Consumer / Employer, Health Tech

Startup Launches Out of Redesign Health To Help Employees Build Their Own Benefits

Beanstalk Benefits vets benefits solutions and aggregates them into a single platform. Employees can build their own benefits portfolio using the platform.

Beanstalk Benefits, a startup that allows employees to build their own health benefits, launched Thursday with $7.5 million in funding. The startup was built at Redesign Health, a healthcare innovation company.

Philadelphia-based Beanstalk Benefits vets benefits solutions and aggregates them into a single platform. Some of these solutions include BeMe Health for teen mental health, Upswing Health for joint and muscle pain, Vitalxchange for parenting support and Sober Sidekick for sobriety support. Employees can build their own benefits portfolio and pay for those benefits using their employer-sponsored insurance or personal accounts. They can also change their portfolio at any time as their healthcare needs evolve.

“We now have five generations in the workforce,” said Matthew Sydney, CEO of Beanstalk, in an interview. “We’ve never been in a position where we’ve had so much diversity in the workforce and the needs are so different. And so when we looked at what’s missing from the system … there’s no platform and there’s no infrastructure … that puts the employee in the driver’s seat.”

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Beanstalk Benefits helps out the employer too, Sydney said. Instead of having to individually contract with several different point solutions, employers can just contract with Beanstalk in order to offer access to multiple solutions. The company works with both fully-insured and self-insured employers, and the employers pay one annual fee.

“We find that there’s a big need in the small and mid-market business,” Sydney said. “There seems to be a strong need because they are getting squeezed and don’t always have the money or more importantly, the resources to assess and contract and administer these programs.”

For the solutions on Beanstalk’s platform, Beanstalk expands their reach to more people.

“Beanstalk has essentially given us access to a retail market through a single contract that could potentially reach millions of employees,” said Dr. Steven Schutzer, co-founder and chief medical officer of Upswing Health, in a news release.

The company’s $7.5 million in seed funding helped develop Beanstalk’s platform. The remainder of the funding will help with “distribution and account management,” Sydney said.

Beanstalk’s launch comes at a time when many employers are battling point solution fatigue and are struggling to manage multiple vendors at once. Many are turning to navigation companies like Accolade and Quantum Health, which also aggregate multiple solutions onto one platform. However, Beanstalk differs by allowing the employees to build their own benefits portfolio, Sydney said. He added that he sees companies like Accolade and Quantum Health as potential collaborators to further enhance their marketplaces.

Ultimately, Sydney said he aims to increase access to care

“We want to really bridge a lot of the gaps, whether those are medical deserts where people have a hard time receiving care … or there might be a cultural issue that we can help service,” he said. “We want people to really value the services they get through their employer because it’s really part of their total rewards.”

Photo: Feodora Chiosea, Getty Images