Take Command Health, a Dallas-based health reimbursement arrangement administrator on a mission to create a consumer-centric healthcare system, has closed on a $12 million Series A round to “capitalize on tremendous demand.”
The funding was led by LiveOak Venture Partners, an Austin VC firm that focuses on tech-enabled service companies, and SJF Ventures, which invests in high-growth companies working to create a healthier, smarter, and cleaner future. Take Command plans to use the money to grow its team, launch new products, and enhance design support and account management, according to a news release. That includes a new payments solution.
This brings its total funding to more than $17 million.
“We believe the reimbursement model of insurance is key to helping employers control costs and expand coverage for employees,” CEO Jack Hooper said in a statement. “First year results have demonstrated this can be a real win-win. We’re excited to partner with LiveOak Venture Partners and SJF Ventures to propel this new model of health insurance forward.”
Take Command, as a leader in QSEHRA (Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement) administration and a proponent of the new Individual Coverage HRA, is on the forefront of an increased interest in health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs).
Companies are starting to move away from one-size-fits-all health insurance to more predictable, affordable, and flexible benefits solutions. That shift is Take Command’s specialty: The company launched in 2014 to bring awareness, advocacy, and transparency to the wide world of health insurance.
Founded out of the Affordable Care Act, Take Command wants to accelerate the adoption of the reimbursement model of health insurance. Its model allows employers to offer a tax-free stipend for employees to buy qualified ACA coverage that fits their needs.
“A critical factor in building a more sustainable healthcare ecosystem is empowering employees and employers alike with the tools and support required to control their healthcare benefits and spending,” Cody Nystrom, managing director of SJF Ventures, said. “Personalization and choice have permeated nearly every other aspect of our society and healthcare consumption should be included.”
Individual Coverage HRA, for instance, became available in January 2020 and were quickly known as a ‘shake-up’ to the benefits market. In ICHRA’s first year, Take Command saw a “significantly higher demand than anticipated”—more than 70 percent of its small clients offering health benefits for the first time.
It works for those that need a more flexible way to provide benefits, and provides a solution for employees who are typically more difficult to ensure on a group plan, like hourly, part-time, or remote workers. ICHRA is also a “viable solution amidst political uncertainty,” Take Command says, with its bipartisan foundation and support position.
The shift is especially timely with the COVID-19 pandemic. Take Command has started to see employers looking to reduce hours or change employee classifications, but still not wanting to offer some benefits to employees.
According to Take Command, it touts the industry’s first end-to-end ICHRA solution.
The team previously told us that it was able to bundle its private exchange with the ICHRA and QSEHRA offerings to maximize the individual insurance buying process and get folks into the right plan for them and their families.
“We are seeing a lot of folks wanting to offer health benefits to their employees but struggling with the unpredictable nature of the cost of small group health plans—ICHRA is a great way to resolve this problem because it allows for a defined contribution instead of a defined benefit,” Samantha Darnell, Take Command’s director of strategy, says.
From here, Take Command expects to keep innovating as the individual insurance market continues to improve and HRA administration becomes more mainstream. It also says the market will see carriers offering more ICHRA-specific options with zero-dollar deductible plans, free telemedicine, mental health services, and other wellness incentives.
“Take Command Health was instrumental in drafting the legislation that borne HRAs and has been at the forefront of HRA administration since inception,” Mike Marcantonio, a principal at LiveOak Venture Partners, said in a statement. “We’re excited to support this category leading company as they catalyze a paradigm shift in health benefits to a consumer-centric model.”
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