Okay, so it wasn’t me who actually bought the policy… it was my boyfriend. BUT his phone was on speaker when he was talking to the agent, and I did chime in with questions, so I still consider this to be an experience of my own, too. But let me back up a second.
Hurry Up and Wait
So it was the night before the December 15th deadline for coverage to be effective the first of the new year. My boyfriend, Sven (that’s not really his name, but wouldn’t it be cool if it was?), is not offered health insurance through his employer. Last year he enrolled in a Marketplace plan and he wanted to shop around for a better one this year. Because I deem myself to be pretty competent and knowledgeable in the ways of health insurance (thank you, job at Health Choice One), I thought we could tackle his new plan enrollment on our own.
Like many other anxious shoppers, we hopped on over to healthcare.gov and clicked around until we found how to shop for new plans. After only being on the site for a few minutes, we were put into a virtual waiting line because the site was experiencing such high traffic- and understandably so, considering it was the night before the deadline. In the meantime, we had the option to browse plans in anticipation for when we would be allowed actually enroll Sven. We took advantage of this, compared plans, and Sven decided on what exactly he wanted. Apparently, though, we were trapped in what appeared to be the equivalent of the Best Buy line on Black Friday.
We remained on the site for at least an hour, impatiently waiting to be informed that Sven could sign up for his plan. Unfortunately, that never happened, so Sven made the executive decision “I’ll just call your work tomorrow.” Wise decision, why hadn’t we considered this sooner?
Finally, Some Real Help
Fast forward to the night of the 15th. Sven called Health Choice One and was put in contact with an agent who would help him enroll in a different plan. The agent asked him what it was he was looking for and some other basic information to help locate the perfect plan (age, price range, etc.). He presented Sven with one plan option and explained the specific details, then touched on a few other plans that were similar to what he was looking for. The first plan fit what he wanted best, so he went with that option. Working with this agent was extremely easy and we weren’t forced into the dreaded virtual waiting line- there was actually minimal waiting.
Side note: A lot of people are probably thinking “she works at Health Choice One, of course they’re going to go out of their way to give her the best service.” Not the case, because I didn’t immediately let them know that I was an employee on the phone with my boyfriend… and even once I did, I’m 99% sure the agent didn’t know who I was anyway. My interaction was no different than that of a “normal” client.
Health Choice One has access to many health insurance carriers and plans that are on the Health Insurance Marketplace, i.e. healthcare.gov, which makes working with them so efficient. When healthcare.gov- the website and the phone lines- are tied up, Health Choice One isn’t nearly as bogged down. We have the ability to submit your application directly, and bypass healthcare.gov. When healthcare.gov is down or just forcing you into the blackhole of waiting lines, Health Choice One is still typically fully functioning. This in turn results in a shorter wait time for you and lets you get back to more fun activities that don’t include health insurance.