents and certificates of coverage will handle vaccination claims as expected.
  • Communicate: Proactively communicate with your staff about the availability of the COVID-19 vaccination and how they can leverage your support to gain access.
  • Collaborate: Work closely with your benefit administrators to navigate the fast-paced changes brought on by COVID-19 to ensure you are administering your plans in accordance with your plan documents and accurately communicating with your employees about COVID-19 entitlements and vaccination access.



How to register to receive the vaccine:

All staff within school districts that participate in the SET SEG Family Healthcare Center (including those in Eaton County) have been granted access to sign up to receive a COVID-19 vaccination at the Michigan State University Pavilion through the Ingham County Health Department.

This is a two-part vaccine, and you will register for both vaccinations at the same time. When you arrive, a photo ID and proof of employment (such as employee badge or a paycheck stub) will be required.

Registration Guidelines:
  • Please work with your supervisor to get coverage if needed.
  • The vaccine is available to all school personnel, support staff and contracted employees who work in schools, such as food service, custodians, bus drivers, and long-term substitutes.
  • The vaccine is not currently available to Board members or substitutes that are not regularly in our school buildings.
  • The MSU Pavilion is open on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for vaccinations.
Registration Form:

READ BEFORE COMPLETING FORM: For the sake of the form, please select “YES” for the first question, “Do you live or work in Ingham County?” then continue to complete the questions as you would typically respond.

If you are interested in getting the vaccine, please click here to complete the form. When they reach your prioritization group, you will receive an email with a link to schedule an appointment.

2021 Healthcare Outlook: Costs, Trends, & New Approaches

It’s no surprise that the pandemic made a tremendous impact on healthcare. From cost to accessibility to benefit plan design, all aspects of the model are being reevaluated and analyzed in a new light. By reviewing how businesses and organizations across the nation are adapting their healthcare plans to address new challenges, we have a better understanding of what’s to come in 2021.

Healthcare Costs Remain Unpredictable

Despite reduced healthcare activity during 2020 as COVID-19 delayed both preventive and elective care for the majority of plan participants, according to the 2021 Large Employers’ Health Care Strategy and Plan Design Survey conducted by the Business Group on Health, premiums and out-of-pocket spending are expected to increase by roughly 5.3% in 2021.

Other recent studies suggest that medical cost increases would fall in the 4% to 10% range. As so many unknowns remain, it’s difficult to advise whether our members should anticipate a surge in care being delivered next year as the pandemic wanes (and assume an even larger increase in costs), or if they’ll see a continued reluctance among their employees to seek care into 2021.

With the reduction in elective surgeries and routine care, organizations with self-funded (or self-insured) health plans have generally realized some savings from decreased claims. In comparison, many fully-insured carriers have provided premium relief/refunds to groups on fully-insured health plans. While the savings have certainly helped, groups should be anticipating an increase in premiums and claims cost if/when the COVID-19 pandemic ends.

Have you received a full market analysis?

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to health insurance, we believe many of our members would benefit from pursuing a full market analysis (both with fully insured and self-funded options) to determine if savings are available. Contact your Employee Benefits Account Executive for more information on how our experts can evaluate whether this is a viable, smart approach to managing costs within your organization.

The Rise of Virtual Care

As businesses and organizations quickly adapted to deliver no-contact services, healthcare institutions also simultaneously shifted to provide ways to virtually administer care and treatment to patients. Telehealth services, previously low-utilized methods of accessing healthcare, were widely embraced by patients as a way to safely see a doctor in 2020. Trends indicate that telemedicine will continue to grow as a welcomed alternative to traditional office visits.

Virtual care for musculoskeletal issues, such as physical therapy for back and joint pain, shows the greatest potential for growth and cost savings. In 2019 and 2020, musculoskeletal issues — such as knee, hip, and back pain severe enough to warrant surgery — was ranked the top condition impacting healthcare costs.

According to a recent study on virtual physical therapy services, patients rated their satisfaction 91.2% and $1,000 was the minimum cost reduction when post-surgery tele-rehabilitation was used.

Laser Focus on Mental Health and Well-Being

This year, more than ever before, employers are recognizing the importance of supporting employees’ mental health needs. More than 69% of organizations provide access to online mental health support services, and that number is expected to increase to 88% in 2021. Employers are also addressing cost barriers by reducing out-of-pocket costs for mental health services.

Savvy Primary Care Strategies

In 2021, 51% of organizations plan to have at least one advanced primary care strategy, like contracting directly with primary care providers. In mid-Michigan, SET SEG members are already taking advantage of this cutting-edge approach and receive efficient, cost-effective healthcare at the SET SEG Family Healthcare Center.

The SET SEG direct primary care model has improved the delivery of preventive services, chronic disease management, and mental health for over 2,000 school employees and their families. Click here to learn more.

Healthcare is Integral to Employee Retention

In 2021, we expect employees will weigh healthcare benefits more heavily when considering employment opportunities and innovative healthcare offerings will be an integral piece of employee satisfaction. When planning engagement and retention efforts, make sure to consider healthcare as an important component.