Company aims to reduce health insurance costs with new innovation

HOUSTON – J.J. Hollie, a proud father from The Woodlands, watches a video of his 20-year-old son Trey streaking down a running track.

“So here’s my son Trey. He’s running at a track meet or a cross country meet," Hollie said.

With Trey not living at home anymore, Hollie realized he would need health insurance coverage. But when he checked to see how much it would cost to add Trey to his insurance plan, he learned it would cost him a whopping $600 a month for a very healthy young man with zero health troubles.

“I thought, he needs to be covered. What are we going to use," Hollie said.

That’s when Hollie discovered a new kind of health insurance offered by a company called Sidecar Health that offers coverage that is up to 40% cheaper than traditional health plans.

“So we were able to go from a potentially $600 a month bill to health insurance for Trey that would be $180 a month. A huge savings," Hollie said.

Patrick Quigley founded Sidecar Health after he was forced to pay $1,300 for an MRI through his traditional health insurance plan.

A few weeks later, he needed the same test again but this time he decided to just pay for it himself, in cash.

“I happened to ask the doctor’s office, can I just pay cash and they said, ‘Sure, it will be $330,’ and that just blew my mind. That at the same location, same doctor. I could pay $1,300 with traditional insurance or pay $330.00 cash," Quigley said.

Sidecar Health aims to eliminate mountains of paperwork by giving each member a Sidecar credit card which they use to pay their doctor directly at the time of service.

So, how does that save money?

“It’s because the providers, the doctors, don’t have to deal with the back-and-forth of a traditional insurance company," Quigley said. “You don’t have to send paperwork back and forth. They don’t have to argue about if some things are covered, how it’s coded, how it’s billed. The doctor just gets paid. It’s cheaper for the doctor so it’s cheaper for the patient.”

To sign up for Sidecar Health, you can visit the company’s website and after answering some health- and life-related questions, you can design a coverage plan for yourself.

There are also three standard plans with three different coverage limits.

For a typical, 30-year-old male, the budget plan costs $165 a month for $10,000 in health coverage per year.

The standard plan costs $199 a month and provides $25,000 in health coverage in a year.

And the premium plan costs $279 a month and you get $2 million in coverage.

Sidecar Health covers more than 170,000 different medical procedures.

You pick the doctor you want since there is no “in-network” or “out-of-network” to worry about.

For every procedure, Sidecar Health shows you what the procedure should cost and what Sidecar Health pays for that procedure so you know exactly what you will have to pay, if anything, out of pocket.

Hollie says he is thrilled that his son is now covered and he’s happy to be saving more than $5,000 a year.