Fair Square Medicare raises $15M to help seniors engage with the healthcare system

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The company uses technology to sort and present the most-relevant Medicare plans

People who are approaching Medicare eligibility face a tremendous challenge: they enroll in Medicare Part A and/or B and then realize that the benefits are not as much as what they were used to on commercial health plans. As a result, they want a Medicare Supplemental or Advantage plan but then they realize there are sometimes as many as 50 available.

As a result of it being so overwhelming, nearly 60 percent of Medicare enrollees don’t review or compare their coverage options and instead they wind up going to a brokerage who, almost always, will enroll them in a plan only because it pays a higher commission.

“I saw my parents experience this firsthand, and wanted to build a tech-enabled, customer-obsessed brokerage that is commission-agnostic,” said Daniel Petkevich, founder and CEO of Fair Square Medicare, a tech-enabled concierge healthcare platform for seniors.

Launched in 2020 out of YC, Fair Square uses algorithmic intelligence to sort and present the most-relevant Medicare plans based on their budget and preferences, regardless of commission. The platform also includes a web portal that allows senior to take full advantage of their available benefits.

On Thursday, the company announced $15 million in Series A funding on Thursday in a round led by Define Ventures with additional participation from Slow Ventures, YCombinator and angel investors. The company has now raised $19 million to date.

Along with the funding, it was also revealed that Chirag Shah, partner at Define Ventures, has joined the company’s board of directors. 

“Chirag is an amazing partner for us. He and Define Ventures more broadly solely focus on the healthcare industry, so he and the team have unmatched contacts across the industry. We’re looking to expand our relationships with all kinds of healthcare organizations — from insurers, to providers, to other digital health companies. In addition to his leadership and expert guidance, having Chirag on board helps us expand our reach,” said Petkevich.

On the brokerage side, the company focuses on educating, as opposed to selling, the seniors who join the platform. Its initial sessions span two meetings, the first of which is purely educational to give them a sense of everything they need to know.

“Ultimately, using tech and the best brokers in the country, we get them the right coverage that best fits their lives,” Petkevich explained.

To explain what the company does on care navigation front, Petkevich shared the story of what his own mother went through when trying to get a knee-replacement surgery done: she couldn’t find patient outcomes data or pricing online; rather, the best she could do was interview every doctor she was recommended. However, the data she collected was unsatisfying, qualitative, and self reported, so she decided to put off the surgery until it was more obviously necessary.

“That shouldn’t happen, which is why we’re building out our care-navigation platform for seniors — to help support them through their healthcare journey,” he said.

The company currently helps thousands of seniors navigate available Medicare coverage options, and it has retained 94% of its customers year on year, compared to traditional brokerages who may lose up to half. Fair Square also has a 95 net promoter score, compared to the national brokerage average which can be as low as 10. 

Now that it has this new funding, it plans to scale its platform to be a full-service care navigator for seniors. That means using the funding to continue expanding its team across all functions, as well as devoting resources to rolling out the digital services, including finding and scheduling appointments with preferred providers; setting up annual preventive health and dental services; finding the lowest-available price on their prescriptions; providing access to digital health services that help them manage chronic conditions; enabling instant access to all health insurance benefits; and accessing on-demand consultations with a clinician to answer impromptu health questions.

The company is also looking to partner with more health-insurance carriers, and plans to launch retention offers for them as well, giving them insight into what behaviors are making members stick around.

“Beyond just the problems I previously mentioned, seniors also face significant issues finding the right doctors, understanding and taking advantage of all of their benefits, finding the lowest-cost medications and so much more,” Petkevich said.

“So, beyond just finding them the right Medicare plan, we’re building a full-service concierge, tech-enabled platform where we can help them with all of these issues.”

(Image source: fairsquaremedicare.com)

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