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Sidecar Brings Modern Indemnity Health Insurance to Utah

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What You Need to Know

  • A startup is promoting the power of getting a fixed amount of cash for care.
  • Hartford also is promoting the power of cash for care.
  • Sidecar pumps benefits directly into a Visa card, before the insured gets care.

Sidecar Health has started selling its new, high-tech version of indemnity health insurance in its 16th state: Utah.

An insured patient can use a Sidecar Health mobile app to send the El Segundo, California-based startup a claim whenever the patient needs one of about 170,000 covered medical services or prescription drugs.

Sidecar Health then feeds a fixed amount of cash for the covered service or product into a Visa card. The patient can use the card to pay directly for care and qualify for the provider’s cash price.

The firm recently raised $125 million from investment companies to expand its service area.

The company now sells coverage in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, as well as in Utah.

Sidecar Health says it plans to roll its product out in several more states this year.

Inside Indemnity Health

Issuers of indemnity health insurance use provisions in the Affordable Care Act and ACA regulations that exempt indemnity health insurance from the federal rules that apply to major medical insurance.

This year, the maximum deductible for major medical insurance is $8,550 for an individual and $17,100 for a family.

Consumers who have high-deductible coverage may be able to use indemnity insurance to pay medical bills that hit before patients have met their deductibles.

Companies other than Sidecar Health also have been developing new types of products based on an indemnity health insurance chassis.

Brella Insurance Inc., a 2-year-old startup based in Claymont, Delaware, has been marketing a mobile app-based indemnity health insurance program through the employee benefits market. AccuRisk Solutions LLC of Chicago announced Tuesday that it will be distributing the Brella program through brokers in Texas.

The Hartford — a Hartford, Connecticut-based insurer founded in 1810 — recently introduced a group hospital indemnity insurance product.

That product provides coverage for insureds who receive facility-based care for mental health or substance use disorder problems as well as for insureds who receive hospital care for other types of health problems.

An employer that offers the Hartford plan can choose whether to pay some, all or none of the premiums.

Hartford is offering access to other services, such as care navigation services and legal counseling services, in conjunction with the group indemnity program.

(Photo: hxdbzxy/Shutterstock)

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