Open enrollment for health-care is about to begin, and sorting through insurance benefits can be downright confusing with all those plans and options.
“It has gotten more complicated," said ConnectiCare Retail Operations Director Laurie Blier.
Not everyone is comfortable getting answers over the phone or online, she added.
“It’s very personal. If someone’s sick in your family, it’s your spouse, it’s your child, it’s yourself. So, you want to make sure you understand and you can make the right decisions," said Blier.
That’s why the Connecticut-based insurance company ConnectiCare has opened up its first retail store, in Manchester.
“They really want to be able to have a face-to-face relationship with us," said ConnectiCare Senior Vice President David Gordon.
However, it’s more than just a place to shop for health insurance. There's a multi-purpose room for meetings and group activities.
“We can have yoga classes, Tai Chi classes, sessions on how to eat healthy, how to cook healthy," explained ConnectiCare Retail Operations VP Gary Wolters.
A sign saying "Be well," hangs on a wall near a health hallway, where starting next March a nurse will give voluntary personal health assessments to customers.
“She’ll also get information from our equipment that shows their body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol, and advise them if there’s an issue and get them to make an appointment with their provide," Wolters explained.
The store has gotten positive feedback since it opened last Friday.
“We had one customer that came in when we first opened that said I could hug you and cry right now," Blier said.
"This is much easier because they understand the question you're asking and then they'll look it up for you," added new customer Doug Gravelle of South Windsor.