If you thought Silicon Valley was only producing start-up companies in the tech industry, think again. With the Affordable Care Act fast approaching, you may want to acquaint yourself with Oscar, a new name that may prove to be a game-changer in the insurance industry. Founded by three technology entrepreneurs, Josh Kushner, Kevin Nazemi and Mario Scholosser, Oscar is going to take a new approach to providing health insurance, hopefully to transform the industry in its entirety.
Oscar plans to gear its approach to healthcare reform through three main veins: technological interfaces, telemedicine, and genuine transparency. While it’s currently discouraged to self-diagnose by consulting ‘Dr. Google,’ imagine the capabilities of having access to clinical healthcare via a digital medium. The utilization of telemedicine technology can bring medical services to rural communities that are difficult to physically reach, and as a result are often inadequately served.
Currently, we look at health insurance companies as being difficult to understand, and often a roadblock in our quest to obtain the medical care to which we’re entitled, but through this healthcare reform, Oscar seeks to give our perception of the health insurance industry a head-to-toe makeover—“We want consumers to feel like they have a doctor in the family,” one of the co-founders explains. As our blog has currently explained, the ACA will be broken into four tiered categories, and Oscar plans to have at least one plan in each, with multiple at the Bronze and Silver level. In addition to the standards with which we’re familiar in the health care industry, such as co-pays and deductibles, Oscar plans to initiate new features, such as free generic drugs, free telemedicine, and the ability to compare prices online.
With a heavy focus on user experience, Oscar hopes to set a new standard during healthcare reform that isn’t restricted to simply covering medical costs, but providing patients with ‘round-the-clock medical assistance at their fingertips. The website interface at HiOscar.com is designed with the hopes that once patients encounter it, they will be drawn back to it, and it would become a part of their day-to-day routine. Ultimately, Oscar wants health insurance to be prevalent in every facet of healthcare, not just as a necessity in getting bills paid; the website plans to host a health records feed similar to the Twitter timeline that will allow for “one-click refills” on users’ prescriptions.
At Insurance Quote Online, we’ll be keeping an eye on Oscar and its development to report back on more of the changes we may see in the insurance industry.