Igor Lebovic is trying to define and reach the mid-level long-term care market: People who cannot afford a home care agency but want something more than an under-the-table aide who worked for a friend of a friend.
Lebovic has started Kindly Care Inc., a kind of San Francisco-based home care exchange that helps individuals who need care and their families connect directly with people who provide non-medical care for frail older adults and adults with disabilities.
In the major medical insurance market, Affordable Care Act public health insurance exchanges and many private exchanges try to act as “active managers.” Instead of simply offering all available plans, exchange managers have to actively screen issuers.
Similarly, at Kindly Care, Lebovic has taken an active approach to screening available care providers.
Kindly Care has would-be care providers go through multiple interviews along with personality testing, reference checks, driving record checks and background checks. Then the firm prepares online videos about each provider it hires.
Clients can negotiate rates with the caregivers. But the firm states on its website home page that the going rate for an experienced caregiver is about $20 per hour. The firm helps would-be judges and cabinet secretaries keep their records clear by handling payroll tax payments and reporting.
The firm aims to make money by charging a service fee of 20 percent of a caregiver’s wages.
Before starting Kindly Care, Lebovic served as a founder and marketing officer of a number of other dot.com companies, such as AirPair, a web-based company that connects programmers at small technology companies that need answers to programming questions.
He also has worked for About.com, an online consumer information company.
Here are three things Lebovic has learned since starting this company about people who need home care services.
Families with LTCI benefits may have better care options than using Kindly Care. (Photo: Thinkstock)
Most of Kindly Care’s clients pay for care with their own out-of-pocket cash. Fewer than 10 percent have private long-term care insurance.
One reason for that is that the San Francisco-area people who need home care and have insurance that provides private home care benefits usually have the resources to work with comprehensive home care agencies, Lebovic said.
Those agencies reduce the amount of work the care recipient or family must put into managing services, by having a professional care manager who can do that for them.
When clients connect with a care provider through Kindly Care, “it’s very much do-it-yourself,” Lebovic said.