- A Minneapolis-based startup founded by former Definity Health CEO Tony Miller is offering companies and employees a way to purchase health insurance on-demand, CNBC reported.
- Using machine learning and algorithms, Bind Benefits breaks out specific procedures to lower costs. Its plans have no deductibles for primary care, specialist visits, maternity and hospital care, medications and cancer treatment. Basic co-pays for core medical coverage are priced on a sliding scale. Extra co-pays for elective procedures are based on the total cost, which consumers get ahead of time.
- The 2-year-old startup’s financial backers include Ascension Ventures, Lemhi Ventures and UnitedHealthcare.
On-demand services are growing, with companies like Uber and Lyft for transportation and Blue Apron meal kits. Bind’s à la carte approach to coverage could encourage more people to get insured and eliminate fears of surprise medical bills for uncovered services.
The company’s mobile app allows users to compare costs for services and procedures at different sites, such as retail clinics and urgent care centers.
Bind officially launched in February following a $60 million funding round led by Lemhi Ventures, where Miller is a managing partner.
By being up-front about costs, Bind can help employees and employers save up to 15%, Miller told CNBC.
“A market might be $6,000 to $24,000 for knee arthroscopy,” he said. “What Bind does is say (for) the $6,000 performer — you only have to pay $1,000 to have access to them. If you want to go to the $24,000 knee arthroscopy with no difference in quality, no difference in performance, you have to pay $6,000 as a consumer.”
Other startups have tried to disrupt the traditional health insurance market. For example, Oscar Health launched in 2012 with the idea of using technology and data to improve the customer experience. The company, which began with a focus on Affordable Care Act plans, includes a mobile app for scheduling appointments and doctor consults.