For 27-year-old Ankur Roy, a traditional health insurance policy just doesn’t make sense anymore. For the young Bengaluru-based fintech executive, hospitalisation is the least of his worries. The thought of paying a hefty premium for a service he almost certainly wouldn’t avail seemed senseless. So, in December 2021, Roy discontinued his health insurance policy with Navi Insurance.
After scouring the market for something that better suited his needs, Roy settled on Even Healthcare. Unlike Navi, and indeed most legacy insurers, Even covers both outpatient department (OPD) services such as doctor consults, and offers preventive health checkups as well.
What likely sweetened the deal for Roy is the company’s approach to insurance. Currently present only in Bengaluru, Even is piloting the concept of bite-sized healthcare financing. Instead of paying a flat annual premium, Roy could instead opt for a monthly subscription. For Rs 1,200 ($15) a month, he would receive all Even’s benefits, with none of the commitment—a recipe tailor-made for young professionals like Roy.
Upon signing up with Even, Roy received a preventive health checkup. This revealed that he had a grade-2 fatty liver. Even has since arranged for Roy to meet a doctor at Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta, and organised three follow-up visits to monitor his health parameters. It was all covered under his subscription.
This was enough to convince Roy to renew his subscription with Even on 28 February, but only for another month. “I don’t want to opt for a yearly plan as I may not stay in India that long. Even provides me the flexibility of an opt-out and value added services over and above its Rs 50 lakh ($66,000) annual hospitalisation cover, so I am sticking with them,” he said. Two-year-old Even, which is eyeing a fresh fundraise, raised $5 million in July 2021, and is backed by fintech Cred’s Kunal Shah and online broking company Zerodha’s Nikhil Kamath.
Even Healthcare isn’t the only startup hitching its insurance ambitions to a subscription model. Others like Kenko Health and Vital also have similar plans. Aniruddha Sen, Kenko’s co-founder, claims the Bengaluru-based company is currently adding around 10,000 subscribers every month. However, while Even is strictly focused on the retail market, the vast majority of Kenko’s growth has come on the back of businesses taking subscriptions for their employees. Kenko, too, has found favour with investors. Just last month, it raised
Kenko Health raises $12 million in Series A funding led by Sequoia Capital India
in a Series A round led by Sequoia Capital.
To be clear, neither Kenko, Vital, nor Even are insurers. Instead, they work with a combination of insurers, aggregators, hospitals, pharmacies, and labs to offer both hospitalisation coverage as well as a smattering of allied healthcare services.