What's in this review?
- How does Sidecar Health insurance work?
- What does Sidecar cover?
- How much does Sidecar cost?
- How long does a Sidecar health insurance policy last?
- Where is Sidecar health insurance available?
- How to get Sidecar health insurance
- How to find a provider
- Pros & cons of Sidecar health insurance
- Sidecar customer reviews and complaints
- Find medical professionals using these services
How does Sidecar Health insurance work?
Sidecar allows you to get the discounts of a self-pay patient and get a portion of your health bill covered. It is a supplemental fixed indemnity health insurance plan, which means it doesn’t mediate between you and your healthcare provider to negotiate a price to determine what it’ll pay.
Instead, you research providers who charge rates similar to your Sidecar benefits. Then you pay your provider directly, and Sidecar pays a fixed portion of your costs.
- Sign up for a policy.
Sidecar allows you to choose between $5,000 and $2 million in annual coverage, between $0 to $1,000 for your annual deductible and whether you want prescriptions covered. Once your coverage is in place, you receive a Sidecar Health payment card in the mail.
- Compare providers to get the best price.
Sidecar pays the same service benefit no matter what provider you choose. But provider costs vary, which can determine what you end up paying out of pocket. You can do your own research to find the best price, but Sidecar also has a compare feature that shows what the providers in your area charge other Sidecar customers.
- Inform your provider that you are a self-pay patient.
Typically, medical providers have a lower price for patients that pay for the services out of pocket. Sidecar asks you to call ahead of your appointment to let your provider know that you are a self-pay patient, so you get the lower price.
- Pay for your services.
Use your payment card to pay for your services. Sidecar charges 20% of your fees as an estimated expense to the payment method you have on file with the company. Sidecar covers the remaining balance as your estimated benefit.
- Submit your bill.
Within 10 days of your service, scan and submit your itemized bill either through the mobile app or Sidecar’s website. Sidecar analyzes the bill to determine the benefit you’re due. If your benefit with Sidecar is more than what you were charged, you’ll be credited the difference. If the bill is more than your benefit, you’ll be charged the difference.
What does Sidecar cover?
Sidecar claims to cover preventative care and all medically necessary, non-elective services and prescriptions, but what is considered medically necessary is defined by Sidecar. Your policy should come with an extensive list of what is and isn’t covered, and you can contact Sidecar customer support if you have any questions about your coverage.
What isn’t covered?
Your Sidecar policy doesn’t cover elective medical services or services considered medically unnecessary. But to make sure you understand what that means, you’ll receive a personalized list of what is excluded from your coverage. The website also lists the following general exclusions:
- Experimental drugs and procedures
- Extended care, treatment or rehab facilities
- Cosmetic surgery, services or supplies
- Non-prescription obesity treatments
- Vitamins, supplements and wellness benefits
- Fertility or sterilization treatments
- Sexual reassignment and other treatments for gender dysphoria
- Dental services
- All maternity services
- Undisclosed pre-existing conditions
How much does Sidecar cost?
The price you pay for your premium varies based on where you live and other factors like your age, but you can control the following options to keep your rate down:
- Coverage amount. You can choose coverage between $5,000 and $2 million a year.
- Deductible. Choose how much of a deductible you’re willing to pay, from $0 to $1,000 annually.
- Prescription coverage. If you’re not interested in prescription coverage, you can opt out to reduce your monthly premiums.
When you get a quote from Sidecar, the policies break down into four main categories, which includes a custom category. To give you an idea of how this might work, we got quotes for a 30-year-old man and woman in good health, living in Arizona, and got quoted the same monthly premium for both.
|Annual coverage||Annual deductible||Monthly premium|
How long does a Sidecar health insurance policy last?
Every Sidecar policy lasts a year, but you can cancel your coverage at any time, like you would a subscription service. In some states, you can lock your premium rates for up to three years, so they won’t increase.
Where is Sidecar health insurance available?
Sidecar is available in the following states:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
How to get Sidecar health insurance
When you’re ready to apply, use the steps below to get a quote and choose your policy.
- Visit the Sidecar home page, enter your zip code and select Get Quote.
- Enter your personal information and answer questions about your medical history.
- Choose whether you want to add another person to your quote or select See Quotes.
- Review the quotes. If you scroll down, you can see who underwrites the policies in your area.
- Choose the policy you want and hit Select. Enter your email and password to create an account.
- Review your coverage details and enter your contact and payment information, then select Review Application before you submit.
How to find a provider
Sidecar has no network, which means you can choose any provider you want. But to get the best deals, both Sidecar’s website and mobile app feature a map of the providers in your area and the prices they charge, so you can compare that to Sidecar’s coverage to make an informed decision. To use the website tool, go to the Sidecar home page, select How it works and scroll down to select Preview all Benefit Amounts.
Pros & cons of Sidecar health insurance
- Transparent about coverage. In addition to an extensive list of what’s covered and not covered, the Sidecar website has a coverage tool allowing you to check approximate costs for the services and prescriptions in your area.
- No out-of-network charges. Sidecar doesn’t have a network. You can go to any doctor or medical service you want, as long as you’re willing to pay the difference between Sidecar’s coverage and your medical fees.
- You can get money back. If your doctor charges less than Sidecar’s estimated benefit, you get the difference credited to your account.
- Lock your rate. You can choose to lock your premium rate for three years to avoid increased premiums.
- No maternity coverage. Sidecar policies don’t cover any of the costs surrounding pregnancy and childbirth.
- Limited availability. Sidecar currently only offers coverage in 16 states.
- You do the work. Unlike traditional insurance, where you’re covered as long as you’re in-network, it’s on you to find the best price available in your area, even for lab and radiology procedures.
Sidecar customer reviews and complaints
Sidecar Health is accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) but doesn’t have any customer complaints or reviews as of May 2021. Trustpilot has 133 reviews where Sidecar has earned a TrustScore of 4.6 out of 5 stars.
The vast majority of customers rave about the service, but some complain about having to shop around for the best price on things like labs and other services attached to their doctor visits.
Find medical professionals using these servicesSort by:
|Name||Product||Telehealth coverage||Wellness support||Membership required||Average monthly cost|
|HealthSherpa||Yes||Yes||No||$30||Go to site|
|Sesame||Yes||Yes||Yes||$0||Compare upfront costs and book in-person or video care with providers for services from urgent care and primary care to specialties like cardiology or obstetrics. No insurance needed.||Go to site|
|Zocdoc||Yes||Yes||No||$0||Understand your health plan by uploading your insurance card to your account, revealing your coverage details and in-network doctors||Go to site|
|4 Your Health||Yes||Yes||Yes||$15||Get 24/7 wellness advice, meal plans, workouts and telehealth doctors, including psychologists and pharmacists. No insurance needed.||Go to site|