Firefly Health Launches First Virtual Health Plan for Small and Medium Businesses
Firefly health launches its first virtual health plan marketed to small and medium-sized employers.
The offer, coming about five months after the start announced a $ 40 million Series B round, is billed as a “care and coverage” plan, offering virtual primary and behavioral health care, as well as access to in-person care through its partners.
The plan is currently available to employers in Massachusetts, Maine and Ohio. Firefly has announced plans to expand to more states over the next year.
“The launch of the Firefly Health Plan brings within reach of our mission to provide half-price health care that’s twice as good,” Fay Rotenberg, CEO of Firefly Health, said in a statement.
“We have long observed the power of aligning care and coverage under one roof. Today we are excited to launch an innovative coverage approach and to marry it with our very modern approach to virtual care first. ”
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT
Firefly is pitching its new plan as a solution for small employers priced out of the traditional health insurance market.
A 2021 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Buyer Business Group on Health have found that even large employers are concerned about the rising costs of health coverage. Almost 90% of executives responding to the survey believed the cost of providing employee health benefits would become unsustainable over the next five to ten years.
These high costs are passed on to employees through higher deductibles. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the availability of high-deductible health insurance plans for private sector workers increased from 15% in 2010 to 45% in 2018.
Firefly is also promoting “clear and simple coverage” with no deductibles or copayments in its new plan.
“Everyone deserves access to affordable, quality care based on empathy. This is a tremendous opportunity to take back control of healthcare and deal with the financial pressure it places on individuals and businesses, ”Rotenberg said in a statement.
THE BIGGEST TREND
Virtual care and telehealth exploded during the pandemic as providers and patients reduce in-person care.
Although The use of telehealth has generally declined this year, with some providers and other stakeholders believing that it will be difficult to put the genius of virtual care back into the bottle. According to a new survey from telehealth provider Amwell and HIMSS Analytics, more than half of hospital and health system executives say they plan to increase their investments in telemedicine over the next two years.
Last month, insurer Blues CareFirst has started a virtual care practice for its members in Maryland, DC and northern Virginia.
Other players in the virtual and hybrid care space include Crossover Health, Forward Health and 98point6.