Health insurer Oscar Health has tapped former Uber executive Meghan Joyce to fill the long-empty role of chief operating officer as the company positions itself for a major expansion.
"I never thought I would land in health care," said Joyce, who served as general manager for Uber's operations along the East Coast and in Canada, helping to build a team of 700 employees over the last six years.
In her new job, Joyce will help Oscar grow its blend of tech-enabled services and personal health coaching teams as it expands into a dozen new health insurance markets for 2020 and branches out to the Medicare Advantage market with new plans for seniors in Houston and New York next year.
"The thing that resonates for me is that this is a business that is high-tech and high-touch," she explained, adding "Whether you are 80 or 28, health care and health insurance are deeply personal and often really confusing. We can use technology to make that a better experience."
Joyce will serve as Oscar's first operations chief in three years, at a critical moment for the 7-year-old health insurance start-up. Growth in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces has lagged for the last two years under the Trump administration. Now, the insurer is looking to expand into the fast-growing private Medicare Advantage market, where it will have to compete with Medicare giants like Humana and UnitedHealth.
Oscar received $375 million in funding from Google Ventures to help build out the new business. Ensuring a smooth launch of its new Medicare plans will be a top priority for 2020.
"Meghan possesses an incredible understanding of how to optimize complex processes while rapidly scaling a business," Oscar co-founder and CEO Mario Schlosser said in announcing her hire.
Joyce left Uber in April, just a month before the company went public. Uber shares have struggled since their debut and remain 23% below the offering price.
"I had no crystal ball" about what would happen, Joyce exclaimed, adding "I loved my time at Uber and I still believe in the company."
A native of Boston, Joyce began her career as a consultant at Bain & Co., and graduated from Harvard Business School. Last spring, she was named to the board of directors of Boston Beer, the parent of company of Sam Adams. She will continue to serve on the board.