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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 28 mins ago - Health

GOP Rep. Clay Higgins says he has COVID for second time

Rep. Clay Higgins during a 2019 House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) Sunday evening that he and his wife have contracted COVID-19 for a second time and "this episode is far more challenging."

Driving the news: "Becca and I had COVID before, early on, in January 2020, before the world really knew what it was," he wrote in a Facebook post, confirming his son also has the coronavirus — which he described as a "biological attack weaponized virus."

Updated 2 hours ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

📺: The Olympic events to watch today; Olympics opening ceremony ratings plunge

🏊: Athlete spotlight — Katie Ledecky adds to Games career medals haul; Caeleb Dressel leads Team USA to gold.

🏀: U.S. Men's basketball suffers first Olympic loss since 2004

🤖: The robot Olympics

🚨: Heat wave brings scorching temperatures to Tokyo Olympics

🎤: Meet the new faces of NBC's Olympics coverage

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage