Even though its been over a year since Obamacare has been brought into effect, there are still plenty of people wishing the new health care system would go away. It has been the motto for Republicans in Congress, and there are many business owners who echo their cry. Not everyone is weeping and wallowing though, theres a new company that thinks it has come up with the most efficient method of delivering health care. It’s called Collective Health, and its founders believe they have stumbled upon something revolutionary.
As reported by TechCrunch, co-founder Ali Diab explained the idea came about after a doctor visit. He was left with a bill of $3,700, $1,500 of which was his health insurance plan’s deductible. However, Diab left the office with only a $600 bill, which he paid in cash that same day, no thanks to his insurance company. From this point on Diab understood how negotiable doctor’s prices could be. Together, co-cofounder Dr. Rajaie Batniji and Ali Diab believe consumers will have more success at the doctors by cutting out the middle man, i.e. the insurance companies.
Their aspirations are that Collective Health will one day replace the way companies provide health coverage to their employees. Collective Health will provide a cloud-based, al la carte way for employees to pick and choose what they want to be covered for. As Diab puts it,
“We’re not building another health app or gadget. We’re building a complete solution to replace your employer provided health insurance,”
According to NerdWallet, as many as every one in five Americans have problems paying for medical bills. To make matters worse, every three out of five bankruptcies declared will be related to unpaid medical bills. Part of the reason Diab and Batniji explained is because health insurance premiums are at an all time high. In the past ten years, the average family premium has increased by an astounding 80%.
They argue that even with the governments new affordable healthcare act, there is no end in sight to outrageous premiums. It is to the extent that even small and mid-sized businesses are having a difficult time affording health insurance for their employees. Diab has since pointed the finger at the big insurance companies,
“While insurance is supposed to be a risk-sharing business, health insurance has increasingly become a middleman business devised to generate profit for the health insurers above all else.”
The company seems to be out to a good start. They have already received Series A investments from Formation 8, the Social+Capital Partnership, as well as angel investors Scott Banister, Max Levchin, Jeremy Stoppelman and Amr Awadallah. Collective Health currently has twenty five employees with an office in San Mateo, CA. The service even offers users the ability to compare prices as well as see what doctors charge in their immediate surroundings. The goal, Diab says, is to make consumers more aware of pricing before they get the bill.