Only 4% of Mexicans Can Afford Insurance; Tech Can Change That
STORY INLINE POST
Q: How is Mutuus disrupting the insurance market?
A: The penetration of health insurance in Mexico is low. There are two types of insurance policies: the individual policy, which is paid with personal funds; and the collective policy, which is paid by companies. While Mexico has over 130 million people, only around 3.5 million have individual insurance. A family with young kids, for example, would spend MX$50,000 (US$1,661) per year for a policy of this kind, while having to earn over MX$1 million (US$53,236) per year for the cost of the policy to represent no more than 5 percent of their total income. Thus, in Mexico, only 4% of the population has access to these policies. Consequently, insurance becomes affordable only to very wealthy people and big corporations. Large corporations can offer this benefit to employees by paying only around MX$8,000 (US$426) per person per year.
We are creating a new generation of health insured people by targeting the middle-class segment of the market. This segment is composed of professionals with annual incomes over MXN$50,000 who cannot afford private insurance and who’s all their healthcare needs are out of pocket expenses to them. The drama comes when they need to go to a hospital for any reason, either they go to the public health sector or go into debt to access a private hospital.
Our membership offers great value by giving users discounts when they must pay for doctor’s visits and other needs therefore having a nice impact in their finances but the real big benefit of the membership comes when they need hospital services because we pay for the total hospital bill and doctors, this service includes most of the best hospitals in the country and there is no deductible or coinsurance. We are creating value for the Mexican population, doctors, and hospitals because 86 percent of our members did not have insurance before having a Mutuus membership. Private hospitals are pleased with our solution because we are bringing new patients to their facilities. This is a win-win situation.
Q: What has been your impact so far?
A: We started operating mid-2018 and now have over 11,000 members in Mexico. We are targeting a potential market of 15 million people who can afford Mutuus. Our goal is to become the largest private health provider in the country, bringing together partners, hospitals, doctors, and of course new members.
Q: What is the main challenge you are facing regarding digitization?
A: From the start, Mutuus was meant to be a fully digital company. We are achieving that goal despite our struggles with the traditional insurance market. There is still much to do with them to achieve a decent digital process. Some of the main challenges are that most processes still require manual input and there is little standardization and technology. The traditional insurance industry must be aware of this as there will be many technological surprises in processes, markets, and businesses on their way.
Q: What obstacles have you found in Mexico that could impede your growth?
A: Financing in Mexico is mostly inaccessible for companies like us, as access to capital and loans is highly limited in the country. Traditional banks do not share our vision but as the startup market grows, more opportunities will be generated. We are moving into the venture capital market, where we expect to find the support and capital to grow to the full potential of our business model.
Q: How does your smart pharmacy model launched with Farma Leal add value to your customers?
A: Through our alliance with Farma Leal we can offer our members access to a digital pharmacy. Users can get their medicines through our app and program monthly deliveries, which is useful when managing chronic diseases. With these types of diseases, it is essential to help patients stick to the treatment and their required medicines to manage the disease and reduce complications.
Q: Mutuus was recognized as a Socially Responsible Enterprise. What strengths allowed the company to gain this recognition?
A: We are highly inclusive, allowing employees to work in the office, at home or in a hybrid model with a few exceptions for the small number of roles that need to be performed in the office. We are a sustainable and paperless business, as we are a digital company. Furthermore, we give people access to high quality services and we try to cover most of their needs.
Q: What are your priorities for 2023?
A: We plan to double our membership and then ally with another large hospital chain in Mexico to offer our clients more options. We will also close an investment round with venture capital firms.
Mutuus is a technology company that is revolutionizing private healthcare in Mexico providing affordable and accessible options through the first digital healthcare membership. It has alliances with many of the top private hospitals in Mexico.