“Zappos of health insurance” announces expansion across US

“The Zappos of health insurance,” SimplyInsured has announced its expansion nationwide, aiming to change the way people approach healthcare

Image courtesy of Dream Designs

Image courtesy of Dream Designs

After a year of helping individuals and small businesses in California with their healthcare solutions, SimplyInsured is taking its online policy shopping and advisory service national, in the hopes of changing the way American citizens and businesses approach health insurance.

Founded by MIT electrical engineering and computer science graduates and comprised of a team with over 10 years of combined industry experience, SimplyInsured does more than reduces the complicated and rapidly shifting health insurance market to an intelligible paperless experience – it removes the fear that individuals have when approaching health insurance.

Says Co-Founder Vivek Shah, “SimplyInsured is not only about bring health insurance online, it is about removing the fear people have when approaching medical care. To highlight this with an example, last Thursday we had a client go to the emergency room because her husband had a stroke. She arrived to the ER, however the staff could not find her insurance. She panicked as she realized she could receive a $100,000 medical bill, an amount she could not afford.”

“Health insurance companies are only available from 8-5pm, and no one was there to help her. No one, except for SimplyInsured. We got on the phone and helped her find her insurance, making sure she was comfortable with the process.”

Today there is a lack of transparency in the health insurance industry, and consumers are hurt by this. The average wait times for customer service in this industry is between 60-90 minutes, and research by the SimplyInsured team showed that for Covered California, the state exchange, users who dialed after 4pm were kept on hold for up to an hour and then disconnected.

“The overwhelming reaction to the healthcare market is confusion, intimidation, and fear,” said SimplyInsured CEO Vivek Shah, and not without good reason. The health industry can be a minefield of misleading information and inadequate service. That’s where SimplyInsured comes in. We want to remove to fear that individuals have when approaching health insurance,” said Shah, who worked as a healthcare analyst and consultant at Mckinsey & Company before co-founding SimplyInsured.

With healthcare, the problem is at the forefront of public thought because of the Affordable Care Act. In fact, a recent Glassdoor study showed that 76% of employees say health coverage is the most important employee benefit.

“The Affordable Care Act has brought healthcare into a sort of national spotlight, in terms of debate and awareness,” said Shah. “With the various provisions of the law being progressively implemented, and people signing up on the new insurance exchange markets, and employers shifting coverage to meet new standards, there is a lot in flux right now, and that’s scary and confusing to a lot of people.”

SimplyInsured Co-Founder Bob Aspell, who also worked in private equity prior to launching SimplyInsured, explained that the startup’s role in the new healthcare landscape is to facilitate small businesses looking to make more intelligent decisions, and also to provide a world-class service to individuals in their greatest time of need.

“What we provide is thoroughly vetted information and sound advice,” said Mr. Aspell. “We offer a personalized service that bridges the information and expertise gap and parses an industry that is hopelessly complicated for the average business owner and consumer to make sense of.”

With SimplyInsured, the results speak for themselves. Says small business owner XYZ, “The service pays for itself several times over, however the biggest feedback we’ve had from our employees has been with SimplyInsured’s customer service. For the first time, our employees are not intimated by their health coverage.”

The startup has announces it will be launching to New York, Florida, Massachusetts, and 5 other states, and that it received its license to operate in all 50 states.