Oscar Health to launch Medicare Advantage plans in New York, Houston in 2020 

Startup insurer Oscar Health is set to launch its first Medicare Advantage plans in New York City and Houston for the 2020 plan year, it announced Wednesday. 

The NYC plan is a co-branded insurance product that will be offered in partnership with Montefiore Health System, an integrated delivery system based in the city. Oscar also offers individual and small group market plans in New York. 

Montefiore will work alongside Oscar’s concierge teams, which are groups of nurses and care navigators individualized to each plan member. The partnership also offers Montefiore the opportunity to expand its reach within the local Medicare Advantage population, the companies said in an announcement

“Oscar has built an experience that meets our members where they are, no matter their age or health history, and Montefiore, with its academic expertise, extensive physician network and longstanding success providing comprehensive care to Medicare beneficiaries has done the same,” Oscar CEO Mario Schlosser said. 

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“We are confident that our proven track record of providing health insurance with superior member experience makes us an ideal match for Medicare Advantage’s consumer-driven market," he said.

In Houston, the insurer will offer coverage with a network that includes several big-name regional providers including Houston Methodist, VillageMD and Privia Medical Group, Oscar announced

Houston was an attractive market, Oscar said, because it had already built up a notable base of members in surrounding cities including San Antonio, Austin, El Paso and Dallas. Texas has one of the insurers’ largest bases, and the connections for provider networks had already been built in the state. 

Both plans will be available during open enrollment, which begins Oct. 15, pending approval from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Additional details about the plans will be available ahead of the enrollment window. 

Oscar announced in 2018 that it intended to enter the Medicare Advantage space after receiving $375 million in funding from Google parent company Alphabet. It also expanded its Affordable Care Act exchange footprint to three additional states for 2019.