Marilyn Bartlett

Shook the world of insurance companies in Montana

I’m 67, so I could give a s***. What are they going to do, fire me?

Marilyn Bartlett — a self-described pushy 64-year old grandma who shook the world of insurance companies in Montana by relentlessly negotiating unprecedented health benefits cost for government employees.


Born: ~1954

Country: USA

Profession: Special Projects Coordinator, Health Care and Benefits Division Administrator

Best known for: Fierce and well-executed negotiations for the state of Montana employees, leading disruptive change!

Contribution to success: Preparedness, curiosity, and courage. Never giving up asking “why”. Knowing all the facts. Being prepared to take criticism and push-back

Interesting fact: As a result of Ms. Bartlett’s successful negotiations, Montana went from projecting $9m deficit to more than $100 m surplus.

Why we chose her: In 2015 Ms. Bartlett was hand-picked to fix Montana’s state employees health insurance plans. And she had a year to do what has never been done before and what Congress failed to do on a national scale. Slashing healthcare costs is a feat of massive scale, and Ms. Bartlett took the challenge head on, never once wavering from her commitment to succeed, despite fear and setbacks.

Our favorite quotes by Ms. Bartlett:

“People told me it could not be done before”

“I would say just keep your goal in mind. Stay focused. Have each other’s back and be open to hearing what might come forth.”

Article: In Montana, a Tough Negotiator Proved Employers Don’t Have to Pay So Much for Health Care

Article: A Tough Negotiator Proves Employers Can Bargain Down Health Care Prices

Karina Salfeld