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Zenefits (YC W13) Gives Startups A One-Stop Shop For Employee Benefits (techcrunch.com)
66 points by joshualastdon on Feb 19, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 17 comments

Are the health insurance benefits group or individual? If it's group, are you aggregating everyone into a pool that's >50 people in size, or is each startup it's own group?

If it's individual, what are you doing with the people in a startup that are considered uninsurable (it's not 2014 yet so no guaranteed insurance). Some states, like MN with it's MCHA program, have guaranteed-issue pools for people who are denied, but that's only about 25% of states. Are you limiting your exposure to those states till 2014?

I've spent a lot of time in the health insurance/health care space, so I can appreciate the complexity in the benefits market. My last startup, Bloom Health, was in a similar space (defined contribution health plans for small employers) and we sold to Wellpoint, HCSC, and BCBS of MI in 2011. We started with individual plans, but eventually switched to group plans because the individual space was just too hard without PPACA in place. Lots of opportunities here now that it's almost 2014 and Obama has been re-elected. Good luck!

Wow, I am a big fan of bloom health (zenefits cofounder here), and would love to meet / talk! (you can reach me at parker [at] zenefits.com

It's small-group right now, each company is its own group. Right now we are CA only but plan to expand rapidly in other states -- although it might take quite some time before we're everywhere.

Wow, thanks Hacker News! (One of the Zenefits Co-founders here). One quick thing to point out -- we are actually YC W13, not w12 (small slip-up from TechCrunch on this point).

Pain point - plain and simple. Startups take note: this looks very promising

Great idea.

I wish they'd publish more info about their vendors (i.e., is the 401k a bunch of high load or expense ratio extortion, or is it Fidelity/Vanguard funds?)

401K is in invite-only alpha right now. There are a few vendors we work with -- Schwab, The online 401k Company, Sharebuilder, and Vanguard. In practice, these are the best options for small businesses out there.

We don't get paid by 401K companies, so we don't have an incentive to recommend anything other than what we think is awesome for you.

Also, one thing we've promised our early 401K clients -- if they want to work with a 401K company that isn't on our list, we'll build an integration specially for them.

Did you look at Employee Fiduciary:


I haven't looked into it in a while, but if I'd been able to talk my employer into adding/changing vendors this is the vendor I would have chosen. It would be interesting to read your thoughts.

We've been working with Zenefits over the last week and their level of customer service so far has been ridiculously good.

This seems incredibly useful. My dad recently started a company and was always complaining about how long the employee packages take to setup...will let him know there is a solution!

Or there's the option of a professional employer organization like TriNet: http://www.trinet.com/

Yeah, the problem with TriNet and other PEOs, though, is that they cost thousands of dollars per employee per year -- while Zenefits is free. They do more than we do, of course, but a lot of small companies only need someone for benefits administration, mostly.

If you need sexual harassment training, & other liability-reducing stuff, TriNet makes a lot of sense.

What about the discounts on the benefits?

Doesn't TriNet have one of the deepest discount packages because they are pooling 100,000s of people?

I would bet start-ups get very competitive rates on their insurance considering their demographics.

FYI: None of the quotes are loading for us... we're a Utah company... is that why?

Edit: Melting servers. :) Just got a JSON response that looked failing.

We support CA only right now (insurance laws, broker licensing, quotes and enrollment rules being different across states), but will be expanding slowly to other states.

PS: And the server should be unmelted as of now. :)

Looks good but the "sign with your mouse and you're done!" bit made me laugh out loud.

The idea that I can "just make a signature" with a mouse is hilarious from a UI point of view and seems highly glossed over (both UI wise and legally).

I think the act of giving a signature is more symbolic than anything else. It says to the world "I agree to the thing I am signing"

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