Oscar Health reported a quarterly loss of nearly $198 million as the company invests more to grow its health insurance businesses that include Obamacare.
Oscar, which already issued 2022 guidance less than a month ago forecasting record growth and $6 billion in revenue for 2022, on Thursday said health plan membership was up by about 50% to 598,169 at the end of 2021 compared to 402,000 in 2020. The bulk of Oscar’s membership is individual and small group coverage.
Oscar, known for providing individual coverage known as Obamacare under the Affordable Care Act, on Thursday reported a loss of $197.7 million in the fourth quarter of last year compared to a loss of $189.9 million in the year-ago period.
Oscar’s fourth quarter revenue more than doubled to $496 million compared to $158 million in the fourth quarter of last year on the growth in health plan members and premium revenue. But Oscar’s total expenses also more than doubled to $692 million in the fourth quarter from $344 million in the fourth quarter of 2020.
The losses were largely expected given investments the company has made to expand its operations. The company still, however, attracts investors and partners.
In recent years, Oscar has expanded into more than 20 states to sell individual coverage while expanding into certain markets to sell Medicare Advantage plans to seniors.
Oscar also has a partnership with Cigna to sell coverage to small businesses that expanded for this year. That business had 16,506 health plan members as of the end of 2021, its first year of operation.
Oscar has said the company’s insurance business is targeting 2023 for profitability and the company’s top executive reiterated that Thursday afternoon. “As we meaningfully increase scale in the business, we maintain a disciplined focus on efficiency and we believe we remain well positioned on our path to profitability for our insurance business in 2023,” Oscar chief executive and co-founder Mario Schlosser said in a statement accompanying the earnings report.