We will be posting feature articles from time to time in an effort to showcase various industry leaders and their exciting contributions to the health care and life sciences industries.
When Sally Poblete decided to start Wellthie, Inc., she had one primary goal in mind: to make health care delivery as simple and accessible as possible. With 2014 on the not-so-distant horizon, it is increasingly important for consumers to understand what they need to do in order to make informed coverage choices under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Wellthie’s innovative, user-friendly applications look to provide consumers with everything they need to know to navigate the health care selection process smoothly. Below, Ms. Poblete discusses Wellthie’s launch product, the Affordable Care Advisor, in addition to some of her own experiences in the wake of her company’s inception. We think readers of our blog will be very interested in her insights.
Cooley: What is your professional background?
Sally: I’ve been in health care my entire career with 10 of those years in the health insurance industry. Most recently, I led product development initiatives at one of the nation’s largest payors. My team’s goals were to bring innovation, engage consumers, and lower costs for consumers and businesses.
Cooley: How did the idea to start Wellthie evolve?
Sally: Even as an industry insider, choosing the right health plan and navigating the health care maze never came easily. Consumers have a hard time engaging in their health insurance and health finances when they are confused and frustrated about the process. Now, we are also facing a tidal wave of changes from the ACA, with millions of Americans about to seek insurance. Our mission is to simplify the complex world of health insurance and the ACA for all consumers.
Cooley: How do the products/services offered by Wellthie contribute to advancing health care delivery?
Sally: Our first product, the Affordable Care Advisor, is an easy-to-use web- and mobile-based application that helps a consumer determine the dollars and cents impact of the ACA to her family. With millions of Americans confused about the ACA, we hope to help consumers get smart, get covered, and get going. We partner with organizations such as insurance companies and navigators who can leverage the product to educate and market to their current and potential customers.
Cooley: What is the greatest challenge you have encountered to date in commercializing Wellthie’s products or services?
Sally: Time! We have so many ideas, and have received numerous suggestions, about ways to help simplify the world of health insurance, but building new solutions takes time. We have found that building a simple, straightforward, appealing tool like the Affordable Care Advisor requires a large amount of time and focus on design, user experience, and, of course, distilling new regulations and complex products.
Cooley: Can you please share one lesson learned to date?
Sally: There’s always room to simplify!
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