This healthtech startup has come up with a unique way to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) offer a competitive healthcare package to their employees.
Some people want to join startups for that charged environment and challenging work opportunities, yet others refrain from doing so when they find that the employee benefits package don’t match a corporate biggie´s. Thus, many SMEs are losing out on young talent. Employee benefits help SMEs to attract and retain good talent.
Out of the 55 crores strong workforce in India, only 14% works in the organized sector, where large corporates provide their employees and their family some form of healthcare and benefits. Onsurity, an AI based insurtech startup is bringing affordable insurance and employee benefits products for the SME and startups sectors for seeking health care benefits.
Often, when we make a sales pitch, we call ourselves a combination of Netflix and AWS of healthcare, because we bill you monthly on how much you use
Shah reveals that contrary to what people believe of SMEs, they found that there is no lack of intention when it comes to providing healthcare benefits to employees. The problems stems from affordability, being taken for granted, and being misused. SMEs also complaint about not getting the desired talent because of not being able to offer a benefits package like bigger organizations.
This is where Onsurity´s monthly payment model helps. The employer only has to pay for what they consume, like an AWS billing.
“Often, when we make a sales pitch, we call ourselves a combination of Netflix and AWS of healthcare, because we bill you monthly on how much you use,” he says.
Agarwal explains that traditional insurance products don’t allow to cover anyone who is not an employee, because the employer employee relationship needs to be mandatory. Often, off-role employees in companies don’t get any form of employee benefit under traditional insurance and social security products.
Through our platform, we are also looking to increase the penetration of social security in the country
Onsurity was able to provide benefits in such cases as well. For example, they were able to cover teachers working for WhiteHat Jr, not just their employees.
“Through our platform, we are also looking to increase the penetration of social security in the country,” he says.
Both Co-founders saw some unforeseen scenarios when the pandemic hit. Hospitalization under COVID-19 can cost up to INR 3-10 lakhs, a formidable amount for a small SME.
“For an SME, given that previously, they were just managing risks by giving advances, now were facing an issue of very high advance cost. That’s where the reluctance in the psyche has been toned down because of the pandemic. The pandemic made people aware about having this kind of a protection and employee benefits,” explains Agarwal.
The Magic of Monthly Payments
With Onsurity´s monthly model, small businesses can say that they offer a safe workplace for an employee.
“A monthly healthcare benefit really works well with small business owners, because we don’t lock in their precious working capital,” says Agarwal.
A monthly healthcare benefit really works well with small business owners, because we don’t lock in their precious working capital
He explains with an example of 30 employees, where each plan costs INR 8,000. Upfront, the employer has to pay INR 240,000. However, with monthly payments, the same 30 employees cost INR 12,000 per month.
“Suddenly the math completely changes and now everyone can afford it,” he says.
Healthcare Accessibility for the Whole Family
Providing accessibility to employees´ families is another strategy the platform is deploying to help SMEs attract talent. Often, employees want healthcare not just for themselves but also for their spouse, children, and parents. Onsurity gives such employees an access to extend their healthcare benefits on a personal subscription, but again, on a monthly basis.
As small business owners, we all have budgets. We want to do good, but don’t have the cash flows of a Microsoft or an Apple to include everyone in an employee´s family
As Shah explains,
“As small business owners, we all have budgets. We want to do good, but don’t have the cash flows of a Microsoft or an Apple to include everyone in an employee´s family. That’s where we come in and allow employers to at least give access to it.”
“If I’m earning INR 40,000 and a parent´s healthcare plan is INR 20,000, I will never be able to afford both the parents’ healthcare at the same time. With a monthly plan, I don’t have to choose,” he says.
Onsurity healthcare services include teleconsulting, health checkups, and preventive medicines. The aim is to provide a complete comprehensive benefits package that include discounted medicines, discounted health checkups, and teleconsultations, along with insurance of Tier 1 insurance companies which is facilitated by Onsurity.
Today, when someone thinks about healthcare, it’s natural to only think about health insurance. But 80% of medical expenses today are non-insurance related. I think that’s where we differentiate ourselves because we have an entire comprehensive package
“Today, when someone thinks about healthcare, it’s natural to only think about health insurance. But 80% of medical expenses today are non-insurance related. I think that’s where we differentiate ourselves because we have an entire comprehensive package,” says Shah.
They are also looking at including mental wellness in their packages, where they will provide access to mental wellness and online fitness sessions.
Founded in February 2020, by Agarwal and later joined by Shah in March 2020, the company is focused on ‘employee wellness’ with its unique mix of technology and innovation to improve customer experience.
Agarwal, who had his own consulting firm of 7-10 employees, had struggled to give employee benefits, but realized that it wasn’t easy for a small firm to do so.
I wanted to hire people who are working with top companies like the KPMG’s or EYs of the world, but every prospective employee asks about the healthcare benefit or the employee benefit they would get apart from the salary
“I wanted to hire people who are working with top companies like the KPMG’s or EYs of the world, but but every prospective employee asks about the healthcare benefit or the employee benefit they would get apart from the salary. I realized a person coming from an MNC doesn’t want to get into a company where there are no employee benefits,” he reminisces.
With his background in insurance, employee benefits, and experience of being an SME, he decided to solve the problem for the SME market. In May, 2020, they launched their first product where, SMEs could pay on a monthly basis for the employee benefit of their employees. making the platform affordable.
“So we haven’t just solved the supply part, but also the affordability part. In India, we are the first ones who have launched this kind of a set up where the SME can pay for their employees on a monthly basis,” he says.
After their launch in May 2020, the platform now has more than 400 plus businesses with 40,000 plus members.
“Out of those 40,000 lives, very proudly we can say that almost 38,000, were not having any form of healthcare benefits,” says Agarwal.
What we need to deliver is the brand promise by creating more avenues for our users from a proactive healthcare perspective, because if you’re living a good life, your medical expenditures are less
Out of those 400 plus SMEs, the platform counts large companies as well as renowned startups and corporates like Park Plus, Web Engage, WhiteHat Jr, and Pantaloons.
“So we have large ones as well as smaller service center guys or SMEs with 3 or 5 employees on our platform,” he says.
A Holistic Healthcare Approach
For the future, they are trying to focus more on providing a good consumer experience in a sector that is notorious for being difficult when it comes to claiming benefits.
“What we want is to help customers and the consumer on living a better life, on the preventive side, as well as the protection side,” says Agarwal.
They are also looking to help the customers in post-hospitalization, where they can give a concierge service.
“What we need to deliver is the brand promise by creating more avenues for our users from a proactive healthcare perspective, because if you’re living a good life, your medical expenditures are less,” says Shah.
In the long run, he says, a healthier life will help them bring the costs of healthcare down, which is why they are deploying several healthcare awareness tools like webinars, mental wellness programs, and fitness videos.
Their vision is to become a one-stop shop for anything that is related to wellness, fitness, and healthcare, so that people don’t have to go to multiple apps. And they want to rope in other products while doing so.
“We are more than happy to work with multiple players. But what we will define is the Onsurity experience. While we might do third party integrations, but how we stitch it together is the vision to provide a holistic approach towards healthcare,” he concludes.