Candor Hopes to Democratize Health Insurance Market with New App

Ryan Black

It may be a confusing time to buy health insurance, but the Georgia-based tech company says that it can solve that.

With the fate of the Affordable Care Act uncertain, it may be a confusing time to buy health insurance. But a Georgia-based tech company says that it can solve that.

The company, Candor, today launched an iOS app for its online health insurance marketplace. The app will allow users to find, compare, and select from thousands of coverage options.

Bob Shinn, CEO and co-founder of the company, told Healthcare Analytics News™ that Candor’s aim is to “democratize” the insurance market. While high earners can receive comprehensive coverage from their workplaces and lower-income or older individuals can receive it through government programs, “Everybody in between is left behind,” he said.

That’s important to Candor because the majority of today’s workforce is under 40 years old, Shinn said. In the era of Uber and Amazon, those people expect a certain digital experience. While most companies have automated procurement, his company is looking to automate the entire process.

The platform asks users plain-language questions about their health habits and needs, and then searches through hundreds of thousands of coverage options. Those options include supplemental programs, like prescription benefits or telehealth services, that can be combined to give users more complete plans for their lifestyles. Candor receives a percentage when it helps to connect service providers with enrollees.

“Most people don’t know what their insurance actually covers for them,” Shinn said, but Candor is trying to fight that “by reducing the amount of asymmetric information in the marketplace.”

If the Candor app does its job well, there is risk that it will only need to be used in the enrollment process. Shinn pointed to features like its Chatbot, Casey, that will keep users engaged and allow them to track and update their coverage as needed. In a statement, the company says the app can also be used to model life events, like occupation changes or accidents, so users can see what coverage would be needed.

The iOS app launched first because the largest segment of Candor’s target market are Apple users, Shinn said, but Android and desktop platforms are in development.

If more Americans are given more insurance options through a more intuitive process, Shinn believes the number of uninsured can be reduced. “It’s just about every American having access to healthcare,” he said.

The company, less than a year old, is moving quickly. Founded in April, it received a $3 million seed investment in September. Last month, it announced that it was building a headquarters in Rome, Georgia, which it promised would provide as many as 675 high-skilled jobs.