Oscar Health, a private health insurance company, is a relatively new face on the health insurance scene, but it is making quite a name for itself as an industry disruptor with its unique usage of technology to offer affordable health insurance. It was founded in 2012 in New York City by Mario Schlosser, Kevin Nazemi, and Josh Kushner. The health insurance startup has grown aggressively with several rounds of successful fundraising. Coverage is currently offered in 18 states.
- Oscar Health Insurance is a startup that uses technology to offer affordable health insurance in 18 states.
- The Oscar mobile app offers 24/7 doctor-on-call service and can also send prescriptions to your pharmacy.
- Oscar Health offers customer incentives for being active, cash rewards for getting a flu shot, two free primary care visits, and free generic drugs.
- Paying a higher premium gives you a lower deductible, but you have options, depending on your budget and health-care situation.
How Oscar Health Works
The Oscar Center was opened in November 2016 in a partnership with Mount Sinai Health System offering members access to a primary care practice as well as free classes in yoga and health-care classes for expectant mothers. There is a 24/7 doctor-on-call service included in membership and accessible within the Oscar mobile app. Patients can simply tap to request a callback from the doctor within minutes. The doctor-on-call app can also send prescriptions to your pharmacy. No referrals are required to see the doctor of your choice—including specialists. The model is based on simplicity with an emphasis on technology and the overall customer experience.
Customer care is handled by a “Care Team” of three care guides and a registered nurse who provides clinical healthcare and answer customer questions. There is direct appointment scheduling with preferred provider partners. Oscar health care preferred providers are able to access patient information through a clinical dashboard compiling patient histories into a single platform.
How Does Oscar Health Measure Up?
Oscar Health has a unique perspective in that it not only seeks to find affordable health insurance for its policyholders but it also wants to engage its customers by offering incentives for being active (using step tracking with a free wearable), cash rewards for getting a flu shot, two free primary care visits, and free generic drugs. Paying a higher premium gives you a lower deductible, but you have options, depending on your budget and health-care situation.
Oscar Insurance has not built up an extensive customer base yet, but it has struggled with customer reviews on the Better Business Bureau so far. You should always compare customer reviews for any health-insurance provider before you sign up.
The medical care for each plan is the same, but the cost varies based on your deductible options. Lower-deductible plans are offered for a higher premium. There are four tiers available for all health-care plans offered through Oscar:
- Bronze Tier: Pay 60% of medical expenses.
- Silver Tier: Pays 70% of medical expenses.
- Gold Tier: Pays 80% of medical expenses.
- Platinum Tier: Pays 80% of medical expenses and best for multiple medications.
Oscar Health also offers health plans for businesses with access to its hospital partners, Mount Sinai, Montefiore, and Catholic Health Services of Long Island. It also offers company health insurance options in partnership with Cigna. Its business health insurance plans include free doctor-on-call service, free care team service, and no referral requirement to see an in-network specialist.
The Future of Oscar Health Insurance
With Oscar Health Insurance being founded by Joshua Kushner, brother of Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, the relationship between Oscar Health Insurance and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a complex one. The goals of the ACA—offering affordable employer-sponsored public health insurance to all Americans—paved the way for getting health insurance innovators, such as digitally-driven Oscar Health, off the ground.
Despite many efforts by President Trump to dismantle the ACA, the legislation held up through the Trump administration with only minor changes. Meanwhile, Oscar has grown and expanded its partnership with many businesses. Thus far, Oscar continued to expand its availability and now reaches 18 states and 291 counties.
As of Jan. 31, 2021, Oscar states that it has 529,000 members across the U.S.
Getting a Quote
It is a fairly simple process to get a quote for healthcare coverage from Oscar Insurance. You can simply enter information about your health, prior coverage, and employment and income information online. For more information about the coverage provided by Oscar Insurance, you can call 1.855.672.2788 or visit the Oscar Insurance website.