Introduction to Hive Health at our Media Launch (2023)

We look back at our Media Launch last November 2023 where we spent the day with our amazing clients and guests to announce our acquisition of our subsidiary, HPPI.

For the first time in our two years since our humble beginnings, it was our pleasure to announce to the public what Hive Health is and what we aim to do. Gathered in Marco Polo Ortigas one afternoon, we were joined by special guests from the media as well as our esteemed clients who came to share their experience with Hive Health thus far.

Offering hassle-free HMO plans tailor-made for small-medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Philippines, our all-in-one digital platform aims to provide a hassle-free experience, ensuring that all employees and their loved ones get the best care possible. Founded at Harvard and Stanford and backed by top global investors such as Y Combinator, BEENEXT, Gentree, Amasia, etc., this award-winning startup is revolutionizing access to quality, affordable healthcare for millions of Filipinos, one SME at a time.

(Left to Right) CEO and Co-founder Camille Ang, President and Co-Founder Jiawen Tang

Our drive to impact the industry stems from many things, but it ultimately started with one too many stories we’ve heard about the gaps in healthcare especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We learned that over 1.5M Filipinos are forced into poverty each year due to health shocks, while less than 10% have access to HMOs on top of PhilHealth” CEO and Co-Founder Camille Ang shared. “Even for those that are lucky to have an employer-sponsored HMO the average out-of-pocket spend is at 56%, and it’s a pain to even use one’s health plan.”

“This is where Hive Health comes in,” President and Co-Founder Jiawen Tang shared. “Hive Health is the first full-stack digital health insurer in the Philippines.”

Hive Health has received awards and funding support from Harvard, Stanford, and MIT, as well as global VC investors such as Y Combinator, Beenext, Gentree, and Amasia. It also includes the advisory support and grand prize associated with the Harvard Business School New Venture Competition, which propelled Grab’s launch in 2011. But what we’re most proud of is the impact we’re making on our members.

Hive Health Media Launch (2023)

Hive Health clients Carmina Bayombong (Co-Founder and CEO of InvestEd Philippines), Camille Dee (Compensation and Benefits of NextPay), Angela Balmatero (HR Manager of Five Story Group of Companies), and Rose Madla (Head of Human Resources of StorageMart) joined us shared what they and their employees enjoy about Hive Health.

What were you looking for in an HMO prior to signing with Hive Health? Were there previous challenges you encountered from other HMO providers both as a member and as an HR / business owner?

Angela Balmatero: As an HR manager, what I’m looking for in an HMO company is first that it’s easy-to-use, very friendly for first-time users, accessibility because we all work from home, and we would like to have access to many hospitals, including top hospitals and providers.

Carmina Bayombong: As the CEO of a startup, the main consideration is cost. I used to have this HMO, super cheap. At some point it was like net negative. It was so stupid, you’re sick, you have to call for 2 days, and let’s be real, these people make it hard so that they don’t have to have costs. Startups life blood is customer satisfaction, but the HMO industry has to realize it has to change. It’s an evolving landscape. You can’t just get away with that now. Personally, when I tried to use my old HMO, I kept calling for 2 days for an LOA. And I never got it. It was my decision to go with Hive Health to save a cost, because I don’t want to be spending on nothing.

Camille Dee: Before, we were with a different HMO and it was not a great experience. With most of HMOs, it’s so hard to connect with the customer service, especially if you’re in the emergency room already. So all of our concerns, nalatag naman yun [we laid it all out] when we were meeting with Hive Health. And what caught my attention is that they have a lot of outlets for employees to reach out: we can reach out via chat on the Hive Portal, they also have WhatsApp, landline numbers, and email. We were assured at that point that if our employee is in the hospital already and would like to know what’s covered or not, they would get an answer immediately. So far, ‘di kami nadi-disappoint.

Rose Madla: I’ve worked in the HMO industry before, and I was part of the HR of that HMO. And I’m quite used to the standards of HMO, accessibility, patients first, and flexibility of the package itself. So when I got out of the HMO industry, I made it a point that when I’m looking for an HMO company, it’s very flexible and can work into various locations. In our case, we have various branches all over Metro Manila. And most of our employees are deployed there. So of course, my goal as HR is not that the head office will have a separate or luxurious benefit compared to the ones that are on field. I make it a point that whatever it is the head office is enjoying will be cascaded to the branches.

What benefits or features of Hive Health have you found most valuable for your employees?

Carmina: One main consideration is, “Will it make my employees happy?” So what I’m paying for is actually having an ROI. Second thing is that Hive Health is tech-enabled. I have an employee base that’s young, and that’s important to them. Mental health is a huge attractive feature because again for a young employee base, that is a huge matter. Once you get onboarded, of course you monitor it. And my HR also reported the employees are happy. Additionally, as a remote-first company, we do have employees in far-flung places, and one of their surprises a few months into it, our employees found hospitals in provinces that could serve them.

Camille: One more thing is the mental health benefit. Now, we live in an era where mental health is no longer a taboo anymore, and a lot of people are recognizing its importance. Because it was automatically included in the plan, we feel it’s time to move to that phase where HMOs should offer mental health especially after the pandemic. We are so thankful that Hive offers that.

Angela: I can see from the utilization report that was given by Hive that the employees were very satisfied with teleconsults because it’s very accessible. Speaking to a medical professional, especially knowing that it’s in-house when we talk to mental health professionals like psychiatrists, psychologists, so that is very beneficial. And it shows our employees are taking care of themselves and we’d like to support that. I’m glad to have partnered with Hive Health. I receive a lot of good feedback from my employees, really commending the great service and fast transactions with reimbursements they receive so far.

Rose: Another benefit we consider is the maternity benefit. It’s not that top of a priority for other HMOs, they are focused on the general care. Second is mental health benefit of Hive, with mental health awareness, it’s very helpful. Not every employee can go to a psychiatry clinic. But because of Hive making it accessible in the convenience of your home or workplace, you can vent it out and it’s very helpful.

From the standpoint of your role that deals with managing people, benefits, and overseeing different processes, what have you found most valuable with Hive Health?

Carmina: Convenience, holistic offers, and really worth the money. Hive really understands that, and that’s what SMEs need. [In terms of talent acquisition, startups and SMEs] have a talent war, you do need decent benefits that your employees could use.

Rose: The documentation itself. The HR Dashboard is very helpful, the online LOA and scheduling teleconsults.

Camille: Quality we get for what we pay for. The feeling of “tinitipid”, there’s that factor with other HMOs. It really helps the motivation of employees as well. As the HR, I’m at the receiving end if something’s going on with the HMO, with reimbursements, it’s so hard to reach out. The burden will fall under me. It helps me both as a beneficiary and an HR employee, it’s a win-win for me. The well-being overall of the company, Monday to Friday we work the whole ady. So keeping yourself healthy, mental and physical health, and APE, those are the factors that help our company.

As of September 2023, Hive Health has made a significant leap forward in transforming healthcare access for Filipinos with its acquisition of Health Plan Philippines, Inc. (HPPI), one of the pioneering Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) service providers in the country.

“HPPI started in 1986, it started as a family corporation,” said CEO of HPPI Natasha Reyes. “As we all know for families, what’s important is the health of their loved ones. And so our vision has always been access to healthcare for all Filipinos. And with Hive, we are sure that that vision will become a reality.”

(Left to Right) Carmina Bayombong (Co-Founder and CEO of InvestEd Philippines), Camille Dee (Compensation and Benefits  Angela Balmatero (HR Manager of C), and Rose Madla (Head of Human Resources of S

"We have just begun the hard work of making healthcare radically more accessible. The goal is for all Filipinos to feel secure that their health is taken care of, and to give employers a sustainable way to take part in making that happen," stated Camille Ang. “Hive Health’s journey to date, especially with the acquisition of HPPI, marks a significant milestone, not just for our company but also for the Philippine startup landscape. It underscores the potential of startups like Hive Health to shrink the change and make an impact on intractable problems.”

With this strategic initiative, we will be able to share our tech and data-driven innovations with HPPI’s existing members. Moreover, it will be able to integrate HPPI’s nationwide provider network and institutional knowledge built across 37 years with its core capabilities to redefine the patient experience.

CEO of HPPI Natasha Reyes

“Hive Health has been a valued partner of HPPI given our shared missions,” shared Natasha. “I have seen how the team is able to deliver changes to improve the patient experience much faster than I would have expected, and how they genuinely care about making healthcare accessible to more Filipinos. We are excited for the journey ahead as Hive Health and HPPI join forces.”

To learn more about how Hive Health can help your team take care of your employees, book a call today.