PORTLAND, Ore., Feb.24, 2022 – LG Electronics selected medZERO as one of its “First 50” startups for its large-scale Mission for the Future competition targeting new developments within the areas of Connected Health, Energizing Mobility, Smart Lifestyle, The Metaverse and Innovation for Impact.
The Portland-based start-up was chosen this month from more than 1,300 candidates to begin work with the LG NOVA team.
It’s another endorsement for medZERO, an employer-sponsored financial wellness platform that provides employees a smarter solution to pay for healthcare. In December, the company secured $5.7 million in seed funding from Silicon Valley venture capital firm True Ventures, Village Global and angel investors.
Since garnering funding, medZERO has enrolled new customers, as well as partnered with a national lender and a loan management company.
Through medZERO, employees’ out-of-pocket medical expenses become installment payments with no interest or fees repaid through automatic payroll deductions. The overarching goal of the company is to make healthcare more accessible and affordable through a nimble fintech solution.
“We are one part of a solution to a growing problem,” said co-founder Craig Froude, who has more than 20 years of experience in the industry. He co-founded WellMed, Inc., a market-leading company that created technology-enabled health management programs and benefit decision support solutions for large employers and health insurers that was sold to WebMD.
Two-thirds of all U.S. bankruptcies stem from medical debt, and one-quarter of all U.S. credit card debt is medical, according to nonprofit RIP Medical Debt. Groundbreaking research from Stanford economist Neale Mahoney indicates Americans are saddled with at least $140 billion in outstanding medical debt. Hospitals typically only collect 50 percent of their receivables owed by patients and nearly $50 billion in unpaid medical expenses were written off last year alone.
“Clearly this situation isn’t working for anyone, and frankly it’s unsustainable and a threat to the long-term financial viability of our healthcare system,” Froude said. “We believe offering solutions to fix this broken system is an opportunity to tackle one of the most important challenges of our time.”
It was medZERO’s ability to provide an innovative solution that helped capture LG NOVA’s interest. The “First 50” group represents innovations in industries that will have the most immediate impact on society now and in the future. Equipped with access to LG’s global experience, mentorship and capital, the startups will collaborate with LG NOVA’s incubation team to create a proposal for a joint enterprise with the goal of further advancement.
“These companies represent the top of the diverse pool of innovative ideas and companies who applied to our Mission for the Future challenge to address the challenges facing our community,” said LG NOVA head Dr. Sokwoo Rhee, senior vice president for innovation at LG Electronics. “In these companies we see great potential opportunities to explore transformative changes that will take our commitment of innovating for a better life into the next phase.”
The first big theme for LG in this space is connected health, with a particular focus on healthcare to meet people’s wellness needs at healthcare facilities, in their homes or through services.
“Helping employees navigate complex and often overwhelming bureaucracy and tap into tools that offer substantial savings, tax benefits and educational aspects creates a healthier system for everyone,” Froude said.
About LG NOVA
LG NOVA, the North American Innovation Center for global innovation leader LG Electronics is a team focused on bringing innovation from the outside to LG. LG NOVA is based in Santa Clara, Calif. The center’s mission is to build, nurture and grow innovations that impact the future. Learn more about LG NOVA at www.lgnova.com.
About LG Electronics USA
LG Electronics USA, Inc., based in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., is the North American subsidiary of LG Electronics, Inc., a $63 billion global innovator in technology and manufacturing. In the United States, LG sells a wide range of innovative home appliances, home entertainment products, commercial displays, air conditioning systems, solar energy solutions and vehicle components. LG is a seven-time ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year. The company’s commitment to environmental sustainability and its “Life’s Good” marketing theme encompass how LG is dedicated to people’s happiness by exceeding expectations today and tomorrow. www.LG.com.
medZero, based in Portland, Ore., is a fintech company designed to make healthcare accessible, affordable and equitable. The employer-sponsored financial wellness platform offers zero interest financing enabling employees to get care now and pay over time, ensuring medically related out of pocket costs are covered which leads to happier, healthier and more productive employees. medZERO is led by an experienced executive team and backed by industry leading investors. Learn more at medzero.com.