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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Tech-enabled insurance provider Oscar Health just launched its tech platform for payers and providers, called +Oscar, but the company still faces some steep hurdles.

Driving the news: +Oscar is a standalone business that expands on previous partnerships. The company is selling it to everyone from other payers looking to improve their consumer experiences to medical groups looking to jump into value-based care arrangements.

  • “We built Oscar from day one with an eye towards using our technology to power as much of the healthcare ecosystem as possible,” Meghan Joyce, who was just named head of +Oscar, told Axios.

What we're hearing: "In theory, theory, you should be able to sell that to other health plans. It should work," said Charles Rhyee, a managing director and senior research analyst at Cohen. "I think the question is: 'How quickly?'"

Yes, but: Oscar has gotten a lot of buzz for its promise to shake up the industry, but has yet to turn a profit. Its share price has seen a steep drop since its IPO last month and fell again on Tuesday.

  • Oscar gets the vast majority of its premium revenue from the Affordable Care Act's insurance exchanges. Increasing competition in those marketplaces — including United Healthcare and Aetna's plans to reenter the exchanges — will likely eat into Oscar's margins.

Go deeper

Apr 20, 2021 - Technology

Google launches new certification for U.S. health insurance advertisers

Photo: STR/AFP via Getty Images

Google is launching a new certification program for health insurance advertisers in the U.S. that will only allow government exchanges, first-party providers and licensed third-party brokers to run ads across its platform.

Why it matters: The policy is meant to curb any misinformation, confusion and fraud around health care being provided to consumers via ads.

10 mins ago - World

Biden: "Israel has a right to defend itself"

President Biden during a news conference at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Biden told reporters Wednesday it's his "expectation and hope" that there will soon be an end to fighting between Israel and Hamas, which has killed scores of Palestinians and several Israelis.

Details: Biden, after speaking with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said that he hoped the conflict would be "closing down sooner than later," despite Israel's government announcing plans to scale up its military offensive.

The states ending federal pandemic unemployment benefits early

Protesters demand senators support the continuation of unemployment benefits on July 16, 2020 in Miami Springs, Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

At least 13 Republican-led states have announced they are terminating their involvement in federal pandemic-related unemployment programs early.

Driving the news: Many of the states' governors cited worker shortages. But some experts say it's the job climate, including pandemic-era factors, and not unemployment benefits that is determining when and how people return to work.