Painless medical billing for US citizens

Israel’s Simplee rolls out an easy-to-grasp healthcare billing management tool that’s tailor-made for US companies and their employees. A clearer way to understand healthcare expenses. Paying medical bills in the United States is sometimes more painful than surgery. With a …

Israel’s Simplee rolls out an easy-to-grasp healthcare billing management tool that’s tailor-made for US companies and their employees.

Simplee healthcare system

A clearer way to understand healthcare expenses.

Paying medical bills in the United States is sometimes more painful than surgery. With a labyrinth of codes and billing forms that insurance holders never quite understand, mistakes are being made that cost consumers and their employers big bucks.

Making some sense out of the mess is an unlikely trio of Israeli startup entrepreneurs who have developed Simplee, a healthcare billing management portal tailor-made for the United States.

A user signs up, logs in with healthcare insurance details and in an instant a profile is generated. The system, built on sophisticated algorithms, collects American healthcare insurance data and gives users a friendly interface that points out anomalies and cost-saving measures and allows people to upgrade or choose more appropriate coverage with no or little cost.

For now the service is free to use, with only savings to earn.

Founded in 2010 out of a development center in Hod Hasharon, Israel, and a team in Palo Alto, California, Simplee is already helping Americans save money by making the billing system more transparent.

If the company of 15 employees makes it work, Simplee could usher in healthcare reform, COO Roberto Rabinovich tells ISRAEL21c. While the platform is already in use by thousands of individuals in the United States, the sole focus for the foreseeable future is to partner with corporations looking to save on their employee healthcare plans. Starbucks, notes Rabinovich, spends more money on healthcare policies than it does on coffee beans.

Confusing and frustrating

Americans pay between $7,000 and $15,000 for their healthcare coverage every year, plus an average of $3,000 in out-of-pocket expenses. Yet the system is fraught with unknowns and headaches for all parties involved. Millions are lost due to fraud and honest billing mistakes. Simplee aims to tackle this problem in innovative ways.

Simplee dashboard

Simplee makes sense of medical bills.

The idea started when one of the partners, Tomer Shoval, was living and working in the US. He needed to submit some healthcare forms after his family returned from a vacation in Mexico where they all got sick. Shoval found that getting sick wasn’t the worst of it.

“We were inundated with paperwork from my insurance company and from various doctors for months after we returned home,” according to Shoval. “I spent so much time and effort trying to figure out that huge pile of paper. It was time consuming, extremely confusing and frustrating.”

That’s how Simplee was born.

“We want to work with large employers that would pay Simplee to manage their employee base. We can customize it for their needs,” says Rabinovich. “If you work with us, we know your medical history expenses and needs, and can look at how each plan will fit your needs.”

The company recently saved one user $1,500 by alerting him that this charge for lab tests could have been avoided had he gone to an in-network provider. He determined that he had indeed gone to a lab in his network, and the insurance company refunded the money.

And hackers beware: “We took all measures to protect our data, which is encrypted in the highest security standards without using a person’s real names or doctors’ names,” Rabinovich assures.

To date, the company has received $1.5 million in funding from Greylock Partners and other angel investors.

About Karin Kloosterman

Karin Kloosterman is an award-winning environment news publisher who founded Green Prophet (www.greenprophet.com) to connect North Americans to issues that matter in the Middle East. She is the CEO of the Internet of Things startup flux, a company that is making social grow tools for urban farmers everywhere (www.fluxiot.com). Karin can be reached at karin (at) fluxiot.com.