Sidecar Health Insurance
Sidecar Health Insurance comes from a startup that’s positioning itself as an industry disruptor. This company offers its members fixed indemnity policies, which pay set rates for different health services like surgery, X-rays, or doctor’s visits. They stand out among the crowd in terms of technology and provide members with tools such as a debit card linked to the claims department and a cost transparency tool.
Let’s face it if you’re one of the lucky ones with employer-provided healthcare; it takes a chunk out of the high cost of health insurance. However, for those who are freelancers or entrepreneurs, they must pay full price for insurance policies, which can be highly prohibitive. Sidecar wants to change this! Today, we will take a look at everything you need to know about Sidecar Health Insurance to see if it’s right for you.
Who Is Sidecar Health?
Sidecar Health, or Sidecar Health Insurance Solutions, LLC, is an alternative to other large health insurance providers. The company is led by CEO Patrick Quigley and was founded in 2018 in El Segundo, CA. Sidecar raised an impressive $38 million in funding.
What Does Sidecar Offer?
Sidecar Health Insurance offers low-cost policies that are non-traditional ACA plans, which we’ll discuss in detail a bit later. The company provides a new type of insurance that leverages self-pay or cash pricing, allowing you to customize their plans to fit your needs. This translates to more flexibility and lower monthly premiums than ACA plans.
In fact, Sidecar provides options for as little as a couple hundred or up to as much as 2 million dollars in coverage. What’s great is that you can customize other components, such as the deductible or adding coverage for prescription drugs. Just keep in mind that such adjustments will increase the monthly premium.
What Is Cash Price Insurance?
For those who are unfamiliar, let’s discuss how their insurance works. Once you’re enrolled in a Sidecar Health Insurance plan, you’ll receive a payment card rather than a traditional insurance card that you’ve seen in the past. This card is used to pay for your medical treatment, and as far as your provider goes – they see you as a self-paying patient. The good news is that self-paying patients are typically charged less than insurance companies.
As with any other indemnity plan, what this means is that medical services are based on a benefit amount. If you require services over that benefit amount, you are responsible for paying the difference. Also, all of your medical services have to be deemed medically necessary to receive any coverage.
In Comparison To ACA Plans
An ACA plan is any health insurance plan found in the U.S. Government’s marketplace. If you’ve checked plans in the marketplace recently, you may still be recovering from the sticker shock. Most ACA monthly premiums for families are in the thousands, and individuals are in the hundreds of dollars.
The other thing to know about ACA plans is that they usually top out-of-pocket expenses off at $17,100 for families and $8,550 for individuals. But this amount doesn’t include copays, deductibles, or monthly premiums, which can be crippling for Americans to spend on healthcare.
Who Should Consider Sidecar Health Insurance?
Sidecar’s insurance policies are different and are definitely not for everyone. The policies are not compliant with the ACA, and the plan’s name is fixed indemnity, which means they only pay set amounts of services and prescriptions.
With that being said, Sidecar Health is recommended primarily for those who have no pre-existing conditions and are overall pretty healthy. Since they are not compliant with the ACA, there is no renewal requirement in the event that you develop serious health problems.
Does Sidecar Charge Fees?
The only fee you’ll pay with Sidecar Health Insurance is the monthly premium unless you choose a policy with deductibles. If so, then your coverage will not begin until the amount is satisfied. Your health insurance rate from Sidecar will vary based on factors such as health, age, and coverage needs.
According to Sidecar, they save the average patient 40% over other traditional ACA insurance plans. It’s worth mentioning that you should always read the fine print because, in this case, your premium rates may go up if you don’t include the three-year rate lock.
When Can I Enroll With Sidecar Health Insurance?
The good news is that Sidecar always accepts applications, so there’s no need to wait until open enrollment. After you sign up, you can cancel any time you wish, and coverage will begin 14 days after you enroll.
Is Sidecar Right For Me?
Again, Sidecar Health Insurance is not the best option for everyone. However, if you are in good overall health, then you just may be able to save a good amount on a plan with Sidecar. It may also be a good match for college students who cannot afford ACA plans. In this case, a student should also check out other options, including Medicaid, coverage under their parent(s), or ask the school if they offer a sponsored plan.
Sidecar Health Features
As with anything else, you always want to understand all of the features of whichever health insurance plan you choose. Let’s take a quick look at some of Sidecar’s benefits:
- Custom amount up to $2,000,000
- 1 Year
- 3 Years
Standard plans do not have deductibles. However, you can add one if you’d like, and doing so lowers your total premium.
Preventative Care & Pre-Existing Conditions
Preventative care is always covered, but you will have to check with Sidecar regarding a pre-existing condition because not all are covered.
Standard plans come with coverage for prescription drugs, but if you’d like to lower your premium, you can always remove this option.
Are There Any Restrictions?
No! You are not limited to a network of providers, and there are no enrollment or cancellation periods. The only ‘restriction’ is the 14-day waiting period before your coverage begins.
The Bottom Line
As we’ve mentioned several times, Sidecar Health Insurance is not for everyone. However, if you fit specific characteristics, having this is much better than having nothing at all!