New York’s Twentyeight Health is taking the telemedicine services for women’s health popularized by companies like Nurx and bringing them to a patient population that previously hadn’t had access.
The mission to provide women who are Medicaid or underinsured should not be deprived of the same kinds of care that patients who have more income security or better healthcare coverage enjoy, according to the company’s founder, Amy Fan.
The mission, and the company’s technology, have managed to convince a slew of investors who have poured $5.1 million in seed funding into the new startup. Third Prime led the round, which included investments from Town Hall Ventures, SteelSky Ventures, Aglaé Ventures, GingerBread Capital, Rucker Park Capital, Predictive VC and angel investors like Stu Libby, Zoe Barry and Wan Li Zhu.
“Women who are on Medicaid, who are underinsured or without health insurance often struggle to find access to reproductive health services, and these struggles have only increased with COVID-19 pandemic limiting access to in-person appointments,” said Fan in a statement. “We are fighting for healthcare equity, ensuring that all women, particularly BIPOC women and women from low-income backgrounds, can access high quality, dignified and convenient care.”
To ensure that it is catering to underserved communities, the company works with Bottomless Closet, a workforce entry program for women, and the eight colleges in the City University of New York ecosystem, including LaGuardia College, which has 45,000 students, with 70% coming from families making less than $30,000 in annual income.
The company’s services are currently available across Florida, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania and it’s the only telemedicine company focused on contraception services to accept Medicaid.
In another example of how awesome this company is, it’s also working, through a partnership with Bedsider’s Contraceptive Access Fund, to provide free birth control for women who aren’t able to pay out of pocket and are uninsured. The company also donates 2% of its revenue to Bedsider and the National Institute for Reproductive Health. (Y’ all, this company is amaze.)
To sign up for the service, new customers fill out a medical questionnaire online. Once the questionnaire is reviewed by a U.S. board-certified doctor, customers can access more than 100 FDA-approved brands of birth control pills, patches, rings, shots and emergency contraception and receive a shipment within three days.
Twentyeight Health provides ongoing care through online audio consultations and doctor follow-up messages to discuss issues around updating prescriptions or addressing side effects, the company said.
“Today, low-income women are three times more likely to have an unintended pregnancy than the average woman in the U.S., and nearly one-third of physicians nationwide aren’t accepting new Medicaid patients,” said Bruno Van Tuykom, co-founder of Twentyeight Health, in a statement. “This underscores why offering high-quality reproductive care that is inclusive of people across race, income bracket, or health insurance status is more important than ever.”
Launched in 2018, Twentyeight Health said it would use the new cash to continue to expand its services across the U.S.