As Health Insurance Debate Heats Up, Dynamis Plugs Away
The best way to create a framework that enables large numbers of Americans to have health insurance, while keeping costs under control for patients, care providers, and insurers, has been a subject of heated political debate for much of the past decade.
But for all the arguments that have been put forth criticizing and defending the Affordable Care Act since the passage of the law in 2010, it’s worth noting that it has not had as large of an effect on Americans who already received health insurance through their employers.
So, even as politicians discuss amending the ACA or repealing the law altogether, some companies whose products and services are focused on employer-provided health coverage have the luxury of being able to tune out the noise, if they wish. One such business is West Allis, WI-based Dynamis Software, which develops digital tools allowing insurance brokers and agents to design health plans and tweak them while meeting with employers and other groups they sell to.
“Dynamis was around before the [2012 U.S.] Supreme Court ruling [upholding the ACA], Dynamis was around before the Mitt Romney-Barack Obama election, and Dynamis is going to be around post-Obamacare,” says Andy Nunemaker, the company’s co-founder and CEO. “The outcome of all of these bills hasn’t affected the free market’s role in healthcare.”
Dynamis recently raised $750,000 from five investors, according to an SEC filing. The latest funding represents an expansion of a round the company opened last year, when it said it had raised $529,000 in equity financing. Dynamis has raised more than $3.3 million since launching in 2012, according to regulatory documents.
Nunemaker, who is an Xconomist and who supported President Donald Trump in last fall’s election, says that Brookfield, WI-based Golden Angels Investors led the latest round. He declined to say the exact amount of money that came from the group.
Dynamis will use the proceeds from its latest funding round for product development and adding staff, Nunemaker says. It plans to hire an unspecified number of new employees who will focus on sales and service, he says.
“Now that the product is ready for the mass market, we’re actually tripling the commercial team,” Nunemaker says.
Health insurance brokers are the primary users of Dynamis’s software, and currently more than 100 brokers use the product, Nunemaker says. However, he says that some of the best insights his team has gotten have come from the groups brokers sell to, most of which are organizations that offer health benefits to their workers.
“Brokers had been using [Microsoft] Excel for 20 years” when presenting different coverage options to companies, he says. “We asked the employers what they thought of the process, and they puked all over it. [They said,] ‘We hate this process. It’s the most painful process we go through. We just want the information we need to make a decision in one meeting, and move on.’”
The technology Dynamis is developing lets users do things like add health savings or reimbursement accounts to plans, or change deductible amounts. Many of the brokers that use Excel to create models of plans can’t make on-the-fly changes to them if requested by an employer during a meeting, Nunemaker says.
“Excel was never meant to be a complex modeling presentation system,” he says. “It’s a good tool for what it was designed to do. I use Excel to manage my friends’ phone number and address list. [But businesses] have pushed it way beyond its limits.”
Nunemaker says he expects Dynamis will become profitable this year. He declined to say what the company’s total sales were in 2016, or share revenue projections for the current year.
Asked if there might come a day when Dynamis creates software for groups other than health insurance brokers, Nunemaker says “anything is on the table.”