Onsurity is providing healthcare membership to SMEs with as low as three employees, says co-founder Yogesh Agarwal
Bengaluru-based Onsurity is a healthtech company focusing on the MSMEs and contractual workforce of large enterprises, giving them access to affordable healthcare benefits. Since its inception in 2020, the company has seen 8X growth annually.
Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are the key contributors to the economic growth of our country. They contribute almost 30 percent to the country’s GDP and have created 111 million jobs, but it has limited access to employee benefits, including insurance.
For MSMEs, it is viable to make their business shock-proof, and the health of its employees plays a major role here. But, in India, insurance penetration among MSMEs has been low due to a lack of designed plans for the sector, which is prone to the financial crisis.
Yogesh Agarwal and Kulin Shah came forward in 2020 to establish, a healthtech company focusing on the MSME and contractual workforce of large enterprises, giving them access to affordable and accessible healthcare benefits.
According to the company, it is one of the only healthtech companies in India providing a monthly membership model to SMEs, MSMEs, startups, and emerging businesses.
In an interaction with SMBStory, Yogesh says, “We aim to democratise healthcare and give all businesses, irrespective of their size and scale, a chance to ensure easy access to the best healthcare solutions for all employees.”
Given that MSMEs have low insurance adoption rates, Yogesh says it is the lack of access to affordable plans that has kept MSMEs away from availing health benefits for employees. Backing his statement, he says that since its inception, Onsurity is growing 8X annually and 20-25 percent monthly.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
SMBStory [SMBS]: Has there been a shift in the mindset of MSMEs pertaining to employee health insurance in the last decade? If so, please explain what led to this change?
Yogesh Agarwal [YA]: Even before I started my career, my father used to run an SME, and I have seen that employee health has always been a problem. Every year, one or the other employee faces a health emergency, and I have seen the evolution of salary advances for health reasons getting translated to advances for marriages and for the purchase of consumables like mobile phones. So, in addition to providing salary advance, there is a cultural issue about the concept of advances in the SME segment.
Also, while running a boutique consulting firm, we found that we could always match the salary of a new hire, but it was difficult to match health insurance and other employee benefit plans they were getting from MNC employers. So, we ended up losing talent.
After seeing these challenges, we decided to start Onsurity to help SMBs get access to affordable and accessible healthcare benefits. In order to crack this market, digital was the only key. We have also been inspired by how different startups and fintechs have solved the SME payment and loan problem. So, we wanted to solve the SME insurance problem, especially on the healthcare side.
The shift in the mindset of SMBs to provide healthcare and other benefits to their employees is happening because it is becoming difficult for this sector to attract and retain employees. Even for SMBs who hire blue-collar staff, it is difficult to retain employees as they have better opportunities and benefits with gig platforms.
SMBS: Why is insurance penetration low among MSMEs?
YA: For MSMEs with a turnover of upwards of Rs 2-3 crore, the biggest issue is the lack of availability of insurance and employee benefits, as no insurance (life and health) company is willing to underwrite such a small company.
The second issue is an annual payment. Even for a company that has a reasonable turnover and profits, paying an upfront 12-month charge makes the overall product unaffordable. Further, in India, the employee attrition rate is generally between 25-30 percent, and if an employee leaves in the middle of the year, SMBs are insecure about whether they will be able to get a refund.
Also, there are several off-roll and contractual employees who do not get formal pay slips, which is required by a traditional insurance product. The other problem is the ease to purchase employee benefits and the ease of management of the plan.
SMBS: What are the healthcare services available for MSMEs, especially the micro-businesses, and how is Onsurity bringing a change?
YA: On our platform, SMBs can subscribe to our monthly healthcare membership that starts from Rs 145 per month. The product contains different healthcare and wellness offerings like teleconsultations, health check-ups, gym memberships, along with health insurance, life insurance, and accidental cover for its members.
Further, employees also receive an option to enhance their benefits by using a mobile application. The platform also allows employees to enhance their membership benefits across all the features based on their own requirements using our mobile app.
Onsurity is one of the only platforms that is providing healthcare membership to SMEs with employee size of as low as three. The entire purchase process requires only two to three minutes, where the employer gives the GSTIN number and selects the plan and receives the benefits. Through Onsurity, we have created a platform which is completely unique and made for SMEs in India.
We are working with over 2,500 SMEs, and almost 80 percent of them are new to health and employee benefits of any kind. We are creating a new category for the market, which is highly underserved by the current insurers, brokers, or bancassurance channels.
SMBS: What is the trend among MSMEs adopting healthcare facilities?
YA: MSMEs, especially with white-collar workers, have realised higher value benefits than a bare minimum offering such that in case of any hospitalisation, the benefit amount is sufficient in all cases. Healthcare benefits are now seen by companies as an investment rather than a cost to the organisation, which have helped several employees move back to offices from their hometowns.
Indian startups and MSMEs have also started offering benefit-enriched policies with extensive wellness features for their employees in their corporate healthcare subscription plans. These include a focus on mental well-being, complete annual health checkups for employees and their family members, access to healthcare membership for employees’ elderly family members, and segmented OPD plans for working women such as maternity and IVF treatment.
Blue-collar workers, especially from service centres, are looking for healthcare benefits that include OPD, which covers accidents that may not require hospitalisation.
SMBS: What kind of flexible programmes does Onsurity help MSMEs with?
YA: Onsurity provides a self-serve platform where SMEs can purchase flexible and customised health benefit subscriptions for their employees. We have enabled technology-led solutions by providing app-based claim assistance, doctor assistance, app-based wellness benefits, prior history of claims, seamless processing of cashless insurance, and handholding for reimbursement claims.
We are working on the engagement of employees and how they can engage on our platform and technology solutions so that it becomes a kind of daily usage product. We recently launched gym membership on our platform, working on enabling fitness tracking systems, and solutions in partnership with diagnostic chains.
SMBS: What are the company’s future prospects?
YA: Onsurity is an employee health benefits platform which has aggregated various standalone healthcare products and services under a single platform. This has helped Onsurity create a unique position for itself in the MSME sector, which continues to remain underserved and underpenetrated. Onsurity collaborates with various ecosystem partners to create a unique experience on its platforms.
On the claims side, we are consistently working on sharpening our product and technology solutions and also working closely on reducing and filtering out frauds and creating different workflows so that the efficiency of processing the claim enhances significantly.
We have onboarded over 2,500 companies in the past year by democratising healthcare in India through technology-related solutions and helped empower over three lakh employees of SMEs, startups, and small businesses with comprehensive healthcare benefits. We aim to cover 10,000 SMEs by 2024 by owning the entire employee health and wellness benefits value chain and claims experience in the industry.
Edited by Megha Reddy