Advocatia CEO, Ryan Brebner, shares with The American Leader how Advocatia was conceived on a family tragedy and the company's journey to connect uninsured patients with affordable healthcare coverage.
Family member Avila worried about the cost of insurance, so she lived without regular medical care – and without the knowledge that she was eligible for Medicaid. Instead of seeing a doctor, she tolerated stomach pain for months. By the time she arrived in the emergency room, she had stage four stomach cancer, and unfortunately passed away within a few short days.
Brebner, who had been working in healthcare for 18 years, told Avila’s story to his sister Laura Robbins, who was working as an operations professional at a start-up. They knew there had to be a better way to help patients understand what programs they’re eligible for and, together, set out to do just that.
In 2016, Brebner and Robbins founded Advocatia, a company that uses data technology to sift through available aid programs to match uninsured and under-insured patients with programs that can reduce their healthcare costs. Today, they have served thousands of individuals and families in 21 states and continue to find new and innovative ways to connect them with more than 40 different programs.
In 2019, 29 million Americans were uninsured. Of those Americans, nearly 16 million — 57% — were eligible for free or subsidized coverage. Many had no idea.
A 2020 study found that 41% of Americans were not aware the Affordable Care Act provides financial aid for lower- and middle-income Americans to purchase insurance.
Lack of insurance can have life and death consequences. An uninsured patient is more likely to delay care than an insured patient, risking tragic outcomes like Avila’s.