This Isn’t Your Grandma’s Supplemental Health Insurance Plan

by Mike Zarrillo, Chief Insurance Officer, Brella | January 13, 2021

As brokers and employers know all too well, the cost of employee health benefits is rising, and this frightful trend doesn’t show signs of stopping. To cope with rising premiums, health plans have shifted costs to the employee via deductibles, contributing to a nearly 800% rise in the average employee’s deductible over the past 25 years. Compare that to only 18% wage growth during the same period, and you can see the crisis that’s at a breaking point for American families. It’s no wonder interest in supplemental health insurance is growing.

Supplemental health insurance plans exist to help offset the out-of-pocket costs that fall to employees and their families when injuries or illnesses strike. Theoretically, supplementing employee health benefits this way gives employers more flexibility in their health benefits strategy and provides better coverage that can help them attract and retain talented employees.

The problem with today’s supplemental health insurance plans

In reality, employees are often disappointed to find that supplemental health insurance plans don’t adequately offset their healthcare costs or don’t cover what they expected. Why? Accident plans cover accidents, but not illnesses. Critical Illness plans only cover a small list of the most dangerous or life-threatening conditions— but if an employee gets a serious illness that isn’t on the list, it’s not covered. And hospital indemnity plans only provide coverage if an employee is admitted to the hospital. These limitations negatively impact the value of these benefits, too often leaving employees and their families in the lurch with medical bills that exceed their savings.

Asking employees to choose between supplemental health insurance plans like accident or critical illness policies forces them to guess and gamble on which type of health issue they might face in the coming year. No one knows what will happen in the future, and employees shouldn’t have to cross their fingers.

On top of this, today’s supplemental health plan options aren’t known for being easy to use. To file a claim, employees are required to complete long and confusing forms. Meanwhile, employers and brokers struggle to find time to implement and administer multiple plans on top of medical, dental, vision, disability, and life insurance.

How we built a better supplemental health insurance plan

We had these issues in mind when we set out to build the best supplemental insurance plan on the market. Here’s how we did it.

First, we solved the issue of coverage.

Rather than just covering accidents or hospitalizations, Brella covers more than 13,000 injuries and illnesses in one simple plan. Employees can choose the level of coverage they need to help offset the burden of their health insurance deductible, cost-sharing, and any other expenses that come up on the road to recovery.

Then, we simplified the rules.

Brella is a guaranteed issue plan with no pre-existing condition exclusions, and we pay benefits based simply on the diagnosis. There are no covered accident or hospitalization requirements. That means employees can access their benefits as soon as a licensed provider diagnoses their condition—not weeks later when a bill or EOB comes in the mail. If it’s a covered condition diagnosed by a licensed provider, their Brella plan will pay. It’s that simple. 

Next, we used technology to make it easy to file a claim.

Brella is 100% paperless! Our innovative plan design opened the door for technology to make claims easy. Employees can log in and file a claim by uploading photos of their documents, hospital wristbands, prescriptions—even a photo of their cast straight from their smartphone. They can even do it before they leave the point of care. Plus, our game-changing technology allows us to pay claims within hours— not weeks! Read more about how we made it easy to file a claim.

And we didn’t forget about the employer. We made Brella easy to implement and administer.

We know change is never easy and brokers and employers can’t take advantage of a new plan if it’s difficult to implement, enroll, and administer. Our process is completely paperless, and employees can enroll on our standalone enrollment platform, which offers the convenience of self-serve enrollment with white-glove support from our Brella Concierge team. Want to use an existing benefits administration platform? We can support that, too.

Yes, we’re different, and that’s a good thing! But don’t miss the forest for the trees. 

Brella’s supplemental health insurance brings peace of mind.

With wide-ranging coverage that truly complements their employer-sponsored health insurance, Brella members can get the healthcare they need with less worry that their savings will be decimated by medical bills. With fast financial relief from Brella, members can focus on their recovery. That means better health, and better health is priceless.

If you’re an employer in Texas, ask your broker about Brella. Brokers can email sales@joinbrella.com to request a quote, kick the tires, and ask all the questions about our supplemental health insurance plan.

Better Benefits Podcast Episode #2: Building a Better Health Benefits Strategy

For our second episode, Brella board member and former Segment President of Humana, Beth Bierbower, joins us to talk about the challenges and opportunities in 2021 for your health benefits strategy. She also shares some learnings she’s gathered through her guests on her popular podcast, B-Time

The structural challenges in health benefits

It’s no secret that healthcare and health benefits is a challenging space. Costs have accelerated dramatically over the past 25 years. That’s why we built Brella.

What are the drivers of these rapidly accelerating costs? Beth points us to misaligned incentives and fee-for-service pricing models that lack transparency. These are only two structural reasons, among many, why costs have risen so much over the past couple of decades. 

3 reasons for hope

In Beth’s view, there are good reasons to hope that change is both possible and well on its way. For example, recent legislation that allows consumers to own their medical data supports interoperability. Now you to bring your records with you to new providers, avoiding expensive repeat testing. 

Price transparency will also help consumers do more shopping when it comes to getting certain kinds of tests. With a little legwork, Beth was able to save $2500 on a test her doctor prescribed just by shopping around at different facilities. 

New benefits that provide better coverage and make it easy for employees to understand and use their plans are another reason to be optimistic about the future of employer-sponsored health benefits. 

How employers and their brokers should be thinking about health benefits strategy 

It can be easy to keep doing things the way they’ve always been done, but the focus should be on the employee and what’s changing for them. COVID-19 has obviously brought a lot of disruption, and behavioral and mental health benefits are just one example of a huge and growing need. Second, employers and brokers need to be bold enough to embrace change. It takes more work, but as the horizon changes, this will become increasingly important. 

For anyone interested in boost coverage and bring down costs, Mike recently posted 3 health benefit strategies for employers to consider in 2021.

Anyone who knows Beth knows that she’s more than just an insurance executive. She’s a caretaker, a mom, a writer, and a mentor to hundreds of people who’ve worked with her over the years. Here’s Beth’s advice for anyone looking to grow in their career.

“Intellectual curiosity is really important. But don’t just look inside your industry; don’t just read business books. You want to be a well-balanced individual. You really want to know about what’s going on in the world around you, so don’t just focus on your immediate job or your immediate industry.“

– Beth Bierbower

Beth’s book recommendations for personal and professional growth: 

Tune in to the full episode to hear more from Beth, including the formula she uses to prioritize her time to maximize meaning for her family, her career, and her own personal well being. 
We know you’re going to get a lot out of this time spent with Beth. To connect with her, visit https://bethbierbower.com.  And to get in touch with Brella, you can email us at sales@joinbrella.com.

Listen to the full episode for more:

Are you following Better Benefits?

Future guests include former President of Group Protection Business at Lincoln Financial, Dick MucciDave Chase of Health Rosetta, and more!

You can follow Better Benefits on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, and Spotify. If you liked the episode, give us a rating on your favorite podcast platform and don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode! Stay tuned…

Better Benefits Podcast Episode #1: How to Build a Better Benefit

At Brella, we’re on a mission to build a world where health hardships don’t create financial burdens. Fortunately, a lot of good people beyond our company are also working toward this goal using employee benefits. We’re building a better supplemental health plan, but exciting new things are happening in major medical, dental, HSA’s, and other products all across the industry. We thought it was time for an employee benefits podcast to host conversations about what we can do together to ease the financial burden of health issues.

Better Benefits is a new employee benefits podcast for employers, benefits advisors, brokers, and insurance experts who are ready to do things differently to help bring down costs for employers, employees, and their families.

In our inaugural episode, listen as our founding team shares how we built our revolutionary supplemental health insurance plan. You’ll also get a preview of what’s in store for the Better Benefits podcast.

Listen to Better Benefits Episode 1: Why Better Benefits

Better Benefits Podcast Episode #1 Show Notes

Maxwell Health founder, Veer Gidwaney, spent over a decade thinking about how to make benefits and insurance simpler for employers and their teams. Despite Maxwell Health’s success, something still wasn’t working. 

Employer-sponsored benefits are still the primary way American families cover the cost of healthcare. Yet, half of Americans today fear medical-related bankruptcy, and health insurance deductibles are at an all time high. Traditional supplemental plans only cover narrow groups of serious illnesses, and they have covered-accident or hospital admission requirements that limit their benefits. 

As a result, too many employees with insurance run the risk of having to pay large out-of-pocket medical bills the first time they have a health issue every year. Too often, these bills exceed their savings, leading to financial hardship. 

That’s when Veer founded Brella and was introduced to Amanda Turcotte, who became our Chief Insurance Officer. Together, they set out to build a better benefit that could help ease the financial burden that too often comes along when health hardship strikes. 

It started in the fall of 2019 with a 6:30am text message.

An early bird herself, Amanda was more than happy to talk to Veer about designing a better supplemental benefit.

Amanda brought years of experience underwriting and designing new insurance products for major insurers like Guardian, Chubb, and AXA. More recently, she was a partner at a startup and owned her own consulting company in which she practiced human-centered design to better understand consumer problems. 

Armed with research and plenty of personal experience with her own family, Amanda set out to design a new kind of supplemental plan that would cover the vast majority of reasons someone would need urgent medical attention, from moderate conditions like pneumonia to catastrophic conditions like cancer. The new plan also allows employees to personalize their coverage to suit their family’s age, health plan and budget.

Then COVID-19 struck 

After designing the plan in 2019 and submitting it to the Texas Department of Insurance, COVID-19 sent communities all over the world into lockdown. Although we designed the plan before we knew about the novel coronavirus, Brella covers many common complications of the disease, including pneumonia, acute respiratory failure, and sepsis. Brella is the only supplemental plan that can help ease the financial burden of complications of COVID-19 with no hospital admission requirement. 

In this episode, Veer and Amanda share the highs and lows of building an insurance product from the ground up. They also reveal their best leadership advice for managing change and asking for what you want. 

We ask all our guests to share a resource or book that had a profound impact on them either personally or professionally. Amanda recommends Women Don’t Ask by Linda Babcock, which is being re-released in early 2021.

We hope you’ll join us

Future guests include former Segment President at Humana, Beth Bierbower, former President of Group Protection Business at Lincoln Financial, Dick Mucci, and Dave Chase of Health Rosetta.

You can follow Better Benefits on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. If you liked the episode, give us a rating on your favorite podcast platform and don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode! Stay tuned!

3 Strategies for Employers to Supercharge Health Benefits for 2021

by Mike Zarrillo, Chief Revenue Officer, Brella Insurance

Half of Americans now fear a health-related bankruptcy, including employees with employer-sponsored health insurance. Meanwhile, COVID-19 is driving health insurance rate increases for 2021 as insurers struggle to predict whether we’ll see a second wave of infections and whether care deferred in 2020 will drive up utilization in 2021.

In light of these realities, employers need new benefit solutions that both ease employees’ fears and help their business cope with the rising cost of employee benefits. This is exactly why we reinvented supplemental health insurance at Brella.

Brella is a new breed of supplemental insurance that covers 13,000+ medical conditions, including many complications of COVID-19. We make it easy for employees to file a claim and once approved receive a cash payout in as little as 72 hours. While traditional voluntary options cover narrow groups of conditions, we eliminate the guesswork by giving employees the peace of mind that comes with broad coverage in one plan.

Launch

But what about the second challenge? How can employers cope with the rising cost of health benefits?

After hundreds of conversations with brokers and employers leading up to our launch in Texas, three strategies are gaining traction with HR benefit leaders and their broker advisors.

1. Implement a supplemental plan that truly complements the health plan strategy

You’re probably thinking this isn’t a new strategy. You’re right. But it’s never been more clear that brokers and employers appreciate the flexibility and cost-savings that a supplemental plan can unlock when it comes to the overall health plan strategy. It’s also no secret that with a sound supplemental health option, employees are far more comfortable choosing higher deductible health plans with lower premiums knowing they have added protection in the event of an unexpected sickness or injury.

So what’s standing in the way?

Traditional voluntary benefits like accident, critical illness or hospital indemnity are simply too narrow in their design to provide the broad supplemental coverage needed to unlock real value. To reap the financial savings of a higher deductible or out-of-pocket maximum, employers need a supplemental plan that covers more than just an accident or a critical illness. Medical issues come in all shapes and sizes and many fall through the cracks with old-school supplemental offerings.

Brella was built to be an extension of the health plan. With over 13,000 covered conditions in one product, brokers and employers have a supplemental solution that unlocks meaningful health plan design and funding flexibility.

2. Shift a portion of employer HSA dollars toward a supplemental health plan.

More and more employers are making contributions to employee HSA accounts with an average contribution of $768 for single coverage. However, this equates to only 17% of the typical employee out-of-pocket maximum1. So it begs the question, could a supplemental health plan stretch the employer dollar further for employees and their families in the event of an unexpected medical event?

Employer-funded supplemental health isn’t a new concept, but it’s a challenging one. First, there’s the difficult task of finding room in the employer’s budget. Second, there’s the guesswork needed to pick between distinct products like accident, critical illness or hospital indemnity insurance. Shifting a portion of the employer’s existing HSA spend solves for the budget concern, while installing a wide-ranging Brella plan eliminates the product guessing game.

Employers will appreciate that redirecting $300 of HSA contributions toward Brella’s premiums can turn into a $500 benefit for a broken wrist or $5,000 for a heart attack2 all in one plan. Plus, Brella’s broad insurance coverage provides the flexibility to use benefits in any way the employee chooses, with no annual limits or risk of not having enough funds.

3. Retire underutilized benefits to make room for a supplemental health plan.

Early signs seem to indicate that employers will face difficult choices when it comes to health plan design and cost-sharing considerations in 2021. As a result, many are opting to simplify their benefit packages to prioritize health coverage.

This is a good plan as employee retention has long been tied to health plan satisfaction. The upcoming year certainly has the makings of being one where employees will place greater value on the benefits that address their health insurance concerns and provide additional peace of mind.

Has there been a better time to think about rounding out health coverage for employees? Probably not. And although it may mean freeing up shelf space by retiring underutilized programs, a Brella supplemental plan gives employees more comprehensive health coverage during a time when fears are high and costs have never been higher.

  1. Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, 2019 Employer Health Benefits Survey.
    2. Note, these are the payout amounts for one of many Brella plan configurations. Actual benefit amounts may be higher or lower.

Why it’s smart to have supplemental health insurance

by Laura Cave | August 22, 2020

Too often all it takes is one unexpected injury or illness to drain a family’s bank account— even for people with health insurance. Where do all these costs come from? Here are just a few ways that financial hardship often follows health hardships, and why supplemental health insurance can be a smart supplement to your health benefits.

Health Insurance Cost-sharing

The average employee health plan today has a $1600+ deductible for single coverage, and deductibles for families are much higher. You can expect to pay cash for medical care until you reach your deductible, and if there is a separate pharmacy deductible, it could leave you on the hook for costly medications before your coverage kicks in.

After your deductible, you’ll share the cost of your care with the insurance company by paying co-pays or co-insurance, which is a % of the medical bill. When you reach your out-of-pocket max, which is $3,000 or more for most people, you’ll typically be covered for the rest of the year, but look out for limitations on coverage, especially for services like physical therapy.

Denied health insurance claims

Increasingly, health plans may not cover care that happens outside their network of healthcare providers. Experimental and alternative treatments often are not covered as well. You may also see claims denied for not following rules that require prior authorization, proof of medical necessity, or step therapy that shows you’ve failed to find relief with less expensive treatments.

Everyday expenses

Almost everyone has some exposure to medical bills, and pre-tax health savings accounts (HSA) can help cover those costs. But what your HSA dollars can’t cover is other expenses that happen because you’re out of commission with an injury or illness.

What would happen if you weren’t able to do all the things you normally handle in your household? Who will watch the kids, walk the dog, mow the lawn, and put dinner on the table every night? How would you get to and from doctor appointments? Would your absence from work mean a loss of income?

Health insurance doesn’t cover these kinds of costs, and you can’t use health savings account funds to cover them either.

What’s so smart about supplemental?

Supplemental health insurance is designed to provide financial support when costs like the above add financial strain to a health hardship.

The problem has been that, historically, supplemental plans have only covered narrow groups of conditions, so you’d have to buy as many as 4 plans to get comprehensive coverage. Brella’s simple supplemental plan is different. It covers 13,000+ conditions, including an option to cover chronic diseases and mental health, and you can personalize your payouts to get the level of financial support you need.

If you’re diagnosed with a covered condition, use our app to submit a claim in minutes and, once approved, get paid in hours—not weeks. Use it to pay for anything you need on the road to recovery from medical bills to groceries and childcare.

In short, a supplemental plan like Brella is smart because it compliments your benefits to cover costs that other plans miss.

Brella Announces Launch in Texas with $7M+ Funding

NEW YORK, August 10, 2020 / PRNewsire / — Brella Insurance, Inc. announced it has launched a modern supplemental health insurance plan for Texas-based employers and their teams. The company also announced its new name, Brella, and that it has raised an additional $1.5M from new investors, bringing their total funding to over $7M.

“Brella covers more conditions than any other supplemental health plan on the market, so we took the opportunity to choose a brand name that evokes the wide-ranging coverage we’re excited to bring to Texas,” said Founder and CEO, Veer Gidwaney. “We’re also excited to welcome a few new investors who bring a wealth of industry experience as we build Brella into a company that ensures health hardships don’t lead to financial hardship.”

Even with health insurance, millions of Americans face financial burdens associated with unexpected medical events, and traditional products like critical illness, hospital indemnity, and accident insurance are simply too narrow in their scope of coverage to be truly supplemental.

That’s where Brella comes in. Brella is a supplemental health insurance plan that pays cash if you’re diagnosed with any of 13,000+ covered conditions—many of which are common complications of COVID-19. Brella aims to make it easy for employers to enhance their employee benefits with a simple supplemental plan that covers more and truly complements their health insurance.

Brella’s new investors include Digitalis, Operator Partners—the investment group that includes Zach Weinberg and Nat Turner of Flatiron Health—as well as angel investor Ron Bouganim. They join Brella’s existing investors, Two Sigma Ventures, Founder Collective, SymphonyAI, and RGAx, among others.

Founded in 2019 by Veer Gidwaney, former CEO and co-founder of Maxwell Health, Brella has partnered with RGAx and Greenhouse Life Insurance Company, subsidiaries of Reinsurance Group of America (RGA), one of the largest global life and health reinsurance companies, to bring this unique solution to the employee benefits market.

The company is actively engaging brokers and employers in Texas. To learn more and get in touch, visit joinbrella.com or email sales@joinbrella.com.

About Brella

Founded in 2019, Brella is modernizing supplemental health benefits to build a world where health hardship doesn’t mean financial hardship. Brella’s simple supplemental plan covers 13,000+ conditions and pays cash on diagnosis that you can use for anything you need on the road to recovery. Learn more at joinbrella.com and follow @brellainsurance.

How to File a Claim with Brella

Too many Americans with supplemental health insurance benefits run into pages of forms, byzantine rules, and broken websites when they turn to their plan for help with medical expenses. So one of our top priorities in building Brella was to make it easy to file a claim and get paid quickly.

We built Brella to say yes to claims.

We set out to build a modern supplemental benefit that actually pays benefits! To deliver on this promise, we designed a simple, comprehensive plan that’s easy to use. Just log on to our mobile app, submit a claim in minutes, and get paid in hours, not weeks.

Saying yes to claims starts with a straightforward plan design. Our plans cover 13,000+ conditions so unlike traditional supplemental plans, Brella is one wide-ranging benefit that pays for critical illness, accidents, cancer, and more, all in one plan. We pay on diagnosis, so the rules are simple. It doesn’t matter where you get care or what treatment you receive. Your diagnosis is all we need to pay cash you can use to cover medical expenses or everyday costs.

So how do you file a claim?

Filing a claim can be notoriously hard to do with traditional insurers. With Brella, you can forget faxes and file a claim from anywhere in minutes with our mobile app.

First, tell us what happened. We’ll ask you for a few details to help us understand your condition.

Next, send us photos to verify your diagnosis. Upload photos of your discharge papers, your wristband, an IV bag, or your cast—anything you have on hand that validates your claim. We accept evidence of your diagnosis from the point of care so you don’t have to wait for bills or paperwork to come in the mail before you can file a claim. We made our requirements flexible in an effort to work with what you’ve got. Hit submit and we’ll review everything within hours.

Transparency every step of the way

After you submit your claim to Brella, it lives on your claims dashboard in the Brella mobile app. Check back any time to see the updated status. Once we’ve reviewed your claim, we’ll let you know that you’ve been approved, or we’ll reach out to you for more information. Our concierge team is available via phone, chat, or email to answer questions anytime throughout the process.

Get paid in hours, not weeks.

A big part of creating a plan that’s designed to say yes is making it easy to get paid. When you become a Brella member, you’ll designate whether you want to be paid by Venmo, Paypal, or ACH to your bank account. That way, we’re set up to pay you quickly anytime you submit a claim. You can change your payment preferences anytime with a few taps in our mobile app.

The majority of our claims are paid within 72 hours, and we’re just getting started. We plan to automate parts of the claims approval process so in the future most payments will happen automatically and instantly.

Claims are at the heart of Brella

Historically, too many Americans have had a confusing and inconvenient experience filing a claim, and this has broken consumer trust with the entire industry.

We built Brella to be a better option and to stand in the gap for the millions of American families who are exposed to medical expenses when health issues arise. We hope to earn trust with a convenient claims process that’s easy to use and delivers on our promise to pay cash quickly whenever you’re sick or injured with a covered condition.

How Brella Helps with COVID-19

COVID-19 reveals why everyone needs supplemental insurance. Over the past few months, we’ve seen COVID-19 send thousands of Americans to the hospital, and many are worried about how they’ll pay for the care they received. In fact, medical worker, Derrick Smith, shared the story of a patient who used his last breaths before being put on a ventilator to ask his wife how they’d pay for his care—a concern no one should have while struggling to breathe.

A few major health insurers have temporarily waived cost-sharing for COVID-related treatment, and the CARES Act has made screenings free, but the financial damage remains to be seen. With 45% of employees on health plans with $2000+ deductibles, out-of-pocket costs could be substantial.

This crisis highlights the reality of financial hardship that too often comes with unexpected medical issues. To address this, we’ve built a new, comprehensive, supplemental insurance plan to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses that health insurance doesn’t cover.

What’s wrong with today’s supplemental plans?

Supplemental plans were designed in the 1980’s to cover narrow groups of conditions like critical illness, accidents, or cancer so you’d have coverage if your health insurance reached its annual max.

But today’s health plans don’t have annual limits. Today we have high deductibles, which leaves families with health insurance exposed to big medical bills for things like pneumonia, appendicitis, or a broken wrist, before their health insurance ever kicks in.

If you have a supplemental plan today, chances are COVID-19 wasn’t around when you enrolled, so it may not be covered. Insurers won’t have an opportunity to add coverage until the next enrollment cycle. Meanwhile, the virus can trigger a wide range of complications that may or may not qualify for coverage.

Plus, many legacy supplemental plans rely on outdated rules and technology, so members have to track down paperwork and fax in complicated forms to submit a claim. Then they wait for weeks, and their claims are frequently denied.

Brella is one simple benefit that pays when it counts

Brella is a modern, comprehensive supplemental benefit that pays cash in hours, not weeks, if you’re diagnosed with any of 13,000+ covered conditions. Members can customize their Brella plan to get coverage that compliments their health insurance and supports their health needs, including chronic conditions and mental health.

So how does Brella cover a disease like COVID-19?

While COVID-19 is not a covered diagnosis, Brella covers many of the most severe complications of the disease including, pneumonia, acute respiratory failure, sepsis, certain heart issues, and kidney issues. There’s no supplemental plan on the market today that covers such a wide range of conditions.

When we designed the Brella plan for comprehensive coverage, we never imagined our strategy would position us to cover the effects of a disease that didn’t even exist yet. But we’re so glad it does! This is exactly why we built Brella.

Health hardship shouldn’t mean financial hardship

Derrick Smith’s story went viral because we are all grappling with the reality that too many American families are facing financial hardship because of unexpected health issues. Brella exists to change this.

We are looking forward to working with brokers and employers to make comprehensive, supplemental benefits available to teams starting this summer in Texas. We know brokers are looking for better benefit solutions, and employers want to provide competitive benefits that truly cover their employees and their families. If that’s you, get in touch!

Brella Concierge: A Force for Yes

Supplemental insurance companies are famous for saying no. With only a few covered conditions, lots of rules, and outdated technology, there are so many reasons why legacy plans struggle to say yes to members.

We built Brella from the ground up to say yes. We offer one simple plan you can personalize to get coverage for 13,000+ conditions that require urgent medical care. We use new technology to automate the claims process so we can say yes in hours, not weeks. And we’re staffing a Brella Concierge team that will be a force for yes in an industry that has become synonymous with no.

Isn’t this just a fancy way of talking about customer service? What’s different about Brella’s Concierge?

We’re so glad you asked. Brella’s Concierge team is a network of local representatives who are responsible for helping employers and members from open enrollment to renewal and every day in between.

There are a few factors that make your Brella Concierge different from anyone you’ve worked with at an insurance company before. We worked to improve the following factors when we designed our Concierge team.

Access

When you need an answer, we won’t send you through a byzantine phone tree that leaves you shouting “representative!” just to get someone on the line. You’ll have access to answers where and when you need them. You might find an answer in our online tools, or chat with us from the Brella app. If you want to, you always have the option to talk to us on the phone. You’ll have a dedicated Concierge who knows you and your employer and lives in your neck of the woods.

By simplifying our plan’s rules, and automating much of the process, we’re able to free up our people to be available to both employers and members when you need us.

Listening

A concierge doesn’t just answer the question at hand. They listen for context to understand the question behind the question. They offer answers to questions you didn’t even know you should be asking. Our Concierge team is trained to listen holistically and go beyond initial request to get to the heart of the issue.

Empathy

If a company’s phone lines are maxed because their plans are complicated and their website is broken, the average customer service rep’s empathy goes out the window. Brella covers a wide range of conditions and our technology does the hard work behind the scenes, so we’re able to empower our team to value and practice empathy.

We’re hiring empathetic people in your area who care about our employers and members, especially when they’re in the middle of an unexpected health issue. We’re able to encourage and reward empathy because we used technology and plan design to put ourselves in a position to focus on the members who really need our help.

Ownership

Your Brella Concierge will remember your name and call you back. If they don’t know the answer, they’ll make it their mission to find out for you. They’ll leverage the expertise of the technology and insurance experts on our team and get back to you, explaining the complicated stuff in terms that are easy to understand.

You’ll have the option to speak to any Concierge in our network if you just need a quick answer when your dedicated Concierge isn’t available. However, for issues that require research and follow up, your dedicated Concierge is on your side and will work with you until you have the information you need.

Clarity

You’re not an insurance expert and you shouldn’t have to be! Our Concierge team is fluent in insurance but they know how to translate complicated concepts so they’re easier to understand. Plus our simplified plan design just doesn’t have some of the “gotchas” that make life complicated for customer service reps at other insurance companies.

Like all insurance products, your Brella policy does have limitations, but no matter the outcome of your inquiry, we commit to say yes to being accessible, listening well, offering empathy, taking ownership, and communicating clearly.

What is Supplemental Insurance?

It’s no secret that healthcare costs continue to soar. And even with good health insurance, illnesses and injuries can impact your wallet in a major way. Between higher health insurance deductibles, copays, and out of pocket maximums, you can expect to be on the hook for a number of healthcare-related costs that will really add up.

Since traditional health insurance plans don’t cover everything in full when you’re sick or injured, insurance companies have ramped up their sales of other products that aim to offset the cost of medical care. These types of plans are known as supplemental health insurance plans.

Now, you may be wondering: What is supplemental health insurance?

How does supplemental health insurance work?

Supplemental health insurance plans help offset the cost of out-of-pocket medical expenses that aren’t paid in full by your health insurance plan — which is why you may need supplemental health insurance. These expenses can include copays, coinsurance, or the costs you’re responsible for before reaching your deductible. They can also be basic expenses like transportation or childcare costs associated with recovery.

There are typically three types of supplemental health insurance:

  1. Accident Insurance may pay a lump-sum benefit if you are injured in a covered accident. Payouts vary based on the type of injury you suffer, the treatment you need, and the coverage you purchased.
  2. Critical Illness Insurance may pay a lump-sum benefit if you are diagnosed with a serious illness. Payouts vary based on the diagnosis and the coverage you purchased. Most plans only include coverage for a limited number of specific illnesses.
  3. Hospital Indemnity Insurance may pay a lump-sum benefit if an illness or injury results in hospital admission, emergency room treatment, and daily hospital confinement. Payouts vary based on a number of factors including treatment and the coverage you purchased.

In order to receive a payment through one of these supplemental health insurance plans, you must purchase coverage for each one separately and then meet each of the policy’s requirements. Unless you have coverage under all three, your protection is limited. And even if you have all three, policy restrictions will likely leave you with gaps in coverage. This means that you—the consumer—are often left disappointed that the insurance you pay for doesn’t quite cover what you thought.

Where traditional supplemental health insurance plans get it wrong

Supplemental health insurance plans are in need of a major update. They were created decades ago when the healthcare landscape was very different. Plan deductibles and treatment costs were lower and most health insurance plans covered more. And they were created with a great deal of complexity — three separate products all with different benefit triggers and policy requirements.

This complexity also means a frustrating and cumbersome claims process. Claims are often denied due to the fine print and unclear policy provisions. And if you’re looking for additional support, you can expect long hold times paired with frustrating customer service. With so many hoops to jump through, supplemental insurance can be more stressful than helpful in times of need. Where’s the benefit in that?

Meet the modern supplemental health insurance plan, Brella.

We’ve updated the old model of supplemental health insurance and simplified the experience from start to finish. Brella is a simple, comprehensive benefit that sends you fast cash when you are sick or injured. Brella covers a much larger list of conditions than the typical old-fashioned supplemental health insurance plans. And we’re built for speed! No more paper forms, faxes, and multi-step claim processes. Brella sends you the cash you need quickly through our mobile app.

So how does Brella work?

Brella is simple. We built one plan that covers 13,000+ conditions that would require urgent medical care. Brella pays based on your diagnosis, and those payouts are based on the severity of your condition. We think about conditions in three categories:

  1. Moderate conditions that require a short visit to the ER or urgent care and typically don’t require surgery can receive up to $800 from Brella.
  2. Severe conditions that often require surgery or more intensive treatment can receive up to $3,000 from Brella.
  3. Catastrophic conditions that are life-threatening and require immediate medical intervention and longer recovery can receive up to $10,000 from Brella.

The more serious the condition, the more we pay out. It’s that simple. Plus, you have the option to customize your payouts to suit your family’s needs.

A member experience that’s easy

With our mobile app you’re always connected to Brella. Our technology is built around photos, not faxes. Send us a photo of your discharge papers or related documents on your way out of the ER to kickstart your claim process. We’ll take it from there and, once approved, send your cash in hours. Use your Brella mobile app to stay up to speed on what’s covered, check your claim status, interact with real humans, and much more.