Bright Health slides into telehealth arena via Zipnosis acquisition

Insurtech Bright Health snapped up telehealth platform Zipnosis for an undisclosed amount, marking its first foray into the telehealth market. The acquisition comes just a few days after reports that Bright Health is planning to go public. Bright Health hopes the acquisition will drive its push to provide personalized, consumer-centric healthcare.

Bright Health has been climbing the insurtech ranks—scooping up a booming telehealth platform will only accelerate its growth.

  • Bright Health scored the largest insurtech funding haul ($500 million) of 2020, and also reported record membership growth as it now covers over 500,000 consumers.
  • Zipnosis has also been in growth mode since last March: Zipnosis is being used at 60 large health systems across the US, and its consumer base grew to over 2 million patients in 2020. Further, it partnered with patient engagement startup Upfront last June to enhance its communication capabilities.

Insurers are eager to get their slice of the growing telehealth pie, but they’re facing off against giants like Teladoc:

  • For example, Oscar Health rolled out its $0 Virtual Primary Care service in July 2020, and in February this year, Cigna acquired telehealth firm MDLive.
  • It makes sense for insurers to bring telehealth services in-house— it allows them to save on costs that may come from contracting with telehealth vendors. And adopting a virtual-first approach can triage healthcare delivery in a way that maintains quality of care and minimizes healthcare spending down the road.
  • Insurtechs will likely face stiff competition from legacy telehealth vendors like Teladoc—but an in-house telehealth service comes with the benefit of access to new troves of patient data that can be used to optimize their own tech-driven insurance policies.