NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BeneStream, a health tech startup that provides businesses with the means to comply with the Employer Mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and expands opportunity for low-income Americans, announced a $1.5 million program-related investment in the form of a low-interest loan from the Ford Foundation. The funds are designated for expanding the company’s geographic and operational reach among Medicaid expansion states, and for efforts to identify and enroll 2 million Medicaid eligible employees whom would otherwise unlikely claim this essential benefit. This brings BeneStream’s total funding to date to over $3 million.
“This new round of funding from the Ford Foundation will help us fuel the company’s already explosive growth which is being driven by the Employer Mandate,” said Ben Geyerhahn, CEO and Founder of BeneStream. “We anticipate that this financing will help us to expand our dominant market position and our profitability.”
Prior to implementation of the ACA, the working poor was the largest uninsured demographic because most of the time their employers did not offer health benefits, and prior to the expansion they didn’t qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid was expanded based on the knowledge that this demographic wouldn’t be able to afford any additional cost that would result from passage of the ACA.
BeneStream has been contracted to work with tens of thousands of workers across the country in Medicaid Expansion states, with a target for screening upwards of 10-15,000 people per month in the 2015 calendar year.
“This is a great opportunity for low-income workers to receive the health security they deserve,” said Helen Neuborne, Director of Quality Employment at the Ford Foundation. “Medicaid Expansion clearly goes hand-in-hand with the ACA. This investment is to ensure that as broad a range of Medicaid-eligible individuals as possible are able to receive the appropriate health care coverage.”
Historically, those in need of and entitled to public benefits have let them go unclaimed at a rate of billions of dollars per year for a host of reasons including difficulty in applying and the time commitment the process requires. The Ford Foundation already supports nonprofits working to address this issue across the country.
BeneStream complements these existing programs and vastly expands the possibility for their reach based on its model of working through employers via a paid service. Millions of workers from a demographic that is typically hard to locate and engage via traditional means can now access benefits more easily from their place of work. Whereas nonprofits have been limited by the size of their funding, BeneStream’s reach is only limited by the number of employers who use the service. In addition, the data generated by BeneStream will be further used to help participating employees apply for other benefits like SNAP, Lifeline phones, and more as the program is brought to scale.
BeneStream’s Board of Advisors is a who’s-who of the labor, tech investment, health insurance, and health tech sectors: Andy Stern, Esther Dyson, Kevin Hill, formerly of Oxford Health, Martin Babinec who founded TriNet, and Ashok Subramanian, CEO and Co-founder of Liazon, among others. A complete list of BeneStream’s board can be found at http://benestream.com/about/.
BeneStream provides the only alternative solution for employers to satisfy the Employee Mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act by handling the enrollment of qualifying employees in Medicaid, rather than private insurance. Medicaid enrollment is a personal benefit that companies do not typically endeavor to handle for their staff. BeneStream was founded by Benjamin Geyerhahn, a healthcare policy expert and member of New York Governor Cuomo’s Health Benefit Exchange Regional Advisory Committee. The company employs a combination of screening and monitoring software and a multilingual call center.