STORY INLINE POST
Q: Sofía’s goal is to improve the way millions of people care for their health. How does the company use tech to achieve that?
A: Traditional insurance companies usually require in-person contact. Gradually, several industries are migrating to a fully or mostly online operation but the health sector has been slow to adopt technology, missing out on the improvement it can provide. It allows doctors and people to better use their time during appointments and can take over the administrative processes for scheduling, payment and prescribing. On a larger scale and done constantly, this leads to the overall improvement of the system.
At Sofía, we wanted to bring technology to the health care sector. Sofía uses tech not only to make interactions easier but to promote health and prevention through the same platform. With the creation of a proprietary system capable of integrating medical operations, insurance operations, etc, we want to be the only thing people need to take care of their health.
Q: How does Sofía’s value offer differ depending on generational needs and lifestyles?
A: Sofía offers a complete insurance plan that covers both minor and major expenses. Besides that, we also cover and focus on preventive care, which is one of our main differentiators. This fresh approach to health is attractive to new generations that tend to be more aware and mindful about their health and daily habits. That is why we cover from a simple flu to a major incident: the major benefit of having Sofía is that you can use it at any time.
Nonetheless, we offer our services to all generations; our product is suitable for everyone.
Q: What alliances have helped the company grow and establish itself?
A: Our most valuable alliance is with the doctors that form our medical group: SofíaMed. They have propelled the use of Sofía; they are fundamental to our services. We do select doctors carefully to ensure they meet the required specialties and certifications. They have to be open to use technology to provide a better service. To date, Sofía has doctors in over 90 specialties and we are constantly increasing this network to enrich our offer.
Hospitals are also important allies. In Mexico City, for example, we allied with Grupo San Angel Inn, which has six hospitals and a short-stay clinic. Laboratories have also been essential partners because they complement our services.
Of course, we are certified by the main financial and health institutions in Mexico such as: The National Insurance and Bond Commission (CNSF), CONDUSEF and the Ministry of Health (SS), at the end of the day, these institutions give us the credibility of a serious and committed company.
Sofía is constantly looking for more partners because we want to create an entire ecosystem of health built through partnerships that can provide services through our platform.
Q: Where are Sofía’s services available?
A: All our medical and administrative services are available on our app, although if you want to visit a doctor in person you can schedule an appointment (also through the app). Whatever orientation you need, our Sabi@s, which is how we call to our customer experience team, they will help you through different tools as chats or calls.
For now, our services are available for people who live in Mexico City, although we have country wide coverage in the case of accidents and emergencies. We plan to expand to more states in the country over the course of this year.
Q: How has the company expanded its service offering?
A: We began by offering individual and family solutions but, following demand, we have incorporated company policies. In 2022, we will focus on expanding the scope of our company policy as we are creating a specialized service for startups For each company we work with, we develop a different plan that suits best to be the perfect solution.
To promote our services, Sofía uses different strategies like social media to share relevant information about our products for individuals and families. We also have a blog where we share information related to health. The blog is available to the general public. We want Sofía to be seen as a friendly, easy-to-use service that is attuned to our users’ health and lifestyle.
Q: What is behind Mexico’s low insurance penetration and how could tech address this?
A: Prevention is underrated in Mexico and the low penetration of insurance products reflects that. We want to revolutionize the industry and target a new generational market. Traditional insurance services are used by 7 percent of Mexicans and the largest barriers to change are in-person, bureaucratic processes that require a broker. Technology allows users to have a direct, faster contact with the service.
We saw this low insurance penetration in Mexico and we wanted to come with this innovative project to improve the way people take care of their health.
Another challenge is that many believe insurance to be too complex, which is why we made Sofía easy to understand.
Q: What challenges did Sofía face as a startup and what do you hope to see changing in Mexico’s entrepreneurial environment?
A: We are a young company but we have undergone many changes in the sector. For example, four years ago, opening a bank account online was unthinkable but now it is commonplace thanks to companies such as Clara. Also, the legal framework for startups at that time was still new because tech companies were uncommon.
Future startups are likely to work in an integrated ecosystem through providers such as Sofía for insurance and Runa for payroll. Because of this, processes will take a day or two rather than weeks or months, encouraging the creation and formalization of more companies. Companies can then focus on complying with their corresponding regulations.
Sofía is both an insurance company and a tech company so we need to comply with the full set of regulation of insurance companies as there is no special framework for insurtechs. While this is a long process, our users and partners can be certain that the company is up and running with all requirements met.
Sofía is a Mexican insurtech that aims to foster prevention by managing the different stages of a health journey, from first contact with a doctor to serious accidents.