Picwell raises $4M to help consumers choose a health plan

By Aditi Pai
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PicwellPhiladelphia-based Picwell, which helps consumers choose a health plan, has raised $4 million in a round led by MassMutual Ventures, which is the corporate venture capital arm of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.

Other investors in the round include Tenent Healthcare CEO Trevor Fetter, Amedisys CEO Paul Kusserow, and Bruce Perkins, former president of health and well-being services for Humana.

Picwell collects data from consumers including age, gender, zip code, and prescription medications to make personalized assessments of how expensive plans are for individuals and how valuable each plans' benefits are for that person. The company then generates a personalized Picwell Score for each plan. 

Some of the other results that Picwell offers consumers include projections of potential out of pocket expenses for consumers across all available plans, which the company calls "Realcost" predictions, and an evaluation of network value, which the company assesses based on the consumer's lifestyle. Picwell also uses data from drug formularies, provider networks, and claims, which are available through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, to calculate these scores.

Picwell integrates its offering via an API into health care exchange and marketplace websites, which then offer it directly to consumers. Picwell charges an API licensing fee to use the tool. The company said it is cash flow positive and plans to use the additional funding to develop other consumer decision support products.

"In our first year we clearly demonstrated that we can positively impact the lives of everyone who uses our services," Picwell CEO Jay Silverstein said in a statement. "As we expand, and the insurance arena becomes more retail oriented, Picwell will play a key role in creating more dynamic and efficient markets, for all participants."