Cleveland Clinic and New York City-based Oscar Health's co-branded insurance product secured what they estimate to be a 15% share of the individual market in the 2018 open enrollment season, exceeding the partners' expectations.
The more than 11,000 members who enrolled in the new "Cleveland Clinic | Oscar" health plan, which was offered both on and off the Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges, for 2018 was 30% to 40% greater than expected, said Kevin Sears, executive director of Cleveland Clinic Market & Network Services.
"I think a big part of it is just how easy and simple Oscar is to understand and to use," Sears said. "I think the second part of it is the Cleveland Clinic brand. I think that people, particularly in Northeast Ohio, recognize that brand as a high-quality care brand and are excited to have access to the Cleveland Clinic network."
The partners' early success is significant for several reasons. For one, it marks the Clinic's first heavy play in the insurance business after years of flirting with the idea. In recent years, provider-sponsored plans have struggled and few have reached profitability, but the Clinic sharing the risk 50/50 — a notable arrangement in of itself — with Oscar should help blunt some of that risk. It's also a seismic shift in the individual insurance landscape locally given that the Clinic is no longer part of the network for Medical Mutual of Ohio's exchange offering. Nationally, the individual insurance market on the so-called Obamacare exchanges has been incredibly volatile with some major insurers — Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, namely — pulling out altogether.