Live AMA with Health Insurance Experts from Stride

For creators in the US, Open Enrollment is the only time of the year you can enroll in or change your health insurance and, no pressure, but it starts this week on November 1st!

Finding a health plan can be scary and stressful which is why we’ve partnered with Stride to make it a little bit easier. Stride has generously offered to do an AMA exclusively for Patreon creators in this forum so you can ask any and all questions you might have about the process. @jordan.mcintosh, Licensed Health Insurance Broker with Stride Health, and @sydney.frazer, Content Marketing Manager with Stride Health, will be joining us for this AMA. Say hello :wave:

When: Thurs Nov 8th, 9-11am PT
Where: Right here! This is the thread the AMA will be on.
How: Reply to this thread with your questions and they will answer them live on 11/8/18

About Stride
Stride helps creators like you save time and money on insurance. All you have to do is answer a few questions in Stride’s simple online assessment, and you will receive tailored plan recommendations chosen just for you (usually within 10 minutes or less)! Want to learn more? Visit

What next? Reply to this with your burning questions and concerns about enrolling for health care!

Here are some questions to get us going!

  • What is Open Enrollment?
  • What are the dates of Open Enrollment?
  • How do I qualify for a subsidy?
  • How do I find a plan?
  • How do I choose a plan?
  • What are metal tiers?
  • What is the difference between a PPO, HMO, and EPO?
  • What is the difference between a deductible and out-of-pocket maximum?

Great! I have a few questions-

What is the difference between using Stride and buying on the exchange (for me via Covered CA)?

If I purchased a plan last year via Covered CA, is there an advantage to working with Stride?



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Hi everyone, if you’re feeling at all anxious about health care enrollment, Stride have a free e-book that will give you answers to questions like:

  1. What is Open Enrollment?
  2. What types of plans are available?
  3. How do I qualify for government funding assistance?

Take a look and then come back here to ask any remaining questions you might have for the team to answer on Thurs Nov 8th, 9-11am PT.

No question is too simple or silly, this is a safe space for you to ask anything you have on your mind about enrolling for health care, or to just to vent about what you find scary. This is a first step for Patreon to offer creators more tools and resources that impact your life as an independent creator so I truly hope this is useful :slight_smile:

My attention is piqued immediately when it comes to other health insurance options - that’s the single hugest concern I have when I consider going full time. I want to look into this more, but I’m feeling crunched for time at the moment – could someone give a cliff notes or bulleted overview of what Stride is here in the comments? Just main “pros cons” or perhaps what sets Stride apart from Obamacare/Medicare would be really helpful.


I just enrolled in new health insurance through Stride. It was really easy. It is going to save me $600 per month! I had a grandfathered plan and had been meaning to check my insurance costs under Covered California, and it turns out I qualify for subsidies after all. Yay!

I highly encourage anyone to go through the process with Stride - it was super useful and simple. I’d heard nightmares about the open enrollment process, but didn’t experience any difficulties at all.

Happy to answer questions if anyone has them.



Get your questions in about health care for the team to answer in about an hour :slight_smile:

Open Enrollment is the only time of year that you can buy individual/family health insurance for 2019 coverage!

OEP dates vary a bit by state, but most states’ Open Enrollment Period runs between November 1st - December 15, 2018. Some states’ have extended their Open Enrollment period beyond December 15th, check to see if your state has an extended enrollment period on our blog here

A subsidy is money the government will pay towards part, or all of your health coverage, depending on your income. Subsidy eligibility depends on a number of factors, including your zipcode, age, taxable household size, and household income. We’ll help you determine if you qualify for subsidies on our website here with a couple quick questions.

We offer all the plans that are available on the marketplace (like or Covered California), plus more, all at the same prices! Visit our website here to answer a few questions, get your subsidy eligibility, and view your personalized plan recommendation!

Metal tiers are categories of health plans that represent their different price points and coverage amounts! Lower metal tiers (like Bronze) have the least expensive monthly premiums, but higher deductibles and costs for things like doctors visits or prescriptions. Higher metal tiers (like Gold) are more expensive per month, but come with lower deductibles and costs for medical care.

Great question – PPOs, HMOs, and EPOs all have to do with doctor networks! HMOs require you to select a primary care doctor and receive referrals to see a specialist, and will only cover you if you stay in-network with the doctors they partner with.

PPOs often are more expensive, but don’t require you to have a set primary care doctor or receive referrals for specialists, and will offer partial coverage if you go out-of-network.

EPOs are like a hybrid between HMOs and PPOs. They will only cover you if you stay in-network, but you can see specialists without referrals.

A deductible is the amount you’d have to pay before your insurance kicks in and starts contributing towards your care.

The out-of-pocket maximum is the most you can pay for covered medical costs in a year. Once you hit your max, your insurance will pay for 100% of your medical bills for the rest of the year.


When you shop for a plan through stride, we’ll show you the exact same plans that are offered on the health insurance exchanges (like Covered California), but we’ll also show you private, non-subsidized options that aren’t available on the exchanges. The advantage of working with us is that we act as your broker throughout the year – we take your needs into account and recommend the best plan for you, help you apply for your plan, and stick around to act as your advocate if any issues come up, so you don’t have to wait on hold and listen to hours of boring music.

It’s always a good idea to determine if your current plan is the best one for you – our site makes it easy to compare your current plan with new options that may be available to you next year, and make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck!

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@ScienceMom You’re not alone here, insurance is one of the largest hurdles keeping a lot of folks from pursuing their passions full time. Stride isn’t a health insurance company, rather we’re here to help creators save time and money on health insurance and taxes!


@nancy.shanteau WOW thank you for sharing your experience working with us here at Stride!!

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What’s the area that you see most people get stuck or confused in when it comes to enrollment?

Great question! One of the more complicated parts of enrolling in coverage and ensuring you pick the most cost-effective plan involves making an estimation of your modified adjusted gross income for the upcoming year. Your income determines how much you may be eligible to receive in subsidies, but predicting your income can be really tricky when you’re self-employed; when you set your own hours, it’s hard to predict what those hours will be for an entire year.

Oftentimes, it’s beneficial to use the income you made last year as a base for predicting what your income may be next year. We have lots of helpful tips on estimating your income on our blog here, and our support team is always here to help walk you through this process as well – feel free to reach out to our team at


Thank you so much, @jordan.mcintosh! That’s very helpful :raised_hands: