Stride Health is one of many digital health companies that has gotten up on the Obamacare wave, and ridden it well. The San Francisco-based company specializes in providing health insurance recommendations to people who have traditionally had trouble getting covered affordably — freelancers and other self-employed people.
The market of freelancers, many of whom are millennials, is huge. “Stride lives at the intersection of an increasingly consumer-driven health care ecosystem and an exploding freelancer economy,” said CEO Noah Lang in a statement.
Stride currently does business in seven large states — California, New York, New Jersey, Florida, Texas, Illinois, and Pennsylvania — and wants to go national. By then end of this year, Stride says, freelancers in every state will have access to its recommendations.
To fuel the national expansion, Stride has raised a new $13 million funding round, led by Venrock, with participation from NEA and Fidelity Biosciences, the health care venture arm of Fidelity Investments.
Specifically, Stride says it will use the new funding to expand its mobile health coverage recommendation platform nationally in 2015, enhance its year-round consumer health and financial guidance, and fill key leadership roles in the company.
Stride’s mobile app now enables members to navigate health plan benefits, locate in-network doctors or urgent care centers, and find the low-priced drugs from more than 50,000 pharmacies, for free. The company says that later this summer most of its services will be available to freelancers who haven’t purchased coverage.
The company already has a deal with Uber in which drivers can find affordable health insurance. Some drivers have tried to establish Uber as a full-fledged employer that’s required to provide health insurance, but this hasn’t happened yet. Uber drivers are contractors and have to navigate the rough waters of selecting and purchasing their own health coverage.
Rock Health and the Mayo Clinic have also invested in the company.