Sidecar Health might be new to the world of health insurance carriers, but it could be a gamechanger.
If you haven’t heard of Sidecar Health yet, don’t worry. This company launched in Texas in 2019, thanks to a little help from the $18M funds it raised from VC companies GreatPoint Venture and Morpheus Ventures.
So what made it attractive to these Silicon Valley investors when the health insurance carrier market seems more crowded than ever?
It’s Sidecar Health’s innovative and disruptive model, which is designed to turn the industry on its head.
Why Sidecar Health?
Before diving into the features of this company, it helps to understand why it was created. According to its founders, it is because many US citizens still struggle to find health coverage that’s affordable, easy to understand and flexible.
Here are some quick facts:
- Almost 13% of Florida residents are still uninsured
- The Affordable Care Act premiums for bronze rose plans raised by an average of 12% from 2018 to 2019
- Health insurance policies in the US are often hard to personalize
- They also lack transparency, confusing and overwhelming the members
With that in mind, Sidecar Health decided to underwrite policies that are:
- Completely tailored to individual needs
- Transparent, with no hidden costs
But there’s also an innovative model designed to strengthen and simplify the relationship between patients and their doctors.Click Here to Learn More
How Does Sidecar Health Work?
Sidecar Health may be a recent newcomer to the world of health insurance, but their team has previously connected more than 30M US citizens with the right insurance plans.
Their experience helped them understand one of the biggest shortcomings of other providers’ plans: doctors charge different prices for the same services. And people are too quick to let insurance companies be in control of their bills, as they are the ones deciding how much a procedure should cost.
With Sidecar Health, you get to shop around for the right doctor or service. You get to compare prices, read reviews, and choose a health care provider that matches your needs and budget.
The company has amassed a huge database of prices for services and procedures, which is paid back to you. If the provider charges more, you pay the difference. If it’s less, you keep the difference. All you need to do is submit the itemized bill via the online website or the app (more on that later). Just make sure it includes:
- Patient’s name
- Provider’s name
- Date of service
- Charge amount
- A detailed description of service and/or a medical billing code such as a CPT code.
How Much Does Sidecar Health Cost?
There isn’t a straight answer on the price, because every plan is tailored to the individual. The best thing to do is look at their four starting packages, namely:
- Catastrophic: for those who only want major illnesses and treatment covered
- Budget: if you only need to cover daily needs and minor procedures
- Standard: for daily needs, and medium emergencies or procedures
- Premium: full coverage for daily needs and emergencies
You can then customize the coverage to your needs, for example by adding cover for prescriptions and using their 3-year rate lock, which prevents monthly costs from increasing for 3 years (in certain states).
So is it worth customizing your plan? It would seem so. Their model has been shown to reduce health costs for their members by up to 40%.
And a great testament to their transparency: if they think you’re better off sticking with Obamacare, they will say it after you fill the 1-minute questionnaire. It’s worth noting at this point that the product does not comply with ACA requirements.Click Here to Learn More
What Does Sidecar Health Cover?
Prescription drugs (if you select the option), medical procedures, doctor visits, etc.. Preventive care services are also covered, which includes vaccinations, check-ups, and screenings, amongst others.
Now when it comes to what isn’t covered, there are 24 items on their current FAQ, which include experimental or investigational services and drugs, daycare and foster care, personal comfort of cosmetic services, vitamins, food supplements, and over-the-counter medicines.
What About Cancellations and Renewals?
You can cancel your policy at any time directly via the app, website or by calling your Member Care Team. Just be aware that phone support isn’t available 24/7.
To update your plan, you can just call support or do it manually by navigating to the Account section of your dashboard.
The Sidecar Health App
We found that it’s well-designed, responsive and intuitive. You can search for medical providers based on geolocation, estimate your medical costs and manage expenses. Sadly, it is only available for Android at the time of writing.
Sidecar Health and Data Protection
What Is The 3 Year Rate Lock?
In certain states, you can enable the feature to ensure your monthly fees remain the same for three years.
Anything Else to Note?
Yes, Sidecar health is selling indemnity insurance plans, but it’s not technically recognized as an insurance company. So they act as a third-party service, but all the policies are underwritten by A-rated insurance carriers.
The product is a fixed indemnity benefit insurance product and does not provide major medical expense coverage, minimal essential coverage, or essential health benefits; e.g., it does not comply with ACA requirements.
Pros and Cons of Sidecar Health
- Save up to 40% on yearly health expenses
- Get complete control over how much you pay each year towards health care
- Choose what you need to be covered and what you don’t
- See any doctor you like, and shop around for the best offers
- Simple payments with the Sidecar health card
- Get an estimate of how much your medical service should cost
- Handy app and website portal
- Cancel or change policy anytime
- Transparent policies and clear FAQ
- 3-year lock (that locks your monthly payment rates) is not available for all states
- Phone support not available 24/7
- App for Android only
Sidecar Health Review – The Future of Health Insurance?
There is a lot to love with Sidecar Health. Everything, from the website to the app, and of course the policies, are well designed, easy to understand and simple.
The innovative and disruptive model could also completely transform the way you think about health insurance, not least because it could save you up to 40% in expenses.
Finally, remember that it’s still a new provider. That means new features and updates, like an iOS app, are sure to appear in the future, which would put them on track to be one of the best companies out there.Click Here to Learn More