Oscar enters pact with multinational insurer AXA

handshake / shaking hands
Oscar hopes its new partnership with AXA will accelerate its expansion efforts. (Image: Getty/daizuoxin)

Oscar Health, which in the past year made multiple moves to expand its reach, has announced a new partnership that it says will prepare the company for its next phase of growth.

That partnership is with the International Employee Benefits Division of AXA, a multinational insurance and asset management company. The two companies will enter into a multiyear quota-share reinsurance transaction—which typically means an insurer cedes a portion of its risks and premiums, up to a set dollar limit, to a reinsurer. 

Oscar hopes the new arrangement will accelerate its expansion efforts and “enable long-term, capital-efficient growth,” according to an announcement.

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For AXA, it’s a “natural partnership,” as both companies believe insurers should act as a partner for their clients rather than just a payer of claims, said Mattieu Rouot, senior vice president of International Employee Benefits for the company.

Indeed, Oscar’s claim to fame is its use of technology and clinical integration to help consumers both use their benefits and navigate the healthcare system.

The news of the new partnership comes after Oscar doubled its presence in the individual insurance market in 2018. It now sells policies in six states: New York, New Jersey, Texas, California, Ohio and Tennessee. 

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In Ohio, Oscar’s expansion into the state came via a partnership with the Cleveland Clinic. The insurer also joined forces with Humana to offer cobranded small-business plans in Tennessee. 

However, Oscar posted a $57.6 million loss in the first half of 2017, so the startup company is very likely not yet profitable. Hence its move to team up with AXA, which the announcement notes has a “blue-chip balance sheet.”

“As Oscar prepares for its next phase of growth and pursues its mission to use technology to deliver better care at a lower cost, we will benefit from this strategic partnership with AXA and its global scope, deep reinsurance expertise and a shared vision for the future of healthcare,” said Oscar Chief Strategy and Policy Officer Joel Klein.

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