Assured Allies is a company that aims to make Successful Aging, which is the ability to thrive as long as possible without long-term care and to pay for it if needed, accessible for all. To learn more about the company, Pulse 2.0 interviewed Assured Allies co-founder Afik Gal.
Afik Gal’s Background
Afik Gal is a medical doctor who switched to the business side of healthcare technology.
“You might be wondering why and so was my mother! Well, I recognized that while being a physician is rewarding, it is limited in the number of people you can touch. But the fusion of medicine and technology gave me the ability to really extend my impact,” said Gal. “This was always a part of me. I’ve always been passionate about the ability of technology to improve healthcare. After my medical internship, I decided to see what I could do to help fix broken parts of the healthcare system.”
From there, Gal took on leadership roles with several companies and completed his MBA at Duke. And eventually, he led the PwC healthcare innovation lab and served as an executive at QPID – which was acquired by eviCore healthcare.
“Things were changing fast in areas like AI and predictive analytics. It was an exciting time. As fate would have it, around the same time Roee Nahir (co-founder and CEO of Assured Allies) and I started discussing the concept of Assured Allies,” Gal added. “It was a completely new model, but the open territory energized both of us. We established Assured Allies in 2018. When I reflect on my path to co-founding the company, it’s clear that everything from my past has brought me to this opportunity.”
Launching Of Assured Allies
Gal and Roee shared similar experiences in caring for their elderly parents and grandparents. And these experiences were profound and gave them a unique perspective on aging and caregiving.
“We came to realize that the current systems designed to support aging adults were not doing enough and in fact were deeply flawed. They were reactive and weren’t using proven science to focus on prevention, and get ahead of the challenges of aging,” explained Gal. “The result was that people were living for longer but lacking quality of life in their later years. I knew that there is an abundance of scientific knowledge available on how to age better, with clear strategies to prevent what we think of as inevitable decline. There are ways to help individuals remain healthy and independent for longer. However, this information was not fully accessible and no one was translating it into practical interventions to assist a population of millions (which gets back to my earlier point about broad impact). When you see something that you know you can fix, either you remain frustrated or you act. Roee and I acted and created Assured Allies with the aim of building a company that could make a real difference in the way people age. We built a platform that combines predictive models, science-backed interventions and human support to help individuals age successfully.”
The company’s platform uses data to identify and predict the different risk factors that could result in preventable decline and offers individual interventions to slow or prevent premature age-related decline.
And the team also recognized that not everything can be prevented, as they like to say: Prevent what you can, prepare for what you can’t. Assured Allies is using its platform to combine new financial and wellness products for the long-term care market that benefit the aging population and insurance carriers while utilizing cutting-edge technology and science to address the existing gaps in the market.
Challenges Faced Building The Company
I asked Gal what he thought of the challenges they faced in building their company and he cited the reach.
“We knew we had a great product, but needed a solution that let us reach the greatest number of people, fast. That brought us insurance carriers as our natural partners, as our products provided a win-win solution for carriers and their policyholders. We help aging Americans win for all the reasons I gave you. And importantly, we help insurance companies win,” Gal noted. “As older adults remain active and independent – living longer in their own homes – we help carriers benefit from a reduction in overall claims costs. It’s obvious that long-term insurance carriers had a strong incentive to make this happen, but they didn’t have the ability to accomplish that. When we presented our products to our partners they were equally enthusiastic about this crucial missing piece of the long-term care puzzle. Importantly, the dramatic savings that we bring carriers mean that they can offer our products for free to their policyholders. We have since partnered with several of the industry’s leading carriers to offer our products and are constantly expanding our reach through these partnerships.”
Assured Allies currently has two products: AgeAssured and NeverStop.
1.) AgeAssured is for adults aged 70+ who already have long-term care insurance. As a major plus-up to their policy benefits, users are offered free access to their wellness programs. The company identifies specific risks that might reduce one’s ability to age at home and provides evidence-based interventions to address them. The company partnered with several leading carriers and expects to offer this product to over 200K long-term care insurance policyholders by the end of this year.
2.) NeverStop is the newer product and it allows insurance carriers to offer something they have never had available, to adults aged 55+. NeverStop is known as a new generation of retirement savings products that utilize its AI platform to combine long-term care insurance with an evidence-based and personalized wellness program intended to help adults age better.
“What distinguishes our product is that members can earn additional long-term care coverage with their ongoing participation in the wellness program. What’s great about this unique approach to combining long-term care insurance and wellness is that it motivates people to do the right things for themselves. In a sense we ‘gamified’ NeverStop – breaking down tasks into small bites, with rewards built-in, to encourage people to stick with behavioral changes,” Gal pointed out. “In this way we incentivize adults to take healthy actions that prevent or delay future disability. As members engage with the program, they build up more coverage at no additional cost. Once again, they are preventing what they can, while preparing for what is simply out of their hands.”
Plus the company also built a fully digital underwriting capability that enables a process that typically takes up to 30 days in just under 30 minutes.
Assured Allies’ platform relies on predictive modeling and machine learning to accurately identify individuals who are at the greatest risk and assess the effectiveness of different interventions for addressing these risks. As the company adds more members and the members continue to use the platform, the predictive models become increasingly precise, enabling them to constantly refine and enhance their capabilities. In this way, Assured Allies is constantly evolving and improving its platform to better serve its members.
Below are some videos put together by Assured Allies:
I asked Gal about what some of the company’s biggest milestones were. And Gal said that the company has helped thousands of people in a meaningful way. And beyond that, the milestones include:
— Launching of two new products, AgeAssured and NeverStop
— The company proved they make a difference in keeping people healthy and reducing claims
— The company built multiple strategic partnerships with leading long-term care insurance carriers who offer Assured Allies’ products to their policyholders
— The company has seen a 300% increase in members on the platform over the past year
— The company raised a Series B funding round of $42.5 million
— The company has grown its staff to over 90 talented and passionate employees who work collaboratively across the functional areas that make the business special
— Gal is also confident that they will continue to achieve many more milestones in the year to come.
Customer Success Stories
Gal pointed out that they have been receiving useful feedback from members and there have been statistically significant results with AgeAssured.
“Through a large-scale, randomized program with one of our carrier partners, which has been ongoing for over two years, we were able to achieve an 18% reduction in claims costs over the period,” Gal revealed. “This is a major validation of our platform’s effectiveness, which has greatly improved the quality of life for thousands of older adults while generating significant savings for the carrier, amounting to millions of dollars.”
As mentioned earlier, the company raised $42.5 million in Series B funding. And the total funding that they have raised so far is $65 million. Gal told me that the company will be using the funding to fuel further growth and expansion of the company’s carrier and partner network.
Total Addressable Market
Gal cited the U.S. long-term care market is estimated at $400 billion, but they see the market as being much larger. For example, the NeverStop product targets those without insurance.
Future Company Goals
I also asked Gal about the company’s future company goals.
“Our vision is to create an operating system for aging – providing a range of financial and wellness products that enable older adults to age on their own terms. In addition to expanding our product offerings and increasing accessibility, we are also building an ecosystem of vetted partners offering clinically proven interventions to our members,” Gal answered. “We are in an exciting moment when advances in technology are rapidly progressing, and we are at the forefront of identifying and bringing those innovations to millions.”