Hospitals, Patients can Co-design Flexible Payment Plans with AffordPlan

The AffordPlan solution is ideal for non-emergency/non-critical procedures

Tejbir Singh, CEO and co-founder, Affordplan.

AffordPlan has been leveraging financial technology to make healthcare accessible and affordable for millions of Indians. It is accessible through the network hospitals and the online channels. Excerpts from an interview with Tejbir Singh, CEO and co-founder, AffordPlan.

BW CIO: Give us a brief about AffordPlan and its product.

Tejbir Singh: Spending on healthcare spends impacts all of us in some way, albeit differently, since most of these spends are unplanned and out-of-pocket. Most of the people in India still rely on the limited traditional financial instruments to plan for medical care.

Until now, there has not been much technology or financial innovation to make quality healthcare more affordable and accessible. AffordPlan is leveraging financial technology to make healthcare accessible and affordable for millions of Indians.

Through our savings product, hospitals and patients can co-design flexible payment plans so that patients can obtain medical treatment and products through a manageable payment structure developed based on individual need and cash flow.

The solution is ideal for non-emergency/non-critical procedures, which can be planned for in advance such as pregnancy, eye care, dental, plastic surgeries, orthopedic, bariatric, genetic testing and more. According to some studies, these conditions make up 70 percent of spending on healthcare services.

By doing so, AffordPlan helps patients to avail private health care in a systematic manner, and also provides hospitals with the visibility of future cash flows. Consequently, the hospitals are also encouraged to continue treatment. Denial of treatment for financial reasons drops, which benefits patients.

BW CIO: How do you see healthcare finance evolving in India, especially for the patients, and how is AffordPlan helping them?

Tejbir Singh: We believe that we have barely scratched the surface in healthcare finance. There is a lot to be done in terms of taking healthcare financing to the masses.

On the one hand, healthcare costs are rising rapidly and on the other, patients have not planned for the rising medical expenditures. This is evident from two data points -- commercial health insurance penetration is around 6 percent in the country and out-of-pocket spend on private healthcare is about 90 percent.

With over 300 million people in the middle-/lower-middle income group, the high out-of- pocket spends pose liquidity challenges for them. Consequently, 40-60 percent of the patients return from private hospitals without treatment, not because they do not have the income, but due to the fact that they have not planned for the medical expense.

With AffordPlan, we have taken a systematic approach to healthcare financing. We have launched a savings product that is customized to the patient’s medical and financial situation and reduces the cost of treatment by 15-20 percent. The product is easily accessible through the network hospitals and through the online channels.

BW CIO: How many hospitals have you partnered with till date?

Tejbir Singh: We have over 200 partnerships till date. Our partners include the small and mid-size hospitals, as well as corporate institutions such as Strand Life Sciences and Batra Research Institute.

BW CIO: What is your growth and future expansion plans?

Tejbir Singh: We have seen great traction from both, the hospital and the patient side. Our average month-on-month growth is 30 percent and we are unit positive at the network level.

We will be expanding to two to three more cities, including a mix of tier 1 and tier 2, in the near term.

BW CIO: Can you share some details about the team behind AffordPlan?

Tejbir Singh: Besides myself, the CEO and co-founder, AffordPlan, there is Hemal Bhatt, COO and co-founder, AffordPlan. He’s an alumni of the prestigious Officers Training Academy, Chennai and has done his executive management program for Defense Officers from IIM Indore. He has also previously worked with IL&FS, Carzonrent and Taxiforsure.

I bring the global entrepreneurial experience to AffordPlan and hold a BSBA with a triple major in Finance, Management, and Economics from Washington University, St. Louis. I hold an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management and am Legatum Fellow at MIT’s Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship. I worked previously with Deutsche Bank, Citi, Amazon and Taxiforsure.


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