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Oscar is coming to San Francisco

Oscar is coming in 2017. No, not that Oscar.

A new health insurance carrier will offer plans both on- and off-exchange, in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties. A little surprising it took this long, considering they are Google-funded, and we’ve heard them described as “great software – with health insurance attached.”

It appears their Bay Area rates and network will be middle-of-the-pack (current word is no Sutter Health/PAMF, though that could change). Will their customer service and user experience be enough to consider Oscar as a viable choice? Stay tuned.

Pharmaceutical companies raising prices – is the Senate the only group that didn’t see this coming?

You might remember headlines from this summer, where Big Pharma generously offered to kick in about 80 billion dollars to help pay for health care reform. It isn’t too hard to follow the money trail and figure out who is actually paying for that: mostly consumers of brand-name drugs.

Health insurance plans – for individuals and small businesses – that exclude brand-name Rx coverage continue to increase in popularity and are increasingly more affordable than their brand Rx-inclusive counterparts.