Transparent and Affordable Medical Cost Sharing with Jamie Lagarde, CEO at Sedera Health
Episode 568

Jamie Lagarde, CEO at Sedera Health

Transparent and Affordable Medical Cost Sharing

Transparency, cash friendly prices, cost-sharing – these are just some of the topics you’ll be hearing from our interview with Jamie Lagarde in this episode of Outcomes Rocket podcast. Jamie is a successful serial entrepreneur and seasoned executive whose wealth of knowledge helped launch Sedera into the market in 2013.

Today, Jamie discusses the drastic increase in insurance cost and presents an alternative, an innovative solution that removes unnecessary barriers to care. He also talks about Sedera’s model, its affordability, huge cost savings, and empowering the members to look into their health care.

If you’re looking for another way to care for your employees without the massive cost insurance brings, you’ll find enlightenment in this conversation with Jamie.

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Transparent and Affordable Medical Cost Sharing with Jamie Lagarde, CEO at Sedera Health

Episode 568

About Jamie Lagarde

Jamie is a successful serial entrepreneur and season executive whose wealth of knowledge helped launch Sedera into the market in 2014. He brings over 20 years of operational and information technology experience and 12 years of health care and medical informatics experience, working with organizations such as the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Baylor, Scott White, and more.

Jamie served on numerous boards, most recently as the chair of the Goodwill Central Texas Board. Jamie and his wife Alicia have three very active young boys who manage to keep health care an active topic of conversation in their home.

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Saul Marquez:
Welcome back to the Outcomes Rocket. Saul Marquez is here. Thanks again for tuning in. Today, I have the privilege of hosting Jamie Lagarde. He’s a successful serial entrepreneur and season executive whose wealth of knowledge helped launch Sedera into the market in 2014. He brings over 20 years of operational and information technology experience and 12 years of health care and medical informatics experience, working with organizations such as the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Baylor, Scott White and more. Jamie served on numerous boards, most recently as the chair of the Goodwill Central Texas Board. Jamie and his wife Alicia have three very active young boys who manage to keep health care an active topic of conversation in their home. And there’s a reason for that because Jamie’s business, Sedera, is a unique approach to health care and paying for health care. And today we’re going to be diving into why that is and how it works. But, Jamie, before we jump in all that, I want to welcome you. Thank you for being here.

Jamie Lagarde:
Saul, thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure. Thank you for being interested in this what Sedera is doing?

Saul Marquez:
Absolutely. So we’re going to dive into the model and why it’s making a difference for millions of Americans. But before we do, Jamie, I want to dig in further into what motivates you to work in the health care sphere. Tell us about that.

Jamie Lagarde:
You know Saul, it’s no secret, I mean if you turn on the news or any media outlet or Twitter or Facebook or you see stories that represent all, you know, constant examples of how the American health care system has problems. And I’d say it’s critically ill itself. Health care costs are increasingly unaffordable to ordinary people. Health insurance often limits people’s access to providers of their choice. Costs lack transparency and providers lack accountability. These problems make people feel frustrated, confined or overwhelmed. But it doesn’t need to be this way. We can do better as a country. And that’s why I work in health care and more specifically, what we’re doing in Sedera.

Saul Marquez:
I think it’s really great, Jamie. And, you know, your mission inspires is superimportant. The cost factor in health care is something that we haven’t solved yet. Right.. I mean, it continues to be a problem. So walk us through Sedera and what you guys do to add value to the health care ecosystem.

Jamie Lagarde:
Before I go into doing that, let me give you just a you talking about the cost problem, Saul. You know, if you go look at the data from a well-known source, Kaiser Family Foundation, from 2008 to 2018, you see insurance premiums increase. Fifty-five percent. You see employees’ portions and most people get their healthcare from their employer. The employees portion has increased 70 percent. But in that time, wages have only increased 19 percent. And so that is not sustainable. That is we call that the unsustainable squeeze inside Sedera. And so, you know, people are desperate for other solutions. And that’s what we’re about. And so we think that the one size fits all traditional insurance plan does not work for everyone. We created Sedera, which is a nonprofit medical cost sharing community, to offer an innovative non insurance approach to managing large health care costs and to provide an alternative to this reality. And, you know, we’re focused on innovating and trying to not be that status quo solution, providing transparency of what’s going on and the cost and where all the cost, where all the money goes. And because we’re a community, you know, the values of the community are very, very important. This is at the simplest form, these are people who’ve come together to share each other’s medical bills. Yeah.

Saul Marquez:
And I’m glad you parked there for a bit. And, you know, the issue is huge. And so you guys are offering transparency, affordability. And so there’s some distinctions to be made as well. I want to make sure to cover those and how it’s working and how it’s better. We’ll have a chance to dive into all that. So talk to us about how you’re serving folks. And I think, you know, today, Jamie, I think we could focus around the employer because, you know, our audience is made up of, you know, people running large businesses, small businesses, all health care businesses. We’re speaking to a very sophisticated audience here in health care. But they’re decision-makers. They’re lever pullers in things that can that could really make a difference. So, you know, in speaking to this group, what would you say is the best way you guys offer value to the ecosystem?

Jamie Lagarde:
Well, if anyone who’s taking a look at they’re running a business and offering health care to their employees knows that their health care benefits on the expense side of their PNL is either the number two or number three expense. And so it is a significant whether they like it or not, it regardless of what the business actually does, the business is also in the health care business. And that’s where I think we can help. We’re here to provide a better alternative and better and provide better outcomes for people, especially during these challenging times. And we’ve been working diligently to make sure that that happens. COVID-19 has highlighted the fractures in our current health care system, and we need to remove those unnecessary barriers to care. And we’re simplifying the process for everyone who wants to be a part of it. You see these direct primary care and virtual primary care models that we emphasize, and we absolutely love them. They’re great examples of how doctors and patients are making the shift to more unconventional payment methods, where in reality they’re just moving back to the common sense and direct approaches that are used in almost every other sector of our economy. And so it’s the patient and doctor having a direct financial relationship on, let’s say, a subscription type model. And the patient that consumer is, you know, is providing affordability and quality time and care instead of having this eight-minute doctor visit. I’m a member of a direct primary care practice. And at one point I had to tell the doctor, hey, you know, I’ve got to go and go back. I’ve got more things to do in my day than talk to you. I spent more time at my first meeting with my direct primary care doctor. It was over two hours with this doctor that I’d spent in the last 15 years with my fee for service, eight minutes at a time doctor who, by the way, was really great. But this is a whole nother level of experience. That’s just one example.

Saul Marquez:
So there’s the experience portion. There’s, you know, there’s many others. So we’re talking about medical expense sharing. And so when we think about that, you know, I think we’ve been so conditioned to be comfortable with insurance and how it works. What’s one of the biggest things, Jamie, that you find keeps people from going with a program like yours and then maybe talk to us about maybe what some people find out after trying?

Jamie Lagarde:
Yeah, I mean, it’s definitely different, right? I mean, this is a completely different way of looking at your health care. And you and I were talking before the start of the show. And one of Sedera’s core beliefs is everyone needs access to health care, but health insurance is only one way to pay for it. And people need more options, not less, when it comes to getting the health care they need. And so with Sedera, what people are doing is they’re literally setting aside funds and an account held at an FDI see insured bank. And those funds are being set aside to share for the needs of the community that come in every week. And funds from other community members go directly to reimburse those members for their medical needs. So we are you know, members are sharing directly to other members. And this type of model is different. It’s flexible. There’s no provider network, Sedera and the community doesn’t tell people where they need to go. There’s no in network, out of network, which can be very challenging. Community members can find and visit the provider of their choosing. And that’s something our members really do like. I mean, well, one of the core elements of what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to have people look at health care and really put on their hat of being a health care consumer, just like they’re a consumer and every other element of society. In the insurance model you get this piece of this card in the mail. We don’t give our members a card. You get this card and it’s like, OK, this company is taking care of all of my health care.

Jamie Lagarde:
And it’s this big third party payer. And I think that model is we’re seeing the challenges with that approach. And, you know, my wife and I, we started on this journey and, you know, I helped Tony Dale, our founder and chairman, launched the company back in 2014. And we then shortly thereafter became a member of the community ourselves. And, you know, it’s definitely an adjustment to go from insurance to being a self-pay patient with a community of people behind you. But we went back and looked at the statistics Saul and we saw. What kind of impact did this make on our lives? We saved seventeen thousand dollars in our first year, a thousand dollars a month, versus what we were paying for, a very nice insurance plan. But five thousand dollars in out-of-pocket costs, because we had a couple of things go on with the kids. We have three young boys. And anyway, so that’s seventeen thousand dollars in savings that I think people on that are listening could definitely use. Now, that was our experience. Right. But what’s the catch? It sounds a little too good to be true. And the reality is we had to be more involved in our health care. I probably spent. And my wife did, too. Probably 10 more hours over the course of the year, paying providers and getting bills to be shared. And so you have to be willing to take a more active role in your health care. But if you do and you’re willing to do that, I think you can have an awesome experience.

Saul Marquez:
You know, you call us some great things there, Jamie. And, you know, I had a guest on the podcast not too long ago say, you know, when you take a look at and even like organizations right., they’ll form a committee with tons of people, scrutinize every detail, price, contract, everything involved if they’re going to buy a 100 trucks, for example. But then when they’re paying for one hundred back surgeries, they don’t do the same due diligence. And I think we tend to be the same way. You know, I now put myself in that bucket of we that we don’t tend to put the time into our health care costs as we do in something else. You know, you fill in the blank, folks, and whatever you buy a car, a house, a boat, you name it, right? And we tend to spend more time on those things than on our health care. So, Jamie, you’re bringing up something very important because those days of not spending time are gone. And if you’re a business and you’re not spending that time, you’re in the health care business, period. And so I love that. You mentioned that upfront, Jamie. You know, it’s either a number two or number three. Aside from your employer and your labor cost, right., you’re paying for health care. So talk to us about what makes you guys different and better when considering a plan like yours.

Jamie Lagarde:
So obviously, costs are a big factor. But when we typically work with an employer group, one of our affiliates will kind of put together a total solution where, you know, people have multiple choices. They may take advantage of (inaudible) which is the individual coverage HRA. And many times what we’re seeing with employers is what essentially they can do is say, hey, we’ve got a defined contribution that we’re going to give every employee or every employee family. And then in its simplest form, the employee gets to decide what they want to do with it. Let’s say they’re going to get three or four hundred dollars per household or per employee from the company, or maybe it’s two hundred dollars. The employee can decide, do I want to put those two hundred dollars towards a medical cost-sharing option like Sadara? Or they can put those two hundred dollars towards all the numerous options that are available on the on or off the, you know, the federal exchange of health care plans. And so we like to see employees having choice. Some what we’d find is in year one, when that kind of option to approach option comes out to employees in year one, you’ll have like the early adopters and you and you’ve got folks that, you know, let’s say dealing with an employer group of 100, you might have 40 or 50 take sharing and the rest want to opt for insurance.

Jamie Lagarde:
But what’s fun is the second year they don’t believe me because I work for the company Right. but they believe their fellow employee, Sol, and they’re going to say, hey, how did that Sedera thing work for you? I know it wasn’t insurance. How did that work? And by a large part, people have a really great experience. We since we started in 2014, every eligible need has been fully shared and resolved since we started. Period, end of sentence. There’s no one. And we’ve dealt with cancers and heart attacks and stem cell transplants and all of these very, you know, gunshot wounds to the head. And I mean, just I mean, scary stuff that people worry about. And the medical cost sharing community has dealt with that. And so went back to your, you know, your question about employers. You know, we like to have the employees to have multiple options sharing insurance. You’re one. Some will take it. But what happens in year two is they’ve asked their fellow employees how it worked and they’ve had a good experience. So we get more adoption in year two. Very cool.

Saul Marquez:
So so what you’re saying, Jami, is that if somebody is considering it, they don’t have to put both feet in. They could offer it as another option.

Jamie Lagarde:
Correct.

Saul Marquez:
Got it. Yeah. That’s great. And, you know, and that’s a that’s something really interesting to think about. Right., if you’re going to try a program, you don’t have to do it. Just offer it and see how it works for people. You know, one of the things that’s come up around, you know, shared health care options, shared health expense options is like those catastrophes Right.. You mentioned the idea that you have to get supplemental insurance. Like, how true is that? And I mean, what do you see in your population of customers, the community?

Jamie Lagarde:
Obviously, there’s no guarantee Right. with sharing. There’s just people who’ve come together to share each other’s medical bills. And before the community shares, we make sure that the community is getting a, you know, a fair and reasonable price for the medical services that were provided to a member. But in large part, people look at sharing as their health care solution, their entire health care solution. They might because we were talking about earlier, they might partner it with a membership to a direct primary care practice. But that’s for, you know, for primary care work. But they think of sharing as their solution for when big medical bills come around. It is their health care solution. It just happens to not be insured.

Saul Marquez:
And you know the interesting thing, right? I feel like a lot of people kind of shy away because of that. Hey, you know, there’s no guarantee. And, you know, when you when you deal with regular insurance, how many of us have dealt with. Oh, we don’t pay that. We don’t pay for that.

Jamie Lagarde:
Yeah. I mean, it’s important for people to understand what sharing is and it isn’t. And it’s and if there is no guarantee. But as I said earlier, every eligible need is fully shared in resolve. Since we started in 2014, the community has done very well. And our goal is to take care of our members. Our goal is, hey, we’re here to support one another. And Sedera, the company has a role to play as kind of stewards or, you know, we have a role to play. But the community has been very successful at helping to control costs for employer members, for individuals. And so we’re really proud of that. And what would you say is like, how do you define eligible? So there is guidelines that are on our Web site that describe how the sharing process works, how this community comes together, what they believe. The simplest way I would describe it, there’s ethical principles that unite the members of this community.

Jamie Lagarde:
So first and foremost, you have to agree to these principles that I think when you read it, most people, the vast majority of people would say, no, I’m behind that. I believe that. And so you and you then have to say, look, this is the kind of there’s different sharing communities that are out there. So I’m, of course, biased and thinks that Sedera is great. But there are other sharing communities that are out there. And so you may look at hours and hours and say, oh, I really like how they do their sharing. And so we don’t tell anybody. No, you fill out an application and there may be time restrictions on, let’s say, any preexisting conditions would have a time restriction on them. I when I joined, I had two time restrictions with some pre-existing conditions. But in large part, that ends up not being an issue for the vast majority of our members. So we bottom line, we don’t tell anybody. No. They can sign up and start any day. And you don’t have a you know, a special open enrollment period or anything like that. You can join at any time of it.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. How about chronic conditions, diabetes, you know, COPD, things that require, you know, medications and consistent maintenance.

Jamie Lagarde:
So we have a lot of members who are managing chronic conditions. The simplest way I would describe it is that Sedera works for, I would say, eight to nine out of 10 people. It doesn’t work for 10 out of 10 people now. What we’re constantly doing is getting feedback from our membership on how we could do things better and continue to innovate. And, you know, and so one of the areas we’ve made some changes when it comes to medications and offered more of a marketplace for where people can shop for maintenance medications, which is the primary, I would say that one of the most significant needs for people who have chronic conditions. And so we were rolling out some improvements there. But, you know, we’ve got members who everyday are dealing with chronic conditions and, you know, they’ve got a community behind them, the Sedera Sedra teams here to help them get the health care they need. And again, something else they really like is there’s no network. So they can go to any doctor that they choose. We’re going to give them options to consider if they’re looking for help. But at the end of the day, the choice is theirs of where they go to get their care of it.

Saul Marquez:
And super interesting, you know. And Jamie, I’m asking you a lot of these questions because I know our listeners are wondering them. And so I appreciate you entertaining them as they’re very, very important. When you look at the at the business, how would you say it’s improved outcomes or made business better?

Jamie Lagarde:
I’d say that it’s removing unnecessary barriers to care. We’re simplifying the process for everyone to be a part of it. We talked earlier about, you know, whether these direct primary care practices and things like that. That’s another great example. But it’s just that removing those the middlemen, we’re working directly with our members. They’re sending us the bills and we’re sending the funds from the community directly to them. You know, and obviously the cost savings are significant. One of the big areas that we need to demand as a country is better price transparency. And you and I were talking about this before and I’ll use the example is imagine going to the grocery store and going to buy a box of Cocoa Puffs and there’s two boxes on the shelf and you grab one of them, you checkout. And two weeks later, you get a bill for the Cocoa Puffs. That is three hundred dollars.

Saul Marquez:
Some expensive Cocoa Puffs.

Jamie Lagarde:
It’s a very expensive box of Cocoa Puffs. If only you would have grabbed the identical one next to it, which was three dollars because you didn’t know it at the time. And the reality is that’s what’s happening to health care. And if I use a health care example, imagine walking over on one side of the street to get an MRI. That’s four thousand dollars. But you can go across the street. Same radiologist, actually, same machine and get charged. Four hundred dollars for that same MRI. And so the lack of transparency is one of the factors that’s preventing people to become health care consumers, just like their consumers in every element of society today. And we need people and we’re trying to encourage our members to be true health care consumers, and they can do that. And that’s one of the key things that we’re trying to educate and kind of empower our members to do.

Saul Marquez:
That’s great. You know? And I think it’s so important to do that. I mean, I’ve been in the urgent care. And literally, they can’t tell you, right.. Even if they wanted to, right, they can’t tell you how much an x-ray costs. We were in the urgent care and my wife had something going on with her, with her stomach. They checked and I well, we were going to take an x ray.

Saul Marquez:
And I’m like, well, OK, fine. How much does it cost? Like, they couldn’t tell me.

Jamie Lagarde:
No, it’s that yeah. It’s a huge problem. And part of the problem is there’s just so many middlemen that are in the equation that the health care has become so detached from the cost of the health care. You know, that’s why you’re seeing all these new models spring up, is that, you know, that transparency of knowing why? Why is that such a strange concept? Before I go make a purchase of something that I get to know how much it’s going to cost. It sounds like such a simple concept, and it is, but it’s doesn’t exist in health care. Right. And we desperately need it to exist in health care.

Saul Marquez:
So so let’s go back to that scenario, Jamie. And say I’m a Sedera client. Right. Would I even have gone to that urgent care or is there any navigation help that Sedera offers or is that all on the member? They have to do the research, et cetera. Tell us about that.

Jamie Lagarde:
So there’s a couple so that you get some choices of how you want to do this. So, number one, we build an unlimited 24 by seven 365 access to board-certified physicians by phone or video chat, maybe video chats only available for certain hours, but by phone, they’re available anytime, day or night. And so we want to give our members telemedicine. It’s called telemedicine. And telemedicine is available to our members anytime, day or night to get the care that they need. And if they want to talk to a doctor before. I mean, if anyone thinks they’re having an emergency, they should just go directly to the E.R. and never hesitate right.

Jamie Lagarde:
In emergency situations and we tell our members, just go get the care you need. We don’t care where you go. But if you want to talk to a physician, you wake up in the middle of the night with a young child or something and you want to talk to a physician, you can do that. And so we give our members free, unlimited use telemedicine as part of their monthly subscription to Sedera.

Saul Marquez:
That’s great.

Jamie Lagarde:
Other things that we do is that we talk talked a couple of times about direct primary care. We actually will lower our monthly subscription to be part of Sadara if someone goes and gets a virtual primary care or direct primary care membership. And so we are basically offsetting some of that costs because we’re such a believer in that model and how it fits so beautifully with Sedera, a Sedera membership we think that’s an awesome combination. And when you have a direct primary care membership, you can text. You can call your doctor. You have a relationship there where it’s sort of like you have your urgent care doctor on call. It’s a level of health care that I’ve I’ve never experienced before. And I’m a big, big fan of it. So that’s another model that we will introduce our members to, or they can just get Sedera directly. And again, it comes with telemedicine by default. So both of those things, I think, you know, we want people to have access to the care they need and as quickly as possible. And I think both approaches have, you know, have its strengths.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. So really, when you talk to your telemedicine console doctor or direct primary care doctor, they’re likely to have suggestions right around where to get an xray or how to how to navigate the transparency front.

Jamie Lagarde:
Yeah. So my DPC Doctor, I had rolled my ankle and it was a little concerned it was broken. He said, well, let’s get you an x ray. And you said, hey, there’s the three doors down. Go get an x ray. It should cost about sixty dollars out of pocket. These direct primary care doctors have kind of built there’s relationships where to where to go to get cash pay friendly prices, which is what we want our members to get. And so, yeah, he told me where to go get an x ray. He said, oh, let’s get these lab tests done. It was for another issue I had didn’t need the lab tests for the broken ankle. But he said, hey, you know, oh, by the way, the lab tests are here’s the ones I want if you want to check on any of them. Lab values that you’re interested in. Other five bucks each. Right. So that transparency. But he knows exactly what it’s going to cost.

Saul Marquez:
That’s awesome.

Jamie Lagarde:
And. Yeah. And so I will no. Never go back to the old system. It’s like someone turns the light on in the room and say, wait a second, we can do health care like we do any other element of society. And again, that’s where free-market principles come in and, you know, people compete. And that’s I think that’s how we solve some of the problems of health care in this country.

Saul Marquez:
I agree, Jamie. So if you’re listening to this episode and you’re feeling a little uncomfortable, I’m glad. And the reason I’m glad is because this is a different approach. And if you’re not feeling uncomfortable, that means that you’re you know, well, number one, probably in the minority because this is different. But the thing is, if you are feeling uncomfortable, you should also be feeling uncomfortable about all the money you’re funneling down the toilet with your current health care. Just a thought there for you. And it’s not changing, you know. Stockholm Syndrome is kind of like that thing where it’s basically like you feel a level of empathy toward your captors. And that’s kind of what insurance is doing to us. And we feel like, oh, well, that’s only 10 percent this year was it was gonna be fifteen. But the reality is it’s making us less competitive. It’s an issue. And so I welcome any and all options to do better. And it’s these innovative thinkers like Jamie and his team that will make a difference and push the normal way of doing things to be better or just obsolete. And so, Jamie, you know, talk to us about one of the biggest setbacks you’ve had in building this. You know, it’s been six years.

Jamie Lagarde:
Well, before we jumped to that, I just want to give you a statistic that I mentioned to your earlier before we started the podcast is that for employers, you know, when you look at data from 2008 on and it’s just this data source comes from a Kaiser Family Foundation, which is a you know, it’s it’s a very good trusted source of information like this is total premiums have increased from two thousand eight by fifty-five percent to two thousand eighteen employees. Employees portion of those premiums have increased by 70 percent. But wages have only increased by 19 percent during that period of time. And this is just this is not sustainable. Something has got to change. And so if people are feeling uncomfortable, so are their employees. And I think we can do something about it. People in Sedera and medical cost sharing is just another option for people to consider. But to go back to your question, you know, what are the setbacks? You know, I think innovation of any kind is hard, you know, especially when entrenched interests want to keep things the status quo.

Jamie Lagarde:
And so, you know, I’ll give you a challenge we’re currently facing. You know, the IRS recently released a proposed rule that would allow, among other things, individuals and employers to use a tax advantage fund to pay for direct primary care and for health care sharing and health care sharing memberships in a while. We’re excited about this. And what this type of change could mean for the expansion of non-insurance health care options. We know that the current proposal has problems both for DPCs direct primary care and medical cost sharing. In particular, we’re concerned about the proposed rules definition of a health care sharing ministry, which is narrow and anti-competitive. The current definition leaves Sedera and many other sharing organizations out and unnecessarily stifles innovation and the things that we’ve been talking about on this podcast. So there is primary issue is with this proposed rule in its definition. And so that’s one of the areas that we’re working on it to try to get the government to reconsider its it’s the death, the problematic definition.

Saul Marquez:
The scope, right. It sounds like maybe the scope is too narrow.

Jamie Lagarde:
It is. What it what it’s doing is it also puts this date and the restriction and saying that they know that these health care sharing ministries. And why is it limited to just ministries have been in existence and sharing medical expenses continuously since December thirty first of nineteen ninety nine. Why does it matter when an organization gets started? You know, we would say that it’s anti-competitive and is limiting the ability for innovation. And why this is important is because then our members could deduct their monthly contributions to the community from their taxes and employers could use tax advantage funds to reimburse employees who join the community. So that is like one area that I know would benefit our members greatly. So we’re pushing hard on that one.

Saul Marquez:
Fascinating. And you think that’s partly due to the limited scope due to lobbying from maybe your competitor or.

Jamie Lagarde:
Well, I mean, the sharing organization started in the first ones were started in the Christian communities in the early 80s. And so that’s where this concept came out of. And now we’re here and, you know, in this day and age and, you know, now we’re what is this, 35 years later? And there’s other sharing organizations. There’s a proven track record of success with these communities. And now what Sideris mission and focus is? Look, this shouldn’t be a matter of religion or religion. This should be made available to a much broader audience. This works. It just happens to not be health insurance. And people should be able to have this option to choose from and have a favorable tax advantage that they know that they get with insurance if they are going down this path. Thirty five year track record that it works for people.

Saul Marquez:
Not thank you for sharing that. You know, these these are obstacles and getting around them, staying in the game long enough. You guys have the the breadth and depth of, you know, lives cover. And I don’t know if you guys use that language.

Jamie Lagarde:
You use that language. We do. So I appreciate you asking. That’s all. We stay away from insurance term. So we would never use the word coverage. We wouldn’t use the word policy or premium or that’s why we don’t talk about a guarantee. The worst thing that would happen is that somebody joins a sharing community thinking it’s insurance when it absolutely is not. Even though it does, it has a great track record and people love being part of the community. It’s just different. Different isn’t bad. It’s just different. Yeah. We stay clear of terms like that just to make sure to emphasize the point that this is something different. What are you most excited about today, Jamie? You know, I’m excited about a lot’s all, you know, when you see I’m excited about that. The people that are using our community every day and, you know, we’ve got members in forty nine states and, you know, thirty thousand lives that are sharing bills every single week. I sit in the meeting where the needs that come in. You know, we talk about them and have a conversation and how we’re helping people. I’m just excited to be serving people in this way and providing a solution that is better for people and helping them save money on not only the, you know, the monthly cost of health care, but the out-of-pocket cost as well. I’m excited to see if we can expand the use of HSA is to work with this approached and have those tax advantaged dollar. So I’m I’m hopeful we’ll be able to get some changes there, too. And I love that we’re kind of returning back to this direct doctor patient care that we used to have without all the middlemen. I think it’s better for the doctor. I think it’s better for patients. Sedera believes in this power of a medical a personal medical home to improve global health care and personal health, our health outcomes for everybody. And so that those are some of the things I’m excited about.

Saul Marquez:
Love it, Jamie. I’m excited about it, too. You know, we we cover everything here on the podcast, all health care. You know, the three point five trillion dollar industry. And you may agree with some things. You may disagree with some things. But the thing that we commit to is getting thinkers on all sides of the of a playing field here. And that’s why Jamie’s here today, because he’s he and his team are making a huge impact to the lives of many by way of how they access health care. And so, Jamie, I can’t thank you enough for being with us today. And before we conclude. I’d love if you could just leave us with something to think about before you leave. And and the best place for the listeners can engage with you and your company.

You know, I just say at the end of the day, Sendera goal is to provide an absolutely an exceptional service experience to our members and to our community and for to reduce their health care costs and empower them to lead healthier lives. And I’d say that, you know, to understand the true cost of what’s going on with health care, the Cocoa Puffs example is just to shop around. Just try this before you go get that box of Cocoa Puffs or go get that next procedure. Pick up the phone and call us and we’ll help you look at other options are not even being a member. We want to educate people that there are different ways to purchase health care. And if we can help inform people to make better decisions around health care, whether they’re a member of Sedera or not, we’d be happy to do that. So that’s what I’d say to get I mean, my final statement, I would say, is just, you know, together as a community, we’re tapping this power of community to create a new normal in health care. And we did bite people to learn more about it. So that’s where I think I’d leave it.

Saul Marquez:
I love it, Jamie. So, folks, if you go to Sedera, not. Com there’s I just looked this looked at this. You guys have a not a phone number and an email for current members and prospective members planning out ways to get in touch with you guys. But, you know, is there any other way that you want to invite the listeners to connect with you?

Jamie Lagarde:
No, I think that’s great. I think you’ll see the phone number Right. on our Web site. You know, we’ve got your Web site today, our Web site, Sedera dot com. You can send an e-mail to info at Sedera dot com. All those are great ways to get a hold of us. I think there’s live chat on the Web site. So we’d be happy to chat more with anybody who wants to know more.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. Jamie, listen, I appreciate everything you’ve shared with us today and certainly looking forward to staying in touch and hearing how things go here around the corner.

Jamie Lagarde:
Well, Saul, thanks for the interest and best of luck to you. And again, thanks for that for letting me come on board and talking about Sedera for a while. I really enjoyed it.

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Things You’ll Learn

Understand the true cost of what’s going on with health care. Consider your health insurance cost the same way you carefully compare prices when purchasing something.

Educate people that there are different ways to purchase health care.

Demand better price transparency in healthcare.

Reference

https://sedera.com/