A Chicago-based company is breaking ground on a post-COVID-19 facility fully equipped to keep its team safe and comfortable while working.

GoHealth made the move to Utah County in 2018 by offering its services to the Lindon community.

“We’re happy with the development of our relationship with the community and we’re always looking for new ways to be a good neighbor to the surrounding area,” said Monnica Manuel, the company’s vice president of operations.

Manuel joined the team in July of 2018 as the company was putting down roots in Utah County, beginning her time with the business by establishing community relations and helping to plan the first opening in Lindon.

GoHealth is a health insurance marketplace that helps consumers navigate health insurance options and the nuance behind different opportunities that can sometimes be confusing.

“We sit at that connection point between a consumer who needs health insurance and the carriers who provide it,” Manuel said. “We work with them to understand their needs and make sure they get connected with the right plan and benefits that meet the various needs that they have.”

For many residents, health care is the one of the largest purchases they will make in their lifetime, second only to a house, Manuel said.

“It can be confusing, and if they get it wrong, it can result in catastrophic financial conditions for people,” she said. “We really take that serious and care a lot about our ability to do that well for people.”

To help facilitate these efforts, GoHealth announced the construction of a state-of-the-art facility that was adapted with COVID-19 in mind. The five-story, 156,000-square-foot building has been in the works for over a year.

Despite the chaotic and often unsure nature of the pandemic, GoHealth has been able to adapt and execute its plans, taking into account the new and necessary health and safety measures, Manuel said.

“We could not have forecasted a year ago that we would be breaking ground in the middle of a global pandemic,” she said.

The facility’s designs will include furniture layouts that allow for social distancing, touchless soap dispensers in bathrooms and kitchens, up-to-date HVAC and ventilation systems, automatic doors, personal protection equipment stations, and sanitization areas throughout the building.

GoHealth’s employees are telecommuting in the meantime. In March, the company made a quick pivot to support the transition from in-house to at-home work without interrupting its services.

In a few short weeks, GoHealth was able to establish the appropriate infrastructure to facilitate telecommuting and provide its services through new, distanced means by obtaining video conferencing technology, developing remote work spaces, and securing company laptops.

“The team really came together to make that transition happen,” she said. “It was definitely a quick pivot followed by a steep learning curve, but we adapt.”

The company’s mission is to improve access to healthcare throughout the nation.

In order to do that, administrators believe “well-trained, well-equipped, happy employees who understand and believe in the importance of the work that we do will translate to customer experiences where their needs are understood and they’re met with the right solutions,” Manuel said.

In the over 2 years that GoHealth has been in Lindon, she said the company has brought over 600 jobs to the area. GoHealth also expects the recent expansion to bring an additional 1,200 jobs to Utah County over the next five years, she said.

The about-1,200 new jobs will consist of customer service positions, information technology jobs, data-engineering careers and marketing opportunities with above-average wages, she said.

These estimates do not include jobs that are indirectly created through construction of the new facility or janitorial services employed to maintain the new building.

“It’s bringing higher-paying jobs across a variety of verticals within our state,” she said.

GoHealth was founded in Chicago in 2001, and over its almost 20 years in operation, has served over 5 million Americans and has partnered with over 300 health insurance carriers.