Instacart Shoppers are not able to claim health insurance benefits that other full-time employees may be offered. However, there are still options such as using Stride, utilizing health benefits from another job, through a partner, or a health subscription service like Mira. Despite the many benefits of being a contract worker, such as flexible hours and self-paced work, there is one downside to their work. Keep reading to understand how to get health coverage as an Instacart Shopper.
Ways You Can Get Health Coverage as an Instacart Shopper
While Stride might be a great option for some shoppers, it might not work for everyone. Here are some other options you can explore based on your specific needs.
Option 1: Insurance Benefits From Other Jobs
Many independent contractors like Instacart shoppers, also work as employees for other companies, either part-time or full-time. It is always a good idea to check if any of your other jobs might offer some health benefits or coverage. For instance, 75 percent of Lyft drivers get their health coverage from another source, usually their primary job.
Option 2: Health Insurance Marketplace
While you may not be able to search for health plans in the Marketplace as an employed individual, you can always enroll in a private health plan as an independent contractor. Visit the Marketplace website, fill out the application, and browse through several coverage options that work for your health needs. If you need help estimating your net income for the upcoming year, you can go here to learn more.
Option 3: Health Insurance Alternatives
Mira works to increase the affordability of the most common medical services. For a membership that averages about $45 per month, you can access urgent care visits, lab testing, and up to 80% off on over 1000 prescriptions. There are no deductibles or proof of income required because Mira is a health membership plan, not health insurance. There are other alternatives to health insurance alternatives such as K-Health and Cerebral.
Option 4: Family Plans
If you are under the age of 26 years, you can be added on as a member of your parent’s health plan. If married, you can also be added to your partner’s health insurance plan. This can be a great way to offset your individual cost of healthcare and still be covered.
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Option 5: Catastrophic Health Plans
If you are under the age of 30 years or you qualify for a hardship or affordability exemption, you can enroll in a catastrophic health plan. This is a special health plan offered through the Marketplace which typically low monthly premiums and high deductibles. This means that you will pay high out-of-pocket costs before reaching your deductible, after which your expenses will be covered. Such a plan is ideal for those who have or are expecting to have emergency medical expenses that they cannot afford.
Stride Health Benefits for Instacart Shoppers
Established in 2013, Stride Health, Inc. is an insurance broker startup based in San Francisco, California that offers an online platform where users can shop for affordable insurance plans. In addition to health plans, their platform also covers a wide range of options for dental, vision, and life insurance. Over the past few years, Stride has secured partnerships with popular work platforms including Uber, DoorDash, Instacart, Amazon, Lyft, and others.
They offer a free app that helps you track your expenses, savings, receipts, and car mileage to help lower your tax bill. Close to the end of the financial year, you get a customized IRS-ready tax summary to help you file your tax return. Their services are designed specifically to help independent contract workers (such as Instacart shoppers) make the most of their money.
If you do not currently have health insurance, you can pick a plan with Stride and enroll starting as soon as next month. If you are currently enrolled in a plan and want to switch to a new one with Stride, you will need to wait until the next open enrollment period.
Here are the steps to look for health plans with Stride.
Step 1: Visit the Stride x Instacart Website
- Stride has a separate webpage for instacart shoppers. Visit the webpage at www.instacart.stridehealth.com.
- If you do not already have an account with Stride, you can create a new one in less than a minute by clicking “Log in” on the top right corner. You can, however, still browse for health plans without creating an account.
Step 2: Enter Your Details
- To begin browsing, first, enter your zip code and click “Find my plan”.
- Now you answer a few basic questions about yourself asking about your age, sex, tobacco use habits, preferred physician (if any), prescription drug needs, existing health conditions, and your total household income.
Step 3: Browse Plans
- Once you are done answering the questions, click on “Continue with savings” to view your top 3 health plan recommendations, based on your health status and income.
- Under each plan name, you will see various tabs that will tell you more about what the plan includes, the deductibles on doctor visits, prescriptions, surgery, and more.
- You can click “view all plans” to review options other than the top 3.
- The website also allows you to compare plans side-by-side, to better understand the benefits each plan offers.
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Instacart Shopper Health Benefits Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some frequently asked questions about being an Instacart shopper.
What are the requirements to work as an Instacart shopper?
To be eligible to work as an Instacart shopper in the U.S. you have to meet the following requirements.
- You must be at least 18 years of age.
- You must have legal authorization to work in the U.S.
- You must be able to lift up to 40 pounds of weight without accommodation.
- You must have regular access to a reliable car and a smartphone.
- You must pass a background check.
What are the requirements to join Stride through Instacart?
All Instacart shoppers are eligible to sign up for Stride and browse through their 200+ insurance partners. Based on your income and benefit requirements, Stride can help you find affordable health coverage along with monthly subsidies.
Looking for a health insurance plan as an independent contractor can be a challenging task. This is especially true if you have regular medical expenses that you need to take care of. We hope that the above-detailed options help you find a plan that works for you and your budget.
If you cannot afford insurance or want to have supplemental coverage, Mira can help. Mira offers exclusive health benefits for just $45 per month and with no deductible, including affordable urgent care visits, low-cost lab testing, and discounted prescriptions. Our care navigation team can also help you find affordable healthcare services in your area! Sign up today to get started.
Girisha is a second-year graduate student at Columbia University, pursuing a Master's in Public Health. She is excited to combine her passion for Public Health and writing with the hopes of delivering quality health information, one article at a time!