Photograph by Justin Sullivan — Getty Images
By Sy Mukherjee
March 15, 2016

Oscar, the health insurance upstart which has enjoyed a huge influx of funding from groups like Fidelity, Google Capital, Goldman Sachs, and others on the way to an approximate $3 billion valuation, has hired Google’s Alan Warren as CTO and SVP of Engineering. The announcement was made in a blog post on Oscar’s website.

Warren will help Oscar revamp its website and tech operations. “Alan is one of the most experienced and accomplished engineering leaders in the world,” wrote the firm, going on to note that Warren was a Google VP who oversaw the Google Docs and Google Drive suites.

Oscar has been wrangling to become a powerful new and user-friendly force in the evolving individual health insurance market catalyzed by the Affordable Care Act.

The firm has enjoyed impressive growth in both membership and investor interest, ballooning from a relative unknown in New York and New Jersey with 17,000 customers to an insurer which boasts more than 125,000 members in states including California and Texas.

 

But Oscar’s also had to cope with the challenges of entering a competitive market like health insurance, wherein a few select players dominate the landscape. The firm recently reported more than $100 million in losses in its origin states of New York and New Jersey, citing the challenges of accruing leverage in network contract discussions.

CEO Mario Schlosser has argued that his company’s bargaining position will improve as it gains even more members and has the opportunity to renegotiate contracts.

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