Benefits Assistant HealthJoy Raises $30M.

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Benefits Assistant HealthJoy Raises $30M

HealthJoy, a Chicago-based startup that makes it easier for employees to access their benefits, closed a $30 million series C funding round. Health Velocity Capital led the funding round, according to TechCrunch, with participation from past investors including U.S. Venture Partners, Chicago Ventures and Epic Ventures.

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The company’s app directs patients to a chatbot called JOY, which answers questions about health benefits and routes requests for more information to the right specialists.

HealthJoy also offers services to help users find prescription discounts or cheaper alternatives, and review medical bills for potential errors. It also has a feature that allows members to search providers for a certain procedure, such as a hip replacement, to find high quality, lower-cost providers.  The startup recently added a new service that rewards patients for “shopping” for health services.

Technologists Justin Holland and Doug Morse-Schindler founded the company in 2014. Holland, the company’s CEO, started HealthJoy after trying to search for an affordable MRI provider under his high-deductible insurance plan, and realizing how difficult of a task it was to find one.

Holland had sold his previous startup, FreeCause, which allowed loyalty programs to reward members for their online activity. Morse-Schindler became the startup’s president, after serving as a senior director of AVG Technologies, a subsidiary of Avast that develops anti-virus software.

The startup initially focused its efforts on the individual market, where it served 60,000 members across different ACA insurance plans. In 2016, the company pivoted to focus on employer benefits — a move that appears to have worked out well for HealthJoy.

The new funding will be used to add more features to the virtual assistant, develop new services for HealthJoy and build out its partnerships. So far, HealthJoy works with 500 companies, with the goal of serving more small and medium businesses, according to TechCrunch. The company claims its services can lower healthcare costs and boost employees’ satisfaction with their benefits.

“We keep employees engaged and educated year-round, meaning fewer questions for HR and a better employee benefits experience,” HealthJoy Chief Marketing Officer Rick Ramos wrote in an email. “Our new funding will allow us to drastically improve our product and include additional intelligence into many parts of our product, including our virtual assistant. We want JOY to be more proactive and synthesize more real-time benefits information. We plan to improve every aspect of the member’s journey year-round.”

Health Velocity Capital Partner Saurabh Bhansali will join the company’s board of directors. To date, HealthJoy has raised $53 million, including a $12.5 million funding round the company closed a year ago.

Photo credit: ljubaphoto, Getty Images



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