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SimplyInsured (YC W13) Wants To Help Take The Pain Out Of Health Insurance (techcrunch.com)
78 points by swohns 1607 days ago | hide | past | web | 28 comments | favorite

I badly need something like this right now. As I understand it, brokers rule this segment. This would essentially be an online broker. My current broker sends me pdf brochures on request which I think is a pretty bad experience, so this would be a welcomed change for me. On the other hand, sometimes I also like to have a single point of contact. If my broker had access to using this platform, that would be an ideal scenario. It could allow me to research and compare at my leisure, but have a strong contact point when I need it.

Hi! I'm Vivek - founder of SimplyInsured.

We can be both your broker, software, and strong point of contact. We act as an "extended HR" for our customers - any issues they have with bills, insurance companies, or doctors - we help them navigate.

My contact info is in my profile - feel free to reach me, and I will get your company set up.

I agree. I'm just now switching away from my broker. They were a real pain to work with because they had no web interface at all, so everything involved tons of emails and pdfs back and forth. We're switching to Trinet and so far it's a much better experience. We get group rates on health insurance, the signup process involved far fewer forms, insurance and payroll are automatically linked, employees have a web interface where they can self-service. I looked at Zenefits and the experience was far better than a traditional broker, but still not nearly as good as a PEO.

The title of the article actually mentions "Small Businesses". I went there thinking it would help consumers somehow.

They helped set up the insurance for us (Semantics3) and I fully recommend them! Here is the direct link to their site: https://www.simplyinsured.com/

This is slightly offtopic, but (in the typical case) does the employer or the employee pay the health insurance? I guess this depends a lot on the workplace, but I wonder how this factors into the incomes reported by Americans. For example, if someone's income is $60k per year, the real income would be $52k with an expensive $700/month insurance.

It just varies. Some employers don't provide insurance. Some provide a very small subsidy, some cover a lot more. Some will offer pre-tax witholding to pay for your policy but not contribute anything. It's one of those things you have to look at when you compare compensation packages.

I've worked at places where the salary probably sounded really great to an outsider but there were no benefits; this is not that uncommon in small tech companies from what I've seen. I've also worked where the salary was more in the middle or lower end of what you might expect but there were large contributions to insurance and retirement plans and generous amounts of paid time off.

Generally the employer pays for the cost of the HMO plan and then if you want a more expensive PPO plan, they take the difference from your paycheck pretax. The main difference between the 2 plans is that PPO allows you to see pretty much any doctor or specialist anytime, while HMO, you have an assigned doctor and need a referral from that doctor to see anyone else.

It's rare for the employer to pay the full cost of coverage for an expensive healthcare plan, and some people get a much better deal on group rates than others. However, there are tax advantages to employer heath coverage. So real world examples are often fairly complex, but generally your better off which employer heath coverage even if your paying for 1/2 of it.

We just went through this with SimplyInsured. Basically employer determines how much they're willing to cover from a service. The employee has the option to take that package or choose another package and pay the difference. In rare case they may choose a cheaper package. They won't get a rebate, but it can help reduce monthly costs for dependents.

Usually Employer pays for larger portion of the health insurance coverage and employee covers the rest. In Employees case, the insurance premiums come from pre-tax income

Great app!

We faced the same problem a year ago finding insurance for our startup. One major pain point was that everyone just made us sign up and connected to a insurance agent who sent us a bunch of official looking PDF docs. I had to sit and do my research to understand the plans. During that process I landed on this NYTimes article http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/28/health/28patient.html?_r=0

None of the agents sent me a High deductible plan. Then when I asked them, the "researched" and sent me back more PDFs with high deductible plan, which we eventually enrolled.

There are so many options in this space - so I would like you to "educate" me before asking me to give you my contact details.

"NewCo is going to take the pain out of OldCo and their industry"

Making the decisions easier is one thing, changing the industry is another. I wish them luck with the latter.

I'm not in the market for this service, but I love the idea of an online broker. I used to work for a mid-size non-profit. I worked in IT, not HR, but I was one of the "randomly selected" non-HR employees selected to help find a new insurance plan. I only recently recovered from the nightmare of drowning in emails and paper (not necessarily pdfs).

How will you be different than bswift.com?

As a user of bswift I was given a printed booklet specific to my company and was presented with the easiest web page enrollment and benifit summary I've ever seen.

Will you be a competitor to apps like bswift? What are your plans for differentiation (if any)?

So needed! Been talking to them and seeing about some quotes, great stuff is coming to health care over the next 4 years!

Great job team. Any plans for an API in the future?

Not available in WA :(

Your interface fails on so many levels

1) Your front page essentially contains one button "Get free quotes", which takes you to another page with a form. Why not display that form on the front page? One less click = better conversions.

2) Why do I need to enter

    A) company name 
    B) my email
    C) employee names (what if I have 50?)
Quotes DO NOT depend on that information.

3) The phrase "get quotes" is a major turn off in my mind. It reminds me of thousands of health insurance websites that give you quotes after endless form fill outs and spam your email. Why can't you phrase it in a human way? "Find plans", "enter your information", etc.

"Your interface fails on so many levels"

Might be better worded as: "Here is some feedback. I hope it helps."

Why? If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen!

HN is for brutally honest feedback, not some sugar coated sissy politically correct worded observations that is useless to the creators of the site/software/service.

> HN is for brutally honest feedback

HN is for civil discussion:

" The most important principle on HN, though, is to make thoughtful comments. Thoughtful in both senses: both civil and substantial."


"Here is some feedback" isn't sugar coated sissy politically correct worded observation. It's just a bit more polite.

Shit is Shit. Even if "polite"ly labelled as waste, or residue matter, or even cake.

Yes. The guy was giving shit, when instead he should've been giving feedback.

Here's some brutally honest feedback for you then: you're being a dick, your account is less than 24 hours old, and it's probably not going to make it past 24 hours before you get hellbanned, so don't be a dick.

Thanks for the feedback, you're right that we can simplify the initial pages. We've been focusing on clear explanations of the coverage on insurance plans and taking the headache out of all the forms later in the process, so we'll definitely keep your suggestions in mind as we refine the top of the funnel.

1) Good solid advice 2) C) I'm there now and it asks for # of employees, not names

Decent interface, as anything, always room for improvement.

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