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Practical and Affordable Healthcare
Episode

Shane Foss, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Hooray Health

Practical and Affordable Healthcare

Not everyone can afford expensive health insurance. If you’re looking for a way to access health care affordably, this is an episode you cannot miss!

Today, we are privileged to feature the outstanding Shane Foss, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Hooray Health. Shane explains how his company serves the underserved by offering affordable health insurance to part-time and hourly-rate workers. 

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Practical and Affordable Healthcare

About Shane Foss

Shane has over twenty-five years of experience in the health care industry. He has grown a small health care startup into a national network of members and providers. 

His work at Hooray Health gained him recognition for his leadership with a nomination for “CEO of the Year” by D Magazine.

His contagious work ethic has led him to build proactive and goal-oriented teams of professionals that push boundaries and exceed expectations.

Shane believes in the power of education and continued knowledge.

He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of the Incarnate Word and his MBA from the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management. 

Practical and Affordable Healthcare with Shane Foss, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Hooray Health: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Practical and Affordable Healthcare with Shane Foss, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Hooray Health: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Saul Marquez:
Hey, everybody! Sal Marquez with the Outcomes Rocket. Welcome back to the podcast. Today, I am privileged to have Shane Foss with us. He is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Hooray Health. He has over twenty-five years experience in the health care industry. And really, Shane has grown a small health care startup into a national network of members and providers. His work at Hooray Health gained him recognition for his leadership with a nomination for CEO of the Year by D Magazine. His contagious work ethic has led them to build proactive and goal-oriented teams of professionals that push boundaries and exceed expectations. Shane believes in the power of education and continued knowledge and the work that he’s doing around really payer reform and health care access is really cool. So I’m excited to have him here on the podcast today to talk about his work at Hooray Health. It’s such a pleasure to have you here with us. Shane, thanks for joining us.

Shane Foss:
Oh, thanks. So I’m really excited.

Saul Marquez:
Absolutely. So, Shane, you’ve been working in health care for quite some time. Twenty-five years. Tell us what inspires that.

Shane Foss:
You know, it’s funny when I got into health care. I joined the military and I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. And it was really dumb luck how I ended up in health care. I was what you call a scrub tech for in surgery. So I basically assisted surgeons in surgery and just fell in love with it. And that was really kind of found my passion. And so it was really dumb luck. And so from there, I just really continued to learn and develop in the health care space. And here I am 20 plus years later, as a mere fact, I could be almost a 30. So pretty, pretty exciting. Great place to be. And any place where you’re working with people and your outcomes have a difference on some of these lives is pretty meaningful.

Saul Marquez:
I agree, Shane. That’s awesome. Well, you know what? It’s always funny how life works. It gets you to where you need to be to add that value. And you guys are doing a big, big, great job of adding value with Hooray Health. So why don’t you talk to us about your business? Tell us how you’re doing that in the health care ecosystem.

Shane Foss:
Yeah, absolutely. So we are a health insurance in-product that is really focused on the full-time and part-time hourly population that is typically uninsured today. When we started five years ago, we really focused on the part-time population. But what’s really interesting is there is a huge shift in the market where you have a company that is offering health benefits to all their employees, full-time employees, but not all their employees can afford it. So we’ve seen a real shift towards this first dollar coverage or two first dollar coverage from a major medical just from an affordability standpoint. And so you look at these large deductibles that are the high deductible health plans today. Even a thirty-five hundred dollar deductible is not affordable for somebody that’s making 50 to even seventy-five thousand dollars a year. So you have this gap that is created where they’re not able to go really get care when they need it. Their child sick, they go in. Well, they get a thousand-dollar bill from whether it’s urgent care or an ER whatever. And so we created Hooray really to serve the needs of the underserved. And we offer a low-cost alternative, really what we call minor medical. We cover basic illness, sickness, and injury. And then we have a wellness component as well. But we provide affordable access to health care and our plans start at seventy dollars a month. And you get your physician visits, you get a built-in national or I should say our team built a national network of providers across the United States that offer twenty-five dollar copay, no balance bill. And how I came up with the no balance bill was I got a balanced bill for eight hundred dollars and I ended up paying a little less than one hundred dollars of it. But as I was going through that whole process, you look at this and you say, why are we doing this? It doesn’t make any sense. And so what we did was we built a company on an insurance product that is a fixed indemnity. And then also what we call an AME, which is accident medical expense and combined them. And then we really treated it where we focused on the member experience. We’re not major medical. We don’t want to be major medical. There are all great players there today. But for us, we serve the needs of a pretty large population of people that just can’t afford it. And so we want to get affordable access to care. We have technology that we put in place with a mobile app where we centralize all of the access to the benefits, so they have a really good user experience, and for a 70 dollars product, it really gets people into the health system and makes sure that they’re getting the care that they need.

Saul Marquez:
That’s fantastic. Yeah, there are so many people that that lack coverage. And fascinating to learn about that insight that you and your team may change, that it’s not just the part -imers, it’s the full-timers. It’s this large group of most of the time hourly wage earners that are really kind of being overlooked. And even, gosh, I mean, you’d think about the insured, right? I mean, I have insurance. My son split his lip. He’s four. We took them to the urgent care. And I still got a bill. It was six hundred bucks. So for something like that, Shane, if I’m paying 70 bucks and then my son and then I’m paying for my son, I get in there. Do they take care of the stitches? If I go to one of the in-networks and there’s nothing else to pay.

Shane Foss:
There’s nothing else to pay.

Saul Marquez:
Amazing!

Shane Foss:
Yeah. And so it’s funny because carriers have the opportunity to do this. It’s a very convoluted system. And so when we as a new entry into the market, it was it was much easier for us to go to the existing providers and say, hey, this is what we’re thinking. Here’s the payment we’re thinking, here’s what we’re going to do, but we have to have it where there’s no balance bill. And everybody agreed. So it’s really nice in the sense that it’s a twenty-five-dollar copay, no balance. Anything done under the roof of that urgent care is taken care of with twenty-five dollars copay.

Saul Marquez:
I love it.

Shane Foss:
Yeah. It’s great. And then we also have an accident policy on there. So if your son had stitches, even if he did go to the E.R., we would pay that up to five thousand dollars. I mean, no deductible.

Saul Marquez:
That’s amazing. Well, he got them. He got them there. But that’s great to know. Right. Even after that.

Shane Foss:
Right.

Saul Marquez:
It might pay for me to actually just sign up with you guys anyway.

Shane Foss:
Yeah, exactly.

Saul Marquez:
By the way, this happened like a month and a half ago and I literally wrote a note, pay my bill, because I forgot I still had to pay it. I’m just like, damn. Everybody listening to this you’re like, yeah, I’ve been there. No way. Very interesting use of insurance. This is a very unique business model. What would you say is the kind of that thing that distinguishes you guys as a business?

Shane Foss:
So against our competitors? This has been a space where people have been using fixed indemnity for a long time. But what really sets us apart is our provider network. I’ve got a great team we build. We have a national network. We’re in forty-six states. I’ve just contracted providers at twenty-five dollars copay no balance bill. Then the other thing is with the mobile app and you buy your coffee mobile app, you go to Chick fil A, you got a mobile app. I mean you have a mobile app for everything. What’s funny is you don’t have a mobile app for your health care benefits. Right? You know, that’s another distinguishing factor for us is we have a mobile app that really guides you to the affordable place for care, whether you need a zero dollar cost, telemedicine, unlimited, twenty-five dollar copay, or if you want to go to a normal PCP, maybe you have your PCP. We use First Health Network where you get a discounted rate and we pay enough to where you’re going to have limited out-of-pocket, if anything, in that. But at least we give you the choice. Right? Today it’s so difficult because you typically don’t use your health care benefits until you really need them. That’s when you’re going back to your old emails, looking up your benefit plans. Hey, what do I have to do here? And so we take the approach where, hey, look, we get you. Download the mobile app so when it does happen, all you got to do is look at your phone.

Saul Marquez:
Right.

Shane Foss:
So it’s our key differentiating factor is really that we focus on the member experience. We push our eligibility to providers so that when you get your I.D. card, they actually identify you as insured. And most of our competitors, what they do is it’s a reimbursement. So you’ve got to pay the bill, then get reimbursed. Well, the problem with that is you’re not getting any discounts. That and the whole idea is you can’t afford it in the first place. So why are you putting the money at it, right? Basically what it does is prevent the member from actually wanting to use the plan, which is great for the insurance company. But the reality is, if we want a healthier society, we need to get them to the doctor.

Saul Marquez:
Amen, Shane. Amen. I think that’s fantastic. And this problem of access has been plaguing our country for a long time. We tried addressing it with the ACA. Obviously, that didn’t take care of the cost portion of problems. Now you guys are tackling cost in a very unique way and I’m excited about it. So as you built this, what would you say is one of the biggest setbacks you’ve experienced, key learning that came out of it?

Shane Foss:
Key learning is well you know, I can write a book at this point.

Saul Marquez:
I want to read that book when you do.

Shane Foss:
Well, I did not come from health insurance. And so, like a lot of entrepreneurs, you bring in the experience. And so especially on the sales side, because that’s where the key distribution, especially in this space, you need key distribution partners to get your product in front of people. And so the key thing I learned there was when you don’t have the right person, you’ve got to make that change soon, not sooner than later. You can’t put it off. And honestly, I didn’t wait. It’s not like I waited that long, but I waited long enough.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah.

Shane Foss:
So really focusing. I think the biggest experience is always the partnership. It’s getting the right salesperson and that can distribute your product. Because as a startup that is your lifeblood. The bottom line is operationally you could be perfect, but if you don’t have any product out in the field, that doesn’t matter. And then the other thing is the partnership with you know. I learned a lot about carriers. You know, they can make or break you. And so really the biggest learning lesson that I could put there is to spend a lot of time setting expectations and over-communicating with your carriers because they can shut your business down in a hurry if they decide to.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, that’s some great learnings. And you dive into that one a little bit deeper, like around the carriers, like you, ‘re talking about the other insurance plans, right?

Shane Foss:
No, I’m actually not. So we are not an insurance company. So we work through we have a couple of key partners that we use that underwrite our product, which is very common. So we’re what you would call a plan administrator. So we we actually build the product and we do as we go to the carrier and say this is the product with the benefit levels and everything, and then they’ll underwrite it for us. Yeah. So it’s really more. Again, it’s I think the life lesson out of that is really partnerships, making sure that you really spend, like your marriage? You’re marriage partnership. You have to spend the time and energy and overcommunicate to make sure that you’re always on the same page. And it’s the same way in business. So with us, I learned that hard way with the carriers.

Saul Marquez:
And I appreciate you sharing that and kind of taking it a layer deeper. Definitely make sense and help me understand the model better. So you guys built the product and you work with the carriers to actually provide the benefit and that’s how it works. So a fascinating model overall and providing some big benefits for the people that take it on. A user question for you, Shane. So this product’s available for employers, but what if there’s an individual that wants to cover him or herself and their family? Is that an option, too?

Shane Foss:
Well, funny you say that it’ll be an option starting August 1st night.

Saul Marquez:
Nice!

Shane Foss:
Yeah. So we’re getting ready to launch a partnership with AFE USA, Which is an Association For Entrepreneurs of America. You’ll have access through that association to buy memberships. And I think there are thirty-four states where you have access to be able to buy a plan. So yes, we’re really excited about that.

Saul Marquez:
So those thirty-four states, if people want to get a kind of like a preview, do they just go to HoorayHealth.com.

Shane Foss:
We have not yet. We have not put the preview out yet, but we will. But really the main states that won’t be available would be Hawaii, Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Tennessee, West Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, and Maine. Those are the states that don’t have access. So if you’re in those states, I’m really sorry. We’d love to be a part, but the Department of Insurance is being a little tricky.

Saul Marquez:
Cool. Well, I appreciate you mentioning that because now, folks, you could just hit rewind if you missed that or just go look at the transcript or the show notes there on our web page and you’ll figure that out. So fantastic. Wow, what great progress, Shane. And the mission is clear and you guys are executing on it, just improving access, helping people not waste a bunch of money just to take care of their families and themselves. What are you most excited about today?

Shane Foss:
Well, most excited that we’re out of COVID, that we are on the backs and businesses are now we’ve signed, I want to say, five or six major deals just in the last two weeks.

Saul Marquez:
Congratulations.

Shane Foss:
And stuff that was getting pushed off. So I’m most excited about the fact that we’re getting back to work as America. So that’s what I’m most excited about. I’m really excited about this AFE USA where we can sell to individuals. And so I think that through an association, I think it’ll be really, really good because there’s a lot of people that need access that just doesn’t have it.

Saul Marquez:
I love it. Yeah, lots to be excited about, Shane, especially with the model you guys have created and the leverage you guys have created. There’s no doubt the difficult part is establishing those networks. And on top of that, having the technology and people that understand those consumer-centric needs. Man, you guys are doing it differently for sure. And I’m excited about what you guys offer. Folks, it’s HoorayHealthcare.com if you have questions or anything like that. Shane, why don’t you give us a place where they could reach you or your team and then a closing thought that we could live with.

Shane Foss:
You can always reach me through LinkedIn. That’s probably the best way. Or you can go to our website and go through sales and health care to get through to me. If you’re interested in learning more as a closing thought, really, with COVID ending, stay positive business coming back and just continue to go back to your list that you created Pre COVID, which is the goals that you had for maybe 2020. Now just push them into 2022 and just start new. Everything will be good.

Saul Marquez:
I love it, Shane. Well hey, I love your practical way of being. I think it’s fantastic. And the work you guys are doing at Hooray Health is just phenomenal. I appreciate you sharing it with all of us and listeners make sure you take action on this, if not for yourself, for somebody that you love, or somebody that you care about. It’s a way to access health care and it’s our responsibility as health care leaders to spread the word. So, Shane, thank you for your work, and thanks for joining us.

Shane Foss:
Thanks, Saul. I really enjoyed it.

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Things You’ll Learn

  • Any place where you’re working with people and your outcomes have a difference on some of these lives is pretty meaningful.
  • Expensive health insurance plans prevent the members from actually using the plan.
  • When you don’t have the right person, you have to make that change soon. 
  • Spend a lot of time setting expectations and over-communicating with your carriers because they can shut your business down in a hurry if they decide to
  • Stay positive. Business is coming back. Continue working on your goals.  

 

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