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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.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

State Department orders evacuation of U.S. diplomats' families from Ukraine

From left, Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Chargés d'Affaires in Ukraine Kristina Kvien during a meeting with Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv. Photo: Yevhen Liubimov/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The State Department will begin evacuating families and non-essential staff from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv this week, according to a travel advisory published Sunday evening.

Why it matters: The move underscores U.S. fears that a Russian invasion could destabilize Ukraine and threaten embassy's ability to assist Americans.

Perfect storm brewing for extreme politicians

Data: Axios research; Table: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Redistricting and a flood of departing incumbents are paving the way for more extreme candidates in this year's midterm elections.

Driving the news: At least 19 House districts in 12 states are primed to attract such candidates — hard partisans running in strongly partisan districts — according to an Axios analysis of districts as measured by the Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index (PVI).