HealthJoy raises $30M to help employees understand their health benefits

Steven Loeb · February 24, 2020 · Short URL:

The company uses an AI-powered chatbot to allow users to access their benefits

It's not hyperbole to say that very, very few people actually understand their health benefits. In a survey done last year by Maestro Health, Only 33 percent of 1,000 respondents said that they completely understood the health coverage being offered through their employer. 

Partially that has to do with the fact that people don't use their healthcare that often, said Justin Holland, CEO and founder at HealthJoy, a company that uses an AI-powered chatbot to help people get the most out of their benefits.

"In surveys, it’s been shown that only 4 percent of Americans can define the most basic terms needed to use benefits; deductible, co-payment, coinsurance and out-of-pocket maximum. Using benefits is overly complicated and you have multiple parties involved in the process. Until now, no one has made the benefits experience a priority," he said.

"The only way to tackle rising healthcare costs is to address the hundreds of inefficiencies within the system. It's a complicated problem to solve but through a combination of technology and extremely talented people, we are attempting to solve it."

HealthJoy provides its users with a chat-based app that combines its team of healthcare concierges, as well as its chatbot, called JOY, to help employees to find and use their benefits from a single source.

On Monday, the company announced it raised $30 million in Series C venture funding, bringing its total funding to $53 million. The round was led by Health Velocity Capital, with participation by existing investors: U.S. Venture Partners, Chicago Ventures, Epic Ventures, Brandon Cruz, and Clint Jones, co-founders of GoHealth. In addition to the funding, it was also announced that Saurabh Bhansali, Partner at Health Velocity Capital, will be joining the company's board of directors.

"Saurabh and Health Velocity Capital will be bringing in deep virtual care, digital therapeutic, and health plan expertise to the company," said Holland.

Founded in 2014, HealthJoy integrates and partners with healthcare service providers and benefit consultant agencies, allowing employees to access their benefits from a centralized hub. It gives them information about benefits they might not have even known they had by allowing them to connect with its JOY chatbot, or a human concierge. Currently, the vast majority of its interactions with members, upwards of 80 percent, are handled by JOY.

"In the past, companies were created to address a single solution, but utilization for all these siloed solutions was dismal. We are trying to consolidate all these separate solutions and create a simple experience that members love. Customers give us their entire employee benefits package and we centralize them all within a mobile experience," Holland explained.

"Instead of tracking down a bunch of numbers and cards, employees only have to remember to come for us for all their benefits."

Right now, over 500 companies are currently using HealthJoy, which range from the midmarket all the way up to Fortune 500 clients, and across a number of industries, including agricultural, manufacturer, SaaS companies and airlines and many more.

"We are solving a problem that’s universal. All employees need help using their benefits correctly," Holland said.

The new funding will be used, in part, to expand the HealthJoy team, with plans to over 200 new employees over the next two years. The funding will also be used to grow the product, and to improve the AI to make it more intelligent.

"We want JOY to be more proactive and synthesize more real-time benefits information. We plan to improve every aspect of the member's journey year-round. To make that happen, we're planning on doubling our engineering talent in our Chicago office. Also, we'll also be expanding our implementation, member services, and customer success teams to keep delivering industry-leading service through our next phase of growth," Holland told me. 

"Our mission is to guide our members to affordable, high-quality healthcare. Our vision of how we get there is that we need to remove the complexity from being healthy by becoming the most trusted source of healthcare guidance."

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(Correction: this story previously attributed quotes to Rick Ramos, Chief Marketing Officer at HealthJoy)

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