Health insurance, as many of us know, is one of this country’s top concerns. From doctor shortages to unaffordable policies to a lack of transparency in said policies, the health insurance industry is in need of some assistance. Oscar Health Insurance is looking to be that helping hand, focusing on simplicity and transparency.
Co-founded by Josh Kushner in 2013, Oscar Health Insurance is a provider looking to simplify the process of health insurance in the U.S. through the means of technology. By being more consumer friendly than traditional providers and offering a patient’s information in an easy to access format, Oscar seeks to flip the healthcare industry on its head. Oscar’s own website claims that patients can use their mobile application in order to speak directly to a doctor, asking questions about illnesses and health care tips, for free, an almost unheard of practice in the healthcare industry. Oscar has taken a much more personal approach to reaching its younger, tech-dependent audience, through the use of bright, simplistic and cartoon style aesthetics, and large advertisements littered throughout the New York subway system.
The company has done fairly well for itself, with Founders Fund, Horizon Ventures, Wellington Management Company and Goldman Sachs raising $145 million in new capital, bringing the company’s value to $1.5 billion. According to a report from Fortune, Oscar is one of the largest health insurance startups in the industry today, with over 40,000 members under the company’s policies. It currently serves individuals throughout the states of New York, New Jersey, Texas and California.
What is even more impressive is the grand opening of Oscar’s Brooklyn healthcare facility. The Brooklyn facility is the company’s first brick and mortar clinic. The company’s sleek and “hipster” aesthetic can definitely be seen in the facility, with a bar-like waiting area filled with receptionists typing away on laptops offering free juice, water and granola bars.
While the company’s focus on aesthetic and modern style may worry some as to whether or not they are taking healthcare seriously, the clinic does contain five exam rooms and three “consult” rooms. These rooms are all designed to have a “non-clinical feel,” according to Dr. Harry Ritter, Oscar’s VP of Care Delivery. On its first day open, all available appointments filled up almost immediately, showing a huge interest in the company. This is a great sign for a company that is changing the healthcare industry as we know it.
Oscar’s large valuation, immense client base, and interest in simplicity, customer friendliness and transparency are huge assets for the startup. If Oscar continues on its current path, it can definitely give other traditional insurance providers a run for their money.