Go Gadget Go
Ever opened a letter from a doctor to discover an unexpectedly, eye-poppingly enormous bill? Well, one New York startup wants to make sure that never happens again, by providing a platform that allows the average medical consumer to compare prices.
It’s a concept that ought to appeal to anyone in a position to be cost conscious–whether uninsured, out of network, stuck with a high deductible plan, or just plain offended by overpaying.
Betabeat first encountered Clear Health Costs at the Women’s Demo Night organized by New York Tech Meetup last month. In advance of the company’s debut on the mainstage at tonight’s meetup, Betabeat asked founder and CEO Jeanne Pinder to tell us a little more.
Appropriately, it all began with a dire case of sticker shock. “I got a bill once from a hospital that included a charge for $1,419 for a drug that I found I could buy online for $2.47,” she told Betabeat.
Lean and Healthy
The last time Betabeat got mugged (8pm in the West Village by a couple of jerkoff hipsters!), smartphones hadn’t really been invented yet. Or maybe they had, but we didn’t have enough disposable income to buy one. If we lost our iPhone today, however, we would be be, in a word: screwed. Not that we’re doing anything about it. Despite ample warnings about the bike thieves of Brooklyn and subway iPhone pilferers, we pretty much walk around with it in our hands all the time. In short, except for our stingy streak, we’re probably Protect Your Bubble‘s ideal customer.
While some venture capitalists require their portfolio founders to get life insurance and many startups opt for disaster insurance (server loses all the data, hackers attack, etc.), startups, founders and freelancers often skimp on health insurance. “It’s called DontGetSickOrDie.ly,” tweeted* a local founder after Songsicle founder Frank Denbow posed the question on Twitter (asking for a friend, he said, although he also needs it himself, he told Betabeat).
In part the dearth of health insurance is due to the fact that “lean startup”-leaning founders and freelancers don’t have funding to pay their salaries, let alone benefits (and they’re all 25-year-olds on the 4 Hour Body diet anyway, right?**). But it’s also because the process is complicated and no really great options exist. Sounds like a market ripe for disruption! But in the meantime, Betabeat did a bit of research.