Helping patients covered by Medicare Advantage find care options that also understand cultural needs, led three managed-care experts to create their own plan that has attracted additional funding.
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Clever Care Health Plan’s founders, CEO Dave Firdaus, COO Myong Lee and CFO Hiep Pham, started the company in Westminster, California, to provide a Medicare Advantage health plan that connects Eastern and Western medicine.
“My parents are Korean immigrants and are Medicare Advantage patients, each on their own plan,” Lee told Crunchbase News. “I watched them have difficulty in working with their health plan, talking through translators, as well as with doctors and staff who have a lack of cultural knowledge.”
The company closed on $20 million of Series A financing led by Norwest Venture Partners with participation from Global Founders Capital. This round follows a $6 million seed investment from Norwest and GFC and brings Clever Care’s total funding to $26 million, according to a company press release.
In addition to the funding, Casper de Clercq, general partner at Norwest, will join Clever Care’s board of directors. He said Norwest has been studying Medicare Advantage plans for over four years and was attracted to the founders’ experience in managed care, as well as the company’s focus on its hyper-local approach to providing care.
“A good relationship with your doctor is essential to patients’ health and reducing long-term costs,” de Clercq said. “Clever Care has contracted with 20,000 providers so there are options for good in-network care.”
The potential market for this type of health care plan is $7 billion to $8 billion, Lee said, while de Clercq said half a dozen similar venture-based insurance plans, such as Oscar Health and Bright Health, have had success raising money in the past few years.
Clever Care plans to use the new financing to set up a California Medicare Advantage health plan and hire staff for its offices in Little Saigon, in Orange County, and Los Angeles County’s Arcadia, Lee said.
“We are preparing for the annual enrollment period coming up and expect to begin selling our plan this fall,” he added.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias