HIVE HEALTH, a digital health insurance startup, has acquired Health Plan Philippines, Inc. to open healthcare access for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the company announced on Tuesday.

It offers health maintenance organization (HMO) plans for SMEs and startups with outpatient, inpatient, emergency, and dental care, Hive Health said in an e-mailed statement.

Hive Health also provides small business owners and human resource managers with an HR dashboard that streamlines onboarding, offboarding, and invoicing of employees, it added.

Benefits include mental health sessions, maternity care, preventive care, and medicine coverage, which are typically not offered to smaller teams and minorities such as the LGBTQIA+ and domestic partners.

“The goal is for all Filipinos to feel secure that their health is taken care of, and to give employers a sustainable way to take part in making that happen,” said Camille Ang, co-founder and chief executive officer of Hive Health.

Only around 2% of Philippine businesses, mostly large ones, provide healthcare coverage to their employees, according to the multichannel insurance platform

The Insurance Commission noted only 20,248 enterprises that provided healthcare coverage to their employees as of 2021. There were more than 1.08 million establishments in the country that year, according to the local statistics agency.

“We started Hive Health with the mission to make healthcare more accessible in the Philippines and in many other developing countries where social safety nets are capped,” Jiawen Tang, co-founder and president of Hive Health, said.

“Our goal is to leverage tech and data to make quality healthcare more affordable and easier to use, especially for the underserved SME segment,” she added.

Ms. Tang noted the company’s in-house electronic medical records system that enables its team of doctors to better accommodate the concerns of patients who book on-demand video teleconsultations with them.

Members can request approval letters, view plan benefits, find nearby providers, schedule physical exams, and access medical records through their phone or device, Hive Health said. For out-of-network reimbursements, it claims a duration of three to five days.

Hive Health said it has a nationwide network of 1,700 hospitals and clinics, with over 60,000 doctors. — Miguel Hanz L. Antivola