Oscar hires Angela Calman as comms VP

Calman joins the health insurance startup from IBM Watson Health, where she was VP of global corporate communications.

NEW YORK: Health insurance startup Oscar has hired Angela Calman as VP of communications.

Calman started in the newly created role earlier this month and is based in Oscar’s headquarters in New York. She reports to Joel Klein, the company's chief policy and strategy officer, an Oscar representative told PRWeek via email.

Calman will oversee Oscar’s corporate communications efforts, including media relations and strategy, thought leadership, and reputation management, according to a release.

She joined Oscar from IBM Watson Health, where she was VP of global corporate communications. Before that, she was VP of communications for 23andMe; VP of communications and senior adviser at Intuitive Surgical; and chief communications officer for The Cleveland Clinic, according to a release.

She has also held senior leadership roles at Weber Shandwick and Edelman, where she focused on advising health care industry clients. Prior to working in healthcare, Calman led communications for MSNBC and CNBC’s primetime programming, according to a release.

Oscar, founded in 2012, now offers coverage in New York, California, Texas, New Jersey, Ohio and Tennessee, and will offer coverage in Arizona, Florida, and Michigan in 2019. 230,000 customers paid to be covered by Oscar in 2018, and the company has 1,000 employees. Last year, Oscar raised $1.2 billion including a recent $375 million investment from Google parent Alphabet, CNBC reported last month.

The company plans to use the funds to help fuel its entrance into the market for privately administered health insurance plans for seniors, known as Medicare Advantage, in 2020, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Khan Shoieb left his role heading comms for Oscar at the end of August 2018 to launch an agency called Cycle. Cycle aims to help founders of early stage healthcare startups "make the best decisions for their company, taking into account what is going on in the media industry and what is going on with their business," said Shoieb in a previous interview with PRWeek. He joined Oscar in 2016.

Editor's note: This article was updated on January 15, 2019 with details about Calman's role.

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