This Pune-based startup is helping corporates unlock benefits of group health insurance
It was while building an electronic medical record (EMR) for another company that insurance startup Loop Health CEO Mayank Kale was introduced to the lopsided nature of Indian healthcare. During a two-year stint that spanned across Chennai, Satna and Indore in 2017-18, Mayank saw how several medical practitioners overcharged their patients, while over-prescribing medicines and suggesting unnecessary surgical procedures in exchange for kickbacks. The combination of expensive treatments and sub-par medical services left the patients to suffer the most.
“The observation paved the way for a business opportunity when we realized that doctors can be incentivised to keep people healthy like insurance companies, which are responsible for paying claims. If doctors are incentivized to ensure that people stay healthy, they could help create a system that guaranteed access to healthcare for everyone,” says Amrit Singh, co-founder and CRO, Loop Health.
Mayank, Amrit along with their two other co-founders Ryan Singh and Shami Raj launched Loop Health in 2018. The Pune-based startup enables organisations to offer a group health insurance coverage to their employees with an in-house team of doctors to take care of them 24x7 for preventative care. The team also participated in Y Combinator in 2020.
The in-house team is just a phone call away, so that policy-holders don't have to rush to hospitals or clinics every time they have a query about their health. Their business model is focused on ensuring that an organization’s members stay mentally and physically healthy, so that they have to make fewer visits to the hospital.
Scaling ahead one challenge at a time
The idea was simple: to bridge the gap in medical services by offering benefits of insurance and preventative care in a market that was reeling under an overburdened primary healthcare infrastructure. “We noticed that health insurance products were becoming increasingly necessary and would eventually be purchased by most people in the country,” adds Amrit. Quite rightly so, as the gross direct premium income of the Indian health insurance industry was about Rs 470 billion in FY 2020, according to Statista .
Talking about how the team conceptualized Loop Health’s business model, Amrit says, “We realised that the only way to create an organisation that works to promote good health is to bundle insurance with great primary care.”
Hence, the co-founders decided to start out as insurance brokers and create a primary care organisation that provided free and unlimited care and the rest is history.
Loop Health started selling insurance plans from different companies in July 2020 and sold its first policy to 100 people. “We quickly built a team, learned about B2B sales and started securing big customers like Helpshift, Shaadi.com and Mswipe, among others,” he explains. In December 2020, Loop Health raised $2.3 million in seed funding in a round led by US-based venture capital firm Sierra Ventures.
Nurturing a healthier future
Since its launch, the startup has added over 100 companies to its clientele while offering insurance cover to around 30,000 people across the country. Given its focus on preventative care, the startup conducts health check-ups at the beginning of each year, and creates customised care plans for each employee.
The startup sources plans from some of the best insurance providers in the country to ensure low-cost yet quality healthcare services. Its preventative care module includes monthly yoga sessions focusing on stress management, personalised care plans for conditions like diabetes and hypertension and meditation sessions. Plus, employees get to invite their families and friends to join these sessions and use all care services for free.
The doctors that are part of the Loop Health team are some of the best experts in their respective fields and one can book an appointment with any one of them within 30 minutes. Its plans cover COVID-19 treatment as well. In case, a claimant tests positive for COVID-19, the Loop Health team will ensure that he/she is able to get a hospital bed at the earliest. A Loop Health membership also includes treatment of mental health conditions.
Talking about the startup’s future plans, the team says that it is inspired by New York-based tech-driven health insurance firm Oscar Health. “They’ve really cracked the code of bundling primary care and insurance. We hope to follow a similar model: grow quickly, create insurance products people love, and keep them healthy. We want to grow our business by 10x this year, and eventually become the best health insurance platform in the country,” explains Amrit.