couple holding each other s hands while holding a wine glasses
Photo by Marcus Aurelius on

“Several major U.S. health insurers, including Humana Inc., CVS Health Corp.’s Aetna and Molina Healthcare Inc., are declining to renew contracts with the eldercare startup Papa for the upcoming year, according to people familiar with the matter, after a Bloomberg Businessweek report detailed extensive allegations of abuse from seniors who rely on the service, and its workers,” Priya Anand writes over at Bloomberg. “The … startup is losing some of the deals that make up its primary form of business. Papa relies on contracts with health insurers, including Medicare Advantage, Medicaid and employer-sponsored plans. Insurers that partner with Papa offer its service to their plans’ members, typically for a certain numbers of free hours per year. Members of those health plans, often elderly clients, can then request help with household chores, transportation or just company from the startup’s network of independent contractors. The people who described the insurers’ decisions asked not to be identified because the information is private. A spokeswoman for Papa declined to comment on specific contracts but said the company has gained new clients since May. She also said one-third of Papa’s clients have ‘expanded services,’ and that the company is still ‘actively selling 2024 programs.’ Papa announced partnerships with Aetna and Humana in 2019. The insurers had previously described the startup’s service as a way to help reduce loneliness among the elderly. Spokesmen for Aetna and Humana declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Molina did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In May, a Businessweek investigation based on more than 1,200 confidential complaint reports received by Papa detailed the unintended consequences of sending contractors to the homes of the elderly with little training: allegations of sexual assault, harassment, theft and unsafe conditions.” Priya Anand, “Eldercare startup Papa loses contracts with major health insurers,” Bloomberg/Yahoo.

Jeanne Pinder  is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded...