Oscar Health lays off 5% of staff

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(Bloomberg) -- Oscar Health, a health insurance startup that has raised over $1 billion from investors including one closely tied to the White House, said it was laying off around 5% of employees.

“All of us, members of Oscar and everyone else, are experiencing profound uncertainty around our health, and our economic circumstances,” wrote founder and Chief Executive Officer Mario Schlosser in a LinkedIn post. “Our choices were a balance between what was needed to hit our company goals, with bringing the budget in line with our worst case scenario modeling.”

Despite the current situation, with individuals and the U.S. economy reeling from the impact of the novel coronavirus, the company would meet the business targets it set in January, he wrote. A spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment made via LinkedIn.

Oscar Insurance Corp., which is backed by investors including Thrive Capital, was co-founded by Josh Kushner, whose brother Jared is President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and a senior White House adviser. It has also raised cash from Alphabet Inc., Founders Fund and others.

Last month, the New York-based company came under fire when a testing-center locating tool it announced appeared to match one announced by the president. The situation raised questions over conflict of interest and whether Oscar was receiving preferential treatment.

Laid-off staff will receive severance and health care coverage, and layoffs won’t affect customer-facing roles, Schlosser said.

Since March 11, when the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, some 300 startups around the world have shed nearly 30,000 jobs, according to the Layoffs.fyi tracker.

Bloomberg News