CHICAGO (Built In) — In the midst of America’s public healthcare woes, healthcare tech company GoHealth is not only helping insure people nationwide, but also creating 650 new jobs – showing that the private sector might just do it better.
“Even though Healthcare.Gov isn’t quite ready, GoHealth is,” said GoHealth President Brandon Cruz, encouraging all Americans to use his platform where more than 700 licensed insurance agents are helping customers shop for insurance online and by phone.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined the company Tuesday in its new Merchandise Mart office to celebrate its hiring and expansion.
“Chicago is getting the industry and skills base to be an important player in the healthcare space,” Emanuel said. “We make sure residents in Chicago have a shot at these future jobs.”
The company added 650 jobs this year and is on its way to almost 1,000, the mayor said. This far exceeds the company’s promise to the mayor earlier this year of adding 250 jobs.
More than 100 unemployed Chicagoans were added to the GoHealth team in conjunction with a city-sponsored initiative, Skills for Chicagoland’s Future, which pinpoints hiring needs throughout the city and matches employees to employers.
The company is committed to hiring at least 200 through the program, providing additional training for employees to become licensed insurance advisors and to pass Illinois health and life insurance exam.
With steady hiring and growth , CEO Clint Jones said “the next daunting task” is to now reach the more than 40 million Americans uninsured. GoHealth is preparing to tackle this problem by preparing more insurance advisers to meet customer needs.
The company is also partnering with other Chicago companies such as Walgreens to make services more widely available. Walgreens is now directing customers to GoHealth’s site, and a GoHealth marketplace can also be found on the Walgreens website.
GoHealth’s expansion also helps the city inch one step closer to the mayor’s overall goal of adding 40,000 jobs to the Chicago tech economy in the next decade, doubling current tech sector employment.
The company now has offices in River North, downtown and the West Loop. They expanded to their fourth location in October at the Merchandise Mart, spanning 90,000 square feet.
It works with more than 300 health insurance carriers, including the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, and more than 20,000 licensed agents nationwide.
GoHealth started as Norvax, Inc. more than a decade ago. It became GoHealth four years ago, changing trajectory from an agency technology solution to a consumer-facing site. It is backed by Minneapolis-based Northwest Equity Partners, which invested $50 million in the company last year.
“The technology economy is thriving, particularly in the health IT space, and this is due in no small part to the success of companies like GoHealth,” Emanuel said in a release.
“GoHealth is creating the jobs of tomorrow and I am pleased that they are finding and training Chicagoans to fill those positions and shape the economic future of this important industry.”