Unicorns 63/229 – Oscar Health

Unicorns 63/229 – Oscar Health


Founders: Mario Schlosser, Kevin Nazemi, Josh Kushner
Key people: Mario Schlosser (CEO), Alan Warren (CTO & Sr VP-Engineering), Dave Henderson (Pres-Insurance), Veronica Parker-Hahn (VP-Mktg), Edward Segel (VP-Product)
Number of employees: ~500

Oscar Health Insurance is a technology-focused health insurance company founded in 2012 and headquartered in New York City.


The company was founded in 2012 by Mario Schlosser, Kevin Nazemi, and Josh Kushner, who were classmates at Harvard Business School. Oscar was named after Kushner’s great-grandfather. Kushner was inspired to start the company after receiving an explanation of benefits from his health insurer that he was unable to understand.

Oscar began insuring members in New York in 2014 and had around 16,000 members. In 2015, it expanded coverage to New Jersey and grew to about 40,000 members. In 2016, Oscar had 145,000 members in New York, New Jersey, California, and Texas.

On August 23, 2016, Oscar emailed their customers living in New Jersey to inform them that they would be exiting the New Jersey marketplace at the end of 2016. In 2015, the company lost $92.4 million, and was reported to be struggling and reducing its footprint.

Current operations

Oscar sells individual health insurance plans, both directly and through health insurance marketplaces, in New York, Texas and California. In 2017, they have 90,000 members.

In 2017, they are also offering small-group insurance in New York with plans to offer in California later in the year.

Oscar expanded its operations to Tempe, Arizona in 2016, where it decided to locate its Concierge teams, their name for their member services model.