Oscar Health will debut a new product called Circle Plus for small businesses in 2019 that adds three major providers to its network—Northwell Health, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Westmed Medical Group.
In 2017, Oscar took the bold step of ditching MagnaCare and building its own narrower network. The insurer cut in half the number of doctors it covered and centered its hospital coverage around Montefiore Health System, Mount Sinai Health System and the Long Island Health Network. Those health systems will still be included in the Circle Plus product.
"Unlike individuals who can shop for the insurance plan that work best for them, employees must rely on their employers to make this choice for them," Nick Reber, Oscar's senior vice president for network, wrote in a blog post that will be published online today. "This puts significant pressure on employers to look for plans with a more extensive network of doctors."
The state Department of Financial Services said in August Oscar had 0.8% market share statewide in the small-group market, where UnitedHealthcare's Oxford insures more than half of all members. The insurer only sells plans in New York City, Long Island, Westchester and Rockland counties. Oscar's small-business plans will be among the cheapest at all tiers next year, according to premium data from DFS.
Oscar CEO Mario Schlosser said in an interview last month that the insurer's tool to help members find a doctor has led to 10% lower costs and 11% higher member satisfaction in those visits. Adding to its network should help attract clients, he said.
"In the employer market, we have still big growth potential," Schlosser said. "We want to give people choice in what they can buy."
This story originally appeared in Crain's New York Business.