Medsi, a rapidly expanding “fintech meets healthtech” marketplace, aims to bridge the Latin American gap in access to affordable care via first-of-its-kind offering debuting on the Mexico market
Mexico City and Miami – With only a tiny fraction of Mexicans having health insurance or access to the necessary credit or savings, a medical emergency can be catastrophic, as evidenced by the recent COVID-19 pandemic that hit Mexico harder than the rest of North America. It’s why Medsi chose Mexico as its “ground zero.”
Today, Medsi – a “fintech meets healthtech” marketplace that makes healthcare services, information, and pricing more accessible to everyone – announced it has raised a USD $10 million debt-financing round from CAPEM Mexico, an SME lender that seeks to positively impact and transform the economic development of Mexico. The fresh capital will super-charge the onboarding of tens of thousands of potentially long-term customers of the Medsi marketplace.
Founded in January 2022, Medsi launched its first healthcare financing offering – a revolving line of credit that can be used by the whole family for essential or elective health services and procedures – in September 2022. Once approved via an intuitive three-minute application process, users can simply schedule disbursements and Medsi pays the private doctor or clinic directly upon fulfillment via a QR code using the Medsi Credit app, available via Google Play or the App Store, on their smartphones.
Medsi ‘savings-to-credit’ solution
In January, Medsi expanded its potential customer base by launching a new “savings-to-credit” solution that lets its users put money down towards a medical procedure, and then receive a Medsi line of credit for 10x the value of their down payment once they have successfully banked four bi-weekly installments. The new offering is designed for the more than 55 percent of Mexicans who belong to the informal sector, or are new to credit, and making strides towards true financial inclusion.
“There’s massive pent-up demand to be unlocked in Mexico, and we’ve generated even higher-than-expected demand in just five months since operating commercially,” said Manuel Villalvazo, Medsi CEO and co-founder, a TMT and Healthcare M&A specialist who formerly led the Mexican investment banking franchises for three of the world’s most well-respected global banks. “With the availability of our savings-to-credit finance solution, a much broader set of customers can now gain access to the treatments and procedures they want, via a different type of ‘health-assurance’ coverage that they completely own and control.”
Mexico has the second-highest out-of-pocket (OOP) healthcare spend worldwide, with a whopping 45 percent of OOP costs being covered directly by patients, making the country an outlier even within Latin America. Today, only 49 percent of the Mexican population has access to some form of healthcare coverage, and only five percent have access to private insurance. The inadequacy of public sector care drives people to increasingly access private services, fueling a growing need for OOP healthcare spend.
This problem is compounded by the lack of financial inclusion. The World Bank estimates only about 11 percent of Mexicans have access to a credit card to help with medical emergencies, essential or elective care. Given the prevalence of the informal sector in the economy, which some estimates peg at over 60 percent, financial inclusion in Mexico stands at only 36.9 percent of the population – which is more than 20 bps (basis points) below other countries with comparable levels of GDP per capita, per the Center for Global Development.
Importantly, in addition to providing a pathway to essential care, Medsi provides users with the ability to cover “skip-the-line” procedures, which are not prioritized by the public-healthcare system, and elective procedures, typically not covered by health insurance in Mexico. Medical specialties covered by Medsi include maternity & OBGYN (one of most popular specialties amongst its patients), orthopedics, ophthalmology, dentistry, dermatology, and aesthetic or cosmetic procedures.
“Mexicans have a deep distrust of traditional financial institutions that don’t work for everyday people – and that includes insurance companies that have been prone to not paying for necessary care when customers need it,” said Jose “Pepe” Cabrera, Medsi COO and co-founder who has extensive experience in private equity and investment banking.
Another pitfall Mexicans face is a lack of information on which providers to engage with in Mexico. Private healthcare is fragmented, the quality is unpredictable, and the total potential cost of a procedure is not transparent from the outset. To overcome these and other challenges, Medsi’s 24/7 Medical Concierge™ services support patients throughout their entire healthcare journey by providing expert advice and hand-holding customers to ensure they get quality care.
“We began with a core focus on financing solutions, but quickly learned that there are numerous obstacles and structural issues that hinder access to necessary healthcare services in Mexico,” said Pablo Munoz de Cote, Medsi Executive Chairman and co-founder who has been a serial entrepreneur and investor based in Mexico. “Our bigger vision that we’re executing against this year is to establish Medsi as the first super app that is a healthcare marketplace and community hub to connect and improve transparency between patients and doctors, automate processes, and remove inefficiencies by combining technology with a human touch.”
Medsi, headquartered in Mexico City with a U.S. presence in Miami, Florida, is committed to making healthcare services accessible and affordable to everyone through a combination of technology and human touch. With its online healthcare marketplace accessible online and via its mobile app, Medsi aims to solve the connectivity between patients and doctors, remove inefficiencies and information barriers, and provide loans and savings-to-credit solutions for healthcare services and aesthetic procedures that let patients spread out the cost of medical treatments over time.
Peter Page is the Contributions Editor at Grit Daily. Formerly at Entrepreneur.com, he began his journalism career as a newspaper reporter long before print journalism had even heard of the internet, much less realized it would demolish the industry. The years he worked a police reporter are a big influence on his world view to this day. Page has some degree of expertise in environmental policy, the energy economy, ecosystem dynamics, the anthropology of urban gangs, the workings of civil and criminal courts, politics, the machinations of government, and the art of crystallizing thought in writing.