Stride Health, a startup that aims to be the HR team for all independent working Americans, is introducing two new features today to help freelancers better manage their health insurance.
Launched in March of last year in California, Stride expanded to six states in November, including New York, Texas and Illinois. Today, the service is available in an additional 17 states, and Stride founder Noah Lang says the company plans to expand to all 50 states within the next three months.
For the 53 million Americans whose healthcare plan isn’t covered by their employer, insurance is expensive and confusing. So Stride initially launched a product that helped users select the right health insurance plan, based on the data they entered into the app, and helped them navigate the costs and restrictions of that plan.
Starting today, any freelancer can use Stride to find the best prices on their prescriptions at local pharmacies. Stride has partnered with 50,000 pharmacies (essentially every major pharmacy in the U.S.) and negotiated prices on prescriptions for Stride users.
“You enter your drug and your dosage, and we look at every pharmacy that’s located near where you are, and look at their pricing in real-time to see who has the best price for your prescription,” Lang says.
Lang says that on average, Stride has been able to save patients anywhere from 25 to 40 percent on retail prescription prices. And this tool is available for anyone who isn’t insured through their employer — not only people who have purchased plans through Stride.
“The independent working American is three times more likely to be uninsured than the typical worker, so oftentimes there are people who miss the boat,” says Lang. “It’s our mission to make sure they get coverage, but if they don’t, we’re making it easier for them to get prescriptions at prices that insured customers get.”
Stride is also introducing a doctor search tool today so users can make sure their doctor is in their network, and receive updates about changes.
“Doctors switch in and out of networks at a low volume, but if your doctor is the one changing, it matters a lot,” says Lang. “We’re taking the data that carriers have had for a long time and delivering it at a consumer level.”
Stride has raised $17.5 million in venture funding from Venrock, NEA, and Fidelity Biosciences, among others. Over the next year, the company plans to roll out additional features for freelance workers, including some broader finance management tools.