Wellthie, a health insurance navigation startup launched by a former Anthem Blue Cross Bue Shield product development executive, has raised $5 million in a Series A round, according to a company blog post. The new funding will be used to bolster the New York-based company’s sales and marketing muscle as it prepares to expand into vision, dental and life insurance in the second quarter, Sally Poblete, Wellthie Founder and CEO, told MedCity News in a phone interview.
IA Capital Group led the investment round with participation from Aflac Corporate Ventures. Last month, Aflac announced plans to set up a $100 million fund to invest in early stage companies relevant to Aflac’s core business. Some of the angel investors from the insurance industry that have backed Wellthie include Mike Battaglia, former chief consumer officer at Humana, Dr. Bill Winkenwerder, a former co-CEO of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Sam Havens, a former CEO of Prudential Healthcare.
“What’s unique and exciting about this round is insurance industry luminaries are putting in their own money,” Poblete said. “It shows that the support we’re getting is from people deep within the industry.”
Poblete said she sees the business as a way to support insurance brokers that work with small businesses and carriers with technology by improving decision support and providing other robust features. For brokers, Wellthie can do scenario planning, provide a virtual storefront and give medical and ancillary quotes through a shopping and enrollment platform. For insurers, it can help them manage small group and individual members and drive growth. Wellthie’s platform also helps payers do market analysis based on members’ purchasing behavior.
Wellthie and other technology companies have developed customer relationship management products to help insurance companies become more consumer-focused and their plans easier to understand. As the insurance industry waits for the GOP to put their own legislative stamp on insurance reform, it will be interesting to see whether insurance companies will rely more on health tech companies like Wellthie.
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