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Health insurer Oscar pulling out of some ObamaCare markets

Health insurer Oscar pulling out of some ObamaCare markets
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Health insurance startup Oscar is pulling out of two ObamaCare markets next year, saying like large insurers that the company is having trouble making money.

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Oscar has been closely watched as a tech-savvy competitor that sought to make health insurance more consumer-friendly. It announced Tuesday that it is pulling out of the ObamaCare markets in Dallas-Fort Worth and New Jersey next year. 

The company said it is proud of its products and added, “As an insurer active in the individual market, however, we face the same challenging market dynamics as do other companies— some larger, some smaller.”

Oscar CEO Mario Schlosser pointed to some of the same issues that larger insurers have pointed to in a string of recent announcements of companies pulling out of ObamaCare markets. 

“The individual market isn’t working as intended, and there are weaknesses in the way it’s been set up,” Schlosser told Bloomberg News. “We want to focus on the markets we understand well, we want to focus on the markets where we have our own model in place.”

Schlosser told Bloomberg that problems with ObamaCare programs meant to stabilize the market have been an issue. He also said that the company is focusing on limited networks of doctors and hospitals as a way to keep costs down. 

Oscar will remain in the ObamaCare markets in New York; San Antonio; Los Angeles; and Orange County, Calif., and it is expanding into San Francisco. 

The company said that it will also focus more on the small-group market. 

“We do not reach these decisions lightly, and will do our utmost to help our members in the affected regions find coverage for 2017,” the company said. “We also look forward to seeing the individual market stabilize, allowing us to serve more people across the U.S. in a meaningful way, while maintaining affordable pricing for consumers.”