New York, NY — Next month, New York state will begin open enrollment for its health insurance marketplace. Among the most interesting players is Oscar, a new health insurance company that will take advantage of design and data to humanize and simplify the consumer experience with coverage.
Oscar was founded by three friends, each technology entrepreneurs in their own right, who teamed up to change the health insurance industry through technological interfaces, telemedicine and real transparency. Their goal is a big one: To create a user experience so intuitive and helpful that people seek out their insurer before their doctor. Essentially, Oscar will become part payer, part provider.
But, let’s start at the start: Simplifying sign up
October is open enrollment for employer plans, too. You probably remember looking at your own options last year in a series of charts and tables that added detail, but not clarity. A frustrated benefits rep probably tried to make it easier for you by using examples – none of which quite looked like your family. Oscar is using information design to change all that.
Exploring the plan that’s right for you is as easy as telling Oscar about who you are. Each of the underlined areas lets you customize the field with your own information.
The plans let you use simple right and left arrows to determine how much you feel comfortable spending now (monthly payment) vs. later (co-pays and other costs of treatment).
Each plan includes some perks designed to change the way people use healthcare.
Coverage made more transparent: Intuitive tools for members
When customers (well, future customers) login to Oscar, they’ll see their entire medical history laid out in a Facebook-like timeline. They can access claims from years ago and see new prescriptions they may need to fill.
They’ll be rewarded for telling Oscar even more. In the “10 for 10 program” members will receive $10 for answering 10 questions about their health and preferences. The answers from those questions will be used to initiate proactive interventions (like pairing up a nurse with a diabetic patient) and plan for future care and service needs.
Oscar’s data transparency initiative isn’t just about people, it’s also about their choices. The interface will allow consumers to see price differences based on location, facility and desired services. Members will even be able to use heat maps to see the comparative price of physicians and diagnostics at a range of nearby providers.
The provider layer: The changing role of the payer
Oscar wants to be the primary place patients get the medical help they need. To do that, it’s taking on physician deserts, building new infrastructure and making a big promise: see a doctor in 20 minutes.
The 20-minute promise is an effort to earn adoption of a telehealth program powered by Teledoc. Using the service, members will have access to a doctor by phone within 20 minutes of a request, with no co pay. To further cut down on treatment delays and costly in-person visits, they’re also offering a prescription renewal program that promises “one-click refills” through a health records feed that resembles a Twitter timeline.
Not all of their services are high-tech. Oscar will offer member-services at hospital and retail locations, like CVS Caremark. That pharmacy chain is even building new sites for Oscar that reach people in places with few physicians or medical alternatives. In-home nurse visits will be available for members who need that flexibility and personal touch, like new moms or people recently diagnosed with a chronic disease.
Read more about the team at Oscar.
Find from: Matt Cash
Posted by: Leigh Householder