EP9 – Home Care Insurtech w/ Dr. Char Hu & Christina Newbrough of The Helper Bees

If you haven’t noticed or heard about any technical advances in Long term Care or Workers Compensation insurance, you aren’t alone. Much of the focus of technology and insurance has been on Property & Casualty and to a lesser extend life insurance. The Helper Bees are changing that. With a focus on data, analytics on the homecare aspect of long-term care, and workers’ compensation, The Helper Bees technology is driving down loss costs for homecare. We discuss this and how their technology is being and has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic in this episode of The Coverager Podcast.

Watch here:

Connect:
Dr. Char Hu (Linkedin)
Christina Newbrough (LinkedIn)
The Helper Bees (homepage)

Some Useful Links:
The Coronavirus Effect on Older Adults Living at Home
The Next Iteration for Aging-in-place Innovation Will Not Come From an Industry You Expect
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Video Credits: Intro Stock Footage by Videvo

Transcript

Nick
And we're back with the Coverager Podcast. I have two guests with me that we're we're going to be talking about long term care insurance and how you know, technology and innovation is affecting that area. And of course, which is, you know, the topic of the day, how that particular how their technology and how their business solution might is, how it's being affected by the current pandemic crisis and what they're doing about it. So my guests this week are Christina Newbrough and Dr. Char Hu. Char is the founder and CEO and Christina is the director of strategic partnerships at the helper bees. to both of you, good afternoon. Yeah, so let's kick it right off. We're going to be talking about long term care. But let's let's let as you said Shar you like to be succinct before we hit Record, let's jump right into the helper bees and give an elevator pitch for a what the help of bees is and what do you do?

Char
Yep, so we are a non traditional name for a b2b company, especially one that plays an insurance. So, at our core, what we do is we help some of the world's largest insurance companies reduce their costs associated with home care. So big goal, but what we try to do is drive data driven insights through a variety of both technology and services to drive those substantial cost reductions. And as you mentioned, or long term care which, you know, cost reductions are a significant issue, especially given the current current interest rate climb. Yeah.

Nick
Just as a FYI, for my sake, does it just have to be long term care?

Char
No, that's, that's what's interesting about what we do. Long term care was the first market that we entered. We, as a company have a lot of background in delivering long term care as service providers, but recent Christina and I have started making headway before the pandemic at least into other forms of insurance that reimbursed for home care. So the immediate traction was in workers compensation, but we have some interest as well in disability insurance, both short term and long term. Anybody who pays for home care. That is, that's our arena.

Nick
Yeah. So a question I'll kind of throw to both of you. My guess is that like a lot of areas in the healthcare sphere, home healthcare is probably either had a, you know, a price curve that's exceeded you know, the general rate of inflation. Can you talk about that, like, Where Where have with before you came on the scene? Where has the price trend been going?

Char
Yeah, overall, you see homecare in general starting to creep up. Typically though the rate of growth was less than what you would see an institutionalized setting. Although you're starting to see some increases in the high single digits, institutionalized settings, so the advent of the assisted living facility, for instance over the last decade and how that's become more and more popular, use oversea institutions like that grow significantly double digit growth in cost, which makes home care because it comparatively had a lower rate of growth, much more attractive from a financial perspective. But it's one of those rare opportunities where I do think payment and carrier goals are completely aligned, because the claimant wants to stay at home. So the alternative to that would be to go to one of these institutions and 90% of us to no surprise want to remain at home. But from a price perspective, it has scaled a little bit when it comes to either inflation or just wage pressures. But over the last 10 years, of me being an industry, I haven't seen a significant growth rate on the cost of the service like I have seen in institutions. Yeah.

Christina
Yeah, to be honest, that's a little bit weird. Even the helper bees and our service offering comes into play. You know, initially, I think one of the biggest sort of drivers in the homecare market and what carriers were used to reimbursing for is, is traditional agency care. And there's a lot of variability and cost as well as, as well as quality. And so with our, with our kind of caregiving model, which is one of our service offerings, and we may talk about that later, but we actually helped control both for that cost and quality by providing both higher wages to caregivers as well as offsetting that total cost of the claim through consistent care and the use of technology.

Nick
So I want to talk about that. So I don't even know what the correct next question would be cuz I wanted to go into how you got into the how this got started. So let's table that and talk about how do you do that. So how, how is it possible to potentially pay caregivers more which You would think, given given what you've heard and seen that that could potentially you could get a higher quality caregivers for when you're able to pay better and you're less likely to get have other problematic issues. So how do you balance the additional cost for that with while also reducing the overall cost?

Char
Yeah, we have this this paradoxical model that when we're raising investment, it says, Hey, I'm gonna charge everybody else lower rates, and we're gonna pay the helper higher and we're gonna make a ton of money. And it will, that basic math doesn't work. Yeah. So the answer their scale, right? And so what we do is we've been hardwired based on our previous experience, again, being in long term care service providers. We believe the we're passionate about older adults, we're passionate about care recipients. If I had to guess, though, or wager we actually are a lot more passionate about the caregivers because typically they're paid nine to $10 an hour. They're the fastest growing workforce in the US. They do an amazing job. And I think this pandemic is really casting a big necessary spotlight on that. And so for us, we want to hard code something into the formation of the company. And that was, can we start paying a living wage so around on average on our platform, can they earn about $15 an hour on average, there's geographical discrepancies, of course. And so for us, we wanted that we saw the writing on the wall if we want the macroscopic home caregiver forces where you start to see unionization and apply for 15. We saw the writing on the wall and frankly, we thought it was the right thing to do. But in order for us to actually make money, we have to be more efficient, and we have to build the technology to handle that so we operate nationwide. We are based in Austin, Texas, and we have about one and a half persons running the matching the matching of caregiver operation. in Austin, and the core three corresponding if we had an agency would easily be four or five x that that number of staff. So what we do is pass those savings off the two people. That's the helper as well as insurance carrier.

Nick
That's the kind of nails that so how did it start? What did you What were you? What were you both of you doing before you you joined helper Beeson where the light bulb what you know what was that light bulb moment? That's like, there's a problem and there's an opportunity, I'm going to go ahead and solve it.

Char
So, my background my my doctorate is in molecular biophysics, so I was researched protein folding and that had some implications for Alzheimer's disease. My grandmother was diagnosed though, while I was finishing my research. And so I transitioned out and started founding dementia facilities. So on to I'm actually at one now or demon essential service so I get to get out of the house. I'm one of the few individuals in the world that can can leave my home. But this sparked by over a decade ago sparked a number of other companies in home health and in home care in general. So the idea was I owned a homecare agency. And we started realizing we were a dispatch service. And we were taking a pretty hefty margin, a 30 to 40% margin of just taking some staff and connecting them up with the care recipient. And I was taking a great margin for just sitting back and not doing anything. And our co founder, Eric actually had the idea. And this was at the start of Uber, where everyone was going to Uber rides everything Uber ride, or dog dog walking Uber of everything. It was actually his idea. But it took me about two days to actually understand like, of course, that's the way we should do it. This is highly personalized care. I'm just a dispatch service. That's all I'm doing is saying hey, you go to this home, you go to this home. Instead, if we could remove me remove that intermediate, but allow a framework to exist around like a normal more human relationship, which is around personalities and interests and allow that to flourish, then both parties win. And I can build some tech and take a little piece of that, but much less than I would have.

Nick
Christina, what were you doing?

Christina
Yeah, so I was a former life was working in social enterprise and international aid, but actually met Shar and the founding team. I was working at TechStars as their company went through as a portfolio company. And so I think from what was that, like, day one of all of you transitioning full time to the helper V's Yeah. So very early on, in the company met them and, you know, just

follow in with Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

Nick
Yeah. So so for both of you as, as I'm hearing the solution, a couple things come to mind, which is, if we do that on demand model, right. Do you have situations Because I know of specific circumstances where someone has home healthcare and they have like the same person coming routinely all the time. Does your system kind of break that a little bit where you could have different folks coming in at different time? Or is it Have you have you evolved that so that you can they can, that once that relationship is formed between the person that needs the health care and the health care provider that they can, they can remain intact? Yeah,

Char
so the norm really in home care agencies is to potentially have a different caregiver every visit. And so when you're dealing with personal care, like personal hygiene care, that's that's obviously a problem. Some great agencies out there really will match you to the same carrier and you get it get the same carrier every visit. Definitely not the norm though, and we hear that from our insurance carrier claimants when we were first taking our solution around. We heard that this is our number one complaint from our clients. We have nothing we can do about it. They get a different Every time the caregiver doesn't know anything about them before they walk into the door, yeah. And so what we started with this idea, of course, direct connecting people. And this is what's more efficient, again, which allows for the economics to work. But really getting back to the notion of what do human relationships even look like. And that's our ability to bond and our ability to now actually extend each other grace when it comes to things like scheduling or having to change things around. And so for us, as long as we are providing the seed of a relationship, and we allow both parties now to be active participants in the relationship, and this is really key that doesn't exist today. A homecare agency is just going to send you somebody who they think is best, especially in my example. That's what I was doing. But then ours we actually put the care recipient or their power of attorney or their family. We allow them to select their own caregiver, so they've got a lot of skin in the game. This is reflective of every other human relationship you have where, you know, I'm invested in it, and that means I'm invested in making it work. And so we've seen that ownership of the care recipient side should be really transformative because now there have been empowered to go in and select and be an active participant in who's delivering that care. And it makes the relationship a lot stickier. Yeah, and

Christina
just as an interesting follow up to that, I mean, granted, the sample size is still still a bit small, but tying it back into the carrier benefit. We've actually shown through our data, again, being a technology company. So we've got a lot of things digitized, that having the same caregiver every time, actually, you're going to see a better result or a more consistent result when it comes to actually reporting back care on that on that particular customer. versus when you have a lot of interruptions in the care and the care delivery, you have a bit of you have a bit of like inaccuracy or discrepancy that's sort of not explained and in understanding that person's care journey. And so that's been kind of interesting to be able to look at and analyze. Not only Do we have that sort of belief, you know, inherent in chars experience, we also now can see it through through a data set.

Nick
Right. So that seems like instinctually correct. Right? Did you did you lead into building your technology to try to execute on something like like that? Or did it kind of holistically happen?

Char
This has been the another sort of hard constraint when we founded the company where all the founding team at least worked sort of a little nerdy. And so we love math, and we love data. And so we

Nick
have a little protein folding

Char
and protein folding. That's right, and I did the protein folding with supercomputers. And so like we like, we like crunching data and if we want to take the business wonky reasons why we founded the company, we love homecare, we love homecare services, but we also saw that who really cares about this and that's it. You follow the money and the payers really care. So in the US, if we started looking at this baby boomer growth in Medicare doesn't cover this sort of service. So who does it fall to? Well, private insurance or Medicaid. We decided that we knew early on that long term care insurance, at least the one we're most familiar with is going to have significant challenges as baby when we're starting to start falling claims, frankly. We also saw there's no scalable way to acquire data from the home to actually deliver transformative care. We saw this in a small microcosm here in North of Boston, we extrapolated that out for and so we wanted to build as this scalable data acquisition model. So even if we want to talk about the helper bees, the helpers are going out using our technology or those that we've matched are like the little bees and they go and pollinate and they grab pollen, they bring it back to the hive, which is sort of our data analytics engine. So we've masked this huge data set of how do people age and is constantly generating information and what we can do from this and more We're doing now is starting to say, all right, well, now let's, let's analyze this, let's split up individuals and say, Well, you know, these are the interventions that actually work. These are the ones that you should try to remain at home, we can now be your guide, guided by information and data, as opposed to, everybody needs to be aware of false or Everyone needs an Apple Watch, or everyone needs a medication adherence device, which honestly is the only alternative. There's other than stratifying each claimant or policyholder by age, there was really nothing else that you could do. And so data has always been a huge driver of why we exist. And so that's where we built our our technology from the ground up knowing that our sort of downstream effect of gathering this data would be ripe.

Christina
I think from a knowledge transfer perspective to I mean, having sort of this power to to show carriers on a real time basis. You know, what's going on, it sort of solidifies to them Okay, this investment in a digital data and then be maybe some analytics on top of it is actually worth it. So that's been very different because I mean, they were paper based, you know, processes for a long time and you just can't do much from a scale perspective or even analyze to the level that we can in any, you know, this is truly big data. And there's just no way to do that when it's paper.

Nick
Yes, so my day to day is in property Casualty. And now, you know, I have quite an extensive set of relationships with folks that deal with the life, life industry, and you know, and I discovered that life was even worse. PNC was bad, life was even worse. So, it's now sound like, I'm imagining myself, I'm putting myself in the shoes as like an executive, a long term care company. My my instincts probably tell me that they were probably just as bad if not worse, in terms of like a digital infrastructure. Being able to actually act and move on data as the life companies were. That sounds like that's what you found. They just think they there was probably a lot of information around, but they just couldn't do anything with it. And they could they weren't able to take advantage of this new digital data, the big data that Christina was talking about, they weren't able to take advantage of that.

Char
Yeah, I mean, you have to remember who was writing these policies, who was issuing these and these were big life insurance companies, initially in sort of the early 2000s and late 90s. And so yeah, that was one of the biggest surprises not being an insurance. Two years ago when we start talking about matching and we're a high tech company is realizing they can't ingest any of the data that we're giving to them. And we we just assumed that you could we assume that everybody wanted this digital data. But we are to this day, still, of course, because things change slowly, but we're up against hard constraints of existing either admin systems or systems. In general, and so we've had to be really flexible with the way that we do our data analytics, because you can't just flood people with data. That's one of the worst things that you could do. But also, we needed to make it so that it was easy to say, yes, we're a small and young company. And when it comes to innovation, sometimes it's difficult to adopt when you're a huge massive life insurance company. And so we just we allow existing processes existing admin platforms to exist. We integrate seamlessly within that, but we just pull out one little bit. And we have this data analytics and this reporting that we send to them. Our carrier customers, just, you know, some interesting reports for them to just analyze or block or analyze specific use cases.

Nick
Yeah. So outside of the specific reduction in cost of the, you know, the expense part, the claim part of the business. there almost seems like with that analytics as you're learning, as as your as the CEO sample size grows, Christina and as the big data comes in, and as the technology is able to view the data, create, you know, predictive models and other things off of that, that there's almost like a virtuous cycle that could feed back to the underwriting part of it.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker
So if you?

Char
Yes. So the idea would be, if I could build a great machine learning algorithm to determine a particular profile, understand their morbidity. And that's what's fascinating about long term care, like, I'm fascinated with insurance in general and fascinated with the data that long term care has, basically have a massive data set telling us how we age, the key, the key was just being able to mine it. And so you're absolutely right, the ability from a predictive perspective, to keep people at home now, but to transform in a few years how people are writing these policies because as you know, like there's been a dramatic decline in numbers. Policies being issued. But I actually think regulators are very concerned with that, because ultimately states are going to be responsible for the 80 million Americans who are going to need the service. And so private insurance needs to open up but everyone's really gun shy because of course, you are given just the beating that most of these carriers have taken. But if you were to now do it with armed with a tremendous amount of predictive data, how would you reimagine a long computer policy? And I think that we'll have a could have a pretty big role in that here in a couple years. Yeah.

Christina
I mean, I think the silver lining, so to speak on on the infrastructure not being in places that, you know, we get to be sort of partners alongside as carriers are thinking about what this transformation is mean, and what's it gonna mean to them? And, you know, we've got a couple different sort of, I guess, products or projects that we're working on now. And a couple carriers are quite innovative, where we're actually doing something with this sort of care, data and flow. turning it into more of a true sort of care management style. And I think from that, you know, being able to sort of use on claim data anyway, determining claimant profiles and behaviors and things like that that's a really good sort of stepping stone and precedent to say, Okay, can we take this earlier in the process, and then key that back into underwriting?

Nick
You know, it to me, it just seems like a very underrated part of a lot of the technology that's coming into insurance. But as you as you mentioned, as both of you have mentioned, that, from a society standpoint, like where we're at, we're at a point we're at a point where if, if we can't find proper private solutions, the public's going to end up picking up the costs. And we run into more problems because it's likely the cost will get out of control. It's It's, it's, you know, mix, mix the problems we deal with an insurance like Small but the you know, the bureaucracy in a lot of the public institutions are just really difficult to overcome. And so you know, I'm curious as to whether you realize this early on that this was more than just a business customer type of solution that the impacts there's a third leg to the stool and that the societal, there's a societal victory to this as well if you if you kind of if you nail this

Char
Yes, we we were aware of that early on, but it's very different from where it exists. Now today. Our goal early was to just anecdotal evidence and again, we wanted to scale was we started introducing people who were quite literally on the same block who needed care. They could just walk over and provide care and one of our biggest goals is to pull people in, who had never done senior care before, came up to me 10 years ago, I was a scientist and I never thought I would be here. I never thought Be in the facility. And they just I knew that when we describe what we did so many people like I really want to do that. And so the idea was just being able to open that up. So our notion was multiple little hives and neighborhoods that started morphing into this, this idea around a societal good because we're all on the hook for this, meaning we're either from a financial perspective, or we're one degree of separation, knowing somebody who's suffering commits, and what when you'll start to see the ripple effect of poor care, it will affect me at my job, if I have to care for my mother, I have to go and manage that sort of care. Or my father, you know, all these sorts of issues start to have these dramatic rippling effects. When you look at the census data when this part of that curve that we're entering, there's going to be everybody, everyone's going to be affected by this. And I think at that point, it's almost too late for innovation to occur really quickly. And so that's why we thought it was the right time for our solution to to step in and And that's why we focused on private insurances, because I think we've written a little bit about this, but I think the next innovation is going to come in from long term care, because they have the problem right now, you know, they don't have the problem like Medicaid or states, well, within, you know, 3458 years. And so they're innovating really quickly. But I think this is a great greenhouse to apply this to such a larger model when it comes to state and federal level.

Nick
Christina is curious, your, your view on when you first started, if you sort of had an inclination that this would would have like a much bigger impact than just it business opportunity?

Christina
Yeah, now I'll be really honest. No, I didn't. I mean, part of it is, you know, being in the thick of it in the weeds, you know, solutioning with these carriers, sort of their current daily problems, so to speak, you're really deep down into it, but you know, zooming out and having the ability to even talking with you today, you know, to sit here and think about it where, you know, where, where is the bigger impact? I mean, it makes a lot of sense. And I think it's election year, right. So there's also a lot of things Top of Mind related to healthcare and everything, health, rising health insurance costs and things like that. So it becomes very topical. And so weaving this conversation into, you know, the bigger picture between even how I'm personally impacted by, you know, aging cost to our society. And I think that's where this whole story becomes a lot more interesting and being able to be mindful of sort of the direction that we help. influence.

Nick
Yeah. And it also becomes more interesting because we're in the middle of a pandemic. So I, from what I understand the the disease is really aggressive. For those that go that course where there's a requirement ventilators and a lot of hospital care. Are you finding that there's a home health part of this pandemic?

Char
Yeah, so we, it was interesting. We published an article just on medium just on some of our data. And we took a different approach. So a lot of people talk about older adults and their susceptibility and their vulnerability but we wanted to see what were the home that people who are living at home and using home caregivers, how are they adapting to it? And what we found was a number of really interesting trends. One is they were staying home which is great and I think the media coverage was was really effective early on, or we start and we could tell this because we can tell when visits were a caregiver was leaving the home with with the care recipient, just dropped off, you can see early March it you know, chunk, turning along and then boom, drop off. But then we started seeing helpers or leaving the home more alone and when Are they going and so we started realizing that they were going out for more errands. So they were doing the grocery shopping. They weren't taking the older adult with them. And they were going out and procuring supplies for the individual, which is great, right? Because help stop the spread of the disease. Older Adults are again, more vulnerable, so they're staying home. The problem though, is when we also started looking at medical visits, medical visits just tanked. And so what that means is that a lot of older adults aren't leaving for the routine medical care. They're not they're not going out of the home, either, because doctors aren't seeing them. Our hope and we couldn't find this in the data is that telemedicine, which really did open up, ideally was being opened up for this population, and they were utilizing it. But what we're starting to see is that, that that care was actually pretty flat during this period of time. So it means if you had an existing caregiver, you they were using it a little bit the same frequency like five times a week. They increased a little bit by about 10% and the hours that they're using, so it's just a little bit longer. But really what's concerning to me is is that Lack of routine care for chronic conditions. If this extends, I think we might actually see sort of a downhill effect on other morbidity or mortality.

Nick
Yeah. So you're essentially saying because they're not doing their routine medical visits, that could manifest itself to negative health consequences or outcomes that wouldn't wouldn't have necessarily occurred if they had just kept up the routine.

Char
That's right. And we had this big Asterix here, you know, we're still analyzing the data, it's still very early. Give us another week and or sort of weekly and monthly, we're crunching it and we want to see if these trends continue. But, again, anecdotally, we're starting to talk to individuals, people aren't picking up medications or not getting refills. Physicians aren't seeing you if you're ill. Those sorts of things are a big challenge. Yeah. Yeah.

Nick
You know, have you learned anything from this? Yeah. Yeah.

Char
We We actually are busier than we've ever been. We there's another product that we have. So a lot of the matching gets that Hallmark. But we have a whole other side of our business, which is called skilled services. And so what that means is we have registered nurses that typically go out to the home on behalf of large insurance companies. So it could be workers comp, disability or long term care. And we do home assessments. So we go to your home, we look at your kitchen, your bathroom, we move around. And we're assessing, we're assessing for what's called benefit eligibility or just general wellness. As you can see, as you can tell, nobody really wants a person to come into the home to do this assessment. So we launched virtual assessments much like this, and we've got a little bit of technology wrapped around it, and have just started seeing just this dramatic increase in demand for carriers. Christina alluded to this earlier, or seeing sales cycle. This is fast tracked by two years. For us. We're seeing people who usually take six months for procurement take one month but what's interesting with really surprising to me is that this is just completely knocking down barriers before we kept hearing well as older not going to use the technology. Now, the response on both sides as well, they sort of have to write they have to embrace this. What's exciting is you're starting to see great grandparents and grandparents around the US starting to use zoom and buying tablets. And you start to see that people are interacting with tech in a different way. This is really good for them, I think. But it's also good for us and so that we don't ever have to expose any individual to a nurse even coming into the home or we can do more frequent assessments. And so perhaps you just want to talk about your care. I don't have to schedule person find them and get them to where you're at. You can log on and talk so it's not necessarily telemedicine. But it's it's really tele aging in place like how do you want to talk to somebody? Show your bathroom, right. Yeah. See your that was exciting.

Christina
Yeah, Nick, to your comment earlier on sort of the societal impact. I think what's really interesting Now to his carriers are thinking about it in in this crisis mode, but they're also saying, Hey, you know, what if this actually is a good solution, I wonder how we can continue to use this model beyond the crisis. And so I think what will be interesting to see is how carriers adapted not only now, but for the future now and how they're using virtual solutions, as part of a way to better reach their customer base, and you know, better make services accessible and their benefits accessible to them when, you know, an in person is not an option. And so this, this is interesting, because we've actually now I think, positively influenced the way that carriers are open to using technology, and maybe, you know, reducing some of that initial legality or security, you know, obstacles that may have previously exist.

Nick
Yeah. And that might actually be a silver lining to lots of things that have occurred. That's right. It's it's almost like a two by four to the head that things so would have had the change. And, you know, it's interesting. It's like with telemedicine, like, the technology has been here for a long time to be able to execute on something like that. And we've sort of struggle to get any traction because there wasn't any impetus to do that. And now we have it.

Char
That's right. Yeah. Eric Schmidt, I mean, one of the founders of Google talks about this a lot about how the digital infrastructure was, this was a necessity to adapt to things like the pandemic. And so taking sort of the thesis of that ideas were in a pressure cooker, or an Insta pot of innovation, right in the sense of, if a carrier's claims organization was all digital, they could have jumped very quickly on certain ways. And you could start to change the way that you do accept data, you can be agnostic to the data source. And I think that's what we're, I'm really excited about people realizing that we could have been a lot more nimble, if our infrastructure was nimble. And it doesn't, the pandemic had that happened, but it could be anything. It could be this new, awesome technology that came out. Absolutely transformed the world. And can I ingest that? And can I use that? And so we're lucky enough to be able to on the front lines of this talking to innovative carriers, because these assessments also we've digitized them, they're no longer on paper. So we've taken a 40 page paper application turned into digital data, and we're crunching the numbers and analyzing. So your question about underwriting? Well, that was claims based data. Imagine you have 40 pages to confer eligibility before they ever went on claim. You know, they most carriers would take this data and they house it but they don't. It's on paper, there's no way to manipulate it. Imagine if I have 40 pages of claimant information coupled with policyholder when you first bought I have you're in a now I have claims data for years. I mean, the wealth of information to Stearns together is dramatic. And luckily you now you know digital going digital is really a buzzword but it's starting to trickle down the claims organization and and they can see that value. downstream. This feedback that you alluded to, will continue.

Nick
How large is the long term care market in rough, gross premium?

Char
So I think in terms of claims, so that tells you where we're at, but I think we're at, there's 7 million policies outstanding right now, combined in the marketplace, I think annually, I might get this wrong, but is there anywhere between 40 and 70,000 policies that are being sold, they look very different from when you might have sold them the standalone policies. A lot of these are hybrid policies. But from a client's perspective, I think 20 they're expected industry wide to be about 19 to $20 billion in claims costs.

Nick
Okay, so in order to support something like that, it'd be have to be a factor of two or three or maybe even four above that, in order just to just to support that. So it's an it's good size.

Char
It's a good size, but it also needs to think about rate. So the nerdy physicists and me I think a lot about maximum velocity, which is Lino, that 2020 billion number. But if you have to think about acceleration, we got to that number it doubled in like three to four years. So that's how fast it's growing, right? It's been sort of flat, it's been like this, and then it's gonna keep going like that. And so that's where you'll start to see innovation occur.

Nick
Yeah, that's wild. I only have a couple more questions. I'm curious as to the workers comp, because they now that you're now that you're talking I just keep thinking that workers comp has this problem. It has had this problem for a long time. Especially carriers desire to get somebody back to work, but their inability to have an influence enough influence on the healthcare to do that, especially with you know, concurrent diseases like someone who has diabetes who gets injured on the job has a multitude of additional problems that occurred to get them back to work is a Herculean challenge. So how are you trying to tackle the workers comp element? And what's different between the comp element, the disability element, and potentially the long term care element that a you know, an insurance professional, it's not in those fields may not, you know, give consideration to

Char
Yeah, I think at least to speak to the comp side of things. One of the what we see in our early understanding and in conversations and now contracts with carriers are there is not allowed to seniors should be in home health care, which really delivered by like registered nurse or physical therapists and in Home Companion care, which is Aaron running grocery shopping, helping you in the restroom. That last bit, I do think there needs to be a distinction between the two of these because they serve very, very different purposes. Not everyone needs a 24, seven registered registered nurse or medical care, right. But in large part of this is treated sort of as a bulk home health care services. And and our idea is to not let's separate them because you have each isn't a separate tool. And so if we think about from the companion side or the homecare side, having a conduit of information back as to how to better deliver the care, and give that caregiver sort of the tools to do that job. So in your idea, or do you have sort of diabetes as well as a workers an accident, an occupational accident? How do we manage that? How do we give the caregiver the tools to do that job and help care for them? But how does the insurance company know like, hey, I need to bring more to bear and that's what's really fascinating about workers comp is they're very active in wanting to get somebody back to work, but with their it almost seems like they're fighting with one arm behind their back when it comes to home care claims claims that go back to their home. And we hear this a lot from from carriers where they say we haven't really talked to the planet. We haven't verified anything. We get visit notes back by paper and if we read the visit knows, they could say, you know what, we might find it a month later, if we read them that says, tremendous depression, that sort of thing. And then what if you could get flagged immediately? What if a bad signal could go up and somebody could immediately come in and write and come in and help them? That's what we're offering. We're offering the ability to step in and transform somebody's life by saying, hey, we've got the answer. So across insurance products, what we're trying to do is say, let's combine this knowledge base of homecare and say, Well, we know in general what somebody needs when it comes. Because these were comorbidities or these sort of situations and identify those risky individuals are those people who frankly need that care. We use that through technology. Also, in workers comp, we do catastrophic claims. So those really look like our long term care claims. These are those who are on service for 20 to 30 years. These are massive injuries. So spinal cord injuries, brown trauma, and it's really difficult managing that, that level of care. And that's where the most closely parallels Our long term care experience is managing chronic conditions that just aren't going to get better.

Christina
Yeah, I mean, there's of course, differences just from how the policies are, are regulated and what's stipulated in terms of an actual benefit and how that's all paid out. But, again, I think the benefit of sort of what we've been doing is that with the infrastructure and sort of our nimbleness, there's there's sort of nuanced changes that need to be made can be made. And it's just really about opening up sort of the carrier's eyes so to speak to what they can do with their data and how that informs sort of the decision making that they take, regardless if it's a comp claim, or if it's a DI claim or if it's a long term care claim,

Nick
right? That either of you ever in your wildest dreams think you'd be insurance nerds.

Char
No. I have this whole story of went to Insurtech Connect I think was in Vegas and Christina and I like nobody knew who we were. We had that we cold email people LinkedIn. One of the largest insurance carriers on the planet, we were responding to a proposal. We didn't know what a TPA meant. We asked them what it was really stupid because we googled it and the acronym is all over the place. So I get to Insurtech Connect and Christina and I've like thought a lot about the conference who should talk to you but I get in the cab and the guy's talking to me and I said, He's like, What are you here for? And I said, an insurance conference. And I stopped and I'm like, I've got I don't sell insurance on you know, build technology, Beauvoir, but I'm like, it's pretty fascinating. I've never we would have never thought we would have been in it. But as you dig deeper you go, you see that it's highly complex, which I like and but the the opportunity is so unique that you control the purse strings, which means you have so much ability to change massively change the way people really receive care. And so selfishly for us, we want to be a part of that. We want to be a part of those really smart, well, meaning individuals who say I can actually make things happen, and we just need somebody to go and do it. And hopefully, that's us.

Christina
Yeah, honestly, I don't know. I think sometimes when I wake up in the morning, I shake my head a little bit at the amount of knowledge I've now accumulated on Long Term Care Policy differentiation and claims processing and TPA administration and all of these things that I'm like, What What am I ever going to do with this knowledge later on, but it's been useful now?

Nick
Yeah, well, you're benefiting society. So that's, I'm, I'm thrilled that you came on and had this discussion with me because I got a primer on long term care. And but I can see the vision of what you're trying to do. And it always interests me when I see something that like immediately registers as, beyond just the traditional customer bought customer company, dynamic, when there's that third leg of the stool when society benefits from the solution that you're providing It's, it's just thrilling because it's, you know, I'm an insurance professional and you know, we have a bad reputation, or stereotype that's out in the marketplace and this this type of thing, changes that this is solutions in a particular space that has a bad stereotype that's actually going to ultimately benefit society. And, and no one really, no one really gives credence to our ability within this industry to come up with these sorts of solutions. And so hats off to both of you like it's, it's just again, it's just thrilling to to see something that's just so positive.

Char
Yeah, I'm excited. I mean, long term cares is really it's a lot of negative press. And I think it's really on the financial side of things. But I mean, the people we work with the carriers, we work with carriers that we even talked to, that we're not yet working with, are phenomenal individuals, and I think they they understand exactly that charge that you're talking about. And there's a little bit of frustration of them wanting to go in and change the world. And they believe that they have that ability to Yeah. And what's exciting about the solutions that either we provide or that we're helping Connect, is there's there's no nefarious purpose. It's, I want you to keep you at home, and I want you to be healthy, who can doubt that mission? Sure, there might be a financial savings down downstream, but almost who cares about that, it's, we're going to help you either get better, or find you the resources to maintain the quality of life that you want. And I think that's really, really exciting mission. And a lot of our carrier claims organizations are excited when we come into the room because they get to align that they find that conduit now to align some of those goals with digital claims processing, which is really wonky and everything, but we are able to thread that needle and say, Oh, this is actually how downstream is translating something transformative for your policyholders. Yeah.

Christina
And I think that's another reason, honestly, that the carriers like joy works. With us as just, you know, not being an insurance before, we don't have any sort of preset sort of mindset on how to necessarily do things and even the lingo and language that we use, I think that translates into our actual services and customer and our customer service because we came at it from a, you know, consumer driven approach. And so in our conversations with their claimants, I mean, it's, it's just a very different conversation. We're not necessarily following a script that they've been using for years. This is something new and novel and it just comes across in the way that we we get out

Nick
Yeah. We lost the internet connection. That's okay. We get it Christina, you're back. Let's let's end with those positive words. Again, hats off, thank you for coming into the industry and making such a big splash.

Char
Thank you.

Nick
Yeah. For in for everyone. That watching, keep being safe. Wash your hands and be kind and subscribe. Appreciate it. Until next time.

Christina
Thanks Nick.

Nick
Thank you