Oscar Health looks to raise $1B in IPO


Insurance startup Oscar Health plans to raise up to $1.05 billion in its planned IPO, according to paperwork filed on Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company set a price range of $32 to $34 per share for its stock, which would value the company at up to $6.7 billion.

Oscar plans to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “OSCR.” The New York-based insurer got its start nine years ago offering individual market plans, and has since expanded into small group plans and Medicare Advantage — though individual plans still make up the bulk of its business.

It is one of a maturing crop of startups using technology to make health insurance easier for patients to navigate, but it’s still much smaller than established insurers like Centene, which has a significant ACA marketplace presence. With 529,000 members as of January, Oscar had racked up a $1.4 billion deficit.

Taking a closer look at Oscar’s financials, the company’s business relies heavily on passing on risk through quota reinsurance agreements Oscar has struck with Axa France Vie and Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company. Last year, the company ceded 77% of its premiums to these two organizations, though it ended its contract with Berkshire Hathaway at the end of 2020.

Here are some other interesting tidbits from the company’s prospectus:

  • Oscar plans to go public as a controlled company, with 76% of its voting power held by Joshua Kushner and his venture capital firm, Thrive Capital. Kushner, who is also Donald Trump’s son-in-law, co-founded and invested in Oscar. This also means the company wouldn’t be required to have an independent board or compensation committee.
  • After Google Ventures poured $375 million into Oscar, Alphabet Holdings now owns more than 5% of the company’s stock.
  • Like other insurers, Oscar saw its medical loss ratio fall as patients deferred or cancelled care as a result of the pandemic. The company’s MLR decreased from 87.6% in 2019 to 84.7% in 2020, meaning it will owe members roughly $5.7 million in rebates from the past year. Looking four years back, the decrease is more dramatic: Oscar had an MLR of 96.8% in 2017.

Photo credit: jxfzsy, Getty Images

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