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LOCAL STORIES

March 1, 2024 at 7:27:29 PM

Major Medical Coverage Outside of the ACA Marketplace for Entrepreneurs and the Self Employed

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How One Woman Is Positively Disrupting the Individual Health Insurance Space

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March 1, 2024 at 7:27:29 PM

Ignite Business Insider shares the stories of businesses that are making an impact in their local markets. We highlight their stories in order to inspire entrepreneurial growth and to let readers learn more about businesses across the world that are growing and scaling.

Featuring

Theresa Bright

Owner

Brighter Health Insurance

Thank you for taking the time to sit with us and share your story. Can you share a little bit about you and your company?

Sure, my name is Theresa Bright. I've lived in Denver for a decade now. Wow it's crazy how fast it's gone by. I've so loved living here and am an outdoors/mountains enthusiast. My company is Brighter Health Insurance, which aims to help the self employed and 1099 independent contractors save money on their coverage. I can offer them major medical upon qualifying and pricing is usually 20-30% less than what they would pay for ACA marketplace coverage.

A question so many people are interested in, is how you got started. Can you share a little bit about what you were doing before this, and what that moment was like for you when you decided to start this new journey?

I actually sort of stumbled onto this niche sector. I was fed up with working for corporations that were making a killing over my efforts yet didnt care about my well being. I wanted to work for myself. But I knew my employer health plan would be going away and so I was looking for a solution. I wasn't enthralled with what I was seeing on the marketplace/exchange. When I saw the option of private health care with major medical providers outside of the ACA, I realized it could also be my livelihood, and a way to support the small business community. Boom. Here I am.

Let's take a little bit of a detour, and rewind the clock a little bit. What did you want to be as a kid? And how did that influence the person you are today?

A barista. Although I dont think I even knew that word back then. I loved what I saw in the movies. Someone who knew how to make all these fancy coffees and got to brighten their customers' day. Ask them how they're doing, what they're getting into. Basically I wanted to chit chat with people and make them coffee. Being from the midwest, I've been told I am indeed talkative lol. I suppose I'm not far off today. I'm doing my best to brighten people's day by saving them money that could be better used elsewhere. And I'm always down for coffee lol.

Have you fully let go of that childhood dream? And where do you see yourself going in the next ten years?

Hmm does anyone ever really know the answer to this question? Sure, I could have a plan for 10 years from now, but inevitably that plan will change. Because I will change. And grow. But I can tell you this. I'll be happy and growing. Likely still working for myself as I love it. Hopefully with a second home in the mountains.

Now, I have found that with successful people, there is always someone pivotal as either a mentor, parent, teacher, or someone that you look to for advise, that helped set you on this path. Could you share who that person was? And what impact that had on the person you are today?

I wish I could say that I had a mentor. That sounds like such a cool relationship. I can tell you that I think everyone in this world has walked their own unique path through life. And on that path they passed things that I haven't and therefore have something to teach me. I try to learn from everyone I meet. We can all teach each other. I think learning is one of the most fabulous parts of being alive. The access we have to information nowadays if you think about it is unreal. Google. Podcasts. Audio books. Reddit even. We're honestly so lucky.

What was one take away that you learned from that person? And how did it translate into your business today?

Since I can't say that Ive had a mentor, I'll tell you my biggest takeaway from my relationships both in work and personal, which is that not everyone is capable of, or chooses to exercise empathy. I am not sure if it has always been this way, or if its a change we're seeing in today's society. Either way, empathy is something that is really important to me. I see you. And I care about you. I wish we could all exercise empathy a little more, and then maybe our society would be a little less on edge, and a little more joyful.

When we work with businesses, we focus a lot on their "Why?". What is your "Why"? What is the driver behind your company, and why you and your team wake up each day and give it your all?

Gosh what is my 'why.' So many things come to mind. I dislike other people managing my schedule. (Hello first born child of four lol). I want to have control over my income. No more will I be asking someone if their opinion will allow me to earn more. Performance will be the only indicator of my financial success. I have always loved the spirit of entrepreneurship. The grit that it takes. The learning that goes on behind the scenes. And now I finally get to be a part of it. As an entrepreneur myself, and supporting entrepreneurs. I just feel so lucky to be here.

Let's dive deeper into your products and services. You already gave an overview, but how do your products or services help your customers? And what makes them different from your competitors?

I suppose the big one is that health insurance helps people cover the big 'what if.' The financial risk is transferred onto the insurance company. We're all healthy until we're not. The number one cause of bankruptcy in the US is unexpected medical costs. I only just recently learned that myself. My services specifically help entrepreneurs save money and better allocate those resources. The ACA is great if you are low income and can get a subsidy. But if you're not, the more you make, the more the government charges for your health care.

Let's unpack that even further. Let's pick one aspect of your business. What makes it so unique? And how does it change you or your customer's experience?

I suppose the most unique thing about it is that my customers get a real live person to talk to and actually answer their questions, someone who cares about their wellbeing. They get me. Additionally, instead of being penalized for being financially successful, they get rewarded for their good health with a significantly lower rate.

Let's dive into your customer's journey a little bit. Can you share with us, how do your customers discover you and your brand? What are their next steps? And what is the experience you would like to see your customers go on, when working with you and your brand?

So far it has mainly been through social media and networking events. Alot of people don't even realize there is an alternative outside of getting health insurance on the marketplace. So part of my day to day is just educating and letting people know this is now an option to them. As far as next steps, we first just do a health intake call, maybe 5-10 minutes, and then I put together some options and go over it with them. If they'd like to go forward, we submit their application and select a date for the coverage to start. The ACA plan gets cancelled and will be prorated. And that's about it!

Let's rave about your customers for a minute. Can you share a story about one of your clients or customers, that either touched your heart, or made an impact with you and your team?

A friend of mine who is a realtor told me he gave my information to all the people in his brokerage. He was really happy to have saved 4k on his family's coverage for the year. I was really grateful, you can't buy that kind of advertising.

Everyone likes an inside scoop. What detail or secret about either you, or your company, is something most people might not know?

That I'm bilingual and speak Spanish. No one expects it when they see the blonde hair. Which makes it kind of fun. In my early 20s I lived in Costa Rica for three years. It has been particularly useful when working with subcontractors who are hispanic. It has been one of the most useful skills in my arsenal.  

Final thoughts. What feeling or benefits would you like your customers or clients to take away when working with you and your team?

I want them to walk away and say holy crap, I have major medical coverage and I'm now paying 20% less than I was. I can now invest in XYZ to grow my business and take care of my family.

Last question. How can people find out more about you and your company?

They can call or text me at 810.394.2265. They can also visit my website which is www.BrighterHealthInsurance.org.

Thank you so much for sitting with us and sharing your story.

Absolutely. It was an enjoyable process. Thank you.

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