Michael D. Heard

Mike Heard is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of NOLHGA. He supervises NOLHGA resources deployed to assist state guaranty associations in managing insolvencies, develops and implements the organization’s strategic initiatives, and oversees NOLHGA’s communications efforts. In addition, he is responsible for the efficiency and effectiveness of the internal operations of NOLHGA.

Heard, who joined NOLHGA in September 2021, has over 25 years of life and health insurance experience, with particular expertise in long-term care (LTC) and other health products. He worked as a senior officer with GE Financial/Genworth and, more recently, with CNO Financial Group, a domestic life insurance company based in Carmel, Indiana, with estimated revenue of $3.8 billion as of 2019.

Heard joined GE Financial in 1997 as a manager of service quality. From 2001–2005, he led their group life and health operations, and from 2005–2012, he led the newly formed Genworth Financial company’s claims operations, including life, annuity, health, and LTC products. There his organization developed many LTC claims handling innovations to better serve customers, comply with regulatory requirements, and reduce fraud.

In 2013, Heard joined CNO Financial Group in Carmel, Indiana, as Senior Vice President, where he was responsible for insurance operations for more than 3 million customers and over $2 billion in benefits transactions annually. The operations included the support of life insurance, annuities, LTC, and supplemental health products for CNO’s three companies—Bankers Life, Washington National Insurance Company, and Colonial Penn.

Heard was appointed President of Washington National in March 2017. As a leading provider of supplemental health and life insurance, Washington National serves nearly 1 million policyholders and 25,000 employer groups through 2,000 independent agents. In 2020, he was appointed President of the Worksite Division of CNO, and he led the division through two acquisitions and the global pandemic.

Heard attended Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, where he earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering. He also served in the U.S. Air Force, including a tour at the Pentagon.

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