Published: Thu, August 16, 2018
Medical | By

Alphabet Makes a $375 Million Bet on Obamacare Startup Oscar

Alphabet Makes a $375 Million Bet on Obamacare Startup Oscar

Google's parent company, Alphabet, has invested $375 million in Oscar Health to help the tech-focused payer enter into Medicare Advantage markets by 2020, according to multiple news outlets, including Reuters.

Oscar has been selling health plans under the Affordable Care Act since 2013. With this latest jolt of cash, CEO Schlosser says Oscar will be able to expand into more cities and even elbow its way into the lucrative (and massive) Medicare Advantage segment for seniors. "It's the acceleration of that product roadmap that fascinates us the most", Schlosser said. In conjunction with the deal, Salar Kamangar is joining Oscar's board. The company has made its intentions clear through projects such as life sciences upstart Verily, its anti-aging unit Calico, and a collaboration with Johnson & Johnson to create a new breed of robot surgeons, among others.

"We can hire more engineers, we can hire more data scientists, more product designers, more smart clinicians who can think about health care a different way", Oscar co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mario Schlosser told Wired.

The company recently announced that it has filed to offer its consumer-focused, technology-driven health insurance in nine states and 14 markets in 2019, almost doubling its current footprint.

The second business division of Alphabet to invest in Oscar was Capital G, the company's venture capital arm. The conglomerate announced Tuesday it is investing a whopping $375 million (around £295 million) into the insurer following an initial $165 million (around £130 million) investment earlier this year. The company is using a mixture of technology, partnerships with insurance providers as well as member experiences to make health insurance easier to understand for its customers, while also giving the doctors associated with this program more flexible models for payment.

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