The Procrastinator's Guide to buying last minute health insurance

Freelance life is pretty great, but there’s one big employee-life perk we don’t get: employer-sponsored health insurance. If you’re reading this and don’t have an individual health insurance plan for 2016 yet, you’re seriously procrastinating. It’s OK, we do it all the time too, but it’s time to take action now on your 2016 health insurance — you must enroll in a health plan by January 31st to get coverage for 2017 and avoid a $695 government fine.

Lucky for you procrastinators, Stride is a tool that makes your last-minute signup simple. Stride offers the same plans at the same prices as (and your state exchanges), but we give you an efficient and effective plan selection experience – find your perfect plan in minutes as opposed to hours on the government exchanges. Once you purchase insurance through Stride, we stick around to save you money and get you free care throughout the year. AND we ensure you always have a human advocate to talk to when something doesn't make sense, or when a health problem arises.

Use these 5 tips to find your best health plan in minutes through Stride:

1: Learn the basic health insurance lingo

Don’t know how health insurance works? Not sure what “deductible” or “coinsurance” mean? You’re definitely not alone –  that’s why this guide exists. In just a few minutes, you’ll be an expert on basic health insurance features, how doctor networks function, and more technicalities that will help you make a smart insurance.

2: Know your income, and cash in on discounts

Your income probably isn’t fixed, so it might take some effort to figure out your annual income — but that’s worth it, because correctly reporting your income when you apply for health insurance can qualify you for some serious government discounts. These can make your monthly premium significantly cheaper, perhaps as low as $10/month.

3: Comparison shop – let Stride do the math for you

A big trick to finding your best plan is to understand your medical care usage and associated costs. If you don’t see the doctor often, a more expensive plan with lots of benefits may just waste your money. However, if you take prescriptions and see specialists, the cheapest plan may cost you more in the long run. We’ll do the math for you with our plan recommendation engine.

4: Evaluate your risk profile

Risk is a crux of the health insurance decision game, especially if you’re a healthy person. You’ve probably noticed your monthly payments will be far less with a high-deductible plan. But look at that deductible (how much you pay before insurance kicks in), and honestly ask yourself: Am I OK paying that amount if I need an unexpected, minor medical procedure? Remember: it doesn’t take much to max out a $7,000 deductible — that’s about the price of a broken nose. This guide is super helpful in understanding the health insurance metal tiers (bronze, silver, gold, platinum) and their corresponding risk tradeoffs.

5 Leverage Stride’s health care concierge team

Have a tricky health situation or just need to talk with a human to understand your best options. We solve people’s problems every day! Call our concierge team at 415-930-9110, or send them an email to We’ve got your back.

HealthMegan AlcalayComment