Humans of Gravie: Mary

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The Humans of Gravie series highlights the benefits of Gravie Care featuring stories on our members and Gravie advisors

Mary is the kind of person you meet and suddenly feel more energetic. In addition to her bright accessories, she has a colorful spirit that lights up the room. With Mary, there is no shortage of conversation. She is warm, intelligent and interesting.

Mary has been a Gravie member since 2014. In past years she opted for premium plans offering a wide network, but when Open Enrollment 2017 rolled around, Mary went with a less expensive, limited network plan to tide her over until April when she would become Medicare eligible.

Then on January 10, 2017, Mary fell down the stairs shattering her shoulder and tearing her rotator cuff. Mary’s partner Peter rushed her to the nearest hospital where she had surgery and was admitted for three days.

Mary was at home recovering when she got the first hospital bill. To her surprise, the charges exceeded $70K and that was just the beginning. Initially, Mary was shocked, but realized she hadn’t verified her new plans network of coverage before heading to the hospital. “It hadn’t even occurred to me to check. It was an emergency,” she said.

Contacting Gravie for Support

Mary wasn’t sure what to do about the astronomical bill, but she knew she had the Gravie advisors in her corner so she decided to give them a call. She connected with Pete, a Gravie advisor. “I have a complicated situation,” she said and filled him in. Mary said when talking to Pete, she immediately felt like she “wasn’t alone.” 

Pete did some digging into Mary’s account to see what he could do. He noticed that her 2016, wider network plan was still active. Pete knew if this was true, the wide network plan would cover the majority of the hospital bill. He called the carrier right away to verify coverage and was told that if Mary paid the balance due by the end of the business day, the plan would remain active and become her primary plan. It was January 31, the last day of 2017 Open Enrollment. Pete immediately called Mary and had her pay the balance. With the wide network plan active, Mary was only responsible for covering a small fraction of the monstrous hospital bill. 

Pete claims it was timing and luck, but it was his quick problem solving skills, attention to detail and knowledge of the system that allowed him to resolve Mary’s issue.

When asked what Pete liked best about being a Gravie advisor, he said that he receives an immense amount of satisfaction from problem solving. Pete’s high level of empathy and compassion helps him relate to members. “You don’t have to know a person to understand how much an issue or concern with their health benefits can affect them,” he said. When working with Mary, “I felt a sense of urgency. I immediately wanted to help her.”

Mary is now on a Medicare plan that she purchased through the Breitenfeldt Group, which was acquired by Gravie in February 2017 (read the press release here). “I don’t know what you guys do for customer service training at Gravie and the Breitenfeldt Group, but it’s working,” said Mary.

About Mary

Mary lives with her partner Peter in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis. She is the mother of twin sons and she has two grandchildren. 

In her free time, Mary enjoys creating fabric art, reading and traveling with Peter. This summer they are headed to Arizona to explore the Grand Canyon and Sedona. 

About Pete

Pete has worked at Gravie for just over a year. He recently joined Gravie’s marketing department as a sales development representative where he is sure to shine.

Out side of work, Pete is an avid reader. He also enjoys listening to music, playing video games and watching basketball. This summer, Pete plans to do some traveling and spend time with friends.


Are you a Gravie member who wants more personalized help dealing with your benefits? You’re in luck! Each member who signs up with Gravie also gets Gravie Care. Gravie Care gives you free, year-round access to the Gravie advisors who can help you with any question, big or small. Call the advisors at 800.501.2920 or email help@gravie.com to start taking advantage of your Gravie Care benefits.

Topics: Company Culture, Gravie Advisors, Health Insurance, Customer Service, Startup Culture, Gravie Care, Humans of Gravie

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