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Share Your Stories

Real-life experiences of real-life customers

The IHC Group health insurance is there for check-ups and vaccinations. For the pains, sprains and fractures of life’s landscape. For x-rays, lab tests, treatments and prescriptions. For critical illness or injury.

Share Your Stories highlights experiences of consumers like you who rely on The IHC Group for affordability, value and peace of mind. It also provides glimpses into the days of agents, who look at finances, lifestyle and other factors as they strive to find you the most comprehensive coverage available, and who are as delighted as you are when their service makes a difference.

For your business, we thank you. And we’re confident that you’ll learn from—and feel good about—the profiles the Share Your Stories highlights below.

Don't forget to share your stories with us! #ShareYourStories

Moab Utah

Short-term medical: A practical, cost-effective solution

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family

Short-term medical policies key in family health, finance

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broken leg

When actress breaks a leg (literally), short-term medical is the fix

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falling off ladder

Metal Gap’s lump sum payments help to hasten financial recovery

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Short-term medical: A practical, cost-effective solution

In the tourist town of Moab, Utah., Renee Troutt has sold quite a bit of The IHC Group’s short-term medical (STM) recently. “It’s been helpful in our area,” said Troutt, a certified insurance counselor with Central Utah Agency. “We’re a very seasonal employment area. We have clients that get laid off every two to three months. They’re otherwise healthy, but they don’t want to pay the high cost of COBRA, or individual medical insurance. And because they are working a lot of hours while they are (employed), they’re not really qualifying for much of a subsidy, if any."

For the last three years, Dawn, 45, has consulted Troutt about coverage during a layoff from her hotel reception position. She has a minor thyroid condition; otherwise, she’s healthy. Every year, Troutt has recommended a STM policy for her less-than-90 day coverage gap. This year, Troutt added on the recently-introduced prescription drug plan option so Dawn could procure two maintenance medications. For those prescriptions, she pays just $10 each.

A construction contractor with a wife and three children, Joshua V. had his individual medical coverage cancelled for non-payment of premium after a financial hardship. Troutt met him when he was outside the open enrollment period, and sold his family a four-month STM plan.

“They were surprised—pleasantly surprised—at how inexpensive it would be for them to get coverage until that open enrollment began,” Troutt says.

Kenneth lost his oil field job nine months ago. “Last year, at open enrollment, he did not qualify for a subsidy because his income was too high,” Troutt explains. “This year, he had to report a change in income because he has not worked. In Utah, we don’t have a Medicaid expansion. He doesn’t qualify for a subsidy to help pay for the cost of his premium, because he’s under the income guidelines.”

Ultimately, Kenneth hopes to find a job that either offers group coverage or allows him to qualify for a subsidy. In the meantime, the six-month STM policy that Troutt sold him is affordable, comprehensive coverage.

“These days, I think people are very, very confused by their options,” Troutt says. “Each person needs to speak to an expert to help navigate the new health insurance market.”

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Short-term medical policies key in family health, finance

Lisa Reeber can attest to the key role that The IHC Group short-term medical policies play in family health and finance...especially in the case of missed Obamacare cut-off dates.

Laurie W. needed coverage for herself, husband and two children. “They wanted to get going with Obamacare, but they missed the deadline,” says Reeber, an independent broker with Mountain High Insurance Services in Jackson, Wyo. “We got them signed up for the short-term medical for the month of December 2014. Sure enough, the next week, the daughter got stuck having to have an emergency tonsillectomy. Because they had the short-term medical, it really kind of saved them.”

In late 2013, Katrina F. needed individual coverage. “We had all those problems last year with open enrollment,” Reeber explains. “She was 18, and she didn’t have a credit report, so we couldn’t get her identity verified. This year it has been much less of a problem. Last year, it was a show-stopper. We couldn’t make anything happen.”

Instead, Katrina purchased a 30-day individual short-term medical policy. Within weeks, she injured her knee in a skiing accident out of state. “She had her initial surgery through short-term medical, which was awesome,” Reeber says. “She had coverage only for a month, but it was the month she needed it.”

Reeber says that The IHC Group short-term medical is a practical option for those who require next-day coverage, particularly when they’re outside Obamacare enrollment. “They call up and all of a sudden they don’t have coverage, and they can’t get coverage for another month because of the deadlines,” she states. “I can sign them up the next day and they’ve got a plan. It’s really reassuring for a lot of people, just knowing that.”

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When actress breaks a leg (literally), short-term medical is the fix

In Portland, Ore., Christen Etchart was celebrating New Year’s Eve 2014 with college volleyball friends who had gathered from around the country. Out for the night, in a gown not meant for the Portland cold wind and high heels, Christen caught a heel on steps to the subway. One of her friends landed on top of her.

Christen, 25, sustained a low-velocity fracture to the fibula and the tibia, as well as torn ligaments. On the mend, with screws and plates put in during surgery, Christen is now recovering at her parents’ home in Glasgow, Mont.

The aspiring actress has medical expenses, but thanks to short-term medical insurance through The IHC Group, covering them will be relatively easy. And just as easy, says her father, Joe Etchart, was the purchasing and claim-filing process.

Christen and her sister Alexa, 28, have acted since childhood. These days, explains their dad, the sisters support their acting habits by waiting tables in Los Angeles. Once they no longer qualified as dependents on their parents’ insurance plans, Joe began the process of finding them coverage.

“Whatever I found was very confusing, and mostly I felt I had to start over from scratch,” he said.

In time, Joe found Linda Evans, Senior Tele-Sales Representative for IHC Health Solutions, a member of The IHC Group. “For a couple of terms now, I could dial this 800 number and this magical voice in Florida would say, ‘This is Linda,’” Joe recalls. “And I’d say, ‘This is Joe Etchart, Glasgow, Montana, calling about my daughters’ insurance.’ And she’d say, ‘Which one? Alexa or Christen?’

“It is like she is a family friend,” he continues. “She has been so good to us. We are so lucky to have found her. You hardly ever have experiences like that with 800 numbers. It is like she is in the corner family insurance office for us. I couldn’t imagine how it could be any better. My whole family is grateful.”

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When critical illness or accidents strike, Metal Gap’s lump sum payments help to hasten physical, financial recovery

Adam, a motorcyclist and seasonally-employed waiter in his late 20s, decided to purchase short-term medical coverage. His agent, Dawn Sheue, suggested he supplement his package with Metal Gap1. Affordably-priced, guarantee issue Metal Gap provides a lump-sum payment when a covered critical illness or an accident occurs. The payment is sent directly to insureds, and can be used to cover out-of-pocket expenses, prescriptions, living expenses such as mortgage or car payments, lost wages and other costs.

“We said, ‘You look young and outdoors-y. Just in the rare event something happens,’” explained Sheue, President of Summit Insurance Services, Inc., in Jackson, Wyo. “And wouldn’t you know? Something did.”

Adam had a motorcycle accident. With surgery, hospitalization, physical therapy and other treatment, the bills totaled around $45,000, Sheue estimated. “For him to get back on his feet, his exposure was going to be a lot of money,” Sheue stated. “That’s where Metal Gap came to the rescue.”

Adam had nine screws and a plate in his leg, and couldn’t wait tables for at least six weeks. He faced thousands in lost wages. But the $6,350 lump-sum2 Metal Gap payment arrived shortly after the accident.

“He did not have to have someone in town throw him a spaghetti dinner,” said Sheue. “It was truly a saving grace for him. That’s one of the things I adore about the plan: It’s a nice convenient, efficient payout. I think sometimes people think this is too good to be true. Then they have to use it. And they find out it’s really going to be there to help you when you need it.” Summit clients Paul and Amy B. are in their late 40s and parents of two children. Semi-retired and looking to start a new business, Paul secured major medical insurance coverage for the family, then bought Metal Gap for each family member.

Incredibly, the family experienced two illnesses within 30 days of each other. Amy had to have her gall bladder removed. And one of the children underwent an emergency tonsillectomy. The family received two separate lump sum payments for the incidents, Sheue said, and with that money was able to cover its entire major medical deductible.

Metal Gap did what it promised to do, which was basically help to offset higher out-of-pocket costs,” said Sheue.

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1THIS METAL GAP PLAN IS NOT CONSIDERED TO BE MINIMAL ESSENTIAL COVERAGE AS DEFINED BY THE PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (ACA). ENROLLING IN AND MAINTAINING THIS PLAN WILL NOT EXEMPT YOU FROM THE SHARED RESPONSIBILITY PAYMENT (TAX) THAT MAY APPLY IF YOU DO NOT HAVE PLAN WITH ACA-COMPLIANT COVERAGE.

2Coverage amounts may vary by plan selection. It is, therefore, important that you READ THE CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE CAREFULLY and speak to your agent about your coverage selection.

Plan Limitations and Exclusions
The IHC Group STM plans include limitations and exclusions and do not cover preventive services or pre-existing conditions. These plans do not meet Minimum Essential Coverage requirements. You may need to pay a tax penalty depending upon your income level and the cost of plans available.

As you select a plan, please check the specific benefits, limitations and exclusions listed as these may vary by state. To learn more about these plans, get a quote or talk to your IHC agent.

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