This Insurtech Is Ushering the Next Digital Ecosystem
Onsurity is providing a healthcare membership to emerging businesses who struggle to source affordable employee healthcare benefits
A vast majority of people in India, the world's second-most populous nation, don't have health insurance coverage. A significant portion of the population that does have coverage, gets it from their employers.
Health insurance is critical in nature, but a couple of years ago, it was more of a fringe benefit provided by startups (and other small enterprises) and not a key trigger for recruiting and retention. However, the onslaught of COVID-19 pandemic since 2020, especially this year's more deadly second surge, makes it a top benefit and most people are likely to choose companies that provide comprehensive health coverage for employees and their families.
Health benefits started trending in 2020 as part of a value-added social benefits package offered by companies to attract the blue-collar workforce. But it is now essential to offer this powerful perquisite across the board to ensure better employee welfare, preserve employee morale and thus improve productivity. Besides, good health insurance coverage often helps companies and startups stand out in the competition for talent and bring down operational costs by reducing sick days and high employee turnover.
As employers are leveraging health benefits to attract and retain people during the ongoing pandemic, it has been a big shot in the arm for the health insurance industry in India. With more and more people needing hospitalization due to COVID-19 and medical costs continuing to skyrocket, both individuals and enterprises are signing up for private health insurance. So, in 2020, for the first time, health insurance became the most valuable segment for non-life insurers in terms of premiums collected, leapfrogging motor insurance.
According to figures compiled by the General Insurance Council and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), the health insurance portfolio grew 11 per cent year-on-year in FY21 to INR 58,584 crore, due to the pandemic.
Insurtech was already a steadily growing sector within the larger tech, startup, and fintech spheres when COVID-19 made landfall, catalyzed cross-industrial digitization, and accelerated the boom. This growth has been marked by the rise of health insurtech company Onsurity, a young startup that is making it easier and more affordable for more firms in the nation to provide insurance coverage to their employees.
Onsurity founder and chief executive officer Yogesh Agarwal in an interview with Entrepreneur India said, "Onsurity has always been driven by the belief that everyone has the right to equal access to healthcare and that they should get the best healthcare benefits at affordable prices. We have always worked towards democratizing healthcare in the country, to create a level playing field for all employees when it comes to getting healthcare access."
The company has completed three rounds of investments to date which include funding from angel investors in February and the most recent Series A funding of $16 million.
The platform is providing a healthcare membership to emerging businesses that struggle to source affordable employee healthcare benefits. Since May 2020 the company has empowered over 1,200 SMEs/startup partners who have enrolled their teams with Onsurity.
It has also partnered with brands to provide its committed partners with healthcare and wellness plans. Some of these brands include Magicpin, Zolo, Pantaloons, Jupiter money, WebEngage, Whitehat Jr. spreading over industries that include manufacturing, retail, finance, freelancers, medicine, and even academic institutions.
Its employee healthcare and wellness plans are designed to provide affordability without compromising on quality enabled by technology. While the businesses are provided with digital employee benefits tool with an onboarding time of just two minutes on an average, the user-end services, that is, the wellness and healthcare benefits include doctor teleconsultations, discounted health check-ups, and online medicine orders with group health, life, and accidental insurance. At the user-end, the Onsurity app is an all-in-one app that provides people with the very best of benefits, the company claims.
According to Agarwal, the employee healthcare and benefits sector in India is currently an untapped market. It was only during the COVID-19 pandemic that the need for healthcare benefits was realized and companies, enterprises, businesses of all sizes went on the lookout for benefits to offer their teams. Traditionally, employers would only provide benefits like health insurance to their employees, but this was limited to large enterprises with salaried employees who could afford the high out-of-pocket expenses. Small businesses went without any support or employee benefits. Though the competition in this space is small, there is potential for growth and expansion at a rapid rate if the right benefits are provided to the right people. India has over 60 million SMEs and only a fraction of them provides employee healthcare benefits and this is the segment the company claims to be reaching out to.
The company received its first round of Seed funding from Nexus Venture Partners, Whiteboard Capital, and AngelList in 2020 of $2.5 million. This was followed by a series of investments from Angel investors who were initially their customers. As the startup continues to improve its technology and build its products, it will focus on creating the best employee healthcare experience for SMEs and small businesses in India.
"Our vision is to create simplified healthcare products for those with limited access to them or the missing middle of the Indian workforce. In the coming years, we hope to be the first choice for employers when thinking of "employee benefits'. And we plan to do so with our all-around healthcare technology and reliable customer service. In the next 12 months, we plan to onboard 10,000 SMEs, startups, and small businesses and give their employees the best healthcare benefits," he further stated.