Harvard and Stanford-founded insurtech startup Hive Health transforms healthcare access for SMEs with HMO acquisition

Hive Health, a digital health insurance startup founded at Harvard and Stanford Universities in 2021, 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.

“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, Co-Founder and CEO of Hive Health. “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, Hive Health will be able to share its technology 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 further redefine the patient experience across virtual and in-person care.

“Hive Health has been a valued partner of HPPI given our shared missions. 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,” shared Natasha  Reyes, CEO of HPPI.

Hive Health, as a full-stack digital health insurer, offers hassle-free, comprehensive HMO health plans for SMEs and startups, encompassing outpatient, inpatient, emergency, and dental care through an extensive nationwide network of 1,700 hospitals and clinics, and over 60,000 doctors across the country.

“We started Hive Health with the mission to make healthcare more accessible in the Philippines and in many other developing countries where social safety nets are capped. Our goal is to leverage tech and data to make quality healthcare more affordable and easier to use, especially for the underserved SME segment,” said Jiawen Tang, President and Co-Founder of Hive Health.

Hive Health’s digital platform empowers patients to manage their own care and their dependents’ care effortlessly—enabling tasks such as requesting letters of approval within minutes to allow patients to skip the long lines in hospitals, viewing plan benefits, finding nearby providers, scheduling annual physical exams, and accessing medical records — all from their phone or computer. Additionally, members enjoy fast out-of-network reimbursements within 3-5 days and exclusive wellness perks.

“We’re also proud of our one-of-a-kind vertically integrated telehealth and care coordination model that bridges virtual and in-person care. Patients can book on-demand video teleconsultations with our team of Hive doctors, who use our in-house electronic medical records system to enable patients to get more accurate diagnoses and access the right care whenever they need it,” Tang explained.

The company is also dedicated to promoting inclusivity for minorities such as LGBTQIA+ and domestic partners while offering essential benefits like mental health, medicine, preventive care, and maternity care.

Furthermore, for small business owners and HR managers who have limited bandwidth to go through cumbersome paperwork, Hive Health’s HR dashboard simplifies onboarding and offboarding, streamlines invoicing, and empowers business owners and HR to encourage employee engagement and wellness.


Challenging journey ignites healthcare revolution

Born from personal experiences and the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Hive Health’s founders, Ang and Tang, were motivated to address the gaps in healthcare accessibility and affordability in the Philippines. In particular, the limited coverage and frustrating processes of existing health plans inspired the duo to pioneer transformative changes in the healthcare landscape.

During the pandemic, both Ang and Tang were simultaneously pursuing dual MBA and MPA in International Development degrees at Harvard and Stanford.

“We learned that over 1.5M Filipinos are forced into poverty each year due to health shocks, while a surprising <10% of the population have access to health plans beyond PhilHealth. For those that are lucky to have an employer-sponsored health plan, the average out-of-pocket spend is at 56%, and Filipinos find it quite difficult to use one’s health plan,” shared Ang, who grew up in the Philippines.

Having earned accolades from esteemed institutions like HarvardStanford, and MIT, including the grand prize at the Harvard New Venture Competition that propelled Grab’s launch in 2011, and gaining support from leading global venture capital firms including YCombinator, the premier tech accelerator in Silicon Valley, the duo embarked on bringing their thesis coupled with personal challenges into action in 2021.

Hive’s impact is already being felt by SMEs across the country. InvestEd CEO Carmina Bayombong notes how Hive Health’s patient-first approach is truly differentiated. “Our employees are super happy. They tell me that they never want to go back to these brick and mortar HMOs. I myself experienced this—I first tried to line up for a Letter of Authorization (LOA) in the hospital but decided to test Hive’s in-app LOA feature while in line. I was so shocked that it came even before it was my turn in line, while other HMOs take 3 days. I ended up saving both time and money.”

With a steadfast commitment to making quality healthcare accessible to all, Hive Health is on a mission to ensure that all Filipino employees receive the best possible care, starting with their groundbreaking health plans.