Deals

Health insurer Oscar nabs $30M to bring practical tech to patients

One only has to look a few months back to the disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov to get a glimpse at the historically tenuous relationship between health insurance and technology.

But Oscar, a new health insurer, aims to buck the trend.

Cofounded by venture capitalist Joshua Kushner, Oscar just closed a $30 million funding round, according to the New York Times.

A key part of Oscar’s marketing pitch is that technology will make it easier to connect with health care providers. The insurer’s site features an online search function that directs patients toward appropriate doctors after they type in their symptoms using natural language. Patients can also screen doctors to make sure they’re in the network prior to booking an appointment.

There are some low-tech perks, too: Oscar guarantees that a physician will return patient phone calls within 25 minutes — and it provides a handful of calls for free. It also offers free generic drugs and a number of free primary care appointments.

Since opening its doors in October, the company has racked up thousands of customers and tens of millions in revenue, according to Kushner.

“Our ethos and mission is to create a good consumer experience,” Kushner told the Times. “We wanted to create an experience like having a doctor in the family.”

Headquartered in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood, Oscar currently serves New York City and a few other New York counties, but the insurer has national aspirations. For now, its services are only available through New York State’s health insurance exchange.

The new funding round was led by the Founders Fund, the Times reports. Thrive Capital (Kushner’s firm), Khosla Ventures, and General Catalyst Partners also participated in the financing, which values the insurer at about $340 million.

Oscar has now raised more than $75 million since its founding last July. The company is shooting for profitability in three years.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
0 comments