Caring for a family member is not only hard work, but expensive, too. Many family caregivers miss work (or stop working) and pay for medical expenses out of pocket. Aidaly was created to help them find sources for compensation and financial aid.
The company, which is coming out of stealth mode, announced that it has raised $8.5 million in funding led by Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six, with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Operator Partners, Precursor Ventures, Primetime Partners, Scribble, Shrug, Polymath and TVC. Founders and executives from companies like Twitter, Facebook, SoulCycle, Flatiron Health, Mainstreet, OnDeck and Commsor also participated.
The funding will be used to expand into new markets across the United States. Aidaly is currently active in the Miami-Dade, Florida, area.
Aidaly points toward statistics showing that there are 53 million unpaid family caregivers in the United States, with almost eight in 10 reporting routine out-of-pocket expenses averaging $7,242 per year. The fact that many employers offer only minimal medical and family leave compounds the problem, since caregivers often have to chose between having a full-time job or looking after their family member.
Medicare and Medicaid dollars cover some services, but they can be difficult to apply for. Aidaly’s role is making access to state and private benefits easier, along with services like financial planning, mental health support and caregiver training. The platform also helps users manage paperwork, and the company says it can help identify if someone is eligible for benefits in less than 15 minutes. This is especially important because it means caregivers might discover financial sources they were previously unaware of.
Aidaly founder and CEO Maggie Norris has her own experience with the challenges facing caregivers and their families. “I am extremely fortunate to have two dads and was able to care for them both in their battles with cancer,” she told TechCrunch. “The experience of that parent-child role reversal gave me much more empathy and gratitude for life and for family.”
“It also opened my eyes to the lack of resources available to family caregivers and the miscalculation of their role in the greater healthcare system, which is a great loss to society,” she added. “Aidaly was founded with the mission to enable families to provide long-term care to the people they love through providing compensation and financial services. Early users have already seen a 160% increase in their ability to recover from financial shocks, such as a sudden change in health or employment.”
Aidaly supports people who provide on average 15 to 25 hours of care per week. About 80% of them are family members and the rest are nonrelatives. In order to take advantage of Aidaly’s offerings, caregivers first supply identification like a driver’s license. Aidaly verifies their identity, validates their insurance and runs a background check in under 5 minutes.
Then Aidaly scans a database of hundreds of programs and benefits to maximize caregivers’ payouts. Just a few examples include Medicaid Managed Care Programs, Medicaid Waivers and Programs, Participant-Direction/Self-Direction programs and Non-Medicaid Home Care and HCBS programs.
Norris said that the biggest payers are federal and state health plans. “Competitive Medicare Advantage plans turn to Aidaly to offer innovative family caregiver compensation programs. Now more than ever, members want the freedom to live and receive care in their homes, surrounded by people they choose.”
“The reality is that if you follow the money it all flows from the same sources,” Norris added. “There are thousands of disparate programs, benefits and credits with unique systems and processes to achieve the same outcome. Aidaly’s goal is to replace them all. One radically simple solution for enabling patient-directed and family-provided care.”
In a statement to TechCrunch, Ohanian said, “There’s a massive need: countless caregivers doing invaluable work that’s not getting recognized without Aidaly. Anytime a founder is solving such a massive and valuable problem — that’s a business I’m leaning into.”