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Heavy losses persist for health insurer Oscar

An advertisement for Oscar health insurance in a New York subway.
Oscar is still losing a lot of money. Photo: Oscar

A trail of red ink continues to stain Oscar Health Insurance. The startup lost $127 million on $229 million of revenue in 2017, according to newly filed financial documents. That equates to a somewhat higher net loss margin compared with Oscar's $205 million loss on $426 million of revenue in 2016.

Why it matters: Oscar, co-founded by Jared Kushner's brother, Josh, has raised more than $725 million in venture funding. But the company is still a small fish in the health insurance ocean, has failed to price its premiums correctly, and has struggled with bloated costs year after year.

The details: Oscar's revenue fell in 2017 because it pulled out of New Jersey and narrowed its networks of hospitals and doctors. But Oscar still sold Affordable Care Act health plans in New York, Texas and California.

Here's what we know about Oscar, based on the latest documents:

  • Oscar had about 82,000 members. Nearly all bought individual ACA plans, though Oscar is expanding more into employer coverage this year.
  • The company's medical loss ratio, which shows how much of its premiums were spent on medical care, was at or well above 94% in each of the three states in 2017. That's not good.
  • Administrative costs alone — the costs of processing medical claims, salaries, advertising and technology — are still eating up more than half of Oscar's revenue.
  • Oscar did not immediately comment.

Flashback: Oscar CEO Mario Schlosser at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference this past January: "Our business model is working."

Mike Pompeo’s first foreign trip

Mike Pompeo
CIA Director Mike Pompeo testifies on worldwide threats. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

If he is confirmed as Secretary of State tomorrow, Mike Pompeo will embark on his first foreign trip as secretary to Brussels for the NATO Summit, Axios has learned. Bloomberg first reported the contingency planning for the potential trip.

The details: “The acting secretary John Sullivan is ready to go to the NATO summit in Brussels Thursday,” a senior administration official told Axios. “The secretary-designate Mike Pompeo is prepared to travel to the meeting of foreign ministers to reaffirm our commitment to NATO and coordinate the alliance’s response to Russian aggression.”

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the latest developments.

Haley Britzky 15 hours ago
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Cohen is pleading the Fifth in Stormy Daniels case

Michael Cohen walking next to photographers.
Michael Cohen. Photo: Yana Paskova/Getty Images

Michael Cohen is excersising his Fifth Amendment rights regarding his role in the payoff of former porn star Stormy Daniels, according to court papers he filed on Wednesday, CNN reports.

What they're saying: Cohen wrote in the filing that "[b]ased upon the advice of counsel, I will assert my 5th amendment rights in connection with all proceedings in this case due to the ongoing criminal investigation by the FBI and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York." Trump has previously said, "If you're innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?"