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Best Global Brands: Oscar Health

"Oscar evolved out of the realization that health insurance is way too complicated [...] So our co-founders came together to develop the kind of health insurance we all want for our families and ourselves."

Veronica Parker-Hahn, Vice President of Marketing, Oscar

As a disrupter, if not the disrupter of the traditional insurance sector, how-in less than one year-have you changed the conversation to effectively connect with consumers? What was the key insight that jump-started the creation of Oscar?

Oscar evolved out of the realization that health insurance is way too complicated. To date, there’s been so little transparency between insurers and their members. Most people struggle with understanding the details of their plans, the lingo, how much things cost, etc. So our co-founders came together to develop the kind of health insurance we all want for our families and ourselves. Oscar uses technology to simplify the healthcare experience. We also combine that technology with high-touch customer service to deliver the access and care our members deserve.

From a marketing perspective, we see Oscar as a consumer product rather than a service you are mandated to buy. That is a major differentiator in this category. To date, insurance company customers were big corporations. Now, the individual is the consumer. So we created a brand personality that’s friendly, human, approachable, and focused on the individual. Hopefully, consumers see us as a breath of fresh air. It’s backed up by our high-touch customer service and simplicity-delivering technology.

How exactly is Oscar using technology-and leveraging data-to make insurance “simple, intuitive, and human”?

Technology enables us to give our members access to the information they need to make informed decisions. That includes access to providers, options for care, and even location-based services.

What is the median age of Oscar’s consumer? How does that impact Oscar’s user-experience design?

Our average age is 39, but Oscar has an appeal for everyone. We keep our member experiences clean, simple, and easy to navigate. Every tool we provide is intended to be self-explanatory and intuitive, and our conversational tone is straightforward and friendly.

Oscar frequently makes use of the word you in its messaging. How else are you making the brand experience, as well as services and product offers, more personal and customizable? Can you name a few key examples you’re particularly excited about?

We deliver personalized experiences every step of the way. We assign each customer to a Healthcare Guide who communicates with them throughout the entire shopping and sign-up process. Once someone signs up, they receive a beautifully packaged welcome kit customized for them. We want our members to feel like they’re receiving a gift from Oscar.

Over time, we’ve launched several innovations to make the member experience better. This includes giving members faster access to what they need. Our mobile app helps members find care while they’re on the go. On the member website we launched “Get Help,” where members can ask questions and have one of our customer service representatives get back to them the same day. We also help members find care in their area through the use of our care router.

Was launching on the heels of the Affordable Care Act [ACA] key to your marketing strategy? How would you sum up your brand proposition and offer for the newly insured? And do you have plans to expand beyond New York?

When Oscar first launched, we were one of the insurers available through the New York State of Health Benefit Exchange. So much of our marketing effort coincided with the launch of the exchange and the corresponding open enrollment period. It was helpful for us to build off of the momentum of all the conversation around the ACA. As far as our proposition, we communicate to consumers that we’re doing something different in the health insurance industry. We promote our use of technology as well as our goal to treat our members like human beings. Our key communication pillars focus on the promise that we simplify healthcare, we understand our customers’ needs, and that having Oscar is like having a doctor in the family.

About Veronica Parker-Hahn

Veronica has years of experience addressing marketing and communications challenges for a diverse range of iconic brands. After graduating from Haverford College with a BA in Anthropology, Veronica landed an account management position at FCB, an advertising agency in New York. While there, she worked on several Kraft and Nabisco brands. She then moved on to BBDO where she managed marketing and advertising initiatives for M&M’s Candies, DirecTV and Pepsi. At Droga5, Veronica oversaw the development and international launch of WindMade, a renewable energy initiative and nonprofit organization. Veronica also led the launch of various award-winning campaigns for State Farm Insurance. As the Vice President of Marketing at Oscar, Veronica is responsible for marketing strategy, branding and community outreach.

Contributors

Senior Marketing Manager, InterbrandHealth