3 strategies Oscar employs to reach and retain enrollees

Man holding sign that says "innovation"

In its ongoing effort to attract and retain enrollees, health insurance startup Oscar relies on technology and hands-on member engagement strategies, CEO Mario Schlosser writes in a blog post for America's Health Insurance Plans.

In the post, Schlosser details how the company provides personalized services for members while maintaining its for-profit model. He points out three main aspects of why the model works: smooth signup, a streamlined notification process and member engagement.

Many members, according to Schlosser, are able sign up for coverage on Oscar's website in less than 10 minutes, and are more likely to receive a better-tailored insurance plan when they sign up directly through the insurer's site.

The company also uses technology to streamline the reimbursement process. When an Oscar member checks in to an emergency room, a notification is immediately sent to the insurer. From there, an automated process begins that finds the enrollee's doctor and faxes him or her a unique, generated phone number that the doctor can call to reach the member's mobile phone. The doctor is then reimbursed for the outreach, according to the post.

And to boost consumer engagement, each Oscar member has a "concierge team" consisting of three service guides and one nurse rather than being required to contact a call center, Schlosser writes. The company also leverages technology to find out whether members were satisfied with their last interaction with Oscar and employs algorithms to flag important call notes.

Though it has gained attention for its innovations, Oscar also has lost money on its Affordable Care Act exchange plans as it, like other insurers, struggles to adapt to that market. The company also has scrapped broad network coverage--a strategy once central to its mission--in favor of a more narrow-network strategy in an effort to boost enrollment.

For more:
- read the blog post