- Verily, the health company owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, announced that it will start selling insurance through a new product called Coefficient.
- Coefficient will sell stop-loss insurance, which is bought by employers, not consumers, to cover the cost of employees’ health claims that exceed a predetermined limit.
- The move could help Verily generate income, and the trove of health data it has amassed could give it a competitive edge in the eyes of insurers.
- Verily previously launched a slew of resources meant to fight COVID-19, including a symptom-screening website and testing centres. Before that, it ran Baseline, an “ambitious effort to map human health.”
- Verily said it will not used data gathered from its COVID-19 testing centres for its insurance product.
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Google’s sister company Verily will start selling insurance through a new subsidiary called Coefficient Insurance Company, the firm announced Tuesday.
Coefficient is one of the Verily’s first products launched with a clear income stream. Verily’s main venture so far has been Project Baseline, an “ambitious effort to map human health” through research with universities and pharmaceutical companies. Verily pivoted in March to focus on fighting COVID-19, launching a screening site that asks people about their symptoms.
Coefficient will sell stop-loss insurance, which not consumer health insurance – it’s bought by employers in order to cover the cost of employees’ health claims that exceed a predetermined limit. It will be launched in partnership with commercial insurance company Swiss Re Group.
Verily touts its wealth of health data as a competitive advantage – it boasts Coefficient’s “data-driven model that is unique in the traditional employer stop-loss market” in line with Verily’s broader mission to “make the world’s health data useful.”
However, a Verily spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider that Coefficient “will not use any data from Project Baseline or Verily’s COVID-19 community testing sites.”
Verily previously skirted questions about whether the COVID-19 data it gathered could be used for commercial purposes, stating that the data could be “used by Verily.”
The biotech company first embarked on its COVID-19 products in March after President Donald Trump announced that Google would build a coronavirus testing tool. Verily launched its screening tool two days later, though employees told Business Insider that the company’s pivot to COVID-19 response was chaotic and stressful.
Since then, Verily has set up more than 300 testing sites across the US in collaboration with Rite Aid. A Verily spokesperson said in July that 31,000 people across 49 states had agreed to participate in Verily’s COVID-19 research.
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