"We're confident that when the dust settles, the market for health insurance will stabilize in time for 2018", he wrote. In addition to Texas, Oscar is filing to expand coverage in Tennessee, Ohio, New Jersey and California. The move marks the company's effort to regain customers in New Jersey and Dallas-Fort Worth where it exited a year ago amidst uncertainty in those markets.
On Wednesday, despite amassing an annual loss of more than $200 million on plans in 2016, Oscar Health announced it would expand coverage next year in Ohio, Texas, New Jersey, Tennessee and California.
And if Oscar continues to bet on the horse that got it here, that might prove lucrative in the end - at least if it works out the way most of those offering insurance on the individual exchanges hope it will. "For all of the political noise, there are simply too many lives at stake for representatives in Washington, D.C. not to do what's right for the people", Oscar CEO Mario Schlosser said in a statement posted on the company's site Wednesday. Oxford Health Plans, owned by UnitedHealthcare Co., also announced it was pulling out of New Jersey's health exchange at about the same time.
Oscar will offer coverage options for people living in north and central Jersey, comprising 14 of the state's 21 counties: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Warren and Union, the announcement said.
As politicians continue to squabble over the future of Obamacare, prompting major health insurers to pull out of markets. Medica, a small nonprofit insurer, said Monday that it would offer plans statewide in Iowa, although it is seeking rate increases that average 43 percent. Some, like Centene and Oscar are expanding into new markets. "It is our goal to be able to offer strong regional network coverage to New Jersey employers enrolled in Oscar for Business by including access to our NY network".
But Oscar's expansion won't extend to some of Ohio's potentially bare counties, in the southeastern part of the state, where Anthem's decision to withdraw from the state's Obamacare exchange next year could leave some markets with no insurer coverage. "There are some markets that are doing fine", he said, while others, particularly rural ones, could still be left without an insurer willing to offer coverage. Early plans filed by many insurers include premium increases of well over 20 percent. Oscar has struggled financially with ACA plans in the past.