2021 Sidecar Health Review • Pros, Cons & More • Benzinga
Sidecar Plan Options
Sidecar Health offers plans with fully customizable coverage. It starts with 3 plan options:
- Budget: For those who want minor procedures and their day-to-day needs covered
- Standard: For those who want coverage for small to medium emergencies and everyday needs
- Premium: Covers daily needs and has broader coverage for emergencies
From there, you can adjust several aspects of the plan, including:
- Your deductible: The amount you pay for services before the plan starts paying (if available in your state)
- Your annual coverage limit: The most the plan sold by Sidecar Health will pay in benefits in a given year
- Whether you want prescriptions covered
- Whether you want your rate locked for 3 years (if available in your state)
Sidecar Health makes it easy to get in touch. Its Member Care is available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT on Saturdays and Sundays. You can also reach out using chat on the Sidecar Health website or mobile app.
Sidecar Health’s pricing is competitive when compared to traditional insurance plans. You can also customize your plan to better fit your budget and lock in the rate for up to 3 years in some states.
Keep in mind that raising the deductible or lowering the annual coverage limit will lower your premium (what you pay each month), but you could also end up paying more out of pocket.
The app has mixed reviews on the Google Play store. While some seem to like it, others have trouble with the search features and overall functionality. The app is also only available for Android devices.
Sidecar Health allows you to see what’s covered and how much services will cost using the app or website. This gives you transparency into your health care. It also allows you to see any health care provider you want without needing a referral. You have the option of paying upfront for care and getting reimbursed or using your Sidecar Health payment card, which charges you 20% of the swiped amount until your bill is uploaded and reviewed.
Overall, the benefits are clear, and it covers preventive and emergency care.
Sidecar Health is easy to navigate and offers a questionnaire that lets you know whether it’s a good fit for your insurance needs. Its FAQs are thorough and it has several videos that explain how to use your benefits in different situations. You can easily search for the information you need about services you’re considering, and you can upload your itemized medical bills in a few clicks.
Sidecar Health vs. Competitors
It’s essential to keep in mind that Sidecar Health isn’t a traditional insurance plan. In some ways, this is an advantage. You can tailor your coverage more than you can with a traditional insurance plan. You can find out how much your health care services will cost and how much the plan will cover using the website or app.
You also are considered a self-pay patient. Doctors and other providers often discount prices for self-pay patients, as they don’t have to go through the headache of dealing with a traditional insurance company.
You do have to file claims yourself, but Sidecar Health makes this simple. You just ask for an itemized bill with medical codes, and then you upload your bill to Sidecar Health. It reviews your bill and pays out its benefit amount. If your service costs more than what Sidecar Health pays in benefits, you’re responsible for the difference. If it costs less, you keep the difference.
You also have the benefit of knowing what’s covered. You can look up information in the app. You can also ask Sidecar Health for preapproval to use the Sidecar Health payment card to pay for care at the point of service. This is required for bills that are more than $2,500.
You don’t have to worry about whether your providers are in-network, and you don’t have a primary care provider gatekeeping your access to specialists.
The downside to Sidecar Health is that it doesn’t cover some services you might expect from a traditional insurance plan. It doesn’t cover routine pregnancy or childbirth. It also doesn’t cover gender affirmation surgery or related therapy. It doesn’t cover any pre-existing conditions that weren’t disclosed when you signed up and it may not cover certain procedures you did disclose.
It also has exclusions that are standard for most insurance policies. For example, it doesn’t cover anything experimental, cosmetic procedures, or over-the-counter drugs.
Ultimately, Sidecar Health is transparent about what it does and doesn’t cover. That sets it apart from its competitors.
Sidecar Health has a lot to offer. It has reasonably priced plans that cover preventive and emergency care. It’s an especially good fit for people who are in relatively good health and who prefer to price shop their health care.
It’s also transparent about how it works, what it covers and what it doesn’t, which sets it apart from traditional insurance plans. You won’t leave the doctor’s office and be surprised with an unpleasant bill a month later. And you may save as much as 40% on your health care costs.
You can sign up and cancel your plan at any time. If you’re between jobs, self-employed or working a job without benefits, it’s worth considering.
To get started with Sidecar Health, visit its website or download the app from the Google Play store.
You start the process by entering your ZIP code. If you live in a state served by Sidecar Health, you’re taken to a questionnaire. Fill out the questionnaire, and Sidecar Health will let you know whether it will be a good fit for you. If so, you complete the enrollment process, deciding your annual coverage amount, deductible, whether you want prescriptions covered and whether you want to rate lock (if available).
Using Your Benefits
The first step to using your benefits is to call your healthcare provider and let them know you’ll be paying as a self-pay patient. Ask how much your service will be. You can also use the Sidecar Health app to search for doctors, and you may want to contact a few providers to compare prices.
Enter the service in the app to see how much your plan will pay in benefits for the service. At your appointment, you can pay for the service upfront with your own payment method or use the Sidecar Health payment card.
With the Sidecar Health payment card, you’re charged 20% of the swiped amount, and the plan pays an estimated benefit equal to 80% of the swiped amount.
After your service, take a picture of your bill and upload it to Sidecar Health using the app or website. Once your claim is reviewed, Sidecar Health will make any adjustments needed, including paying you the difference if your provider charged less than the actual benefit amount. If your provider charges more than Sidecar Health’s benefit amount, you’re responsible for the difference.
Sidecar Health bases its benefit amount on the average cash price for your service.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Sidecar Health a good option?
Is Sidecar Health a good option?
Sidecar Health is a good option. There’s no long-term commitment and it’s easy to sign up. Sidecar Health is transparent about what it offers and what it doesn’t. If it seems like a good fit, it’s worth trying.
How does Sidecar Health work?
How does Sidecar Health work?
With Sidecar Health, you pay the cash price for care at the time of service. Plans offered by Sidecar Health pay a fixed benefit amount based on the average cash price for your service. If the benefit amount is more than your provider charged, you keep the difference. If it’s less, you pay the difference. You can use the Sidecar Health payment card or pay for care upfront using your own payment method and wait for reimbursement.