RamaOnHealthcare September 29, 2023

Imagine – The Customization of Healthcare Insurance!

Today, RamaOnHealthcare welcomes and talks with Ty Wang, the Co-Founder and CEO of Angle Health. Ty Wang is the Co-Founder and CEO of Angle Health, the digital-first, fully licensed health insurance platform. Before founding Angle Health in 2019, Ty was at Palantir, where he met his Co-Founder, Anirban Gangopadhyay. Mr. Wang has a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, as well as a Bachelor’s in Systems Engineering, from Washington University in St. Louis. He splits his time between Salt Lake City and Denver.

Ty Wang, Co-Founder and CEO of Angle Health

Ty Wang, Co-Founder and CEO of Angle Health

RamaOnHealthcare (ROH): Welcome to our Thought Leadership series. You have quite an interesting trajectory. Tell us a bit about your background.

Ty Wang (TY): I grew up in the US as a first-generation American and a child of immigrants. I was a first-generation college graduate and I had the opportunity to study computer science and electrical engineering. Before starting Angle Health, I worked at the data analytics company Palantir with my co-founder Anirban Gangopadhyay. I was on the deployment team, and he was on the machine learning team. These experiences gave us an inside look at how many of the largest government and commercial organizations operate.

ROH: What was the initial inspiration for Angle Health, and what made you decide to start your own company with this model?

TY: My parents were blue-collar workers who worked multiple jobs while also managing chronic illnesses. They could not afford to take time off work to care for their health. Today, we have many convenient ways to access healthcare, such as telehealth and telemedicine, digital health services for chronic disease management, and behavioral health. However, these benefits are often unknown and/or inaccessible to many people without traditional health insurance.

Seeing the insurance plan, I was offered as an engineer at a previous employer, I began to grasp the discrepancies in employer-sponsored healthcare. For example, Tech companies could afford to offer top-notch healthcare coverage that was largely unavailable to many hardworking professionals such as teachers, mechanics, or small business owners.

I knew this divide existed but did not understand why until we saw the limitations of legacy tech infrastructure at large companies and the misaligned incentives of the healthcare industry. By rebuilding the underlying technologies of a health plan from the ground up, we could fundamentally change how people approach healthcare, deliver a truly proactive, engaging, and preventative health experience, and democratize access to modern healthcare services. We aren’t just the Third-Party Administrator or a broker. Angle Health is truly “full-stack,” meaning we own and operate the licensed health insurance carrier. This provides much greater control over the end-to-end experience, including the core benefit plan, insurance policy designs, and underwriting.

ROH: What are the biggest challenges you see in health insurance today?

TY: One of the greatest challenges I see, and what ultimately compelled me to start Angle Health, is that health plan and benefit options for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are still very limited and do not meet the unique needs of each employee. Companies only have access to off-the-shelf products with rigid plan designs and no ability to customize features like premium or deductible amounts. Technical limitations within legacy infrastructures create major operational inefficiencies. Some of the biggest health insurers still use manual systems that are challenging to update. But by digitizing, we’ve been able to be very disciplined with our underwriting, which allows us to price as accurately as possible while remaining competitive.

Some of the biggest health insurers still use manual systems that are challenging to update.

ROH: Why have SMBs been left out of traditional employer health insurance models?

TY: The health insurance space is dominated by a few large players, so there’s limited competition, especially regionally. That leaves little incentive to innovate or design a health insurance plan that can meet the specific needs of SMBs. These companies are not necessarily left out because they have available healthcare options, but often, they are not very great options. They are very rigid and not customized to the unique healthcare situations of the employee. A lot of this is due to how manual the health insurance industry is and what we’re trying to change. When processes are manual, it’s not operationally feasible to offer that customization.

When processes are manual, it’s not operationally feasible to offer that customization.

ROH: One of Angle Health’s big distinctions is that it offers a single point of navigation. What value does that bring end users, and why is it important that Angle Health offers this?

TY: We ultimately want to improve healthcare outcomes for our members, and one of the most critical ways we achieve this is by making sure people understand what services are covered and how to access them. Our unified platform and integrated data infrastructure make it easy to incorporate new and innovative digital healthcare services into our offerings, both at the employer level and the individual member level. All our members also have access to 24/7 telehealth and to Angle Health’s Care Team via mobile app and phone for dedicated, personalized support.

We ultimately want to improve healthcare outcomes for our members….

ROH: Something else you talked about is personalization. How does Angle Health personalize health insurance for each individual?

TY: For us, it’s not sufficient to have all of the services in one place. We use data and automation to personalize healthcare for every member. In practice, one way we’ve achieved this is through our product Access+, where we proactively recommend programs and services that we believe would be relevant and beneficial to our members on an individualized basis and many times at little to no cost to the member. For example, we may recommend a program like Dario for diabetic or pre-diabetic members that we identify as a good fit. Engagement in these services is always voluntary and doesn’t change the cost for our members or employers.

We use data and automation to personalize healthcare for every member.

ROH: Can you elaborate on some of the ways you use AI?

TY: We’ve built proprietary algorithms and machine-learning models utilized across our operations, improving the accuracy of and driving efficiencies across risk management, underwriting, group implementation, claims, and more. Using AI allows us to speed up tasks like gathering and validating information, evaluating how much coverage a person may need, determining plan pricing, and enrolling employees. Now, the onboarding time for Angle Health plans is less than a week compared to the multi-month lead times of most traditional health insurance plans.

ROH: What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment since founding Angle Health?

TY: It’s hard to point to one single accomplishment, but I would say I feel most accomplished when I see firsthand how we’re truly impacting the lives of our members daily. Our members see us not just as their health plan but as a true partner in health. Not only are we saving some members thousands of dollars or more on healthcare costs, but they come to Angle Health as a resource, whether it’s about understanding their benefits and coverage or for provider recommendations and navigation to the most appropriate point of care.

…I see firsthand how we’re truly impacting the lives of our members daily.

ROH: What are you excited about for the future? What do you see as the next phase for Angle Health?

TY: We hope to become the default choice for healthcare benefits, and we want Angle Health to be synonymous with affordable access to high-quality, personalized healthcare services. We’re not just an insurance company or a tech company. We are a health company. We want to continue to broaden our scope of services and reach more employers to help more people. We’ve built the foundation and infrastructure for the future of healthcare, and now we get to expand on it.

We’re not just an insurance company or a tech company. We are a health company.

ROH: Thank you so very much for sharing your insights and expertise with our Readers. We wish you all the very best in transforming healthcare.

Angle Health website

Big Benefits for Small Business w/ Ty Wang

 
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