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“Today, with more than 165 employees, the GoHealth platform is standing at the forefront of an industry that’s been looking for a viable solution for efficiency and cost reduction.”

Guidant Financial: The leader in alternative startup, franchise and small business financing

GoHealth and its customer-facing website GoHealthInsurance.com is a health insurance technology platform, working with over 100 health insurance carriers and more than 10,000 licensed agents across the United States.

GoHealth, based in Chicago, Illinois, was recently named in the top 100 best workplaces in Chicago by the Chicago Tribune and is one of Inc. Magazine’s 500’s fastest growing companies in America.

MO: Can you talk about the process of building the nation’s most complete online portal for finding health insurance coverage?

Brandon: More specifically, we’re building an end-to-end process for buying and selling health insurance from carrier to customer. We’re doing it right now through our technology and agent network, making the whole process of purchasing health coverage seamless. The important part of all of it is to reduce both the complexity and cost of the current system. Through the GoHealth platform, it is more efficient and more cost-effective to connect people with the right health plan. But at the end of the day, it takes the best team and the smartest people in the business to fulfill our mission. I’m proud to say that after more than a decade of success, I believe we have them here at GoHealth.

MO: How has GoHealth evolved since first launching?

Brandon: Like most other businesses, GoHealth has evolved considerably from day one. We started as a company of two willing to build web solutions for anyone who needed it. Today, with more than 165 employees, the GoHealth platform is standing at the forefront of an industry that’s been looking for a viable solution for efficiency and cost reduction. From the start, we’d never have guessed how impactful our distribution and technology platform would be to such a large and complex industry. It’s amazing to look back at the road we’ve traveled to get here and also look forward to what’s coming.

MO: What advice would you give to someone looking for a new health insurance plan? What are some ways that they can find a plan that balances both their health and budget needs?

Brandon: Shopping for health insurance is much different than shopping for other insurance products. When comparing health insurance quotes, consumers should look at plans with premiums they can afford every month. Then, they need to review the deductible and decide whether or not they could meet that deductible in the case of an emergency. A person on a limited budget may initially be attracted to a low monthly premium, but it makes no sense if their deductible is so high they couldn’t possibly afford it in the case of a medical emergency or chronic illness.

Another suggestion that I think rings true for every consumer is to check the doctor network, coinsurance rates and copayments and then decide if there are any extra benefits that a consumer really needs.

MO: Congratulations on the recent $50 million investment in your company from Norwest Equity (NEP.) How will your investors help contribute to the growth and strategy of your vision?

Brandon: Thank you, we’re very excited for what’s to come and we couldn’t be happier to have all of our hard work over the years be recognized and validated. But this investment isn’t actually changing our overall strategy of becoming the end-to-end distribution platform for the individual health insurance market; it’s just helping us grow much more quickly. With the changes happening because of health reform, we’re going to see a huge influx of consumers flooding the marketplace looking for a trusted place to shop and buy their health insurance coverage. And, GoHealth will be prepared for that.

MO: How will coming changes for health reform impact GoHealth?

Brandon: There will be a large number of new consumers flooding the individual market due to the individual health insurance mandate. GoHealth is becoming the primary distribution platform for private health insurance, so we are ready to help anyone and everyone who needs individual coverage by 2014.

In other words, reform is putting GoHealth in a very unique situation. It will basically require every individual to purchase health insurance and GoHealth is the portal that many consumers will use to find coverage and apply online.

MO: GoHealth was recently named in the top 100 best workplaces in Chicago by the Chicago Tribune. What do you think sets your company culture apart and what do you most enjoy about your working environment?

Brandon: At GoHealth we really celebrate the work hard/play hard mentality. Our company provides a culture that allows people to experience new things, grow their abilities, and accelerate at their own pace. With that said, the company moves quickly and we measure employee success by their performance and results — not the number of hours they are sitting at their desk. That is why we implemented flex Friday’s year round and unlimited paid-vacation.

Even though we have been growing and expanding rapidly, we want to keep the small business atmosphere alive. Everybody in the company knows they can walk into my office at any time with an idea or concern. We also hold monthly happy hours and regular team outings in the great city of Chicago. These fun, casual events are especially great for helping new employees mingle and meet other people from different departments.

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