These NYC unicorns are helping the White House with affordable health care outreach

December 9, 2015

In 2010, the U.S. passed the Affordable Care Act, providing low-cost health insurance for all, including those with preexisting conditions. The law caused the amount of uninsured Americans to dip to under 10 percent for the first time ever, but 10.5 million people eligible for coverage are still uninsured.

This week New York health tech got a nod from Washington D.C. to help more Americans gain coverage during Obamacare’s third open-enrollment period.

The White House has tasked 

 and , two unicorn companies to come out of New York, with enhancing its outreach efforts in order to help millions of people sign up for coverage.

ZocDoc, a company that helps people book doctors appointments online, will address this challenge by sourcing their existing customer base. The company plans on using email to remind its thousands of customers to sign up for coverage at Healthcare.gov before December 15. ZocDoc will specifically target people that are likely without coverage, such as customers who indicated they would pay with cash when they used ZocDoc's services.

Oscar is a health insurance company that employs technology, design and data to humanize health care. The company has issued a Public Service Announcement animated video that explains health care in ultra-simplified terms. The video specifically highlights the affordability of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Oscar will distribute the video online as well as in areas where it provides coverage, including New York, California and Texas.

The New York health tech sector is uniquely positioned to relieve this national problem. According to StartUp Health Insights, NYC-based digital health startups raised a whopping $508 million in the first nine months of this year. Additionally, one in every six doctors are trained in New York.

From a funding perspective, ZocDoc and Oscar are also well-equipped with a vast amount of resources to help people receive the medical care they need. In 2015 alone, ZocDoc raised a $130 million funding round and Oscar raised $177.5 million over two rounds.

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