Cigna, Oscar Health unveil first markets for co-branded health plans

Cigna and Oscar Health have announced the first markets for their co-branded health plans aimed at small businesses.

The insurers said Tuesday that the Cigna + Oscar Health plans will launch in Atlanta, the San Francisco Bay area and across Tennessee in the fourth quarter of 2020, pending regulatory approval.

The fully-insured plans are designed to be affordable to small businesses and offer Oscar's round-the-clock virtual visits at no charge, $3 copays on many medications and dedicated care management teams alongside Cigna's broader provider network.

The two companies first announced that they would team up to offer the plans in mid-January.

RELATED: How Oscar Health is harnessing its tech-enabled DNA amid the COVID-19 crisis 

"Small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy and have been significantly challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Chelsea Cooper, senior vice president of small group business at Oscar, in a statement. "Cigna + Oscar was created with the purpose of addressing small businesses' unique challenges through solutions tailored to their budgets and care designed to prioritize their employees' health needs. Their top priority is our top priority, and right now that's recovery."

The two insurers will share risk in the plans through a reinsurance agreement and intend to expand the reach of the partnership in the future.

Cigna and Oscar also released survey data from 1,000 small businesses that shows these firms are putting greater emphasis on workers' healthcare due to COVID-19.

Almost 90% of those surveyed said that they were making healthcare a primary concern because of the pandemic.

In addition, more than half said they are considering switching to a new health insurer next year, according to the survey.

"Companies across the U.S. have long recognized that investment in the health of employees and their families is critical because they know that a healthy and productive workforce is a key driver of their business success," said Julie McCarter, vice president of product solutions at Cigna, in a statement. "Now that link has been magnified, as employers large and small view a healthy workforce as a condition of getting their businesses up and running again in a COVID-19 environment."