During his tenure at Plated, Hix recalled a health plan contacting the company regarding its members, many of whom were living with chronic disease, and how they were “getting healthier by eating with [Plated).”
“They were getting their blood sugar under control or other kinds of clinically measurable outcomes,” he explained, adding that this sparked the business model years later after Plated was sold to Alberstons in 2017.
In collaboration with Season Health co-founder and CTO, Mustafa Shabib who brings expertise in health tech, the company sells primarily to health plans and serves members with diabetes, kidney disease, high risk pregnancies and other diet-led chronic diseases such as heart failure and hypertension.
The company works with Medicare, Medicaid and commercial health plans and intends to be “partnered with all of the health plans that exist,” Hix detailed.
According to the CDC, 26.4 million or 8.0% of Americans across generations did not have health insurance in 2022 during the first three months of the year, compared to a slight improvement in 2023 with 25.3 million or 7% of Americans in the same period. CDC also reported that in the first three months of 2023, nearly two thirds of people under 65 were covered by private health insurance and more than a quarter were covered by public health insurance.
[Editor's note: Interested in learning more about equitable access to nutrition? Join FoodNavigator-USA at our Futureproofing the Food System virtual summit this November we will host discussions surrounding the evolving definition of healthy and the pathway to more nutritious foods and accessible programs. We will also explore other food tech, the food as medicine movement and the circular economy. Check out the agenda and register HERE.]
'this is a distinction from a health and wellness platform'
Along with recipe and meal options, Season Health also provides support from registered dietitians. Hix explained doctors often have limited medical nutrition training and often refer patients to a dietitian, who will also have a limited time with patients. “That’s the gist, sadly…but insurance only pays for the eight-minute visit and there is no good way [for patients] to know food…the whole system is not set up well, so that is what we are solving,” he added.
“So our heritage and where we still focus today is in serving and treating those living with chronic illness. So this is a distinction from a health and wellness platform,” Hix explained.
Hix added that Season Health allows for dietitians to “spend as much time as they’d like with that patient,” to help build out recipes based on patients’ needs, as the company’s business model is driven by selling health outcomes to health plans.
“We are in valued-based arrangements with plans so they are not limited. If it makes sense to spend more time with the patient, they can do that,” he added.
When dietitians prescribe personalized meal solutions for patients, Season Health works with Instacart, Walmart, Daily Harvest and a “growing number of grocery and prepared meal companies that take all the thinking out of it.”
Of the prescribed recommendations, Hix added, “Here’s a bunch of options, all of which are safe for your health, and should appeal to everyone in your household that you are buying food for. We are also going to help you use the health plan benefits that you already have and make this food cheaper—and your dietitians visits are covered.”
Hix intends for Season Health to simplify the healthcare process. Users can visit the Season Health website to learn if the program is covered by their insurance by entering in their insurance information.
“It’s a long road but everyone increasingly expects their healthcare to function the same way that our iPhones do. It should be simple. It’s not everywhere yet but that’s part of what we are doing for this space,” he emphasized.
[*Editor's Note: this article has been edited on 9/26]