Etsy sent an email to sellers encouraging them to use a health insurance broker called Stride Health to get covered or, if they already have health insurance, to use it "to see how your plan stacks up against the plans available through Stride."
The topic is a sensitive one both politically and personally, and Etsy's announcement set off a heated debate in at least one discussion thread
, and some users questioned why Etsy was concerning itself with sellers' health insurance at all.
Stride Health collects data from people during the quote process. It asked questions such as, "Do you take any prescription drugs regularly," and "Do you smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products?"
It also asked, "Do you have any of the following medical conditions" and listed Diabetes; Arthritis; Depression; ADHD; High Cholesterol; Asthma; Heart Disease; High blood pressure; COPD as possible conditions.
But considering that Stride Health is trying to appeal to businesses, it appears to be only providing quotes for individuals.
One seller noted, "I checked Stride out, and was surprised that it only suggested two of the four carriers that are offered on our state exchange. It did not include any information the carrier I went with last year and am likely to sign up for again this year, as it was significantly less cost for the same benefits. I appreciate all the help I can get navigating the choices of health insurance, but I find this a significant omission. I would use it as a source of information, but not the only source."
Etsy sellers might want to get some professional help or find a broker who handles businesses if they are shopping for health insurance. Until more is known about Stride Health's methodology and which insurance companies it works with and does not work with, use with caution. (Etsy declined to tell me anything about the vetting process it used in choosing to partner with Stride Health.) Update: here's a FAQs page.
Stride Health has other partners besides Etsy - it has partnered with Intuit
(October) and Uber
(November of last year).
Here's the letter Etsy sent sellers on Monday:
Here at Etsy, we're always looking for ways to help you build your creative business on your own terms. That includes tackling challenges like health insurance coverage. Having the right health insurance can save you money, keep you healthy and give you more time to focus on what you love doing. That's why we partnered with Stride Health, which makes it quicker and easier to find the right health insurance for you.
Stride Health instantly compares thousands of health plans and provides recommendations based on your lifestyle and budget. If you already have health insurance coverage, you can see how your plan stacks up against the plans available through Stride. If you don't currently have health insurance, then this is a great opportunity to get covered!
It takes only 10 minutes to find quality health insurance through Stride. Plus, if you sign up by December 15, your coverage will be effective January 1. Now is a great time to get covered.
We've got more coming in Tuesday's Newsflash
, let us know what you think.