Cigna And Oscar Announce Partnership To Offer Health Benefits For Small Businesses

Health insurance company Cigna and technology-driven Oscar Health recently announced a strategic partnership to jointly provide commercial health solutions to small businesses. The Cigna + Oscar plans will include medical, behavioral and pharmacy services with a broad network of providers. There will be access to Oscar’s technology tools as well.

Small businesses need a better approach to offering healthcare solutions. This new partnership will help businesses save money, expand networks and products to keep their employees healthy and happy.  Plan members will have access to search tools that can assist with booking appointments, learning about providers, and checking prescription drugs.  Provider portals will also streamline enrollment and care management.

The two payers anticipate to equally share under the co-branded plans via a reinsurance program.  The new plans will be launched in select markets this year and their partnership is expected to grow over time. The specific markets of where the plans will be offered won’t be announced until close to launch this year.

This is a great opportunity for small businesses to offer affordable, simple, and quick options to their employees with physician networks that provide personalized care. The insurance plans will include behavioral and pharmacy services, medical, and access to high-performing physicians as well as hospital networks.

Small businesses are a growing segment of our economy with approximately 500,000 new companies launching every month that need new health coverage for their employees.  Currently, over 15 million people are enrolled in small group insurance plans.  

Oscar Health, founded in 2012, is entering 2020 with approximately 400,000 members and 42 billion in revenue. Cigna, founded in 1792 as the first Marine insurer in America, projected 2019 adjusted revenue of $138 billion and also reported 17 million members as of September last year. Oscar is also privately holding its biggest expansion with health plans in 29 markets. Oscar started selling Medicare Advantage coverage for 2020 last year.

The partnership branded Cigna + Oscar will share risk under a reinsurance agreement that will launch in select markets – pending regulatory approval. Cigna seems to be capitalizing on tech-savvy Oscar Health’s simplified strategy to expand in the small group market. New York-based Oscar sells their brand as more consumer-friendly and take a different approach to traditional health insurance. They don’t provide dental and vision, don’t work with Medicaid beneficiaries, and have been criticized for the smaller networks provided.

Cigna currently offers group insurance to employers in over 50 states, but they weren’t among the three largest insurers back in 2018. Their partnership with Oscar stems from the probability that they can accomplish more collectively than they would on their own.

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