medZERO offers Buy Now, Pay Later solution for out-of-pocket medical costs
By Edlyn Cardoza
Recently, medZERO announced it has closed a $5.7 million seed financing round led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm True Ventures with participation from Village Global and angel investors. MedZERO is an employer-sponsored “Buy Now, Pay Later” solution for employees that ensures out-of-pocket medical costs can become manageable payments made over time – with zero interest and zero fees – through simple payroll deduction. Additionally, Health Savings Account users see pre-tax savings of up to 30% compared to after-tax payments.
The company is on a mission to make healthcare accessible and affordable amid a U.S. healthcare payments system that’s ripe for disruption. The burden on patients is expected to grow amid the increasing reliance on high-deductible medical plans and the overall rising costs of healthcare. What’s more, healthcare providers only collect between 20% and 55% of what patients owe.
“The status quo is unsustainable as the entire system is negatively impacted,” said Craig Froude, medZERO CEO and co-founder. “Hospitals and medical professionals are writing off billions annually as uncollectible. Medical debt is the number one reason for personal bankruptcy, so people either defer care or risk being sent to a collection agency. Financially-stressed employees are less productive and more likely to change jobs. This often comes at great cost to both the employee and their employer. MedZERO was created to address these problems for all parties.”
As of 2021, 50% of all Americans have medical debt; half owe more than $1,000. Even with health insurance, medical expenses are difficult to predict and rarely optional. The Kaiser Family Foundation found that 40% of employees had trouble affording their premiums, deductibles, cost-sharing or an unexpected bill last year. A jarring 51% of employees report having deferred care due to cost.
“As healthcare costs continue to increase for both individuals and companies, we’re proud to partner with medZERO and help them address this enormous problem,” said Puneet Agarwal, partner at True Ventures. “The medZERO team is experienced in employee wellness, healthcare, fintech, lending, operations and compliance. We deeply support their mission of making healthcare more accessible and affordable for all.”
“We’re creating a smarter way for employees to pay for care, which leads to happier, healthier, and more productive teams,” said Howard Michalski, medZERO president and co-founder. “We’re excited by the possibilities.”
The company will use this round of capital to invest in its digital platform and hire team members for key sales, marketing, and operations roles.
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