Nathan Hackley and Will Young, co-founders of Sana Benefits

Health insurance is broken from administration to customer experience and Sana Benefits wants to fix it.

“Health insurance is awful,” said Will Young, co-founder of Sana Benefits. “It’s expensive. It’s opaque. It’s backward. We’re making something that is easy to use, saves money and still is really good insurance.”

The healthcare insurance company recently moved to Austin from San Francisco and has four employees working out of its office at WeWork Barton Springs. It has another five employees working remotely.

“We got to Austin because it was just the best place for this business,” Young said. “Texas, from an insurance standpoint, is a great state for innovation. There aren’t a lot of constraints.”

“Within Texas, Austin is just this Tech talent hub and we thought our message would resonate with them,” he said.

Young and Nathan Hackley, who formerly worked together at Justworks, benefits and payroll company in New York, founded Sana Benefits in 2017. The co-founders have complementary skill sets, Young said.

Young led sales, licensing and operations while Hackley did all the product development and engineering.

“While he was working on partnerships with companies I was working on integration with the companies,” Hackley said.

“It basically took us a year of behind the scenes setup work,” Young said. “It wasn’t until the middle of this year that we’ve had a product that began to resonate with people.”

They developed a health insurance platform that allows small to medium-sized business to access benefits and save money. Sana has landed three customers so far including a tech startup with 100 employees and two established businesses with 20 employees each, Young said. And it’s open enrollment season so Sana is adding new customers now, he said.

SANA Benefits first customers have gone live, Young said.

“We’re a full health insurance solution,” he said. “People have health insurance through us. When they go to the doctor, Sana is paying their claims. We are running health plans for people right now.”

Sana also recently raised a seed round of investment for a few million dollars, Young said.

“We are pleased to support Will, Nathan, and the growing team at Sana as they apply their expertise in employee benefits, customer experience, and software development to address the needs of an underserved market,” Greenlight Re CEO Simon Burton said in a statement. “Sana is one example of a great opportunity to use tech to transform the customer experience, and we’re delighted to be partnering with them.”

Sana Benefits is competing with other insurance providers like Aetna, Blue Cross, United Health, and is creating an alternative to them, Young said.

“We’ve got so many ideas on how to improve health plans,” Young said. “One of them is transparency. We want all of our customers to see their data which is a big step forward from what you get with current insurance.”

Showing companies transparency first is important, Young said. They are spending hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars on health insurance every year and they have no idea what they get, he said.

Sana also offers an innovative network structure called Sana Anywhere that allows people to see any doctor they want, Young said. And they use this transparent reimbursement methodology to let people know in advance what things are going to cost, he said.

Big insurance providers don’t have an incentive to provide transparency to consumers, Young said.

“Insurance carriers are not on your side,” Young said. “They are playing a game to confuse you and to charge you more money.”

Sana Benefits is disrupting the way health insurance is done, Young said.

“The way we are able to do this is we don’t have these networks we are trying to manage,” Young said. “We don’t have these complicated provider relationships that mean our incentives are misaligned with our members. We are just on the side of the members trying to get them a fair price.”

Sana Benefits charges a flat fee per employee, per month, rather than making a profit off the difference between the premium and claims paid out, Hackley said.

“Health insurance companies make more money when they charge you more money,” Young said. “We are aligned with our incentives to keep costs down.”

Businesses are in such pain, Young said.

“Healthcare makes businesses confused and frustrated and they are paying way too much,” he said. “We can come in and share our vision. We’re trying to change the norms.”

Sana’s goal is to change the way health insurance is done, Hackley said.

“I would like to set a good example for how to run a properly incentivized health plan,” Hackley said.

Editor’s note: Sana Benefits is an advertiser with Silicon Hills News