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Momentum Awards Finalist: An Interview with Clint Jones

Clint Jones GoHealth CEO

GoHealth CEO, Clint Jones

GoHealth is honored to be a finalist for the 2014 Merrick Momentum Awards! The awards are hosted by 1871, and as part of the awards process, 1871 sat down with each of the finalists for a short interview. Find out what GoHealth’s Clint Jones had to say about the company history, the Chicago entrepreneurial community, and what Chicagoness means to GoHealth.

Tell us about what your company does.

GoHealth is a Chicago-based company that leverages technology to make buying and selling health insurance simple. Founded in 2001, GoHealth has developed three business units serving consumers, health insurance agents and health insurance carriers across the country.

GoHealth powers GoHealthInsurance.com, a private health insurance exchange which has helped more than 30 million people shop for coverage. With world-class technology, a team of licensed insurance advisors and partnerships with more than 300 health insurance carriers, GoHealth enables people to easily compare and purchase the right health insurance plan for their needs.  In 2013, GoHealth became the first private company to connect to HealthCare.gov, accelerating enrollments and enabling GoHealth to seamlessly connect people with subsidized health insurance.

GoHealth is also a leading provider of technology and enrollment solutions for health insurance agents and carriers. This includes proprietary CRM software, a full-service member retention product, and an end-to-end enrollment platform that connects to the federal government’s exchange.

How long has your company been around and how did it get its start?

After college, we were both self-employed and had no health insurance. When we tried to get coverage, we realized that the process of shopping for health insurance was incredibly complicated and confusing. We wanted to create a better, easier way to connect people with the right health insurance plan. So in 2001, we founded Norvax, which eventually evolved into our current brand, GoHealth.  We worked to fill a giant void that we recognized in the health insurance technology industry. We’ve been in business ever since.

How is your company connected to Chicago’s entrepreneurial community?

We’re passionate about what we contribute to the Chicago entrepreneurial community. We started here, this is where we grew our company, and we want to continue to grow in Chicago. The entrepreneurial community in Chicago shows that you can start with a simple idea and transform that idea into a booming business. Chicago is such a great city filled with so many fantastic new companies, and we’re proud to be one of them. We hope we’ve set – and continue to set – a good example for young, up-and-coming entrepreneurs, because we know what it’s like. We were in their shoes once.

What does Chicagoness mean to your company?

Chicagoness is a huge part of GoHealth’s foundation. Our roots are in Chicago; it’s where GoHealth was born. We’re creating an urban campus in the middle of the River North neighborhood, because we believe that’s the place to be in Chicago. The technology community here is thriving and it’s amazing to be at the heart of it. Our company is comprised of hardworking, bright and innovative talent, many of whom we recruited right here in Chicago.  The city is incredibly supportive of Chicago-based companies, so we really can’t imagine being located anywhere else.

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The Key to Selecting the Right Health Insurance Plan

Sharron M.When the national open enrollment period begins in November, you may have the option to automatically enroll in your existing health plan. But before going into auto-pilot, explore your options with the help of a licensed insurance advisor. Doing that with GoHealth, won’t cost you anything.  It can, however, save you time and money.

If you’re like most people, there’s a good chance you haven’t heard about the difference between licensed insurance advisors and exchange navigators employed by the government. A big difference is that licensed insurance advisors can recommend specific health plans based on your budget and needs. Working with a GoHealth Licensed Insurance Advisors is free, so there’s no reason not to seek a professional recommendation.

Enrolling in health insurance is one of the most important decisions a person can make, and you owe it to yourself to ensure you have selected the right plan. When exploring your options with a licensed advisor, you may discover that your old plan is no longer your best option. If it turns out that your existing plan is the best choice, may be able to select “auto-enrollment” and cruise through the enrollment process.licensedAdvisorsV3

At GoHealth, we specialize in helping consumers select the right plan based on their budget and needs. With online tools and licensed insurance advisors, we strive to empower people with information to make smart decisions on health coverage. Working with professionals is key to selecting the right health insurance plan,  so mark your calendar for November 15 and contact GoHealth when it’s time to shop for coverage. We’ll gladly help you select the right health coverage for 2015.

 

 

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Healthy Habits to Teach Your Kids

Parenting isn’t easy. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the future cost to raise a child born in 2013 through the age of 18 is just over $245,000. But it doesn’t stop at financial assistance; it’s also important to be a healthy role model for your kids, because let’s face it: Justin Bieber is not the best example of how to live a young, healthy life.

So here are a few healthy ways you can help influence your little ones for the better.

Variety is the Spice of Life

There really is no such thing as good vs. bad foods, so there’s no reason to completely cut out the foods your kids crave. Instead, encourage them to eat a wide variety of foods. We know you make a killer spaghetti and meatballs, but push yourself to find new dishes your family will enjoy. Try recreating healthier versions of yummy meals right in your own kitchen. Theme nights are also great ways to organize grocery runs and get the whole family around the table.

Little girl watermelon

Don’t Drink Calories

Although they might taste delicious, soda and other high-calorie drinks could be doing a number on your kids’ bodies. They instantly add extra calories and get in the way of good nutrition. Instead, replace artificially flavored drinks with water, and if your kids are craving something flavored, choose low-fat options like iced tea or nonfat milk.

Screen Their Screen Time

Sometimes it seems like the youngest generations today are glued to screens: TVs, computers, tablets, you name it. While these activities are entertaining, they can also lead to sedentary lifestyles for your kids, which could then increase their risk for obesity and cardiovascular disease. It’s best to limit them to two hours a day.

A Family Affair

“Dinner is served!” and “You’re excused from the table!” work just fine, but even better is getting the whole family involved in meal time. Let the kids help cook and plan their meals. Take them with to the grocery store so they can pick out ingredients and learn about different foods. Ask them to clear the table after everyone is finished. All of these activities will help them develop good habits for later in life.

Timing is Everything

Does your family have a set time for dinner every night? Do your mornings leave enough time to get breakfast ready for the kids? Create a regular schedule for meals and snacks so your kids know what to expect. Leave enough time for your kids to eat breakfast in the morning, and encourage them to eat dinners at home rather than indulging at restaurants with their friends.

Get Moving

If it’s a (literal) drag to get your kids to soccer practice each week, it may be because they simply don’t like the game. Every child is different. Let your kids experiment with different activities until they find something they love so they stick with it longer and it helps them develop a healthy lifestyle. Check out these fun activities for kids.

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GoHealth Employee Spotlight: Alex Tomala

At GoHealth, we like to showcase the incredible people who make our company thrive each and every day. We’d like to introduce you to GoHealth’s newest Employee Spotlight, Alex Tomala!

Alex Tomala 2What is your role at GoHealth?

Software Engineer

How long have you been here?

About 4 months.

What excited you about working at GoHealth?

Everyone I interviewed with seemed very excited to work with new technologies, and the collaborative culture has definitely helped improve my coding ability and style already.

What has been your favorite part of working at GoHealth?

The people at GoHealth make it a great place to work.  If I have questions about why things are done a certain way, my coworkers chime in, even if I didn’t ask them directly. Everyone here wants GoHealth to be a great place to work.

Want to work at GoHealth like Alex? Check out our careers page here.

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Three Steps to Save More Money on Health Care

We all like to save money, and when it comes to medical expenses, costs can add up quickly. Taking an active role in your health care and medical coverage can lead to significant savings on out-of-pocket costs. Follow these three steps to keep more money in your wallet.

Apply for Cost-Sharing Reductions
Saving money on out-of-pocket costs starts when you enroll. Make sure you are shopping for coverage with an organization, like GoHealth, that is approved by the government to determine your eligibility for lower costs coverage, because you may qualify for Cost-Sharing Reductions. CSRs were established under the Affordable Care Act and lower the amount you are required to pay for out-of-pocket costs like deductibles, co-payments, and coinsurance.

For example, a family of four that earns $45,000 would typically be responsible for 30% of out-of-pocket expenses on a Silver plan with an annual out-of-pocket limit of $12,700. However, with CSR, that family would only have to pay for 13% of out-of-pocket costs and the annual amount would be capped at $4,500.

With Cost-Sharing Reductions there is potential for significant savings. That’s why it’s important to shop for coverage with a company that is authorized to determine your eligibility and enroll you in a plan with Cost-Sharing Reductions.

health savings account 2013 rules

Double Check That Your Physician is in Network
Health insurance companies negotiate lower rates with a specific network of physicians and hospital to help keep costs low. You can save money on out-of-pocket costs by staying within that network.

For instance, let’s say your office visit costs $300. You went to a physician that is in network, so you only have to pay a $20 copay. If you had gone to a doctor that is out of network, you could get stuck with the entire bill because if you haven’t hit your deductible! Additionally, you may pay a higher coinsurance percentage and have
higher out-of-pocket maximums when you go out of network.Your portion of the bill depends on your health plan, but the bottom line is that you will pay more if you go out of network.

To avoid a surprisingly expensive bill, verify that you provider is in network. Make sure that not only the insurance carrier is accepted, but also the specific plan.

At GoHealth, we know that a quick phone call can keep more money in your pocket. Consumers who enrolled in a health plan through GoHealth can call the GoHealth Memberships Team to verify that a physician is in network.

Consider Generic Prescriptions
By law generic prescription drugs must have the same active ingredients and work the same as the brand-name versions they copy. The big difference is that they usually cost less. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if you can take a generic version of your medication to save on out-of-pocket costs.

Here’s how the savings work: if you’re charged a co-pay for your prescription medication, the co-pay is lower for generics. Think $10 instead of $20, for example. If you pay a percentage of the drug, you’ll also save because full-priced generics are generally less expensive than brand-name drugs. For example, the high cholesterol drug Zocor costs $175 per month, according to Consumer Reports, but a generic version, Simvastatin is only $48.

If the generic version works just as well for you as the brand-name drug, there is no sense in paying more.


 

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GoHealth is Nominated for a Momentum Award!

GoHealth is excited to be nominated for a 2014 Momentum Award! The Seventh Annual Momentum Awards Dinner, which will take place on October 9, 2014 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Chicago, is hosted to showcase the six nominees, and then once the winner is announced, to celebrate the top company that significantly contributes to the city’s economy.chicago4

GoHealth has been recognized as a semi-finalist that develops Web-based sales and online insurance marketing tools for the health insurance industry. The winner will be crowned by the hosts at the awards dinner.

The Momentum Awards Dinner is produced by the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center for the benefit of 1871, and it’s Chicago’s biggest celebration of the past, present, and future of entrepreneurship in Chicago.

To find out more about the Momentum Awards, you can visit http://www.1871.com/momentum. And to learn more about GoHealth, please visit gohealthinsurance.com.

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Chicago UX Book Club Hosted by GoHealth

On Wednesday, August 27, GoHealth welcomed Chicago UX Book Club, a group of user experience enthusiasts that enjoy gathering monthly to discuss books dedicated to the field.  For August, the group discussed author Sam Ladner’s book, Practical Ethnography: A Guide to Doing Ethnography in the Private Sector.

UX Book Club at GoHealth

Book club members meet at the GoHealth offices.

Those in attendance benefited from an intimate discussion on how ethnography can be incorporated in the private sector to better solve consumer problems, as well as the challenges that researchers can face in the process. The group members shared their thoughts on finding the balance between what’s important to the company and what’s important from the customer’s perspective. Author-pointed questions also facilitated dialogue surrounding potential ethical dilemmas in private sector ethnography and how researchers can navigate these sticky situations.

Chicago UX Book Club serves as an avenue for members to share their passion and knowledge of the user experience gamut. GoHealth’s UX Researcher and book club co-organizer, Janie Cisneros, thought the session was successful and insightful. GoHealth was happy to host and provide pizza and beverages for the participating members.

For those interested in checking out Chicago UX Book Club, visit http://www.meetup.com/UXChicago/ for more details, or follow the book club on Twitter: https://twitter.com/uxbookchicago.

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GoHealth Welcomes Mark Monitello, SVP of Human Resources

The GoHealth family is excited to welcome Mark Monitello to its growing team! Monitello joined GoHealth in September 2014 as SVP, Human Resources. He brings expertise in leading human resources departments at high growth companies that have intensive technology and sales operations.

Mark Monitello reformatted

SVP of Human Resources, Mark Monitello

 

Prior to GoHealth, Monitello was the Senior Vice President, Human Resources at FTD Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ:FTD), a recognized leader in providing floral, gift, and related products throughout the United States and abroad. During his tenure with FTD, Monitello oversaw human resources and facilities functions for a $650M+ publicly traded company with approximately 1,000 employees.

Monitello also worked as Vice President, Staffing at the United Online corporate headquarters and as Vice President, Global Staffing for MasterCard International, where he managed human resources and staffing departments for Amdocs Inc., GE Capital, and IBM.

Monitello received his Bachelor of Science from Niagara University. GoHealth is excited about this new addition to the Human Resources department!

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Take the Guilt Out of Napping

NappingWhile napping on the job may be a no-no, a scheduled nap at home may actually be good for you. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 85 percent of all mammals sleep in multiple short periods throughout the day, while humans actually divide up their day into only two stretches of time: one for sleeping and one for everything else. As the sleeping portion of our day gets shorter and shorter due to our busy schedules, thankfully studies have emerged that show the benefits of incorporating a nap into our days. Check out these tips and tricks to making the most of your next siesta.

1. Don’t Exceed 30 Minutes

Sleep inertia is that post-nap groggy feeling that lasts all day, leaving you less productive and alert. Avoid it by napping for 20 to 30 minutes at most for increased alertness that can last a few hours.

2. Mix Naptime with Caffeine

Caffeine and sleep have more benefits when put together than on their own. Caffeine usually takes about 20 minutes to kick in, so get your fix in right before a nap. That way you’ll wake up more alert and ready to conquer the rest of the day! This combination can also reduce mistakes and accidents, which is beneficial for working late nights or long road trips.

3. Set Your Alarm

Worried you may nap for too long? Take the stress out of napping by setting your alarm. And if you’re a perpetual snoozer, set your alarm a few feet from your bed so you’re forced to get up to turn it off.

4. Plan in Advance

Though late nights should be avoided, sometimes it’s impossible to get to sleep early because of our busy schedules. If you know you have a late night ahead of you, prepare yourself by taking a nap during the afternoon. In these cases, a long nap (more than two hours) can dramatically improve alertness for up to 24 hours.

5. Create the Perfect Environment

Finding the perfect spot for a quick snooze can reduce the time we spend tossing and turning. Find a spot that’s dark and quiet, or use an eye mask and ear plugs. Also, make sure the temperature is comfortable for you; cooler spots tend to be better napping zones.

6. Don’t Feel Guilty

There may still be some stigma surrounding napping, but research studies are continuously adding to the already long list of nap benefits, like improved learning, retention, and creative thinking. A recent finding reported by BBC News even suggests that napping may reduce the risk of heart-related problems.

7. Find What Works for You

If you find that napping makes it more difficult for you to sleep at night, try napping earlier in the day to avoid tossing and turning later. Still not helping? Napping may not be the solution for you. Try other techniques like meditation to boost alertness and be strict about your bedtime.

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Your Guide to Student Health Insurance

Heading back to school can be stressful: packing, planning, and saying goodbye to loved ones, all while adjusting to a new life away from home. Let GoHealth make health insurance simple with a guide that answers your questions and showcases your options.
StudentHealthInsuranceGuide2014e-01

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