Oscar Health, which pulled out of New Jersey’s individual health insurance market for 2017, intends to be back in 2018, it announced.(Editor’s note: This report was updated at 11:10 a.m. with additional information from Oscar Health.)
Oscar Health, which pulled out of New Jersey’s individual health insurance market for 2017, intends to be back in 2018, it announced.
The New York-based company said on its website that it has filed to enter — or re-enter — five states for 2018: New Jersey, California, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas. It is also filing to continue serving New York, it added.
Oscar, which had slightly more than 21,000 covered lives in New Jersey in the first quarter of 2016, announced in August of last year that it would be sitting out this year in the Garden State.
“We were privileged to serve individual Oscar members in New Jersey for two years in 2015 and 2016, and said last summer that we always hoped to return,” Oscar said in a post written by co-founder and CEO Mario Schlosser. “Today, we have filed for approval to form a new New Jersey insurance company, through which we hope to offer New Jerseyans located in 14 counties a competitive, quality product in 2018 for both Oscar for Business, our employer plans, and our individual products on and off the exchanges.
“It is our goal to be able to offer strong regional network coverage to New Jersey employers enrolled in Oscar for Business by including access to our New York network.”
According to an Oscar spokesperson, the 14 counties are:
“We feel confident that we can offer seamless, guided health insurance plans for both small businesses and individuals in this area,” Schlosser said in a statement emailed to NJBIZ. “Our new Oscar for Business plans would be an especially attractive product for New Jersey businesses and include regional coverage with our optimized New York network.”
In the web post, Schlosser explained that Oscar believes “the market for health insurance will stabilize in time for 2018”; hence, the timing of the expansion.
When Oscar announced it was leaving New Jersey, Schlosser had cited uncertainty as one of the causes, however.
“There are uncertainties in those two markets (including Dallas-Fort Worth) that will make it challenging for us to operate effectively and continue to deliver access to quality health care to all of our members across the country,” he said at the time. “We hope to return to these markets as we carry on with our mission to change health care in the U.S.”
In 2016, Oscar’s market share was about 8.4 percent of Affordable Care Act plans in the state, according to the Department of Banking and Insurance.