I don’t know if I have ever met anyone who really understands their medical bills. I get them in the mail, I pay what they tell me to, and I don’t really think about it, unless the amount is really outrageous. It’s just one of those things that if I try to really understand it, my head would probably explode. I recently went online to wade through different plans to pay for insurance out of pocket, and that was such an ordeal I had to show it to at least three other people just to understand it.
Simplee, a startup dedicated to helping consumers take control of their healthcare expenses, announced the debut of its 2013 Open Enrollment Guide Wednesday.
This is not the first time that Simplee has made the Open Enrollment Guide available; they also provided one last year. In an interview with VatorNews, Tomer Shoval, CEO and founder of Simplee, said that this year’s guide is “significantly better.” He said it is much more polished and provides more information than last year’s guide.
The guide is meant to help consumers make better decisions about which insurance plans would be right for them. It allows them to see if their current doctors would be available in their new plan and whether they would be better off with an HMO or a PPO plan.
It also helps them to calculate what the right the deductible would be for their situation, based on if they were able to meet their deductible during the year.
Help them to figure out how much they should expect to pay out of pocket, based on how much they currently spend on healthcare.
And if they can save any money through taxes based on how much care they currently receive.
While Simplee does not give any information about specific insurance plans, or let users actually buy insurance through the website, that is something that Shoval seemed to indicate may be something the company will try to do in the future.
Right now, though, he says, the company’s mission is to make paying healthcare bills as easy as possible.
The way Simplee works is that consumers can go to Simplee and input their medical insurance information and their HSA accounts. Right now, Simplee covers about 80% of the medical insurance providers, such as Blue Shield. Simplee doesn't have to have relationships with these providers, but it can access their database once a consumer inputs their account information into Simplee.
Users can pay their bills to their insurance companies directly through Simplee, which will in turn show them how their bills break down and will detect errors with bills and flag claims that do not match up with the user’s policy.
Most people simply do not understand their health insurance bills, Shoval says. They are too complex. Even he admits that before starting Simplee he had no clue how much he was spending on health insurance, or how many times he and his family were visiting the doctor. People simply do not understand how their plan works.
Shoval says that the Afforable Care Act is helping to fix things in this regard; with regulations making bills clearer, and providing transparency.
“It is trending in the right direction,” he said, but companies like Simplee take over where the government leaves off, and take it to the next level of clarity for the consumer.
Founded in the summer of 2010, what sets Palo Alto, California-based Simplee apart from its competitors is that they are more focused on creating a shopping engine, whereas Simplee just wants to help make decisions clearers.
While Simplee would eventually like to create a shopping engine as well, to make one now would “be like running before walking.”
People have to understand what they are doing before they can make decisions like which MRI would be most cost effective for them.
The company makes money from partnerships with employers, who pay a monthly fee for their employees to have access to the service, and from medical providers, who pay a percentage of every time they are paid through Simplee. The company currently has four partnerships, including one with Mutual of Ohama and with El Camino Hospital.
Simplee is currently available on desktop, but will be coming to mobile by the end of the year.
Simplee raised $6 million in a Series A round of funding in May from the Social+Capital Partnership, as well as existing investors seed investors Greylock Partners and angels, such as Palihapitya and Lorrie Norington, former President of eBay Marketplace. Simplee raised a seed round of $1.8 million in the summer of 2010.