If you work at a big company and have health benefits through your job, you’ve probably felt the same frustration as millions of others. You’re grateful to have the coverage but you can’t stand how annoying it is to actually use your benefits. There are spending limits, weird paperwork requirements, some things need a doctor’s note and others don’t, you have coverage for things you don’t need but you can’t move that value to other areas, etc. It’s irritating at the best of times.
League is trying to make that frustration a thing of the past. Using a sleek mobile and desktop app with a few tweaks to how things are run, League wants to make paying for a prescription or getting a massage as easy as ordering takeout.
A company in evolution
Founded by Mike Serbinis, the entrepreneur that founded the Kobo e-reader company and sold it, League came to market with the intention of ‘disrupting’ employee health benefits. Serbinis received some initial seed funding from top tier investors such as OMERS and Real Ventures, and he was off to the races.
In a statement at the time, Mike Serbinis told tech publication BetaKit that League was “building a data-rich mobile platform that will focus on prevention and give people the power to take control of their health.” The goal for the app was not just benefits administration, but a more holistic look at health and how health fits into your life.
Fast forward (and add $62 million more in funding), League is on a different fork in the road – but still on the same path.
The company launched its app with a health marketplace, as it said it would. The app was incredibly popular with small startups. Employees got access to a Health Spending Account (HSA) that had a certain dollar amount. The best part, though, was that the money could be spent on any registered health purpose – from drugs to massage to dental, it was all part of one pot. Users got the ultimate freedom to use their benefits as they see fit. The app marketplace also offered rewards points and discounts for shopping at partner retailers.
Then the company switched gears. Not away from its application or healthcare promise, but its customer focus. Now, League focuses on enterprise customers – moving away from the small startups that gave the company its start.
League’s enterprise offerings
Now, the company offers three key services to users:
The most “traditional” service that League offers, its app powers benefits administration either through League’s benefits offerings or brokered through one of League’s partner insurers.
For companies that don’t even know what kind of health benefits they need to get, League offers advisory services. Much like traditional consulting for health benefits, League helps companies identify their needs, what they want to offer employees, and suggests a package that suits their budgets. In theory, League could also administer those plans, giving them an ongoing business opportunity.
Health Benefits Experience (HBX)
This is how League differentiates from other insurers. A big focus for the company’s enterprise shift, the HBX is all about helping people with Health Spending Accounts and Lifestyle Spending Accounts (LSAs) to offer the ultimate in personalized healthcare.
The HBX page also boasts that the app leverages usage and engagement data to give you personalized challenges and experiences, all geared towards incentivizing you to live the healthiest life that you can.
If League is successful in its switch to enterprise, then millions of employees in Canada and around the world will use its proprietary application for benefits administration and holistic healthcare.
For the users, though, the vision is still all about simplicity. Everything can be done through mobile or their desktop app, both of which have the same easy-to-use look and feel. When you need to make a claim, you simply open up your digital wallet, pick the right card (depending on what kind of coverage plan you have through your employer), and spend. No paper filing, no phone calls, no hassle. In fact, in many cases it takes less time to submit a medical claim than it does to order a pizza.