Justin Donald Leader

Benefits Professional



I build relationships. I ensure every day that my clients, colleagues and friends receive the 3 most basic foundations of any relationship: Honesty, Trust and Communication.

2014 / Aug - Present


President & Founding Partner

BenefitsDNA (Direct Negotiation Advisors) is a high-end consulting agency focused on delivering superior customer service and unique solutions surrounding Health & Welfare Benefits. Our mission is to change the current dynamic of healthcare and benefits delivery. Founded in 2014 BenefitsDNA knows that every client is unique and deserves leading-edge solutions combined with honest advice in the absence of conflict. We believe that the current system is broken, and we believe transparency leads to lower costs for everyone. We work with Plan-Sponsors, Taft-Hartley Funds, Government Entities, Insurers, Vendors, and Consultants providing superior advice and expert validation. We partner not poach. we collaborate, not compete.

2020 / July - Present

Highlight Health

Advisor & Partner

Highlight Health’s mission is to deliver affordable and accessible healthcare to the nation’s growing underinsured populations. Our core philosophies consist of empathy, continuous learning, creativity, and adaptability to overcome the obstacles of the ever-changing healthcare marketplace. We have an unwavering commitment to our member’s experience and their health outcomes.  We are dedicated to building an organization of the best, brightest, and most compassionate people we can find.

2016 / Jan - December 2021

Benefit Design Specialists, Inc.

Vice President of Business Development January 2016 – July 2020
Consultant July 2020 – December 2021

As Vice President of Business Development, my role is more than sales and marketing. I am a nationally recognized & passionate thought leader in the healthcare space assisting multiple stakeholders in navigating the evolving benefits landscape. My approach to relationship-based consulting has led to me developing a strategic ecosystem of employers, consultants, traditional brokers, health insurers, pharmacy benefit managers, third-party administrators, and healthcare technology companies.

Through my work building innovative benefit plans, I have achieved substantial savings for employers and employees through a focus on delivering higher quality, lower cost-benefit solutions. Much of this work includes working through the brokerage and consultant community as a conduit of systemic change educating others one conversation at a time. Leveraging my large network, I am able to provide solutions as well as thoroughly and critically evaluate the many new entrants into the $3.5 Trillion U.S. healthcare system.

As a certified Health Rosetta Chartered Certified Professional, I routinely speak at conferences regarding healthcare innovation, have acted as a legal expert witness, and have most recently assisted in the successful launch of a national direct contracting program, The Keep It Simple Surgery (KISx) Card.
I continue to provide solutions to those who seek answers to many benefits-related needs. This includes work with Fortune 500 companies to smaller organizations that are just starting on the path to self-funding. My expertise includes; self-funding of healthcare benefits, national direct contracting programs as well as niche benefit coverages including “Special Risk” Accident and multinational plans.

2011 / Jan - 2017 / Dec

Special Risk Insurance Services, Inc.

Vice President of Business Development August 2011 – January 2016
Consultant January 2016 – December 2017

In my role I represented international and domestic employers to the insurance marketplace for their employee benefits contracts, specializing in the placement and management of Fortune 500 corporate-sponsored employee benefits, employee-paid benefits as well as benefits technology. I worked closely with the C-Suite, Risk Management, and HR departments to understand their business and objectives. My role also consisted of national thought leadership on specific niche coverages including Life, Disability, and Accidental Death & Dismemberment including Voluntary, Stand-Alone Basic, and Business Travel coverages for large populations.