Episode 8 Transcription Podcast with Melissa Blatt

Misha: Hello, GSD Factor podcast listeners. I’m your host, Misha Bleymaier- Farrish and today I’m excited to have Melissa Blatt from indipop. Melissa, thank you so much for joining us today. Can you introduce yourself to all our listeners?

Melissa: Hi everyone. Wherever you’re listening from, I’m Melissa Blatt and I’m the founder of indipop and indipop stands for independent population.

Melissa: And these are all the people that are self-employed not getting their healthcare through their employer and they’re out on their own. And I founded the company for my own struggle a few years back. When I left the corporate world and I had sticker shock when I was presented with the Cobra plan and I knew I wasn’t alone.

Melissa: I know that we’re in this gig economy and that also includes, you know, the contractors, not only that, the freelancers, but the small businesses out there. And I decided if I can find a solution for myself, I can help an entire population with affordable health care and staying out of medical debt.

Misha: Melissa, we are so excited to have you on the GSD Factor podcast and are so appreciative of your entrepreneurial spirit and leadership, and GSD Factor listeners, right? What we want to talk about is, what is it that resonates and brings, Melissa to this podcast?

Misha:  And one of our attributes in the GSD Factor life is that innovating solutionist. That person that dreams big, is never satisfied with the status quo. They continue to break down the barriers and say, I’m here, I’m here for it.

Misha: What can we improve? What is the impossible that we can make possible? And Melissa, we are so grateful that you are doing this for our entrepreneurs in the healthcare space. So, thank you so much.

Melissa: It’s I, you know, I I’m speechless…that’s really thank you. Thank you. But it is, it’s such a, you know, a top three pain point of entrepreneurs is healthcare.

Melissa: It affects everyone. And we have found that people who are entrepreneurial and get health care on their own, usually pay three times the rates. I have people that come to indipop all the time, they say to me, I haven’t had healthcare for three years, three years! They’ve been just going without healthcare.

Melissa: So, it is a pain point and this was something that became, you know, a passion of mine. And I didn’t launch this when I was in my twenties or thirties. No, I was in my late forties when I decided  you know, when some people are slowing down and they’re thinking about, okay, maybe 10 years to retirement, I’m like, I’m going to start a start up.

Melissa: So, you gotta be a little crazy. But, I think the driving force is that I really believed in what I was doing and I knew that the way that the health insurance system is structured right now, it’s really hard to find anything alternative out there and not alternative, like acupuncture or  naturopath. I’m not saying that, I’m just saying healthcare without the word insurance is still healthcare.

Melissa: When there’s something new that hits the market and I use Uber as an example always because I remember when Uber came out and I called my mom and we’re from New York, so we’re used to taking cabs all the time. I’m like, Mom, you can call some strange man to pick you up and take you to the airport.

Melissa: And she’s like, why would I do that? And now I can’t even think of how else I get home from the airport, or when I’m back in the city, I’m taking Ubers and Lyfts and it’s just, it becomes so normal. And I think that people get scared, you know, at first it’s like, wait, there’s a change in the system, this is new.

Melissa: Do I want to explore it? And you have your early adopters and then you have the people that are waiting. And this has been around for over 30 years, but it’s not mainstream. And that’s becoming a member of a community that shares the cost of  medical needs. A membership based health care plan or health shares.

Melissa: And with dozens of them to look for, people don’t know first that they exist. Second, how do you know which ones to trust? And that’s where indipop comes in and we curated these top rated plans into a marketplace that have to reach strict criteria. And so, it’s hopefully going to save you guys who are out there, you know, on your own, a lot of stress and frustration, if this could be a fit for your family or your, small business.

Misha: I think that’s wonderful. So talk, talk to me and the listeners around, what are the things that you look for when you’re starting to explore that kind of going out on your own and obviously I think a lot of entrepreneurs maybe pause, I think a lot of them have ideas, but a lot of them are looking for that insurance.

Misha: So, maybe what are some things that you can share with people that they should be looking for when they’re starting to explore this? And then, I think maybe you have a tool that can start to help people as they start to really make a plan for their exit strategy so to speak.  

Melissa: Yeah, we’re working on it.

Melissa: So,  let’s talk about healthcare. It is not fun. I don’t know anyone that has woken up in the morning and goes, Guess what I get to do today? I get to look for healthcare. It’s so exciting! It’s not, it is stressful and there’s a lot of fine print. So, I’m used to the top questions that people ask in healthcare is they want to make sure that there is hospitalization and major medical. That if something really dreadful happens or you break your bone or surgery, you will not go into medical debt.

Melissa: So, one thing to look for is caps. Lifetime and annual caps so if you start a treatment, they’re not going to stop you and go, oh, well you hit your $250,000 cap. So, look for plans that don’t have caps and look for plans also that, this is a big one is you’re not going to have to reach your deductible if you go to the ER. And I’ve been finding more and more plans like this out there that you actually, the moment you walk into the ER, you’re going to have to owe your deductible no matter what the testing is. So, look for something that might have a copay or that you’re not going to have to reach your deductible for that ER visit.

Melissa: And there are things like, with the indipop plans we have five criteria that we look for. The no annual caps. We have an open network, so you can use the plan in all 50 states and travel with the plan. So, from Nashville to Arizona, if you’re traveling, it works the same state to state. You can go to any hospital, any doctor on call.

Melissa: People don’t believe me when I say that. They always ask me about the network and I’m like, No, it’s open network. And these are for all my plans.

Melissa: indipop offers at least three plans that have major medical and they’re all open network. One of our plans has unlimited primary care, which is again, really amazing to have in-person primary care. We also vet on they’re not tied to any sort of religious organization because we know that health service started, with congregations that have religious statements of belief, but none of ours do. So these are membership-based plans that do not have a religious affiliation.

Melissa: Okay, and that’s something to look for because those guidelines. Read those guidelines. They can be very subjective about, you know, each plan, each religious plan. So that’s another, just something to be cognizant of when you’re researching.

Misha: No, those are really helpful. Thank you so much.

Misha: And obviously listeners, this podcast will be available for replay as well as the video. So, be sure to check it out and get your notebooks right. Or take the notes on your iPhone or iPad, because I think it’s really important. As you are looking for those plans and to explore those things.

Misha: So, before we kind of get into some of the things to do as you’re exploring, going out on your own as an entrepreneur, you know, talk to us about Melissa, you were so brave, right? In the fact that you, launched this and started this in your late forties. Talk to us about, you know, are there options for those of our listeners that are maybe in that same age demographic, as they’re looking to launch.

Melissa: Well, it is, I think, a mental mindset when you’re thinking about leaving a company to go out on your own. It’s a different mindset because you’re not within the walls of a company any longer. You are out on your own and it’s the wild west sometimes out there. There are lots of resources, but it’s spread out.

Melissa: So, obviously one, come to indipop for healthcare and let’s talk you through it. But, mentally, some things that I kind of went through when I was launching is a little bit of doubt that I was able to do this because I didn’t know everything about launching a company. And I think that’s more of a female thing, sorry ladies.

Melissa: But, I know men that will apply for a job with only having maybe 10% of their criteria, but women will wait until they have like 90% until they submit. And I, I don’t know why it’s a feminine thing that we have to be more brave and go, I don’t need to know everything to do something. And, you can learn as you go and you can dig in and make yourself really uncomfortable.

Melissa: And, that’s what I did. I got really uncomfortable, but guess what? That’s where the most growth comes in.

Misha: Exactly.

Melissa: When you mentioned a tool, I did want to bring this up before we do wrap it up is that for anyone that is thinking about maybe leaving their company or starting something new, Indipop has created this 30 day exit strategy plan.

Melissa: You’ll get an email every day about some things to consider to be able to go out on your own. And this is something that you’re welcome to email hello@indipop.co and we’ll make sure to put you on the list so that when we launch this you’ll be able to get the 30 day exit strategy plan.

Melissa: And of course, if you’re interested in speaking about healthcare for yourself or for a small team, our sweet spot is under 10 people. You can reach directly to me at melblatt@indipop.co 

Misha: No, that’s awesome. And thank you so much for creating those tools, right. I think as those of us who have launched and become these entrepreneurs and we learn things, we say, How do we want to share that knowledge? How do we want to consolidate things and kind of make it into an easy digestible format for people?

Misha: So, thank you so much for doing that 30 day prep. I think that’s really important because and I think you would agree with me here, that there are so many entrepreneurials out there, so many ideas out there, but I’m afraid we’re not maybe seeing all of them because of this limitation. And I think, as people are aware and more knowledgeable that there are options out there for healthcare for them and their families, I hope that they can be brave and take that courageous step and say, Hey, I can still get the healthcare that my family needs and now I can share my entrepreneurial idea with the world.

Misha: So again, thank you. And thank you for creating these amazing tools. Be sure to check out, Etymology Consulting and indipop actually also did a great co-article together here

So, be sure to check that out as well. And Melissa, thank you so much for joining us and helping us and really being brave and being that innovating solutionist for us. Any last minute words for our listeners today?

Melissa: I love that word be brave. You know, I just encourage anyone that has a dream that wants to pursue it to be able to do that and to dig deep and not listen to that smack talk in your head.

Misha: Awesome, Melissa. Thank you so much. To our GSD Factor podcast, listeners, thank you so much for joining us today. And I’m so glad to introduce our “GSDer” in house today Melissa Blatt.

Misha: Appreciate your time. And don’t forget to get shit done! Bye bye now.

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