Latest Issue of AIS’s Health Plan Week Features Exclusive Interview with Health Insurer Startup CEO

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The Oct. 7, 2013, issue of Atlantic Information Services’s Health Plan Week features an interview with Mario Schlosser, co-CEO of venture-capital-backed startup Oscar Health Insurance, and also examines the factors barring more new carriers from joining the health care industry.

Taking advantage of reforms ushered in by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health insurer startups dot the landscape on public exchanges across the country, some with venture capital backing, others without. Eyeing a bigger share of the market by gaining previously uninsured lives in public exchanges, these new entrants and smaller players envision the public marketplaces as a leaping-off point for off-exchange business as well. The Oct. 7, 2013, issue of Atlantic Information Services’s Health Plan Week features an interview with Mario Schlosser, co-CEO of venture-capital-backed startup Oscar Health Insurance.

New York offers the example of two new carriers. There, the state-run public exchange will include not only Oscar but also a plan launched by North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System. Cathy Murphy-Barron, principal and consulting actuary for Milliman, Inc., tells HPW that the duo demonstrates the two potential categories for startups. Oscar, she says, is born out of an idea to offer consumers new technology-driven features and services and comes with venture capital backing, while North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System is exploring the insurer side of the business. Providers “realize in the future that changes in the ACA will put more and more of their revenue at risk,” and the hospital system wants to take advantage of payer-side opportunities.

Schlosser says the original intent of Oscar was to help fix the user interface of the health insurance system, but grew to include offering a completely new insurance option built not only on technology, but on easier-to-understand shopping tools, free unlimited telemedicine options with a doctor 24/7 and access to providers on a condition-by-condition basis.

“Very early on we realized the tremendous undertaking it is to build a health insurance company…so we teamed up with a number of very experienced executives from the health insurance world: the former chief actuary of Emblem [Health], the former chief medical officer of Emblem, executives from MVP [Health Care],” Schlosser.

Oscar is selling individual plans in the five New York City counties, along with Rockland, Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties, all on the public exchange. “You can see not just our rates but every other health plan in New York state,” Schlosser says. “Consumers can go in and type in all options. In the nine counties [where they are active] we are some of the two or three lowest-cost options in terms of rates,” he adds.

Visit to read the article in its entirety, including analysis of some of the factors preventing more new carriers from joining the industry.

About Health Plan Week
Published since 1991, the 8-page weekly newsletter Health Plan Week provides timely, objective business, financial and regulatory news of the health insurance industry. Coverage includes new benefit designs and underwriting practices, new products and marketing strategies, mergers and alliances, financial performance and results, Medicare and Medicaid opportunities, disease management, and the flood of reform-driven regulatory initiatives including medical loss ratios, exchanges, ACOs and myriad benefit design changes that are mandated. Visit for more information.

About Atlantic Information Services
Atlantic Information Services, Inc. (AIS) is a publishing and information company that has been serving the health care industry for more than 25 years. It develops highly targeted news, data and strategic information for managers in hospitals, health plans, medical group practices, pharmaceutical companies and other health care organizations. AIS products include print and electronic newsletters, websites, looseleafs, books, strategic reports, databases, webinars and conferences. Learn more at

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Jill Brown, Executive Editor
Atlantic Information Services
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