Using A Digital Wallet of Credits, Members Can Easily Shop, Schedule, and Manage Care and Support Services Through A Self-Serve Portal
Austin, TX — Sept. 21, 2021 — The Helper Bees (THB), a full-service insurtech company that creates innovative aging-in-place solutions for both payers and insureds, today announced the launch of the company’s aging-in-place provider marketplace. This solution, which evolved from THB’s Care Concierge education and care management program, combines a consumer-focused engagement team with a robust provider intelligence platform to create vital and lasting change for millions of aging Americans. Through a self-serve portal, users have direct access to the care and support services that are essential for independent aging.
This announcement comes as a direct result of The Helper Bees’ acquisition of healthAlign, a leading administration and fulfillment platform that earned one of the first contracts in Medicare Advantage (MA) to administer non-medical supplemental benefits in the home. The offering is built around flexible bundles of in-home services that insureds can self-manage through a digital wallet of credits. The marketplace brings together a network of thousands of providers of in-home care, meals and nutritional support, transportation, home modifications, pest control, and errands.
“This one-of-a-kind combination of a member-focused team with a smart network platform enables payers to better manage all aspects of in-home programming,” said Andy Friedell, Founder and CEO of healthAlign. “It’s very difficult to organize different services into the home, and even harder to get good data back from those interactions. When breakdowns occur, members suffer through poor experiences and missed opportunities to better coordinate care. We’re bringing all in-home providers onto a single platform, operating in a common language while also supporting the member’s journey through that entire process.”
Behind the scenes, The Helper Bees’ platform requires each service provider to undergo extensive credentialing and ongoing oversight to ensure that only vetted and trusted care and support providers can enter the home. In addition to the innovative technology that powers the marketplace, users have the option to work with a Care Concierge, an aging-in-place specialist who can help guide the older adult, their family, or care manager through the marketplace’s available services.
Credits can either be allocated by carriers including Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and PACE programs, or through private-pay services including Long-term Care Insurance (LTCI), group plans, value-added services, and employer-sponsored markets. By bringing credentialed providers of aging-in-place services onto one platform, marketplace users now have easy, one-stop access to the transformative services they need to remain independent and at home.
“I often pose the question ‘what does it really take to live and age in place?’”, said Char Hu, CEO of The Helper Bees. “The truth is that the answer changes over time and from individual to individual. This makes it extremely difficult to organize, deploy, and scale in-home service offerings. Until now. This marketplace will change the aging-in-place landscape, empower older adults, and serve as a model for future generations.”
Since 2019, Medicare Advantage plans have been given additional flexibility to offer a wider range of services into the home. As a result, the number of plans offering these benefits has increased significantly. healthAlign’s MA business has grown from about a dozen health plans in 2019 to over 200 projected for the start of 2022. At the same time, members and care managers are embracing these new benefits at an even faster rate. healthAlign has seen double-digit month-over-month growth in service volumes throughout 2021. This is slightly higher than the growth rates seen in 2020 and the company expects that to accelerate further into 2022. Today, The Helper Bees and healthAlign manage over a million and half hours of in-home services annually.