Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hotdoggin' it with Oscar

Almost three years ago, Bob wrote about the travails of a New York-based health insurance start-up called Oscar. The fledgling carrier's "hook" was to be an emphasis on telemedicine and consumerism.

Bob was understandably skeptical, noting that "if it delivers anywhere close to the promise, Oscar should run for public office."

So, how's the campaign going?

"Oscar has attracted 135,000 customers ... But for every dollar of premium Oscar collects in New York, the company is losing 15 cents. It lost $92 million in the state last year and another $39 million in the first three months of 2016"


On the bright side, Oscar's CEO 'gets' it:

That’s not a sustainable position

No kidding there, Mario.

So what seems to be the problem, not just with Oscar but others, such as InHealth? It's simple economics, really:

"[I]nsurers put prices on their plans that have turned out to be too low to make a profit."

No kidding. And, of course, there's increasing pressure on state departments of insurance to rein in double digit rate increases. Anyone who owned a car and needed to buy gas in the early 70's knows exactly how this'll turn out.
blog comments powered by Disqus