NEA Blog

Consumerizing Health Coverage: How a new Silicon Valley company is hitting its Stride

How many Americans understand their health insurance coverage? According to a recent survey from the Journal of Health Economics, only about 14%. It’s one of the top personal expenditures for Americans each year, but the selection process gets a disproportionately low amount of thought and attention because it’s so confusing!

One of the best analogies I can point to is purchasing a new mattress. Try shopping at various stores to find the best combination of price, performance and fit to match your preferences. Every mattress is called something different and measured in a different way, making it impossible to effectively compare. You end up lying awkwardly on each mattress for 30 seconds, trying not to think about the thousands of people who have done the exact same thing in the exact same place as you. That mere 30 seconds ends up determining where you will spend 6-8 hours per day x 365 days x 5-10 years; up to 3,730 hours for those of you who didn’t do the math!

Same thing goes for health coverage. People spend an average of nine minutes comparing pricing, coverage options, carrier, network, etc.—it’s a complicated process that leaves people feeling frustrated and overwhelmed, so it doesn’t get the time and attention that it deserves.  The scale of this problem is getting even larger—30 million consumers purchase health coverage annually, and the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is targeting 50 million new entrants; many of them in the young and invincible demographic.  This same demographic is accustomed to transparency, access to data, and delightful user experiences. The need for innovation is clear. But frankly, transforming health insurance into a user-centric, consumer-friendly experience is incredibly challenging. Just ask the President.

We have been fortunate enough to partner with a team that is up to the challenge. Stride Health is partnering with government entities to utilize the massive amounts of patient and plan data made available by the HITECH Act. Like many of the innovative startups we see today, this wouldn’t have been possible a couple of years ago. Stride utilizes big data analytics to organize and normalize the data in a personalized, easy-to-digest way, enabling consumers to effectively compare plans and make confident coverage decisions. In no other place can consumers access such aggregate data, and have it applied to their specific healthcare needs. Consumers using Stride to explore insurance options will ultimately have a stronger understanding of plans available, and will be able to optimize coverage while minimizing expenses.

NEA has a broad perspective into the consumerization of healthcare, with expertise across healthcare services, consumer and internet technology, as well as big data software. That’s why when we met Stride Health co-founders Noah Lang and Matt Butner, things clicked immediately.  Noah’s expertise around consumer privacy and background as a founding team member of Reputation.com, combined with Matt’s experience in building personalization engines for consumer and healthcare brands create the perfect mix to attack this industry.

This is a Silicon Valley born company that is truly focused on impacting and improving lives by applying the best of big data analytics and consumer facing technology to healthcare coverage. It’s innovation at its finest, and we are excited to be a part of it.

Stride Health team members: Matt Butner, Noah Lang, Dave DiGioia, and Saad Mir | Join the team

*Stride has officially launch its state-by-state rollout and is currently live in California.

**If you need any more proof that healthcare is an important consumer topic – learn more here

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