The Silicon Review
Healthcare2U, at a high level, is a hybrid Direct Primary Care membership. It is not insurance and does not involve claims. It’s 100% capitated, meaning your monthly fee covers everything associated with the membership. The plan is very encompassing. Look at it from the standpoint of a primary care doctor’s office. Everything that takes place in a primary care doctor’s office is included in Healthcare2U’s membership. It includes unlimited care for acute conditions. If you want to go to the doctor 30 times a month, you can go to the doctor 30 times a month. That cost is only $10 per visit. Urgent care visits are $25 each, and virtual visits are free.
Healthcare2U’s nationwide footprint allows it to provide doctor accessibility to its members regardless of location. The company can transfer medical records between Healthcare2U and Healthcare2U Physician Services providers for every visit—eliminating care fragmentation and chances for misdiagnosis. Healthcare2U’s plan includes an annual physical with four labs: a complete metabolic panel, complete blood count, thyroid-stimulating hormone, and lipid panel. Additionally, it includes unlimited early-stage chronic disease management for 13 of the most prevalent chronic diseases, such as anxiety, arthritis, asthma, blood pressure, CHF, COPD, depression, diabetes, fibromyalgia, GERD, gout, hypertension, and thyroid.
Healthcare2U also coordinates ancillary services as part of its program, such as discounts on MRI CT, X-rays, prescription medications, vision, and more. All for an affordable cost.
In conversation with Andy Bonner, Co-Founder, President & CEO of Healthcare2U
Q. What are the challenges you had to face while developing solutions for Healthcare2U? How did you overcome them?
Initially, there were two challenges I’d need to overcome. First was the price point for membership, which today is $45.00 a month. The second was showing partner physicians that this was a beneficial program and just as profitable as the fee-for-service world.
The doctors in our network go through a very extensive credentialing process. We show them how they can practice in this direct primary care arena and how our reimbursements are above and beyond what they would traditionally receive in the fee-for-service world. I’m proud to say that in our ten-year history, we’ve never had a doctor leave our network unless they were purchased or retired. Every doctor from ten years ago is still with us. That speaks volumes to me.
We began by offering our membership to individuals, but the individual healthcare market has major challenges centered around billing and collecting payment. Our focus then shifted to employer-group health plans. I quickly realized we needed to work with insurance companies and third-party administrators to expand the program and scale the business. We needed to combine other products with our membership for brokerage firms and the employer group clientele to accept this as a viable healthcare alternative. The goal became to make Healthcare2U available to employees either by employers paying for their employees’ membership or offering it as a voluntary benefit where employees could pay for it through their paycheck.
I hired people who understood the employer group market and helped develop unique products. These partnerships helped Healthcare2U gain the attention of innovative brokerage firms that wanted to offer something new. These initial relationships led to other brokers working with us because they didn’t want to be at a competitive disadvantage.
Solving the price point issue and creating the doctor network allowed us to start tracking up from a revenue perspective. We started with a single clinic in San Antonio, then expanded to six. With the help of broker relationships, we moved to Houston and Dallas. For our first four years that’s how we grew the company, broker by broker and adding doctors along the way. And now we have doctors and members in all 50 states.
Q. About adaptability, how do you stay relevant to the people’s interests and needs in this highly volatile market?
What we are doing is not a fad; we are solving critical issues regarding healthcare. We provide people with decision-making tools that improve their overall health. To do this, we constantly refine and improve our member experience.
I’ve always been a stats guy. I monitor metrics like how much time we spend on the phone with a member and our call answer rate time. I want members to have a white glove experience. If we make the interaction a pleasant customer experience, members will keep using the service and promote us to their employers, families, and friends. In my opinion, Healthcare2U has proven through broker adoption and membership growth that word-of-mouth promotion is far better marketing than paying for an ad.
I’m not aware of anyone else in the direct primary care industry doing it like us. Our scale and price point are unmatched. We are constantly delivering unique products that utilize Healthcare2U and solve the complexities surrounding healthcare. We want to make the healthcare experience better, more manageable, and the best it can be. By guiding individuals toward better care and ensuring that both members and employers have an excellent experience at a reduced cost, we accomplish the vision I had when launching Healthcare2U.
Q. What does the future hold for your company and its customers? Are exciting things on the way?
I love leading this company and my involvement in the daily decision-making. We don’t have a competitor doing it like we are. The highway is in front of us and we’re the only ones on it. We always move forward, we’re not complacent. While we celebrate our victories, we’re not content with our accomplishments. Our team consistently strives to do better and further develop business relationships with more people. We are leaders in the direct primary care industry and we’re getting the word out about all the things we can do and all the different ways we can help.
This is what excites me, knowing that my team and I have this opportunity to bring affordable and accessible healthcare to people in new creative ways. It’s motivating to know we are working toward the same goal; the challenge of staying focused on that goal is not wavering.
Q. What do you see as your biggest challenge?
Nobody ever got fired for doing business with IBM back in the day. However, if you did business with another technology provider that wasn’t IBM, then they didn’t deliver IBM results, and you could get fired. The same applies in the health space. A lot of health brokers are accustomed to doing business with Blue Cross, Blue Shield, or Aetna and designing a portfolio of well-known and established products. And they’re used to their annual four or five-percent premium increases. But in today’s world, it’s more common to see a 10 to 20% increase. Many are unwilling to go out of the box and look at something like Healthcare2U. I believe there’ll be a point when they notice us, possibly once they lose a group to a broker embedding our product in their portfolio. But for the most part, our biggest challenge has been getting into large brokerage houses and having them adopt us. But we won’t stop coming, we will continue our upward trajectory, and we will continue to rev our engine as we lead the way down that proverbial highway.
Q. Meet the leader behind the success of Healthcare2U
As Co-Founder, President, and CEO of Healthcare2U, Andy Bonner dedicates his career to improving the quality and accessibility of affordable healthcare. With a background in business process outsourcing, Andy strives to make a difference in the healthcare industry by looking at issues through a problem-solving lens. In this regard, he developed an innovative healthcare membership and cost structure that challenges the traditional model of how healthcare is purchased and consumed. In collaboration with his executive team, Andy seeks out and implements new products and services into Healthcare2U’s portfolio that improve his already-successful business model.