Raise your virtual hand if you’ve ever bought a health insurance policy without really understanding what you’re buying, or because a banker or agent has convinced you.
You are not alone – most people who buy health insurance today do so because it is what you are supposed to do as an adult. And also because, over the past year or so, COVID-19 has emphasized the importance of having one.
Chances are, if you take a closer look at the benefits your health insurance policy offered you, you will find them somewhat insufficient or missing, at least in one way or another – that is, the rent of the room covered by the insurance, in the event of hospitalization, is much lower than that billed in your city; or, if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, the maternity benefits offered are rudimentary.
Yet having a policy that you don’t fully understand is better than not having one at all – which unfortunately is the case for the majority of Indians.
While financial limitation is a big part of the reason people don’t buy a health insurance policy, a lack of confidence when consumers suspect bias and personal interest on the part of agents; a inability to understand the benefits offered by their policy; and one largely inaccessible online market, which requires a laptop or personal computer, to access it are also a big deterrent.
Solving this puzzle led three entrepreneurs – Srinath Mukherji, Nayan Goswami and Vivek Narain – meet and settle down, a online health insurance aggregator.
SANA.Insure’s modus operandi is quite unique and different from most online insurance marketplaces – it puts health insurance policy training a person buys even before the actual purchase of it.
This means that if a user wants to purchase a health insurance policy with SANA.Insure, they are not given a rudimentary list of benefits that tells them almost nothing about how these benefits work, or whether they are even adequate. . It breaks down all the information into easy to understand terms and color codes to indicate how useful they are to the person buying it based on their age, location, gender, etc.
âWith SANA.Insure, our goal is to create a transparent, simple and highly accessible platform for families to purchase and manage their health insurance, using highly sophisticated digital technologies behind the scenes,â Srinath, co-founder and director of Sana Insurance. Brokers tell Your story in an interview.
The Gurgaon-based startup presents more than 150 plans on its website, insured by 16 mutuals and mutuals. More than 15,000 people have taken out a health insurance contract with SANA.Insure, through collective and individual contracts. Its founders have invested more than $ 500,000, personally, and are currently exploring institutional funding.
SANA.Insure solves the problem of trust in allow buyers to select health insurance policies based on their personal profile and requirements. Through elimination agents that push policies based on the payment they receive from the insurance company, the startup is able to provide advice that is unbiased and actually benefits the consumer more than the business.
It solves the problem of the complexity or not understanding of an insurance policy by breaking down all its advantages into parameters that are easy to understand and understandable by the layman, and generate a detailed analysis of the insurance policy.
SANA.Insure created this database by manually collecting information on available health insurance plans, identifying common features and benefits offered, then color coding all this information to allow the user to easily understand the policy. He used all of this information to create a proprietary product called SANABase, a master list of over 150 health insurance plans that contains nearly 180 parameterized items.
SANABase feeds its SANACheck a service, a free tool that everyone, even users who have not purchased their fonts from SANA.Insure, can use to find out more about their Medicare plan.
âOur next big step will be to come up with recommendations based on key information about specific personal needs,â says Nayan, co-founder of SANA.Insure and head of its general insurance business.
Realizing that a majority of Indians, especially in lower-ranking towns, access the internet through their cell phones, the startup designed the portal to adapt to a mobile screen, and also activated part of the shopping journey on WhatsApp. Soon, he hopes the help will ease almost the entire process of buying insurance on WhatsApp, the startup says.
Solution for companies and SMEs
Besides selling directly to customers, which is its biggest business, SANA.Insure also helps companies and SMEs buy group health insurance policies for their employees.
It takes the purchase of a health insurance policy a step further and offers a set of wellness services, in partnership with many health and wellness service providers – offering “Health with health insurance”.
âOur mission is to provide personalized health insurance care through digital technologies, and our vision is to become the leading source of health insurance,â says Vivek, co-founder and promoter of Sana Health Solutions.
He envisions that Sana Health Solutions will play a bigger role in the future and become a kind of aggregator of health and welfare services. Imagine coming to a portal to buy not only a health insurance policy, but also a host of discounted wellness services such as counseling, meditation, yoga sessions, etc.
The startup’s target market includes households from Level II and III cities which have one or more employees or self-employed workers in the 30-40 age group. To increase its usability, SANA.Insure plans to launch the portal in vernacular languages ââand also provide human support services in these languages.
It derives its income in the form of brokerage paid by insurers. To date he has reported annualized income of around Rs 1.5 crore.
“We are still very much in investment mode, as we are building a retail brand and that too in health insurance, which is generally an annuity business, âSrinath said.
âOur biggest challenge has been to create a trustworthy retail brand, based on integrity, care and expertise, in a regulated industry that does not allow discounts or other financial incentives for customer acquisition, âhe adds.
The startup is currently exploring a dealing with a Malaysian team of insurance and technology experts to expand and shift its model to Malaysia and introduce similar services there. He also said he foresees similar opportunities in Indonesia and the Philippines, where health insurance penetration is low.
SANA.Insure’s competitors include Policybazaar.com, Instabima, Coverfox and PolicyX, among several other aggregators that allow people to compare policies before they buy – but none, perhaps, offer the level of detail that SANA.Insure does.
A recent survey by the National Sample Survey found that 85.9 percent of rural Indians and over 80 percent of urban Indians had no kind of health insurance coverage.
The market size of the health insurance industry in India is expected to exceed 2,000 billion rupees by 2030, compared to around 370 billion rupees in FY18, according to Statista, signaling a lucrative opportunity for health insurance companies and brokers.