Innovative health insurance company, Oscar Health, moves to Tempe
Oscar Health has been disrupting the healthcare industry since 2012. Now, it’s going to do so under the Arizona sun.
The innovative health insurance company was founded by former Microsoft employee Kevin Nazemi, venture capitalist Josh Kushner, and serial entrepreneur Mario Schlosser. The Harvard alum had three goals for Oscar: to make healthcare simple, smart, and friendly. Their app—which guides members to the appropriate professionals based on location, price, and experience—is sleek, and their customer service is virtually unmatched. They even reward “fit” members by providing them with rebates for every step goal met through the app. As crazy as it sounds, Oscar almost makes healthcare fun.
But the company has outgrown its New York facility, so it’s expanding to Tempe. Why? “The Phoenix area has a convergence of experienced customer service and health care workers,” co-founder Mario Schlosser told Phoenix Business Journal in an interview. “We are a disruptive health care insurer, and the new office will give us a presence in the west.” Schlosser also said they were seeking an attractive location with a large and sophisticated workforce, which would provide the company with plenty of potential employees when they expand in the fall.
Interestingly, Oscar doesn’t offer coverage in Arizona just yet—their services only extend to specific areas in New York, California, New Jersey, and Texas. However, their new presence in Arizona will likely bring coverage to the desert soon, along with approximately 200 jobs. New Oscar employees will work out of an old electronics factory called The Circuit, which was recently converted into an ultra-modern office space. For Oscar’s co-founders, The Circuit was an obvious choice. “We want to open in July, and The Circuit was a space with good access to transportation in the area we wanted to locate,” Schlosser said. “We could get into this office and open very quickly.”
Unlike many health insurers, Oscar isn’t planning on building a basic call center or cubicle city. Oscar prides themselves on operating holistically, and in an effort to provide members with top-notch service, each member is assigned a four-person team of Oscar employees: three customer service representatives and one licensed registered nurse. This innovative approach helps to build “personal connection and trust” between members and employees—part of the “simple, smart, and friendly” equation.
As Schlosser puts it, Oscar’s new employees won’t just be picking up phone calls and answering questions. They’ll be piecing together the ultimate customer service experience and helping to care for members directly, which requires a level of professionalism unmatched by any other geographical workforce. The Phoenix Metropolitan Area is also known for its low turnover rates—which means a higher level of consistency in the eyes of future members.
With its number of high-tech hospitals and medical schools, Metro Phoenix makes a perfect home for a company seeking to transform the health insurance industry. We can only hope Oscar will inspire other healthcare innovators to do the same.