Health insurer Cigna and Oscar Health will launch commercial health insurance plans for small businesses in several U.S. markets.
Oscar, perhaps best known for selling individual coverage known as Obamacare under the Affordable Care Act, has been working to expand its offerings in an increasing number of U.S. individual and small group markets. Cigna, which owns the pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts, has a big business administering coverage for large self-insured employers and is also working to package an array of medical, pharmacy and behavioral health benefits for employers large and small.
In the partnership with Cigna, the two companies plan to “share risk equally under a reinsurance agreement” to sell fully insured plans to the small group market under the “Cigna + Oscar brand.” Once cleared by regulators, the companies said they will “launch in select markets in 2020 and plan to expand the partnership over time.”
Among the health benefits offered will be “integrated medical, behavioral and pharmacy services,” which is a key strategy of Cigna and one Oscar will be pushing as well with its technology platform. The combination will also allow for “broad access to high-performing networks of doctors and hospitals,” the companies said.
“Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy and through this partnership, we can take a disciplined approach to offering differentiated health care solutions that help small businesses save money, expand network and product choice and keep employees healthy,” Cigna vice president of product solutions Julie McCarter said.
The companies see a potential market of more than 500,000 new companies launching every month that are in need of health coverage for their workers. They say small group plans already serve 15 million people in the U.S.