Startup Insurers’ 2021 Losses Add Up to ‘Staggering’ $2.5 Billion

As has been the case in previous quarters, all four of the newly public health insurance startups — Oscar Health, Inc., Bright Health Group, Inc., Clover Health Investments Corp. and Alignment Healthcare, Inc. — reported losses for the final three months of 2021. However, a look at both the fourth quarter and full year reveals that there were considerable differences among those companies in terms of the severity of their losses and the trajectory of their businesses.

“The four public startup health insurers lost $2.5 billion in 2021,” observes Ari Gottlieb, a principal at the consulting firm A2 Strategy Group, who calls that a “staggering amount of money.” Bright Health — which has Medicare Advantage, Affordable Care Act exchange and health care provider assets — was responsible for roughly half of that total loss among the quartet of insurers, losing just under $1.2 billion for the full year.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been reporting and editing in various journalism roles for nearly a decade. Most recently, she was the senior editor of FierceHealthPayer, an e-newsletter covering the health insurance industry. A graduate of Penn State University, she previously served in editing roles at newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Colorado.

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