End-of-life planning platforms, part 2: Wellthy and Lantern

End-of-life planning platforms provide customers with a centralized hub to manage and learn about end-of-life plans, obtain guidance for managing the death of a loved one and receive emotional support for coping with death. These platforms offer resources such as post-loss checklists, memorial resources, articles on various topics related to end-of-life, end-of-life wishes, live concierge services, community forums and ways to share end-of-life plans with chosen loved ones. They also connect customers with third-party vendors that serve specific aspects of end-of-life planning. These platforms are increasingly popular as an add-on to life insurance policies and other financial products.

Caregiving platforms help customers manage and learn about care needs through all phases of life, including end-of-life planning, as well as obtain guidance and emotional support. Like end-of-life planning platforms, caregiving platforms offer care management capabilities, planning and education resources, and the ability to share plans with loved ones. Both types of platforms can include personalized guidance from a live representative. They are also increasingly popular as an additional benefit for life insurance, healthcare plans, employee benefits packages and other financial products.

For this piece, CI Insights sat down with Mike Jones, Head of Communications at Wellthy, to ask him about the Wellthy platform and its recent acquisition of Lantern, an end-of-life planning platform. Wellthy was founded in 2014 by Lindsay Jurist-Rosner and Kevin Roche. Lantern was founded in 2018 by Liz Eddy Scully and Alyssa Ruderman Hager.

Wellthy

The Wellthy online platform delivers an experience that not only contains a host of capabilities and resources for managing caregiving but also stands out for including a live concierge service as a core component of its offering. Beyond the services that Wellthy provides, Head of Communications, Mike Jones, envisions a larger purpose for the platform, telling CI that “Wellthy sees its mission as breaking off the shame, stigma and lack of attention on caregiving and get it to be a concept that everybody is comfortable talking about and embracing because we’re all going to have to do it.”

As a platform centered on caregiving throughout all important stages of life, Wellthy goes beyond end-of-life planning resources. The user experience typically begins by creating a Care Project either for themselves or for someone else. After creating a Care Project, the user can take advantage of a wide range of resources, including the following:

  • Creating, managing and receiving support for caregiving tasks, with suggested tasks that include, legal, financial, housing, medical and in-home care, social/emotional support, COVID-19 support and end-of-life/loss
  • Planning important caregiving appointments and events via an interactive calendar
  • Managing documents, important contact and a categorized medications list
  • Inviting family and friends into the Care Circle and sharing task details
A screenshot from Wellthy's projects interface tasks tab
Wellthy Projects Interface – Tasks Tab

In addition to these online resources, Wellthy also offers a personal concierge service for premium customers. The first time a premium Wellthy customer enters their online account, they are paired with a Care Coordinator.

These care coordinators provide personalized guidance on health diagnoses, special needs, aging, childcare, mental health, veteran support and financial hardship throughout the life of the premium membership. Helping users navigate employer- and government-provided benefits, finding and scheduling appointments with doctors, as well as identifying other types of support resources are just some of the tasks that Wellthy’s Care Coordinators can execute.

Wellthy prides itself on the personalized support they can offer through their team of care coordinators, who connect users with all types of resources. While part of the Wellthy caregivers’ mission is to help families navigate the resources they currently have, caregivers are also tasked with helping families seek out resources from third-parties, such as funeral homes, will creation services and more.

“They really see themselves as a team of folks who are there to help families navigate care support that spans all phases of life,” says Jones, “and whatever solutions need to exist in order for a family to navigate that care, they’re willing to embrace them, whether it’s a resource that Wellthy has a deep relationship with or not.”

Wellthy Care Coordinators not only takes advantage of outside resources to support customers, they are also beginning to leverage AI tools to make them more efficient. Jones was delighted to share some of Wellthy’s recent AI-based initiatives with CI, declaring: “We’re super bullish on the potential of AI to radically impact caregivers in a good way, but we’re also very clear that AI is never going to replace the human connection that lies at the heart of caregiving. Where we see it as having massive amounts of potential is in augmenting the work of our care team so that more rote tasks can be taken over by AI and the care team can spend their full attention on more resource-intensive and complex tasks.”

One such advancement in AI applications that Jones highlighted was Wellthy’s new sentiment analysis tool, which reads the tone of a customer’s message to determine how the Care Team should initially respond and with what level of urgency.

This screenshot shows Wellthy's public homepage
Wellthy Public Homepage

Lantern

Wellthy’s service broadly encompasses all phases of life, making end-of-life planning just one part of its overall offering. In 2023, bolstering its end-of-life planning capabilities was one of the firm’s key focuses and bringing Lantern under its umbrella marked Wellthy’s first acquisition since its inception in 2014.

Mike Jones sees the purpose behind Wellthy’s acquisition of Lantern not solely as a shrewd financial move or as an effort to quickly capture market share in the burgeoning end-of-life planning space, but as a true value-add to the existing Wellthy platform. He praises Lantern’s “…depth of expertise and depth of content that is incredibly valuable [to Wellthy] not just financially, but also valuable from a learning and informational standpoint.”

The Lantern platform includes an extensive article library and planning resources.

This screenshot shows Lantern's article library
Lantern Article Library Page

With the free plan, customers can create a will and bucket list, make funeral plans, and leave written reflections and mementos for family members. In addition to those resources, premium customers can manage financials, health care directives, memorial services and digital presence of the deceased while also receiving one-on-one support from a live representative.

This screenshot shows step one of Lantern's funeral service planning process
Lantern Funeral Service Planning Process – Step One

Currently, five firms in the Corporate Insight Life Insurance Monitor coverage group—including two insurtechs and three traditional insurers—offer its policyowners full access to an end-of-life planning platform. These platforms are also increasingly available on healthcare plans, employee benefits packages and other financial service products. Learn more about our research services for life insurance here.