Health Insurance Startup Targets Young, Tech-Minded Customers
A new health insurance company, which launched in October 2013, could save tech-savvy New Yorkers a lot of money on insurance coverage.
Oscar Health Insurance pools the resources of high-profile technology veterans from companies like Instagram, Microsoft and Tumblr to create a streamlined health insurance plan that minimizes costs and offers a vastly superior customer experience.
Oscar Health Insurance: A More Human Experience
Oscar Health Insurance CEO Josh Kushner was inspired to start the company when he was unable to decipher a bill from his health insurance provider. His solution was to make health insurance “simple, intuitive, and human,” with a web and mobile accessible service and easy-to-navigate interface.
Kushner told The Washington Post that Oscar would not be possible without Obamacare.
“Youâ€™d have to break into a market thatâ€™s been pretty â€˜oligopolizedâ€™ with big insurers catering to brokers, agency houses and big employers,” said Kushner. “But now we have a direct connection to the consumer.”
Health Insurance for the Tech Savvy
Oscarâ€™s health plan uses telecommunications to cut costs. According to Forbes, Oscar Health Insurance uses TeleDoc, a telemedicine company, to give patients unprecedented 24/7 access to doctors, minimizing visits to the emergency room.
Patients can log on to the insurerâ€™s website at HiOscar.com, enter their symptoms and then speak to a doctor by phone within 20 minutes of making a request. If patients need to see a doctor, the website offers a list of locations where they may seek face-to-face treatment.
By minimizing health insurance costs, Oscar can offer its customers many generic drugs free of charge, along with several free office visits yearly.
While an enterprising idea, Oscar Health Insurance remains small. Its customer base is localized in New York City, appealing to younger customers who are healthier than older patients and may feel more comfortable with navigating the web for health insurance coverage.
Photo credit: Maria Elena