“I saw all the changes happening with healthcare reform firsthand,” he says in reflection.
“Like anything, there are patterns, trends and gaps. While Obamacare would certainly create the promise of healthcare access for more individuals, they were going to need the right method of getting there.”
Sen huddled-up with trusted allies Jill Prevost and Marek Ciolko, two partners who had been with him in the startup trenches on more than one occasion — fist with RedBrick Health, and then with Bloom.
Together they’ve concocted Gravie, a consumer marketplace for healthcare insurance.
Gravie’s hypothesis is based on the notion that the public market and private market combination can ultimately make it harder for a person in this country to obtain and maintain their health insurance.
With 20 employees on board and $2.6m in fresh capital, Gravie spread its wings this week, flipping the switch for individuals and employers in Minnesota who need a simple, smart and safe way of navigating the murky waters of healthcare insurance.
Sen maintains that Gravie is much more than a simple plan selection tool.
“On the front, we are integrating the public market with the private market and mediating for the individual so they can quickly and confidently find the best solution optimized to them,” he describes, pointing to the fact that many private insurers are deliberately not on the public exchanges such as MNSure or Healthcare.gov.
“In the back, we’re aggregating consumer demand in an efficient distribution channel, addressing the many monetary components, and delivering the downstream infrastructure administration.” As such, Gravie is ramping-up their roster of licensed brokers and member advisors who will be the sales and support arm of the operation.
“A wide range of potential problems still exist in healthcare insurance, all with varying complexity,” Sen suggests.
“This goes first and foremost to the individual in need of insurance, but touches all the stakeholders, which now formally include the government.”
Sen says the early adoption is going better than planned. “In addition to the many individuals who have already joined, we have 40 employers who have signed up.” Scaling Gravie to critical mass may prove to be the biggest startup challenge, although Sen confidently knows ‘they’ve proven it before.’
“We have replicated the experience of Healthcare.gov plus the private market and I think we can amplify the voice of the consumer to create the most competitively priced healthcare marketplace in the country.”
While Gravie’s intends to be nationwide in the long run, but they are starting locally with plans to enter five more states in early next year with the introduction of ancillary services.