Oscar Health, the $US2.7 billion health-insurance startup, is going to start offering health insurance plans alongside the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio for the first time.
Oscar was co-founded by Josh Kushner, whose brother Jared is one of President Donald Trump’s senior advisers. The health insurer originally focused on offering insurance through the Obamacare exchanges. The new plans with the Cleveland Clinic, a 96-year-old academic medical center, will also be offered on the exchanges.
This is the first time the Cleveland Clinic will be offering a health insurance plan under its name.
Here’s what it will look like: If you live in northeast Ohio and want to buy one of the Oscar-Cleveland Clinic plans, you sign up through Oscar’s website as you might if you were in one of the other areas where Oscar operates (today, that’s New York, California, and Texas). You’ll use Oscar’s apps and concierge services, but your clinical team will be healthcare professionals from the Cleveland Clinic at its hospitals and medical centres.
“This relationship goes beyond the traditional approach of getting sick and seeing the doctor,” Cleveland Clinic chief of staff Brian Donley said in a news release. “Instead, it’s about getting people the right care, at the right place, at the right time. It’s about avoiding an unnecessary trip to the doctor or a stay in the hospital, whenever possible, through better patient education, better access to care, better care coordination, better behaviours and, ultimately, better health.”
The move comes at a time when there’s a lot of uncertainty about the future of healthcare in the US. In May, the House passed the GOP’s Obamacare replacement bill, and Senate Republicans are quietly crafting their own bill. If either one becomes law, it could drastically upend the individual exchanges that are Oscar’s bread and butter.
Oscar’s chief technology officer Alan Warren told Business Insider that the company has seen things stabilise. And, if a new law replaces the Affordable Care Act, Warren said it won’t change anything about the co-branded Cleveland Clinic health plans.
For now, the plans are just for individuals, but Warren said the hope is to expand into the small group market as well.
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