Clover Health co-founder to step down from his post

One of the co-founders of Medicare Advantage startup Clover Health is stepping down from his role as chief technology officer.

Kris Gale, who started Clover in 2014 alongside Vivek Garipalli, will now serve as an adviser for the company, a Clover Health spokesman confirmed. In a statement emailed to FierceHealthcare, Garipalli said Gale helped the insurer "build a foundation from which we can realize the true potential of this business."

"His vision for our technology platform is well underway, and is managed by an experienced and growing team," Garipalli said. "For that reason, he felt this was an opportune time to shift from a full-time role into an advisory role, and to focus on other areas of his life." 

Clover’s business model is centered on using predictive analytics to improve and coordinate care for Medicare Advantage enrollees—particularly those that are high-risk and most in need of intervention. It has plenty of company in that effort, as major insurers are investing heavily in MA as competition in the sector heats up. UnitedHealthcare, for example, recently debuted a health navigator program for MA members in which it plans to incorporate data from wearable devices and other digital therapeutics.

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The news of Clover’s leadership shakeup comes as the insurer, which currently sells plans in New Jersey, is set to start servicing customers in Georgia, Texas and Pennsylvania next month after selling plans in those states during the annual election period.

In May, the company raised $130 million from Greenoaks Capital and other investors—including GV, the venture capital arm of Google parent company Alphabet. With that capital infusion, the San Francisco-based insurer was valued at $1.2 billion, making it a “unicorn” in Silicon Valley’s terms.

Despite its funding success, though, Clover has had its struggles. It was fined by the federal government last year because of issues with how it marketed plans to potential members, and it lost $34.6 million in 2016.

Editor's note: This article has been updated throughout, including the addition of a statement from Vivek Garipalli.