5 minutes with: Mike Civello, VP of Employee Benefits, Rethink



At Collective Health, we know creating the healthcare experience we all deserve is not the job of one company. That’s why we spend a lot of time working with, and listening to, some of the most innovative companies and people working in our industry.

This month, we sat down with Mike Civello, Vice President of Employee Benefits at Rethink. Mike works with companies to better serve the needs of employees’ children with autism as well as other developmental disabilities, and has over 15 years of experience in human resources and benefits.

What problem is Rethink trying to solve?

There is a growing population with an autism or developmental disability diagnosis and a gap in treatment resources. The CDC reports 1 in 6 children are diagnosed with a developmental disability in the U.S. – nearly 17% of the population birth to 21 years old. Employees caring for a child on the spectrum suffer major losses in productivity resulting in financial burden, stress and anxiety. Employers see an average of 250 hours lost in productivity annually resulting in a cost per employee of $3,000 – $5,000 annually.

1 in 6 children are diagnosed with a developmental disability in the U.S.

How is Rethink moving the industry forward?

Rethink is leveraging technology to deliver research-based best practice approaches to employers and employees who are caring for a child with a developmental disability. By bringing the best content, research and programming online, Rethink is able to help employers scale services to their global populations at a fraction of the cost as traditional direct service approaches – ensuring that any employee no matter where they are located can gain access to the best supports and strategies.

What makes you come to work every day?

I love knowing that I’m making businesses more human friendly. I am inspired by employers that drop the ROI calculators and opt to do the right thing. Further, I am in awe of employees that can face such daunting challenges at home and still come to work with a smile every day – or at least almost every day. Knowing that we support these superstars and in some way make their work/lives better is the best feeling in the world.

Why does your company feel that it’s important to partner with employers?

With millions of children with a developmental disability in the U.S. alone, partnering with employers is the best and most effective way to scale services and supports. Employers are ultimately responsible for much of the healthcare related services we receive so they are the best target.

I love knowing that I’m making businesses more human friendly.

What’s one of the most promising trends or developments in health benefits today?

Awareness and innovation. Benefits administrators are challenging the status quo and demanding more from the healthcare industry. Gone are the days of “to cover or not to cover” a condition. Coming are the days of “we must address our population as a whole and provide supports and systems so that everyone has a chance to be well.”

Word on the Street: Tell us your favorite customer success story

There are so many. I recently heard a testimonial from a woman on our program at a major technology company that was really powerful. She said, “I felt so alone until Rethink came along. I have been using the program daily and speaking to my behavioral therapist coach who is providing me with a new lease on life. I saw – for the first time – improvements in my child’s behavior in relation to routine changes and his teacher commented on this success. Before Rethink, I had thought, ‘this is the best my son can do’ – and now I am so empowered and inspired to help my son reach his fullest potential.”

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