Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Google parent Alphabet invests $375M in Oscar Health

Google parent invests $375M in ObamaCare startup Oscar | TheHill Google parent company invests $375 million in Oscar Health
Gustavo Carr | 16 August, 2018, 23:46

On Tuesday, the tech titan continued down the path by expanding its existing interest in six-year-old digital health startup Oscar Health, investing a cool $375 million in the firm co-founded by CEO Mario Schlosser and Josh Kushner (the brother of President Trump's son-in-law, Jared). With this investment, Alphabet will own about 10% of privately held Oscar's stake. The company, originally inspired by the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, has been branching out into more states and markets beyond Obamacare's individual insurance exchanges.

"What's interesting to note is Oscar is not just innovating insurance, they also have projects where they're building clinics, electronic health records, and claims systems", noted Jodi Hubler, a managing director with Wayzata, Minnesota-based Lemhi Ventures. This market is known as Medicare Advantage and the startup is planning launch its services in this market by 2020, according to its Chief Executive Officer, Mario Schlosser. "It's the acceleration of that product roadmap that fascinates us the most", Schlosser said.

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Oscar hopes to reduce costs for patients and improve clinical outcomes by using data in new, technologically advanced ways. One was Verily, which is the life-sciences arm of the company. "We have deep admiration for Alphabet's technology and product expertise, and are excited to welcome Salar Kamangar, a longtime Googler and former CEO of YouTube, to Oscar's Board", Schlosser said. 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.

In a Q&A with Wired, Schlosser said the infusion from Alphabet will go toward hiring more engineers, data scientists, product designers and clinicians along with the launch of new product lines like MA.