Oscar’s losses a microcosm of ACA concerns

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Oscar's multimillion-dollar losses over the past two years are representative of the ongoing struggle insurers face in the individual marketplace, according to the New York Times.

The company—which hopes to transform the health insurance industry—lost more than $92 million in the New York state exchange last year, and nearly $13 million in New Jersey. Oscar is seeking premium increases as high as 30 percent in 2017 to account for higher-than-expected medical costs.

The insurer’s financial struggles are representative of the profitability concerns that many insurers have expressed regarding Affordable Care Act marketplace plans. But the volatility of the market has hit Oscar harder than others, since it operates exclusively in the individual marketplace and cannot balance losses with other revenue streams.

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Mario Schlosser, Oscar’s chief executive, told the Times that the mounting losses were “not a sustainable position,” and noted that like others, the insurer has been burned by an aggressive market. Still, he said the company expected it would take time for the individual marketplaces to mature and indicated that Oscar remains committed to its focus on technology and member engagement

Despite a rocky first three years, many insurers have also indicated they see promise in the individual marketplace and plan to continue offering plans there despite UnitedHealth's exit.

For more:
- here’s the New York Times article

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