Insurers Cigna and Oscar are partnering to sell fully insured health benefits to small businesses, sharing risk equally under a reinsurance agreement for claims.
Pending regulatory approvals, the companies will launch the Cigna + Oscar brand in select markets in 2020 and plan to expand the partnership over time.
Services are to include integrated medical, behavioral, and pharmacy services; broad access to provider networks; concierge support; and digital support including round-the-clock telemedicine services at no charge.
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Members will also receive an overview of copay details and benefits, deductible tracking, lab results and individual health history. They will have access to search tools to help them review healthcare providers, book appointments, find facilities and check prescriptions.
WHY THIS MATTERS
The small business market accounted for more than 40% of net job creation in 2018, the companies said. More than 500,000 new companies are started each month.
Through its pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts, Cigna brings pharmacy integration to the partnership. Oscar, known for offering plans in the Affordable Care Act market, has the technology platform.
THE LARGER TREND
Small group health plans serve approximately 15 million people in the United States.
Those offering comprehensive health plans give businesses a competitive advantage in hiring and attracting top talent, the companies said.
ON THE RECORD
"Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy and through this partnership, we can take a disciplined approach to offering differentiated healthcare solutions that help small businesses save money, expand network and product choice and keep employees healthy," said Julie McCarter, vice president of Product Solutions at Cigna.
"Together, we are giving small business owners an affordable, simple-to-use option that makes it easier for their employees to get appropriate care quickly and stay healthy," said Joel Klein, chief policy and strategy officer at Oscar. "Cigna + Oscar will give these business owners and their employees consumer-centric health care coverage and physician networks that provide personalized care."
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