Joseph Keaton realized that there was a gap in the fact that hourly workers could receive primary care, and decided to take action.
He decided to run Life health after observing how small business employees of his parents face problems in obtaining health insurance.
“I had the privilege of watching my parents chase the American dream and set up a home care company where they hired caregivers to care for the elderly in their homes,” said Keatonga, who moved to Philadelphia from Kenya when he was 13.
“I was struck by the fact that educators caring for the most vulnerable in our communities have done too much to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to afford the comprehensive health insurance they (they) offered, so most have declined “- said Kitong.
“Spark for Vitable was to create a simple primary care plan that covers the most commonly used health services so my parents’ staff can stop using ambulances where 70% of visits are unnecessary and they cost more than a thousand dollars per visit and make it very difficult to move up.” he continued.
The Philadelphia-based startup focuses on partnering with a variety of small businesses to offer first aid to hourly workers.
“Employers who work by the hour, especially during a pandemic, do their best to attract and retain talent, and we allow them to offer high-quality available benefits that would otherwise have been unavailable to their employees,” Kitong said.
“Most employers really care, but previously there were no options available like ours. The reason we focused on hourly workers and hourly workers ’employers is where the need is most felt. We believe that quality medical care should be available to all, especially to those who need it most. “
He noted that the health care system is expensive and has left many watchmakers without access to affordable care.
“This generally leads to deteriorating health and reduced life expectancy,” he said.
Keaton studied computer engineering at the University of Pennsylvania before dropping out in 2021 to start Vitable.
He used his technical expertise to create a company that has a mobile app in which members can sign up for meetings for virtual visits and home visits.
“We’ve cut a lot of fluff to cut costs and share that savings with our members,” Keatonga explained. “Our model really allows us to offer this truly superb concierge experience at an affordable price.”
Each of the Vitable members has a dedicated care team that includes a certified nurse, a nutritionist, and a practicing nurse who coordinate their care.
In April, Vitable officially expanded in Washington, D.C., and the Baltimore area of Maryland, and launched a mental health plan. This comes after Vitable accepted former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin as a new board member.
“In many ways, this is part of the fact that adding Dr. Regina Benjamin as a counselor has helped us understand – that mental health and behavioral health are part of primary care,” Keatonga said.
“In terms of the real impact and elimination of the health gap that exists in our communities, given this comprehensive view of the primary care mental health plan that we have launched, it is available to all our members in our communities.”
He noted that the cost of many mental health plans is often unavailable to hourly workers.
“We wanted to enable hourly workers who are in great need of mental health and behavioral health services,” Kitong added.
“It’s really something we’re very excited about becoming a champion.”