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Health Insurance Startup’s App Can Predict Cost of Any Medical Procedure

Sidecar Health CEO: Price transparency and incentives are changing health care.
  • Meg Green
  • September 2021
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Sidecar Health App

By giving consumers the cost of health care procedures upfront and the ability to shop around, Patrick Quigley, chief executive officer and co-founder of Sidecar Health, hopes to change the industry.

Sidecar has an app that provides “100% transparency” using an algorithm that can predict the cost of any medical procedure, according to Quigley. Following is an edited transcript of an interview with AM Best TV.

Patrick Quigley

Patrick Quigley

What is Sidecar Health?

Sidecar Health is a totally new approach to health insurance. Our approach lowers the cost of care for consumers while, at the same time, increasing access to health care, which we all want. It's all driven by the power of paying for care upfront.

How does it work?

We actually give all of our members a Visa benefit card. When consumers want to access care, they use this card. What's special about this card is it connects to our claims accounts.

Then, we combine it with an app. What the app does that's very special is it provides 100% transparency on what the benefits are under our plan for anything you can do in the U.S. health care system, as well as what a fair price is for it.

How do you get that data?

Lots of research. We've built an algorithm that can actually predict what the cost is for any medical procedure. There's 170,000 things you can do in the U.S. health care system. We can predict the cost of any of those 170,000 things at any ZIP code in the U.S.

How are you different from the traditional health care insurer?

(In) traditional health care … you pay a $10 or $50 copay. Then you hope it's all going to work out.

Ours is different because the consumer is in charge. The consumer knows the benefits, knows what a fair price is, and engages with the health care system.

How many states are you in currently?

That's a great question. We're a very young company. We've only been in the market for just under two years. For our uninsured product, we're actually in 16 states right now, mostly in the Southeast, but also in Maryland, and Ohio, and Indiana. Arizona, as well.

We're also on file in five new states. By the end of the year, we expect to be in 20, 21 states. We're coming up on California, for example, (and) Pennsylvania.


Meg Green is a senior associate editor. She can be reached at bestreviewcomment@ambest.com.



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