Oscar Health, Inc. Announces Launch of Initial Public Offering

Oscar Health, Inc. (“Oscar”) today announced the launch of its initial public offering of 31,000,000 shares of its Class A common stock.

Oscar Health, Inc. (“Oscar”) is the first health insurance company built around a full stack technology platform and a relentless focus on serving its members. Read More: Oscar.com

The C-suite weighs in: Survey finds agreement that 2020 spurred innovation

Health care leaders believe that in 2020, the industry made strides in care delivery innovation, but the tumultuous events of last year revealed other areas that need attention, a new survey has found.

The report is from Optum, the pharmacy and data analytics arm of UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest health insurance company. Optum’s report focuses on insights from top health care executives, interviewing 161 officials from health plans, provider groups, and the life sciences. The report noted that 60 percent of respondents came from the C-suite, the rest were vice presidents or senior vice presidents of companies. Read More: BenefitsPro

IRS Provides Cafeteria Plan Relief for the Pandemic

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress enacted temporary special rules for health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) and dependent care assistance programs under Sec. 125 cafeteria plans.

The changes enacted in the CCA allow flexibility for carryovers of unused amounts from the 2020 and 2021 plan years; extend the permissible grace period for plan years ending in 2020 and 2021; provide a special rule regarding post-termination reimbursements from health FSAs; provide a special carryover rule for dependent care assistance programs when a dependent ages out during the pandemic; and allow certain midyear election changes for health FSAs and dependent care assistance programs for plan years ending in 2021. Read More: Journal of Accountancy

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Collaboration Receives Innovations Award for Rollout of Payer Platform

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinoisexternal link (BCBSIL), along with healthcare software giant Epic and NorthShore University HealthSystemexternal link (NorthShore), is receiving the Innovations Award at the 45th annual Chicago Health Executives Forumexternal link (CHEF) annual meeting held virtually on February 18th.

The CHEF Innovations Award recognizes the accomplishments of a health care team which has inspired leadership, change and advancement in the Chicago area health care community. Read More: BCBSIL

Senate Democrats Unveil Health Care Proposal with Public Option

Two Democratic senators released their version of a public option health care plan Wednesday, setting the stage for this year’s debate over how best to expand coverage to the millions of people who are uninsured.

The proposal from Sens. Michael Bennet (Colo.) and Tim Kaine (Va.) would create a government-run health care plan on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges to compete with plans offered by private insurers with the hope of driving down costs. Read More: The Hill

Oscar Health Files for IPO, but Says it Needs Brokers to Grow

Managers of Oscar Health Inc. have tried to take an innovative approach to designing and marketing health insurance — and they’re telling potential investors that one key to their success will be to attract insurance brokers.

The New York-based company last week filed a registration statement that could lead to the company selling shares of the company’s stock to the public, through an initial public offering of common stock, or IPO. Read More: BenefitsPro

Humana Teams with IBM to Offer Watson AI Assistant for Employer Plan Members

Humana is joining forces with IBM to deploy its Watson technology to assist members in better understanding their health benefits.

The insurer will offer the Watson Assistant for Health Benefits to its 1.3 million employer medical plan members and 1.8 million employer dental plan members, the company announced Wednesday.

The tool harnesses a conversational artificial intelligence that can help members track their benefits and coverage, claims, provider referrals and cost information through a rapid chat interface, according to the announcement. Read More: FierceHealthCare

Another Acquisition or Another Nail in the Coffin of the BH Carve-Out?

When the health plan Centene began 2021 by announcing its acquisition of Magellan Health, the behavioral healthcare industry seemed largely indifferent. Few seemed moved by assurances from Magellan’s CEO that the new company is committed to “reimagining behavioral health.” Emotions may have been spent from the similar acquisition of Beacon Health by Anthem in 2020.

Reactions may be subdued because few expect behavioral healthcare to be changed much by these acquisitions. This type of consolidation has been anticipated for many years. Some may view these mergers as more hopeful signs of the integration of behavioral and physical healthcare. Yet it may well reflect the integration of business interests more than the advancement of any clinical model. Read More: Behavioral Healthcare Executive

Astrata, UPMC’s Nnewest Spinoff, Puts NLP to Work for Quality Improvement

UPMC Enterprises announced this week the launch of Astrata, the newest company incubated in UPMC Enterprises, the Pittsburgh health system’s innovation and commercialization wing.

WHY IT MATTERS
Astrata uses advanced analytics and artificial intelligence – natural language processing, especially – to help health insurers to more efficiently analyze unstructured clinical notes. Read More: HealthCareITNews

Sidecar Health Raises $125M to Scale ‘Cash Price’ Insurance Model

Sidecar Health has raised $125 million in financing that boosts the health insurance technology company’s valuation to $1 billion.

The Los Angeles-based startup said with the latest funding, it has raised more than $175 million since its founding in 2018.

The company said it will use the Series C funding to expand its geographic footprint, grow its staff and invest in new insurance products that build on its success in the uninsured market. Read More: BizJournals