Network of Dentists Vetted by Dentists.
That is how Aforacare presents itself. To a consumer, the proposition is like Insurance; it is a fixed monthly fee. The Basic Plan costs $25 per month and includes two standard cleanings, an annual exam and X-rays. The Premium Plan for $45 per month includes four standard cleanings, an annual exam and X-rays, $1,000 voucher towards comprehensive orthodontics and unlimited $150vouchers towards whitening treatments.
If you want more, you buy more at clearly listed prices.
The revolutionary thing about Aforacare is that they cut out the Insurance Company.
This is a P2P Cooperative Network. The network is owned by the providers. Imagine that for Doctors. Imagine how a self insured Company would view this – taking care of teeth is a good preventative for health problems, so a self insured Company sees the economic benefits of prevention.
This is a big wide open market. As per Aforacare;
“Nearly 50% of adults living in the U.S. don’t have dental insurance”.
Cooperative sounds old-fashioned, so lets call it a P2P Network
In the past, mutually owned businesses were normal. They were networks before the Internet. Now imagine a network owned by doctors or taxi drivers but enabled by the Internet.. Why does Uber take 25%? Because they did it first. Aforacare is the Uber of Dentists but an Uber where the providers own the network.
That is revolutionary, even if the tech looks trivial. If you looked at early Facebook, Uber or any other network effects business, the tech also looks trivial.
Aforacare is classic disintermediation – cutting out the Insurance company. That should worry all Insurance companies – whether Incumbent or Upstart.
Digital Cooperatives and Blockchain
Blockchain enthusiasts like to talk about alternatives to sharing economy services such as Uber and AirBnB with lower transaction costs. I buy the idea – the appeal to the provider side is obvious – but many attempts such as Maaxi have failed. For a great explanation of the idealistic appeal of digital cooperatives to get back to the original sharing economy ideals (which became the on demand Gig Economy) read this post by Chelsea Rustrum:
Beating a consumer brand with entrenched network effects is really tough – ask any Facebook alternative.
What I like about Aforacare is that it is a digital cooperative in a Blue Ocean market without an entrenched competitor.