Democratizing Health Insurance for the 99%

By Tariq Hilaly, Co-Founder and CEO

For many Americans the healthcare system is a disaster. The cost continues its steady march upward. Insurance premiums are skyrocketing 3x faster than inflation1 - often for reasons few understand. There’s a general feeling of helplessness, with many employers and employees simply trying to manage the chaos, feeling like they get less and less value every year for what they pay in premiums, deductibles and co-pays. In reality, it isn’t merely a feeling.

I came face-to-face with the problem when my wife came down with a sudden illness. I had to leave the last company I co-founded, Motif Investing, to care for her. Even though she was one of the lucky few whose employer provided a rich health plan, navigating health insurance bills, claims and fine print jargon was extremely challenging. I simply couldn’t make heads or tails of what we owed and why we owed it. The thought struck me right between the eyes: I had built a business helping consumers become more financially savvy and navigate the world of online investing and ETFs, yet I was dumbstruck by how confusing and frustrating it was to understand health insurance.

Why does it have to be like this?

Borne out of this harrowing experience, my co-founder and I started Lumity. Our mission is to democratize health insurance and level the playing field for small and medium-sized businesses.

Even though large companies dominate the headlines, 99% of American businesses have fewer than 500 employees. If you work for one of the largest companies, congratulations - you are officially in the 1%. What kinds of benefits accrue to the 1%?

  • Custom designed plans and benefits that fit everyone’s needs, powered by sophisticated analysis and expensive consultants
  • Maximized value for every benefit dollar

The result? You get more plan value for less cost.

What about the 99%?

Anyone who has been in the job market in the last decade has witnessed the rise of healthcare costs. Once, long ago, there were just co-pays. $10 here, $20 there, and your trip to the doctor was paid. Today, employees bear as much as 40% of the cost of their healthcare. As a result, they have just as much skin in the game as employers, and they’re just as confused and frustrated with deductibles, co-insurance, and hidden out-of-pocket fees.

Unlike large employers, small and medium-sized businesses are essentially flying blind:

  • No data visibility
  • No effective tools for analysis
  • No resources

The result? You pay more and get less.

There’s a cost to all of us in this broken system. Without a good understanding of needs, risk and cost, we-- the collective 99% -- waste over $40B every year over- or under-insuring relative to our needs. For everyone outside the 1%, the system is utterly and completely broken.   

Fixing the broken system - data makes the difference.

Think about it. As an employer, you expect your mission critical departments to be data-driven: Sales; Marketing; Customer Support and Operations; Engineering; Product. All rely on data to drive results. Benefits often rank second or third in company expenditures, and yet critical insights into the value received for every dollar spent are not available to employers or  employees.

Today, Lumity is leveling the playing field for small and medium-sized businesses. As a next-generation broker, we’re using powerful data technology and proprietary machine-learning algorithms to provide the kinds of tools, insights and customized benefits recommendations previously accessible and affordable only for large companies.

We help the 99% lower premiums with more accurate cost and health risk estimates, driving more value for every benefit dollar. Our easy-to-use SaaS platform helps employers and employees use data to collaborate on benefits in order to make the right health plan decisions that drive more value while paying less.

Our software makes open enrollment and benefits management data-driven and dead simple - delighting employers and employees at the same time.

Technology Does Not Replace Service.

Last but certainly not least, Lumity is not a robo-broker. The feedback has been consistent. Human service matters.

To this end, we’ve hired the best from the benefits industry. No senior finance or HR executive is going to want their health plans and benefits entrusted to a dilettante broker fresh out of their exam. It won’t cut it and we won’t do it.

We’re ecstatic to be where we are with the help, support, and advice of many people (including brokers) throughout the last year and a half, and we’re just getting started...

Test drive Lumity >



1Kaiser Family Foundation 2014 Employer Health Benefits Survey
2US Census
3CMU Study & US Census


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