The Austrian startup hi.health is launching Europe’s first digital health expense account this week.
The hi.health app enables customers of private health insurances to submit their bills and prescriptions for medical services digitally to their insurance company, making it easier to process reimbursement.
With the new feature, the health expense account, hi.health now also undertakes an immediate reimbursement of costs or the settlement of outstanding bills for members of all private health insurances – without any delay. The company wants to give privately insured people easier and faster access to health services by reducing bureaucratic processes.
8.7 million people in Germany are currently fully insured with private health insurance. Around 26.8 million people also have private supplementary insurance, for example for dentures or hospital stays. In contrast to members of statutory health insurances, private health insurances usually do not assume the costs of their members’ health services directly, but reimburse them afterwards. In this way, privately insured people initially bear the costs for a medical service themselves, submit bills or prescriptions to their insurance company at a later date and then receive a full or partial reimbursement of the costs.
Make reimbursement less bureaucratic for privately insured persons
In many cases, this is still done in the same way, i.e. by paper receipt and submission by post. For insured persons, this entails a high expenditure of time and administration. In a survey of 150 privately insured people in 2018, Stiftung Warentest found that there was great dissatisfaction among the participants: The most frequently mentioned reasons were the dispute over treatment costs with the insurance company and an extremely high administrative burden2. The start-up hi.health wants to simplify this reimbursement process with the hi.health app: the submission can be processed digitally using the app, and it is no longer necessary to submit individual receipts by post. If you have any questions about processing, a support team is available directly via chat in the app.
The health expense account – direct reimbursement of costs without delay
With the new function, the hi.health account, hi.health now enables its users not only to simplify the organization of receipts but also to reimburse costs directly without any delay. Users can set up their health account in the app and always have an overview of their current “account balance”. If an invoice for a health service has already been paid, it can simply be scanned into the app. The user receives the costs incurred directly from hi.health. The company will then process the reimbursement of costs with the health insurance company.
If a service has already been used but has not yet been paid by the insured person, the invoice is also scanned into the hi.health app and paid immediately to the biller. Hi.health takes care of the reimbursement of costs by health insurance. The outstanding amount is displayed as a cost item in the health account. As soon as the costs have been paid by the health insurance, the account balance for the user is automatically updated. Users of the hi.health app never have to pay in advance to their health insurance or hi.health: Even if the costs for a service are only partially and not fully covered by the health insurance company, hi.health only books the difference after the
approval of the Health insurance from the user’s account. The first submission is currently limited to a cost of 100 euros.
Health expense account combines mobile banking experience with insurance benefits
Fredrik Debong, co-founder and CSO of hi.health:
The expansion of the hi.health app to include the health expense account was the next logical step for us on the way to making communication with insurance for privately insured people as easy and intuitive as possible. We founded hi.health with the vision of removing bureaucratic hurdles in the cost structure for people with private insurance and offering them a contemporary, digital user experience. Since our start in 2019, we have already processed more than ten million euros in reimbursements – this shows us that the need on the part of the insured is very high. The health expense account now combines your own health insurance with a mobile banking experience.
The hi.health app is available free of charge for iOS in the App Store and for Android in the Play Store.
With the hi.health app, hi.health GmbH creates an interface between private health insurers and customers by digitally enabling and simplifying the reimbursement and assumption of costs for health services (bills, prescriptions). The company was founded in August 2019 by Fredrik Debong (co-founder of mySugr.com and Pioneers.io) and Sebastian Gruber (former Senior Engagement Manager, McKinsey) in Vienna (Austria). The first version of the app was launched in Germany in October 2019, and rollouts to other European markets are planned. Hi.health currently employs 28 people and has offices in Vienna and Berlin. More information at: www.hi.health