Louis DeStefano, head of small group business and senior vice president of growth at Oscar, said the partnership provides both payers with the opportunity to combine their respective strengths to benefit consumers.
Earlier this spring, Cigna Corp., the insurance company based in Bloomingfield, Connecticut, and Oscar Health Inc., the New York-based insurance company, announced "Cigna Administered by Oscar" to offer small group health insurance in several states.
As part of the arrangement, the two insurers have agreed to "share risk equally under a reinsurance agreement for solutions" offered through the partnership.
Currently, this project is operating in Tennessee, the Atlanta metro area, 14 counties in California, and will go live on July 1 in both Connecticut and Arizona.
In a press release, Bruce Grimm, senior vice president of segments at Cigna, said that the partnership with Oscar will provide more choices for affordable healthcare coverage to small businesses "at a time when they need it most."
Louis DeStefano, head of small group business and senior vice president of growth at Oscar, told HealthLeaders that the partnership provides both payers with the opportunity to combine their respective strengths to benefit consumers.
"It's going to be a great combination of both Cigna's provider relationships and network [with] Oscar's consumer-centric, tech-driven approach around customer service and 24/7 telemedicine care navigation," DeStefano said. "[The partnership] brings the best traits of both companies, which is somewhat unique when you see a Cigna + Oscar product in the market."
DeStefano said that Oscar's "superpower" is member engagement, which is tied to the patient experience as well as the total cost of care.
Given the pandemic's substantial impact on the economy, especially for small businesses, DeStefano said that it is important for Oscar to offer employers a differentiated product compared to other payers.
He added that Oscar's offerings, coupled with Cigna's efforts, meet the needs of employers related to price point, plan design, and customer experience.
"One thing that we're seeing are employers based in major metro areas have employees living everywhere due to the pandemic, so whether that's a permanent or temporary solution, having that national breadth of access is extremely critical," DeStefano. "Where Oscar comes is in is bringing that member experience, telemedicine care routing, and tech-driven, member-centric engagement approach for a small employer while also hitting the price point that employers need."
Looking forward, DeStefano said that Oscar is evaluating opportunities to expand the partnership's offerings to non-medical products with the hopes of approaching employers with a "more well-rounded full employee benefits package."
Jack O'Brien is the Content Team Lead and Finance Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.
Photo credit: Portland, OR, USA - Feb 28, 2021: The Oscar Health mobile app login page is seen on an iPhone. Oscar Health Insurance is an American technology-driven health insurance company. / Editorial credit: Tada Images / Shutterstock.com