Health care is a mess in this country, especially the payments and insurance side of the equation. But as I mentioned in my last post on Brighter, a new group of startups are attacking the problem by giving consumers better information and tools to take control of their healthcare dollars. Let’s call it DIY health reform.
Another startup launching today in private beta, Simplee, is very much part of this movement. Simplee is like Mint for your healthcare bills. (The first 500 readers to sign up to Simplee’s private beta with the invitation code TECHCRUNCH will get in). The time for this idea is definitely now
—just last week Cake Health launched with a similar approach. Simplee has raised $1.5 million from Greylock Israel and a group of Israeli angels. CEO Tomer Shoval is Israeli, but the company is based in Palo Alto.
Just like with Mint and your financial accounts, you give Simplee access to your medical insurance accounts. It then brings in all of your medical, dental, and pharmacy bills and presents them in an easy-to-understand dashboard. Simplee tells your total medical costs, how much you’ve paid out-of-pocket, your deductible, and how many doctor’s visits you and your family have had.
This is all pretty basic information, but health insurance statements are so obtuse that most people have no idea how much they spend on health care. I know I don’t. Simplee does a good job of breaking it all down and showing you what you’ve spent, how much your insurance has paid, what you’ve paid, and how far along you are towards your deductible. It does this for every member of your family under the same insurance plans.
Simplee lets you drill down to individual claims to see what your insurance paid, the negotiated discount, and what you owe. It’s like a statement of benefits that actually makes sense. Simplee currently supports eight of the largest health plans in the U.S (including Aetna, United Healthcare, Cigna, Empire BlueCross BlueShield, and BlueCross BlueShield of California), and is adding more every week.
Shoval, who used to run Shopping.com in North America, says that his ultimate ambition is to “create a shopping engine for health.” But first he will go after low-hanging fruit, such as helping members pick a health plan based on their historical health expenses and doctors. The more data Simplee collects about your healthcare costs, the smarter it can become about suggesting alternatives or reminding you to take advantage of health perks you may have overlooked.
Startups like Simplee aren’t going to solve the problems of the healthcare industry overnight. But if the first step to solving a problem is to measure it, then Simplee is a promising first step.