The “Native Business Top 50 Entrepreneurs” list serves to elevate awareness of the innovation, professionalism, competence and tenacity demonstrated by Native entrepreneurs across Indian Country. Native Business is rolling out profiles of these 50 Native entrepreneurs online, in no particular hierarchy, to document and memorialize their innovation and self-determination. The inaugural class of the Native Business Top 50 Entrepreneurs recognizes leaders across 13 business sectors, demonstrating the diversity of industries where Natives are making an impact. Among the entrepreneurs recognized in our Insurance sector is Matt Silverstein, Founder of FirstNation Health.
Matt Silverstein, Choctaw, points out that health care costs have risen six times faster than wages for decades, and that health care is usually a Tribe’s second-biggest expense after payroll. In the future, health care could become a Tribe’s greatest expenditure, Silverstein estimates, “unless Tribes take control and use benefits in an effcient way,” he told Native Business.
As chief executive of FirstNation Health in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Silverstein helps Tribes access significant savings by negotiating on behalf of Tribes and helping them take advantage of huge health insurance breaks.
FirstNation Health does business with Tribes in 30 states and has claims processing units in California and Michigan.
The board of directors for FirstNation Health is 100 percent Native American. Former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell is a board member and chief strategist for the firm. The company recently made a high-profile hire in Dave Archambault, the Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe during the Dakota Access Pipeline standoff.
Silverstein has been immersed in the financial and insurance industry for nearly two decades. He has been recognized as a top national producer by some of the largest established financial and insurance organizations in the country such as Allstate Financial and LPL Financial, the largest independent broker/dealer in America.
An activist for Indian Country, Silverstein has called Tulsa home his entire life. In 2014, he became the first Choctaw and the youngest person in Oklahoma history to win the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate.
On February 1, 2019, FirstNation Health and MedWatch, the Medical Management team owned by Harvard Medical School affiliate Harvard Pilgrim, announced a Joint Tribal Program with aggressive cost control services — including a line by line clinical audit of every medical claim to verify for accuracy and appropriateness, along with powerful health education and wellness programs that are proactive with Tribal communities.