While health insurance plans provide coverage for various treatments and hospital expenses, they do not help curb all types of subscriber health care expenses. For example, a subscriber may have to spend on prescription medications or a medical consultation for minor illnesses such as seasonal flu, or dental, skin and hair treatments. New healthcare startup Kenko Health is trying to change that with subscription plans starting at Rs 299 per month.
Kenko was founded by two former insurance industry professionals. Dheeraj Joel is an actuary who has worked in various insurance companies in India for more than 15 years. Aniruddha Sen has spent over ten years in leading digital roles in the health insurance space. In an email interaction with FE Online, Sen shared the idea behind his company and details of the special plans it offers subscribers. Excerpts:
There are a lot of health insurance companies. What distinguishes Kenko Health from them?
The fact that we are not a health insurance company. We are working to build the nation’s first Health Management Organization (HMO) that not only covers healthcare expenditures but manages individual medical conditions leading to better health outcomes in the long run. We envision eliminating inefficiencies in the insurance sector through data, technology and continued customer insight through some of our industry-first offerings such as:
- Covering outpatient treatments such as medical consultations, dental, skin and hair treatments, diagnostics, prescription medications, etc.
- Monthly subscription model – no upfront payment required for the whole year
- Prepaid Benefits System
- Fixed pricing for all customers
Please tell us about the idea behind the Kenko Health platform and how it got started?
A deep aversion to treating clients like numbers, an appreciation for the complexities of health insurance risk management and frugal innovation are some of the principles upon which they built this company. Today’s startups are challenging legacy organizations, companies, and industries at a progressively faster pace. Most of the time, they offer early adopters financial savings, technology-driven convenience and a vastly superior consumer experience.
By keeping things lean, costs low, and inefficiencies close to zero, the team at Kenko is trying to revolutionize low prices. Kenko is built with this duo’s personal money, and as such is their vision of a better healthcare system as much as it is an attempt to disrupt old business practices that just don’t work anymore.
Kenko is a competing brand in a low-penetration category full of big players who over-promise and under-perform. Kenko is slowly progressing towards becoming India’s first integrated health platform. To be in constant touch with the health of our customers with the help of Kenko Points.
What are Kenko points?
Kenko Points give our customers an objective rating for their health and personal finances. This is based on more than 40 parameters, and the questions are very easy to answer. The whole process is online and automated and takes no more than 4-5 minutes. Once completed, clients receive personal Kenko scores ranging from 0 to 1000. A minimum of 700 is required to qualify for the Kenko plan. If the customer is eligible, he makes the first month payment and also provides electronic authorization for future payments.
Kenko organizes a medical examination for the client, which is carried out at his home. Results are provided within 24 hours and the result is automatically re-calibrated. If the Kenko score is still over 700, the plan will be activated and the account will be unlocked. This entire process is fully automated and takes no more than a day or two to complete.
Kenko is fully set out to be the one-stop solution for all healthcare management and healthcare needs of its clients. If it’s healthcare expenses, Kenko has you covered.
How many clients have you gained so far?
We have got 25,000 clients so far.
What are your plans for the future?
We are constantly exploring partnerships in distribution, product improvement, outpatient services, computer vision/artificial intelligence capabilities and more. Some of the ones we’ve faked recently are with ImpactGuru for outsourcing in case of very large medical bills, Sova.Health which is a Diet and Nutrition management platform, SabkaDentist for Dental Coverage, Nova Benefits – Employee Benefits Platform, Medulance – Emergency Services Provider. There are many other partnerships in the pipeline across sectors from aged care to new banks.
What plans does Kenko Health offer?
We have Kenko Health plans for individuals and businesses/SMBs. While Kenko Health plans for businesses/SMBs can be customized, we have 4 categories for the first.
For individuals and families, we have different plans to suit each client’s needs. It starts with a basic plan of INR 299 per month that provides benefits of 20 per cent on doctor’s consultations, medicines, lab tests, unspecified expenses and Covid-19 coverage. We have a plan at INR 599 per month that offers great value and extensive benefits with 50 per cent discount on doctor’s consultations, medication and lab tests. Apart from that, we have family plans that can help take care of the whole family. We also have dedicated diabetes plans that cover insulin and seniors costs that are tailored to meet their requirements. We also have outpatient plans only for individuals as well as for the whole family that cover dental care, mental health and vision care.
How can Kenko Health plans benefit? In which cities can it be used?
It is very easy to take advantage of the Kenko Health plan by logging into our website and appearing for the 5-minute Kenko Score test. If your score is above 700, you can take advantage of Kenko packages. They are available in all cities of India.
Does Kenko Health provide coverage for small health expenses such as outpatient visits for routine illnesses such as seasonal fever?
Yes, it covers all small health expenses including routine illnesses such as seasonal fever. We even have Covid-19 coverage built into all of our plans.
What is the claim process for Kenko Health users?
The Kenko App is a one-stop shop – a superior app for all your health and medical needs. For example, if you want to consult a doctor, just search for the list of doctors available on the app and select the time and date. The plan feature is then deducted from the total cost and you can pay the balance right away. No need to send us bills and prescriptions! You can then proceed with your doctor’s consultation and our executives will keep in touch with you all the way to make sure everything goes well.
The process for taking advantage of all other benefits remains the same – open the application, select the category of service / product and simply place your order. We’ve also made the recovery process very easy and instant on the app. As an exclusive feature for Kenko customers only, they get hospital treatment benefits paid directly into their bank accounts just prior to admission. Hence, the need to spend money out of his pocket against the security deposit and to wait until the time of unloading is nullified.
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