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A Vaccination for Inflation - Marketplace Strategy Leaves Cash Payment Segment of Healthcare Market Virtually Untouched by Escalating Prices in 2022
[January 25, 2023]

A Vaccination for Inflation - Marketplace Strategy Leaves Cash Payment Segment of Healthcare Market Virtually Untouched by Escalating Prices in 2022

Sesame, which raised $27 million in Series B capital in 2022, saw unprecedented demand for its consumer health care marketplace, driving price stability for cash-pay health services versus 2021

NEW YORK, Jan. 25, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index, the average price paid by consumers within a basket of 16 consumer categories increased by eight percent in 2022, robbing consumers of valuable purchasing power and dollars.

In 2022, the average price of care on Sesame was just $37, which is 80% lower than visiting the doctor without insurance

However, in the market for cash pay health care, prices were largely flat or even slightly lower - even though broader inflation in medical care services averaged 5.2 percent for the last seven months of 2022, peaking at 6.5 percent in September. This according to Sesame, the company building a radically new healthcare system for uninsured Americans and those with high-deductible plans, which today released its annual Year In Review report.

In a year with historic inflation, soaring gas prices and seemingly no relief in sight, receiving medical care through Sesame actually became more affordable for select appointment types, such as COVID screenings. The 2022 average price of a COVID screening on Sesame was more than 10% lower than the 2021 average price ($40 vs. $45, respectively). Even more, the average price of care on Sesame was just $37, which is 80% lower than the average price of a doctor's visit without insurance1.

In the face of a mental health crisis in the U.S., mental health consult prices on Sesame stayed remarkably stable, with prices in 2022 nearly flat from their 2021 average. These pricing trends put affordable, reliable and trustworthy medical care within reach for the 27.2 million Americans without insurance – and the millions more in high-deductible health plans (HDHP). It also delivers on (and adds to) Sesame's hallmark "half-price, whol quality" health care.

In 2022 alone, Sesame saved its patients over $25 million on health care costs by allowing them to pay directly – an option previously unavailable within the confines of the third-party payment system. It stands to reason that customer repeat rate on Sesame increased nearly 30% throughout 2022, and new user volume from publishing partners tripled YoY.

Beyond Inflation, a Banner Year for Sesame
From saving patients over $25 million on medical care, to executing high-impact partnerships with the State of California and DoorDash, plus appointing top talent into leadership roles, Sesame continued to reinvent the way consumers – and their employers – access the American healthcare system, providing whole quality services at half of the customary price.

"The benefit of bringing marketplace dynamics to healthcare is that through simple economic truths such as supply, demand, variable pricing and competition, we can see prices decreasing for many manners of care on Sesame," said David Goldhill, Sesame co-founder and CEO, and the author of The Real Costs of American Health Care. "Not only does that make it more affordable for Americans to receive quality medical care, but we also are in the business of providing care because we want to provide care. Within many layers of traditional healthcare, they're betting on you not using their services, not making that appointment to see that specialist you have been meaning to call. That's not the case at Sesame – we will reward you for seeking care on Sesame, and it will actually cost you less the more you use it."

Patients could be seen within one hour on Sesame in 2022, compared to the industry average wait time of 26 days2. Sesame also achieved 95% patient satisfaction – a feat practically unheard of within the healthcare space. Further 2022 accolades for Sesame include an 80 NPS, a 4.3 Trustpilot rating and ranking #1 for overall care by Healthline for the second consecutive year.

In 2022, Sesame and DoorDash partnered to bring affordable health benefits to restaurant workers nationwide via the DoorDash Merchant Benefits program. This was particularly critical as restaurateurs struggled with retention and hiring – with 50% reporting it was a top priority for the year according to the National Restaurant Association.

New Executive Appointments to Catalyze Growth
Sesame also made important hires and promotions at the senior management level in 2022 to accelerate adoption among consumers, insurance brokers and employers:

  • Michael DiLorenzo was promoted to chief marketing officer. DiLorenzo joined Sesame as VP of marketing in 2021, and is otherwise best known for building the go-to-market strategy for alcohol delivery company Drizly, serving as CMO for the popular mobile app GasBuddy, and creating the social media marketing department at the National Hockey League
  • Suren Hiraman was hired as chief technology officer. Hiraman is an industry veteran with tech leadership experiences at Spotify, UBS and
  • Megan DiDomenico was hired as vice president of commercial growth to drive adoption of the Sesame marketplace within channel partners. DiDomenico has deep roots within the health tech space, joining Sesame from One Medical and previously Maven Clinic

Sesame data is based on aggregated data on the Sesame platform between January 1, 2022 - December 28, 2022.
1According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the average cost of a primary care cash-pay visit without insurance was $186.
2Study was conducted by Merritt Hawkins, and it polled more than 1,000 commonly used specialty physician offices in 15 major U.S. cities.

Sesame is building a radically new healthcare system for uninsured Americans and those with high-deductible plans. The company's marketplace replaces historically inefficient, expensive healthcare with a direct connection – either virtually or in-person – between patients and physicians. This direct connection enables Sesame to offer doctor visits, labs, imaging and prescription drugs at half the price. Founders include a Harvard PhD in health policy and economics; a former Goldman Sachs analyst; and entertainment executive and healthcare reformer David Goldhill, author of the legendary cover story in The Atlantic, "How American Health Care Killed My Father." Sesame has raised $75 million so far from investors that include GV, Virgin Group and General Catalyst. The company was ranked #1 by Healthline for overall care in 2021 and 2022. For more information, please visit

Liz Murphy
[email protected]

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