Meet Ashley Andrews, Sales Executive, with Medefy, a benefits navigation app. Medefy is an app to help you connect better with your healthcare. Real humans are on standby to help you make your next healthcare move, whether that’s understanding a bill or offering provider coordination. In the app you’ll be able to find plan documents, see how much you’ve paid into your deductible, or even access your benefits card. With 24/7 high quality, low cost care available, Medefy brings humanization and customer service to offer an empathetic experience with technology.
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More About Our Guest:
Bringing a wealth of experience from her 12 years of working in the brokerage world, Ashley joined Medefy in November 2020. She prides herself on her commitment to helping employers unlock the vast potential of their benefits programs by empowering the people with in them. Ashley’s goal in the employee benefits space is to help normal, everyday people use the benefits they have to get the care that they need. Recognizing that when people easily navigate their care, they can get back to living life.
Ashley is a degreed professional with three bachelor’s degrees from McPherson College and has received numerous awards as a top employee benefits consultant. She loves Lululemon yoga pants, traveling and searching for the world’s best cheese pizza, and her French Bulldog Carl.
Rick Farris 0:01
Hey, thank you for listening in to Risky Benefits. A podcast that informs you on all things benefits. We’ve got a saying around here. Benefits isn’t your main business. It’s ours. Hey, everyone, thank you for listening to Risky Benefits and welcome to this week’s episode. Our guest this week is Ashley Andrews sales executive at Medefy, a benefits navigation app. But before we get started, let’s overview today’s discussion. First, we’re going to learn a little bit more about Ashley and Medefy. We’re going to learn about what services Medefy provides, who Medefy serves, how Medefy charges. And lastly, what sets Meddify apart as a navigation app. So before we get into that, let’s let’s meet Ashley, Ashley, thank you for coming on. Why don’t we get started with you introducing yourself and just giving us some background on you.
Ashley Andrews 0:52
Yeah, I appreciate you all. Thank you so much for having me really excited to be a part of your podcast series. I’m Ashley Andrews. I’m a sales executive with Medefy. Headquartered company in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but also born and raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. My background is actually from the broker world. So I spent 12 years on the consulting side started my career as an account manager moved my way to a Associate Director of Employee Benefits resources, really gauging the technology space with benefits, teaching about payroll HRIS, ACA reporting, which then led me into a natural producing role. And then one day, the magical world of Medefy found me and stole me away from the brokerage world. So now I’m on the flip side on the vendor side. I live in Oklahoma City with my fiance and my very best friend and son, Carl, the French Bulldog, who is also our chief marketing officer at metaphor.
Rick Farris 1:51
I do have a little Frenchie so well, oh my god. Ours is ours is Leah. And she’s she’s black and white and super cute. How about yours?
Ashley Andrews 2:00
This is Carl and Carl is tan with a little black thing.
Rick Farris 2:04
Okay. Okay, very cool. Very cool. Well, for all you Frenchy lovers out there. Maybe you can you can just put a little love this way for Ashley and the Frenchies. Love that it’s your your director of marketing. I think I got that right, like Barkatting officer,
Ashley Andrews 2:23
Go to our website he’s on there. It’s it’s legit. And when I come to the office, and they don’t see Carl next to me, they’re all very disappointed. So he’s very much what keeps the Medefy train going.
Rick Farris 2:34
That’s awesome. I really hope you have a T shirt for that.
Ashley Andrews 2:39
Good, I need that that’s a good marketing thing I need to get with my team on that.
Rick Farris 2:42
Ashley, so admittedly, when when I was looking into the podcasts, and I saw benefits navigation app, it brought about a lot of questions in my mind, because there were so many different directions that I could go. And I was like, Okay,you know, very excited to learn more about this. And I’m sure the listeners just kind of even listening in are thinking, I wonder, what is that? What did they do? And so maybe, Ashley, if you don’t mind, just kind of high level. Talk to us about Medefy? And really what what services Medefy provides?
Ashley Andrews 3:15
Yeah, absolutely. So Medefy was created in the spare bedroom of a rental house from our two co founders who are very both very well educated, both high functioning members of society. But then when it comes to having to deal with their benefits, and figure out the rules of how to play the game and how not to play the game. They couldn’t figure out for the life of them why it was so difficult. So imagine if it was difficult for them that it was difficult for the common employee trying to figure out where can I go and network? How come I have to call somebody? How come I can’t get the same answer in the right place. So what we really do in this space is hyper personalized, and employees experience with their benefits employees are tired of dealing with different access points. They’re tired of calling 800 numbers that give them different answers. They’re tired of when something happens maybe at 5:02pm, on a Friday, the world stops, and no one can help them. So what mattify does is really give the employees the front door to their entire health plan in their pocket. And so not only that, it gives them a live person to chat with no matter where they are in the world no matter what time because we’re going to respond to them in under a minute. So imagine having that that guide with you walking you through life. And when you have to deal with your insurance, you just get to buffer to somebody else and they get to kind of step in and help you
Rick Farris 4:41
so this is awesome. Alright, so actually, we’re gonna play a little roleplay here because that for me, that always locks it in, right. So, yeah, and Frank, you know, I’m not I’m Rick, but today I’m Frank. Okay. And so, I’m Frank. It’s 5:02pm, as you suggested, and I’m having A major, major issue with my health, but I’m not gonna tell you what it is at the moment because it’s HIPAA. And so I’m just gonna say, I’m having a major issue. So I boom, I have the mattify app, and I remember this, I go on my phone, and what happens next?
Ashley Andrews 5:15
So after Rick, get on, I’m sorry. It’s cool. Whatever frame, whatever frame gets on his app, Frank is gonna go on to our chat feature, and it’s going to be able to triage that conversation. So it’s going to ask them, What are you asking me about? What is your question of benefits? Question? Do you not feel? Well, a dental question, do you have a weird bill in the mail, you need help, then they’re going to start the chat. The chat was going to start Frank, you’re gonna say, Hey, I’m not feeling well.
Rick Farris 5:44
My stomach’s upset,
Ashley Andrews 5:45
Haley upset my stomach, my stomach’s upset, what can I do? I don’t feel good. I need to go on vacation tomorrow, I need to be seen, what can I do? They’re gonna get a care guide, they’re going to be assigned to care guide. And the difference between us and a few other people in the space is that our care guides our live view. Okay. So all in our tulsa oklahoma headquarters, they’re going to respond to him and under a minute, he starts a chat. The chat says, Hey, I don’t feel good. Care Guide says, Hey, Frank, I’m so sorry to hear that you don’t feel good? Can you tell me a little bit more about what’s going on? So then Frank, you say,
Rick Farris 6:17
I feel like something’s gonna like go really bad? Like, maybe it’s my spleen? I don’t know.
Ashley Andrews 6:21
That’s right. Absolutely. So then they’re gonna ask them, was this life or limb threatening? Are you in so much pain that you need to go to the emergency room? No, I’m uncomfortable. Let’s just say that. I’m uncomfortable, but no, I don’t. So what our care guides are designed to do is they are Frank’s expert in their health plan. So they are going to send them which the goal of metaphor number one is to make the complex, simple, but number two, only direct them to high quality, low cost care to save them money, and the plan money because you have an expert in your field, helping you guide them. So they’re going to start at the lowest cost option. Hey, Frank, you actually have a tele doc vendor on the other side of your app, that’s going to be your fastest solution to talk to someone in under 10 minutes. Otherwise, I can direct you to the nearest urgent care, which it looks like for you will be about two blocks off the road. And I can actually call them to make an appointment for you. Would you like me to do that for you?
Rick Farris 7:15
So in essence, at the very beginning of the process, as you said, they’re kind of triage seems like the right word. I mean, they’re, they’re quite literally, they know your plan, the elements of your plan. And as an example, they know the telemedicine option is going to be the lowest cost option for the plan and for the consumer. So and provide quality based on the current circumstance, clearly, they don’t need to go to the emergency room based on whatever they’re saying, and or Okay, you want to see somebody’s face to face got it, then we’ll send you to an urgent care center. So in essence, let’s go back a second. That’s an actual sickness circumstance. Let’s go back to the bill. So let’s just say I get a funky bill. And I’m gonna go in via the chat, and I’m gonna get the same care guide. What might that look like?
Ashley Andrews 8:05
Yep. So after triaging the conversation with clicking, I have a question about my bill that’s going to resurface that chat, that care guide will say, Hi, Frank, what can I do for you today? Hey, I got this weird bill in the mail, you sent me to this urgent care, it says that it’s not covered, how do I handle this. So then Frank will have an option in the app to take a photo of that bill will go up and upload into the care guide system. And then based on whatever plan rules have been written by that employer, meaning Medefy’s goal is to be an extension of that client’s HR team, and of that broker’s team, because we are able to respond in under a minute and triage the most common questions under that time. So then based off of whatever script is written, whether you have a broker has a team member that may be analyzes bills for the client, we will then warm transfer them over to let them know that it’s over and review or our coordination referral team who is trained, and experts and that members plan will review the bill, look at the codes, look at what was submitted, and then maybe call the office and work from there. So really, it’s we’re very hyper personalized to being able to be flexible and how we handle customer service. While we can be as hands on in that scenario as a client would like, but maybe some brokers, brokerages or some firms have their own claims team or billing team. So maybe that’s a warm transfer over or we do white label for some TPA solution. So maybe that’s a warm transfer to in a secure teams chat or secure email to that TPAs customer service team directly. So it really depends on the relationship that Frank’s company has with these vendor clients and how much we need to be as hands on. But ideally, our approach is we handle it from start to finish.
Rick Farris 9:47
Okay, and just I’m sure some of the listeners out there thinking and in the cybersecurity world that we’re in and just HIPAA security and everything like that. I mean when we upload a claim or when we upload Get information or chat within your system. You can feel confident that that information is secure.
Ashley Andrews 10:07
Yep, absolutely we are stopped to and HIPAA compliant, everything we do. All of our care guides are HIPAA compliant, we all go through security training, we all have the national credentials for that piece. So everything is in a secure and HIPAA compliant environment. Whenever the app is not connected to the internet, you cannot access any of the information. So it keeps it all secure. No one can just pick up your phone and just log in to see. So we protect them in that scenario. It’s awesome.
Rick Farris 10:33
So can we just talk for a second about how expansive this service is? So So here’s specifically what I mean by that. So we’ve we’ve used medical examples, right? But how far does this go? Does it go dental vision, you know, life insurance, I What does it actually expand into?
Ashley Andrews 10:54
Since employees are tired of downloading an app that does one thing, it only makes sense for this app to be the front door for all of their benefits. So not only are we going to load information about their medical, so we’re going to load their deductible and out of pocket accumulators in one place, digital copies of their ID cards, they’re also going to be able to load data, dental, vision, all of the basic information about that. And then also, all of those third party plan vendors that maybe go under utilized throughout the year, and that need encouragement and need utilization. And things that come to mind for first and foremost, AAPs. We just came off of I mean, we’re still technically in a pandemic, but we just came off the huge brunt end of it, we’re not doing well mentally. So making sure that we’re getting all of the information into members hands, and letting them know throughout the year, hey, don’t forget these benefits are there. But also, when you’re listening to a member chatting about an issue, that care guide is able to see everything that they’re enrolled in in the app and what’s available to them. So they’re able to round out that scenario, and maybe help encourage other benefits that can help them and I have an actual real life example of that. So let’s say a member chats in on a Saturday about her son breaking his leg, at soccer practice. She’s frantic, she’s like, Where can I go? How can I get him seen? The care guy says, Okay, I see you had an accident. I’m so sorry. Here’s the nearest urgent care, I called them and let them know that you’re coming. But by the way, I see that you have a family accident policy with whoever worksite company, would you like me to help you file that claim? here’s the document, I’ve filled out all your demographic information, if you can just fill it out, I will go ahead and forward it on to you. Because that member in that moment, wants to get their son’s leg fixed, understandably. But that cash benefit of that accident policy can help pay for a lot of things associated with that injury. So we’re really wanting our care guides to empower members to feel good about the benefits that these companies are spending 10s of 1000s, hundreds of 1000s millions of dollars on and making sure that they’re making good choices and having a good experience doing it.
Rick Farris 12:59
Yeah, that’s awesome. Because I was curious, you know, I mean, a lot of times people don’t even know that they have the policies or they forget, and if it’s out of sight, out of mind that, you know, they might go to the HR department and ask, they might not. And it stands to reason if they’re going for the assistance in in coordination of care, so to speak that within that process, and that one stop process that somebody would say, hey, oh, by the way, which I love. And I’m curious if you know a lot of different health plans have telemedicine vendors that come along with it. So let’s say that you guys are onboarding my carriers or my place of employment carriers, and we have our own telemedicine company, you guys would onboard that into this system. Okay, so essentially, I have an electronic wallet that has all of my different carrier cards in it all of my different information in it for the day, if I have an FSA, what about that, like flexible spending accounts, stuff like that.
Ashley Andrews 13:56
So all of the information about that account, not the final account, because we we just want to stay in the navigation lane. We don’t want to put people’s personal bank accounts into our app. But again, we can do single sign on links for them to click and automatically pop up a window to be able to access their information to log in there. Because again, we don’t want them to download another app, but it’s just another portal for them to get to other avenues as well.
Rick Farris 14:19
Absolutely. That’s awesome. So okay, well, I think everyone out there has a much better understanding. Ashley and thank you for telling us what services Medefy provides. So talk to me, you know, who does Medefy serve? Does it serve individuals? Does it serve employer groups, I mean, talk us through that.
Ashley Andrews 14:39
We are an employer group offering. So we work directly with our employer groups and our broker partners to go in that avenue. Then we also have an enterprise vertical so we also partner with TPAs. Carriers vendors who maybe need an app, especially with an enhanced customer service base, but 80 to 90% is our is our employers and our brokers that we service. And so we fit very much in the self funding model. We have small clients down to 50 lives all the way up to 150,000 employees. So we are very much in that space as well. And we serve about 40 united states across the country.
Rick Farris 15:19
That’s fantastic. Now super helpful. I love that. And so if you’re a broker, and you’re interested in this, I mean, you would essentially be offering this to your employers, you can do it through a TPA, you can do it through a carrier, or you can do it direct to the employer. So then that kind of begs the next question, actually, in the range of pricing, what are we talking? Is it a PE pm fee? Like, how does this work?
Ashley Andrews 15:44
Yep, it’s a P E pm fee. And we start at $5. And that covers the employee, and all of their covered dependents. We want and encourage our employers to bring their own telemedicine, we’re happy to embed that. But if they need a solution from us, we also have a relationship with a few vendors, we also run an incentive program to incentivize members to make the choices. And some of those nuances are a few extra P pm dollars. But our but our service of what we do and everything that we’ve talked about today is covered in that flat
Rick Farris 16:15
ppm. Awesome. And then, you know, the last question I kind of had was, what sets Medefy apart? Like how might you get into that force
Ashley Andrews 16:26
Medefy does a really good job in this space of not just being a self service model. As much as we want to assume that members are going to be educated consumers of their health care and know what to check and know what to look for. At the end of the day, it they don’t care until it’s in the moment, and they need it, right. And so in that moment, it’s pure panic and something as personal as their health benefits. They want some empathetic person on the other end, helping them walk through that process. So what makes us different is our humanization. Instead of taking away customer service, by using technology, we’re enhancing the humanization of that empathetic experience with technology to be able to meet that member and under a minute. And we are truly 24/7, you can chat in at 2, 3, 4, 5 o’clock in the morning, and someone is still going to respond to you and under a minute. And then second, we are proactive in our approach and how we reach membership. We don’t just want to send blank messages to people when they open the app and bombard them with it looks like you’re at a pharmacy, it looks like you need a preventative visit it looks like you need this, who are we to tell a member what they need. But if we work side by side with the employer and the broker group to really know and find out what’s going on in the group, and then the claim specifically, we can target individuals with push notifications, to encourage them to have a conversation with a care guide. And maybe that opens up a whole realm of issues that the plan may have not ever known about. But we get to mediate and step in front of and make sure that those members are finding high quality, low cost care to help them through that episode. So we are a proactive app that will respond to members wherever they are. And whenever they are.
Rick Farris 18:11
That’s awesome. Ashley, thank you very much. You know, I like to reserve just kind of a final question that I’ll throw out there, which is, what else is there anything else you’d like our listeners to know?
Ashley Andrews 18:22
Medefy is really lucky to be able to serve a lot of communities. And so we’re just looking forward to growing that growth onwards and upwards from here on out. So I just appreciate the opportunity to be able to spread the word of Medefy.
Rick Farris 18:32
That’s awesome. Well, Ashley, thank you very much for coming on today. loved learning about what you guys are doing. And I would love for our people to get engaged if this is something that they need. But yeah, thank you. Thank you for coming on.
Ashley Andrews 18:45
Thank you appreciate your time.
Rick Farris 18:47
Absolutely. And thank you so much to all of our listeners out there. If you have any questions, please contact us or look for information on our homepage @ www.fbmc.com And remember, you can find us and subscribe on any podcast app. Have a great day. Thank you for listening to Risky Benefits. If you’re interested in learning more, please visit www.FBMC.com We hope you’ll join us next time on Risky Benefits.