Why You Should Try a Health Insurance Alternative This Year

Are you self-employed and tired of relying on the healthcare marketplace? Maybe 2023 needs to be the year that you try an alternative to traditional health insurance.

Since the government is going to start reminding you to sign up for your healthcare plan for 2023, I’d like to suggest you get alternative coverage instead. Specifically, I’m advocating for Sidecar Health.

Note: This recommendation doesn’t apply to anyone living in a state where there are penalties for being without health insurance. Those states are:

  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • California
  • Rhode Island
  • Washington D.C.

It also doesn’t apply if you have a lot of health issues or pre-existing conditions. It’s going to be safer to stick with health insurance that currently covers your needs.

That said, for the rest of you who are tired of paying insanely high monthly premiums and dealing with deductibles you’ll never reach, run the f*** away from the government healthcare marketplace now.

You should have more choices than a super expensive BCBS-type insurance company and a cheapo, useless alternative. What’s more, your choice of physicians and treatments shouldn’t be dictated by these companies.

Why Get a Health Insurance Alternative?

After my health insurance provider terminated my coverage in February of this year and made me ineligible for any other insurance on the marketplace, I went in search of alternative solutions.

Rather than get short-term insurance from one of these traditional insurance companies, I opted instead to try Sidecar Health. I had researched the most popular alternative Crowd Health as well, but it just didn’t seem to be as good of a solution to me. I’d suggest doing your own research to figure out which of these alternatives provides the best coverage for you and gives you the greatest piece of mind.

In terms of how Sidecar Health has worked out, it’s been a great experience so far.

A screenshot taken from the Sidecar Health user dashboard. At the top, users are able to view their Dashboard, Expenses, get care estimates, or seek out health. They can also see how much money remains in their annual maximum benefit.

For starters, there’s no waiting until a designated enrollment period like with the government’s healthcare marketplace. My old health insurance company cancelled my plan in January, continued to charge me for coverage they weren’t providing, and then I discovered in late February what had happened.

I hadn’t cancelled my coverage, but Ambetter had recorded it as self-termination. As such, I would’ve had to wait until January 2023 to get regular insurance again. I couldn’t afford to be without coverage, so being able to sign up for Sidecar right away was huge.

What’s more, I can update my plan at any time as my needs and health conditions change. That’s not something you can do with traditional insurance. You choose a plan and then pray to god it’ll cover you for the subsequent year.

Another way in which Sidecar differs is that I can go to any provider I want. Not only that, I’m able to research their prices ahead of time and see what it’s actually going to cost me (if anything). What’s more, when I’ve gone to providers that charge less than the average Sidecar estimate, I’ve received money back.

Being able to choose who I see — whether it’s because they have amazing ratings, they’re located close by, or because they happen to be the cheapest — is a great benefit. Usually, you have to choose a primary care provider and then every medical decision you make has to go through them, including getting referrals to specialists. That doesn’t happen with health insurance alternatives.

You control your healthcare decisions.

Oh, and Sidecar gives you a credit card that you charge all your medical expenses to. So you don’t have to worry about your regular credit card, checking account, or the amount of cash in your wallet taking a hit. Just upload a copy of your invoice and let them do the work of figuring out what you owe and then settling up with you each month.

In sum, a switch to a health insurance alternative like Sidecar means:

  • Cheaper monthly “premiums”
  • More medical expense transparency
  • Greater control over your coverage and benefits
  • Healthcare provider flexibility
  • Better customer service
  • Getting to stick it to the “man”

Like I said before, do your research. We’re all different in terms of our healthcare needs and so you might find that traditional health insurance remains the best option for you. If that’s the case, have at it.

But for the rest of you who are tired of the current system and want more control over your personal health decisions and treatment, take a look into health insurance alternatives like Sidecar Health and Crowd Health. It might be just what you need in 2023.

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