Trumpcare may benefit this N.Y. entrepreneur
While hospitals, health centers and unions have panned House Republicans' healthcare plan, one New York City entrepreneur stands to benefit from the American Health Care Act.
Jeremy Miller runs two e-commerce sites that exclusively sell products eligible for purchase using tax-exempt accounts for medical expenses.
Under the version of the bill that passed the House, Republicans doubled the maximum contribution people can make into health savings accounts. Individuals will be able to put up to $6,550 in HSAs and families can contribute $13,100.
The bill also repealed the $2,600 limit on deposits into flexible spending accounts, or FSAs. HSAs are used in conjunction with high deductible health plans. Unlike FSAs, the funds can be rolled over to the following year and the benefits can be transferred to another job.
Miller founded sister sites HSAStore.com and FSAStore.com in 2010, after earning an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.
The sites "take the guesswork out of what you can and can't buy," he said.
Consumers no longer need to wander through the drugstore, figuring out what's covered. Among the best-selling products: heart monitors, thermometers, first-aid kits, bandages, pain-relief patches and sunscreen.
"Most people will inevitably say I did not know that is covered under my plan," Miller said. The sites also accept all major credit cards.
The company just moved to a new office that's twice as large in Manhattan's Garment District, to accommodate plans to add to its 63 staffers—a combination of employees and full-time contractors.
The two websites have served hundreds of thousands of customers, said Miller, but he declined to disclose revenue figures.
The e-commerce company has raised $11 million in debt and $2.6 million in equity from venture capitalists.
Miller's sites seem to have removed some of the "pain points" in shopping with HSAs and FSAs, said Sucharita Mulpuru, an independent retail analyst in Charlotte, N.C. But she wonders if an e-commerce giant like Amazon could replicate the approach.
"It's a good idea, but it appears it should just be a link on the left side of an Amazon page," Mulpuru said. "That's their competition—a bigger, faster site with greater reach that can build it with better functionality."
The online stores have 250 partnerships with benefits companies, representing 14 million people with tax-exempt accounts. Its partners, including Aon and WageWorks, can send covered employees to the websites to shop for products or to learn how to use their accounts.
Developing good data on customers and a strong mailing list "can be a huge asset and make the company more valuable," said Sucharita.
There's reason to believe more people will begin using HSAs. There were about 20 million such accounts, holding $37 billion, in 2016, according to Devenir, a Minneapolis company that offers options to make investments using HSA money.
Only about one-sixth of the people covered by employer-sponsored plans are currently using health savings accounts, said Eric Remjeske, president of Devenir.
"That's pretty compelling that there's still a lot of room in this marketplace to grow," he said.
"Trumpcare gives an N.Y. entrepreneur a reason to be excited" originally appeared in Crain's New York Business.
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