Alphabet has invested $375 million in heath insurtech startup Oscar Health, a deal that sees the Google parent receive a 10% share in the six-year-old, New York-based company. In a statement to Healthcare Dive, Schlosser also said the money will increase involvement in the individual and small business markets and allow the MA expansion. In the Wired interview, Schlosser spoke of transmitting data in real time, advancing user engagement on an app, and using AI to process claims-perhaps leaving little wonder why Alphabet saw potential in Oscar.
The company recently announced that it has filed to offer its consumer-focused, technology-driven health insurance in nine states and 14 markets in 2019, almost doubling its current footprint. The company, originally inspired by the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, has been branching out into more states and markets beyond Obamacare's individual insurance exchanges. It plans to use Alphabet's infusion to, among other things, hire more engineers, data scientists, product designers and clinicians. According to Schlosser, everything the company does internally to manage health care for their customers has been reinvented as well as rebuilt using the latest technology. Google employee and former CEO of YouTube, Salar Kamanger, is also set to join Oscar's board.
Prior to this investment by Alphabet, Oscar had secured funding from two business divisions of Alphabet just a few months ago.
Despite the fact that those plans never really saw the light of day, Verily continues to show its support for Oscar and is clearly interested in developing further in the health insurance segment. TechCrunch reports that the $165 million round the company raised in March valued the health startup at around $3 billion. But with this third, heftier investment, "a lot around payments at the point of care ... will get much easier", Schlosser told the tech magazine Wired.