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Alphabet invests $375 million in health insurance start-up Oscar

Alphabet invests $375 million in health insurance start-up Oscar
Oscar co-founders Josh Kushner, left, and Mario Schlosser. (Bruce Gilbert)

Alphabet Inc. is putting $375 million into health insurance start-up Oscar Health, the latest healthcare investment from Google’s parent company.

Oscar — which has been selling health plans under the Affordable Care Act since 2013 — plans to use the funds to help fuel its entrance into the lucrative market for privately administered health insurance plans for seniors, known as Medicare Advantage, in 2020, Chief Executive Mario Schlosser said in a statement. Salar Kamangar, the former CEO of YouTube, will join Oscar’s board, the company said.

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Before the latest investment, Oscar had raised almost $900 million, garnering a $3.2-billion valuation. Other Alphabet units including life-sciences arm Verily had previously invested in Oscar, whose co-founders include Schlosser and Josh Kushner, the brother of Jared Kushner, a top advisor to President Trump.

The magazine Wired reported on the investment earlier Tuesday. In the Wired article, Schlosser said that the investment is financial and that the companies don’t have any immediate plans to collaborate more closely.

New York-based Oscar has about 240,000 members this year, including in California, and plans to expand into several markets in 2019.

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