Why We Built Ansel

Laura Cave
May 8, 2020

Over the past 25 years, rising costs and reduced coverage have eroded employee health benefits. Today, all it takes is one unexpected medical event to drain a family’s bank account. With 2 in 5 working age adults visiting the emergency room in a normal year, it’s no surprise that a recent study found 44% of respondents were struggling to pay medical bills. Meanwhile, employers are searching for affordable, comprehensive coverage for their teams.

We believe that health hardship shouldn’t lead to financial hardship. That’s why we built Ansel—a simple, comprehensive supplemental benefit that pays fast cash when you’re sick or injured.

We chose the name Ansel because our plan covers over 13,000 conditions, more than any other supplemental plan on the market. We’re proud to stake our name on the broad range of coverage we’ll provide to millions of American families.

A modern supplemental benefit

When supplemental insurance first appeared in the 1980’s, separate products were created for accidents, critical illnesses, hospitalizations, and cancer treatment. Those options still exist today—four decades later. Who can say if you’ll face an accidental injury or get diagnosed with cancer next year? We can’t tell the future, and employees shouldn’t have to guess when choosing their benefits.

Rather than stringing together narrow plans with complicated rules and slow payouts, we envisioned a simple, tech-enabled benefit that provides wide-ranging, personalized coverage and pays cash quickly when people need it most.

Ansel covers over 13,000 conditions—that’s more than any supplemental plan on the market. If a member is diagnosed with a covered moderate, severe, or catastrophic health issue, we put cash in their pocket quickly for whatever they need. Members can use Ansel payouts for medical bills or everyday expenses like childcare, groceries, or transportation until they’re back on their feet.

Plus, Ansel is flexible and affordable. Employees can choose from a range of payouts to build the level of protection that best fits their needs. Ansel+ provides the option of additional coverage for chronic conditions and mental health. With no pre-existing condition exclusions and customizable benefits, Ansel truly works for everyone.

Delivering fast cash when it counts

We built Ansel from the ground up to modernize everything about the experience, from filing a claim to getting paid.

If you’re diagnosed with a health issue, open the Ansel app and submit a claim in minutes. All we need are photos of items that can be easily collected while at the hospital or urgent care—for example, your x-rays, lab reports, discharge papers, prescription bottle, or a medical bill. We use these to confirm your diagnosis and process your claim quickly—no need to wait for paperwork to show up in the mail.

Our moderate, severe, and catastrophic tiers pay out for all the most common diagnoses, and we make it easy to check what Ansel covers and how much it pays. And Ansel pays within hours, not weeks, through Venmo, Paypal, or straight to your bank account. Plus, you’ll have the support of a dedicated concierge team for any questions that come up.

In short, we got rid of the complexity and built a better benefit that covers more and delivers fast cash when it counts.

Why Us?

We are a team of insurance and tech industry veterans with the experience and the imagination to build something better from the ground up.

CEO and Founder Veer Gidwaney co-founded and was the CEO of Maxwell Health, which was acquired by Sun Life in 2018. Amanda Turcotte, former Chief Actuary and Head of Underwriting at AXA US, is our Chief Insurance Officer. Our Chief Revenue Officer is Mike Zarrillo, the former VP of Large Market Distribution at Guardian Life Insurance Company. Meet the rest of the team here.

We’re backed by world-class partner RGAX. And we’re proud to partner with some of the world’s leading insurance and technology investors, including Two Sigma VenturesFounder Collective, and SymphonyAI.

Why Now?

Too many families are struggling with medical debt. Ansel exists to change that with a modern supplemental benefit that helps people when they need it most.

Companies that care for their employees and strive to retain top talent want to offer benefits that provide more wide-ranging coverage for their teams and their families. Ansel helps them do that.

It’s time we face the fact that millions of Americans face financial hardship because of a serious health issue. They deserve better and that’s why we built Ansel.