In the healthcare market, big corporations, big healthcare networks and politicians have called the shots for far too long, leaving consumers in a cloud of confusion with a broken system that is both inconvenient and inaccessible. In the consumer-driven world of Uber, Amazon and Starbucks, why is the healthcare industry lagging behind in a world where consumers expect everything to be convenient and on their terms?
In the midst of great change and an uncertain future for the Affordable Care Act, an even bigger shift is happening in the healthcare industry and its happening at the ground level. Instead of waiting for a clunky system to evolve, startups are popping up to deliver care on the consumers’ terms.
This shift is driven in part by the rise of the millennial consumer. Having lived with the internet and instant gratification most of their lives, millennials have very different perspectives and expectations than generations before them. And they are the largest generation yet. They price check and ask for discounts. They prefer to book their appointments through a mobile app and they read online reviews of physicians. They prefer telehealth to in-person visits. They expect care to be affordable, 24/7 and close by. As a millennial myself, one of the most important things is to be in control of my health and health decisions. That’s why I started EverlyWell.
EverlyWell empowers consumers to order, self-collect and understand lab results on their terms. From hormone to food sensitivity testing, you can order any of our tests to be delivered directly to your home. We are the only company offering a suite of regulatory-compliant, physician- approved tests that you can order and take from home.
But, one of the most common questions we get is “Is this covered by my insurance?” Our honest answer is usually “we don’t know, and it will be really hard to figure out ahead of time if it is.” We provide extensive insurance resources, itemized receipts, and as much information as we can to our consumers. But the reality is, very few of our tests are covered by any insurance plan, and most end up being out-of-pocket anyway even if they count toward your deductible. It’s unbelievably frustrating for us to not have a better answer for our consumers. Deductibles have increased 70% in just the last six years.
Another particularly frustrating—and expensive—aspect of the healthcare world is insurance. To address this challenge, a colleague of mine has started a company aimed at turning the traditional health insurance paradigm on its head. Take Command Health is a tech startup that has completely inverted the way people shop for health insurance through their proprietary data-driven platform. Taking a queue from the retail industry, their platform keeps it super tailored to the consumer. You can search by your doctors, your care needs, your budget and your prescriptions. Unlike buying through brokers or healthcare.gov, they show you all of your options, including on- and off-market plans and faith-based plans. The best part? They have made the process easy and transparent, putting the power back in the consumer’s hands.
It’s exciting to see these changes in the health and wellness industry, and even more exciting to be a part of it. The future of healthcare rests on empowering individuals to be in control of their own health decisions and answering the call to provide accessible, quality care that is easy to understand and easy to use. That’s what EverlyWell and Take Command Health are all about—and we aren’t just talking about it, we are doing something about it.