Introducing Liferaft: Safety Nets That Work

Author photo
Ian Blumenfeld

We’ve all read the headlines about how broken healthcare is in America. But everything written pales in comparison to what real events actually feel like when you are facing a serious medical issue and needing to navigate our arcane and byzantine system to get care. Despite our relative youth, my family and I have already faced this very situation multiple times, first for fertility and most recently for an issue with our newborn that no one in our HMO’s pediatrics department had ever seen before.

We were able to resolve our situations with some significant out of pocket expenses, some help from our families, and some applied savvy in getting the second (and third) opinions we needed. We are no doubt incredibly fortunate, with access to resources to manage through. But it has always disturbed me when thinking about what others face when they don’t have a safety net like ours.

I’ve spent most of my career at the intersection of health and technology, most recently finishing five years in health insurance proper. Despite this, even I find accessing and paying for care confusing and confounding. The products are complex, inflexible, and downright expensive.

We are launching Liferaft to try to change all that. Our mission is to build reliable safety nets that work. We are starting with health because we see this as the greatest area of need.


"We are launching Liferaft to try to change all that."


We are technologists and insurance experts. We have worked in payments, in marketplaces, in healthcare, and in insurance. We understand how to build modern technological products in regulated spaces that are a joy to use and solve actual problems. We are building health insurance products that are:

Simple: what you see is what you get.

Flexible: use the proceeds for what you need — you decide.

Cost-Effective: don't break the bank on premiums while still getting good value.

We are doing this through "Supplemental Health Insurance", a type of insurance which sits alongside or on top of your traditional health plan but pays the benefits in cash directly to you. You can get coverage for adverse health events like hospitalization, illness, and specialized care and get direct cash payouts if they occur. You can use this money to pay for out of pocket expenses, cover ancillary needs, see an out of network specialist, or really anything you like.

We believe this is valuable because the regular services you use health insurance for, such as primary care, are relatively inexpensive and represent a very small portion of overall healthcare spending. In fact, about two thirds of the rise in healthcare spending over the past 18 years comes from increases in the cost of hospital visits, specialists, and treatments1,2. We are building Liferaft to protect you in these exact instances – when you need to go to the hospital, when you need to see an expert specialist, or when you need a life-saving treatment.

We’ve been working hard over the past year to get to market as quickly as we can, as we don’t believe there is another moment to waste. Today we are going live.

The world we're working towards is one where you can

see the doctor you need,

access the most appropriate treatments, and

save money on care.

In this world your health plan doesn't determine your outcomes, rather you are the one in charge. We hope to bring this to life with Liferaft. Join us for the journey. Let us be your life raft.

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