Insurance Upstarts

The health care industry is getting a lot of attention from venture capitalists in Silicon Valley.

The Affordable Care Act provided government loans to launch non-profit insurers known as co-ops in an effort to spur competition. In her final report for “Insurance Upstarts,” Bertha Coombs takes a look at these co-ops and whether they could end up leaving taxpayers on the hook if they falter.

Health Republic of New Jersey doesn’t have a big budget for advertising, but the upstart insurer has used its nonprofit status as a key selling point in its print ads and grassroots enrollment efforts. “We’re proud of that,” said James Martin, Health Republic executive director and CEO. “We found that that message resonates with people: …

In the second part of our series, “Insurance Upstarts,” Bertha Coombs takes a look at the challenges and opportunities facing a health insurance start-up.

When you enter Oscar Insurance’s headquarters in New York’s trendy Soho, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled into a tech start-up. Young hoodie-wearing workers confer around a standing desk in the loft-like space, there’s a pingpong table in the lobby and the office dog has its own Instagram account. But make no mistake, Oscar is a …

As the health care system changes, insurers are facing new competition. In the first of our three part series, Insurance Upstarts, we focus on a hospital that’s not only offering affordable care, but also insurance plans that cover it.