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Oscar launches virtual primary care in planned 2021 expansion

The insurer also plans to expand individual and family plans to 19 states and 47 markets, including 19 new markets.

Susan Morse, Managing Editor

Insurer Oscar announced today it will offer virtual primary care in 10 major markets in 2021, offering the product at zero cost.

Oscar Care includes access to designated virtual primary and urgent providers for members who have individual and family plans.

It includes zero-dollar, unlimited virtual visits with a team of Oscar primary care providers, Tier 1 prescriptions, durable medical equipment, labs, diagnostic imaging orders and initial specialist referrals prescribed by an Oscar primary care provider, also at no cost.

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Virtual urgent care is also available.

Both offer a coordinated care team, including a nurse and care guides.

In addition, Oscar Primary Care will bring some care directly to members in their homes, by offering $0 vitals monitoring kits and in-home lab draws, when ordered by an Oscar PCP.

The specifics of Oscar's 2021 insurance plan portfolio are still being reviewed by regulators. Details regarding pricing, network partners, and added benefits will be available closer to the open enrollment period this fall. 

Pending regulatory approval, Oscar's virtual primary will be offered in: Miami,  Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach, Florida; Houston, Dallas and Austin, Texas;   Los Angeles and Orange County, California; Denver, Colorado; and New York, New York.

WHY THIS MATTERS

COVID-19 has transformed telehealth and how Americans access healthcare services.

Oscar said it was among the first insurers to offer, at no cost, 24/7 telemedicine to members and to integrate direct scheduling with providers through its app.

Oscar sees an acceleration of the demand for virtual services. While just 11% of U.S. consumers used telemedicine in 2019, 76% are interested in using virtual care following the outbreak, the company said, citing a McKinsey report.

THE LARGER TREND

The latest expansion slated for next year marks the fourth consecutive year Oscar has enlarged its footprint.

The insurer is expanding to a total of 19 states and 47 markets next year. 

The company will offer health insurance to individuals and families in four new states and 19 new markets during the upcoming open enrollment period, pending regulatory approvals.

Individual and family plans will be offered for the first time in: Arkansas (Little Rock and Fayetteville); North Carolina (Asheville); Oklahoma (Oklahoma City); and four markets in Iowa, including Des Moines and Sioux City.

Existing state footprints are being expanded to Boulder, Colorado, three markets in Northeast Pennsylvania, multiple markets across Florida, including Jacksonville, Sarasota, and Tallahassee and across new counties in Phoenix,  San Francisco and Columbus, Ohio.

ON THE RECORD

"With the launch of Oscar Primary Care, Oscar is making even more unprecedented, cost-effective plans available," said Oscar Co-Founder and CEO Mario Schlosser. "Americans consistently cite cost, quality and convenience as their biggest struggles with the healthcare system - our new offering solves for all of them."

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
Email the writer: susan.morse@himssmedia.com