Insurance Technology Featured Article

Oscar Gives Millenials the Healthcare They Want

July 17, 2014

The “young invincibles” of the millennial generation may finally be courted by the healthcare industry, thanks in part to the health insurance provider Oscar.

For years, 18 to 29 year olds have skipped out on health insurance, sighting the high premium costs coupled with a belief that they simply don’t need it. Even with considerable efforts nationally to create affordable healthcare, uninsured young adults could spend up to five times less than those enrolled in the Affordable Care Act plans, according to NerdWallet. Christina LaMontagne, health VP at NerdWallet, told CNBC, that “many young, healthy adults will skip insurance in 2014, as their expected health needs won’t justify insurance.”

Oscar claims to solve this problem by adjusting healthcare to 21st century needs. Following a FICO global study that stated 80 percent of smartphone users wanted to interact with doctors on their mobile devices, Oscar is offering members unlimited access to doctors over the phone.

Oscar is a fairly new provider, only founded in October 2013, and now, their 16,000 enrollees can skip the hassle and paperwork of a doctor’s visit for a simple ailment. Insurance quotes, nearby hospitals, participating doctors, and complete lists of medications will now all be available at user’s fingertips and at their convenience.

“It combines features similar to WebMD and Google (News - Alert) Maps, where members can simply search for doctors in their area, as well as their symptoms, in colloquial language,” Oscar co-founder Mario Schlosser told Tech Page One. “Oscar’s technology has simplified the sign-up process so potential members can get an estimated quote immediately.”

Oscar is also offering a fixed amount of free primary care visits as needed and generic drugs, directly appealing to relatively healthy millennials, who have historically skipped healthcare because they believe the cost is too pricy for their needs.

 Oscar is creating packages specifically for young, single persons with no kids, earning around or under $50,000 annually. Packages are also being created for a 20-year-old’s health needs, with disaster-type insurance for enrollers who don’t normally seek medical attention.

For now, Oscar is only available to residents of New York City, but a successful launch of these new programs could prompt a launch nationwide. 




Edited by Adam Brandt

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