Affordable Care Act a Shot in the Arm for Startups

Whatever controversy goes with the Affordable Care Act, a number of startups are hoping to cash in by offering software tools and services that would ease the process of selecting and managing healthcare providers and insurance exchanges.

SyringeOne of them — Benefitter Insurance Solutions, a San Francisco-based startup that developed tools for employers to navigate healthcare reform – believes it’s easier to launch a company when a “tidal wave of change is occurring,” CEO Brian Poger told USA Today.

Another startup that’s angling to ride the impact of Obamacare is ZocDoc, a New York company whose free service allows consumers to find nearby doctors or dentists who accept the insurance they use. It offers such functionality as checking out their real-time availability to book an appointment.

In predicting the impact of the Affordable Care Act to the six-year-old company, ZocDoc’s co-founder Cyrus Massoumi told AllThingsD, “We’re going to have a spike.”

However, TechCrunch has noted that the troubled government-run healthcare.gov, which acts as the e-commerce site for the Affordable Care Act, is stealing the thunder of startups looking to offer similar services through better approaches. That’s not discouraging to many companies, though. For example, Will Ritchie of Massachusetts-based Fuse Insurance told TechCrunch that while healthcare.gov offers listings of healthcare plans, it doesn’t take the extra step and make recommendations. His company is aiming to do just that.

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