With deadline looming for healthcare.gov enrollment, Stride offers direct enrollment for gig workers

Stride Health, the consumer healthcare consulting and optimization service, has inked a new partnership with the U.S. government’s healthcare departments to provide “enhanced direct enrollment” to verify tax credit eligibility and process enrollments on its platform.

The service is akin to e-filing taxes, according to Stride founder and chief executive, Noah Lang. “Except in this case you’re spending tax credits,” Lang wrote in an email.

Using the service, freelancers, gig economy workers and basically any other consumer who isn’t covered through an employer-provided insurance program can use Stride to spend tax credits to enroll in a health insurance plan.

Stride Health is one of only two companies (the other being HealthSherpa) that has direct access to enrolling customers through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“In my view, it’s also a great bedrock foundation to the public-private partnerships we’ll need to make something like Portable Benefits work,” Lang wrote.

The integration is even more important given the looming deadline for enrollment in healthcare.gov. About one-third of freelancers qualify for subsidized health insurance that costs less than $25 per month, but 58 percent who don’t enroll say they don’t buy health insurance because of the cost, according to data provided by Stride. About 37 percent of freelancers have not enrolled in coverage according to Stride — despite qualifying for cheaper insurance.

The deadline for enrollment in coverage available through the Affordable Care Act is December 15.