Health insurance startup Bright Health picks up another $160 million

By Jonah Comstock
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Bright Health, the Minnesota-based health insurance startup that boasts "a smarter, more connected" experience, has raised a new round of $160 million. Greenspring Associates led the round, with additional participation from new investors Greycroft Partners, Redpoint Ventures and Cross Creek Advisors and existing investors New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Bessemer Venture Partners, and Flare Capital Partners. The raise follows an $80 million round from Bright Health in April of last year, bringing the company's total funding to $240 million.

One of a handful of startups trying to disrupt the behemoth health insurance industry, Bright Health plans to partner with specific providers so that it can focus more fully on supporting the relationship between doctor and patient. In its first market, Colorado, that partner is Centura Health. The two announced their partnership about a year ago.

“Bright Health is committed to offering affordable and higher quality healthcare to individuals and their families,” Bob Sheehy, Bright Health’s co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. “Leading health systems across the country are developing new models to transform the healthcare market in local communities. Bright Health collaborates with these systems to create a proprietary Care Partnership. Our Care Partnership is designed to drive down healthcare costs, improve clinical outcomes, and enhance consumer and provider satisfaction. The result is a reimagined healthcare experience.”

Besides its Care Partnership model, the company -- which is led by UnitedHealthcare veterans -- also purports to offer a more integrated technology experience. This includes web tools for finding a plan and finding a provider, as well as a mobile app which includes a provider finder, deductible tracking, benefit information, a member portal and access to Bright Life, the company's rewards program.

Bright Health is currently operating in Colorado, offering its plans direct to consumers through public and private exchanges. It plans to expand into additional markets over time.