Topics
More on Operations

Cigna and Oscar launching health plan to appeal to small businesses struggling through COVID-19

Over half of small business decision-makers say they may change their insurance plans going into 2021, according to a survey by the companies.

Mallory Hackett, Associate Editor

Insurers Cigna and Oscar are moving forward with their partnership announced in January to provide affordable, customized health plans to small businesses.

The Cigna + Oscar health plans will be available in Atlanta, the San Francisco Bay Area and in cities across Tennessee by the end of the year, pending regulatory approvals.

WHAT'S THE IMPACT?

More than 50% of small business owners and executives are considering or are unsure about changing their health insurer heading into 2021, according to a survey of over 1,000 small business decision-makers conducted by the companies. Sixty-six percent consider health insurance a higher priority in their budgets since the COVID-19 pandemic.

They placed wellness benefits and health insurance as more important than flexible or remote-work options, financial planning resources like a 401(k), dental and vision insurance, and paid time off.

Small businesses have been significantly hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, with 70% experiencing a decline in their revenue. Fifty-two percent have laid off or furloughed employees.

As small businesses begin to reopen, 66% of decision-makers report that providing health insurance to their employees is a higher priority in their budgets. Eighty-eight percent said that access to affordable solutions that support employee health and well-being – physical and mental – will be more important going forward. 

Plan benefits include free 24/7 virtual doctor-visits, $3 drug co-pays, member support services, access to Cigna Behavioral Health's specialized coaching programs and 24/7 crisis helpline, and admittance to multiple Cigna networks of physicians, specialists and hospitals.

THE LARGER TREND

The two companies announced earlier this year that they would be teaming up to offer affordable health insurance to small businesses.

The two companies will share risk equally under a reinsurance agreement, and plan to expand the partnership over time.

Earlier this week, Highmark and HealthNow New York teamed up to drive better health outcomes, manage costs, improve affordability and boost engagement for customers and clinicians across their network. 

HIMSS20 Digital

Learn on-demand, earn credit, find products and solutions. Get Started >>

ON THE RECORD 

"Small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy and have been significantly challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Chelsea Cooper, senior vice president of small group business at Oscar. "Cigna + Oscar was created with the purpose of addressing small businesses' unique challenges through solutions tailored to their budgets and care designed to prioritize their employees' health needs. Their top priority is our top priority, and right now that's recovery."

Twitter: @HackettMallory
Email the writer: mhackett@himss.org