Last Updated on 2024-02-07

How to Make Sure You Get Health Insurance With Shipt

We worked with these active, experienced gig-workers to write this article and bring you first-hand knowledge.

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Melissa Wise

Three years of experience working as a Shipt Shopper

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Joshua Merritt

4 years of experience working across DoorDash, Instacart, Shipt, and UberEats

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Berenice Comón

Three years of experience across UberEats and Shipt (achieving top-tier status with Shipt)

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Phil Grossman

Experienced writer/researcher in the gig industry working alongside our gig-workers

The information provided in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, tax, or insurance advice. The content contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments or insurance changes. Any reader should consult with an insurance professional to obtain insurance advice tailored to their specific circumstances.

When you work as a Shipt Shopper or Driver (read about the differences), you’re classified as a self-employed, independent contractor, and that means you’re not eligible for traditional employee benefits, like health insurance. 

But you’re not totally on your own: Shipt has a partnership with HealthSherpa, an Affordable Care Act (ACA) quoting and enrollment platform that can help you find and enroll in a health insurance plan that suits you. Shipt also partners with several other healthcare companies that can help you stay fit and healthy. 

Here, we’ll cover all the different ways you can get health insurance as a Shipt shopper or driver so you can stay covered and healthy. 

Does Shipt offer health insurance for shoppers and drivers?

No, Shipt does not provide health insurance coverage for its shoppers and drivers. Shipt shoppers and drivers are classified as independent contractors, not employees, and health insurance is only offered to employees as part of a benefits package.

That means that you’ll need to find and pay for health insurance, including any dental and vision insurance you’d like to have, on your own. Typically, that means you’ll need to enroll in a healthcare plan through your state’s healthcare marketplace.

But Shipt actually has a partnership with HealthSherpa, an insurance broker that helps make finding a plan even easier for you. 

How can HealthSherpa help me get health insurance?

HealthSherpa is a leading ACA quoting and enrollment platform — it’s designed to help you find and enroll in Affordable Care Act health care plans. It serves the same function as your state’s healthcare marketplace, but it helps streamline the process.

Indeed, the HealthSherpa interface is extremely simple and easy-to-use compared to many states’ insurance marketplaces. To start, all you need to do is navigate to the HealthSherpa website and enter your zip code where prompted in the “Comprehensive private health insurance” box. 

After that, HealthSherpa will ask you to provide some basic information about yourself, including your age, income, smoking status, any dependents or spouses you want covered, etc. All this information is used to help pick the best plans for you.

Once you’ve entered all your information, HealthSherpa will recommend the plan with the lowest monthly premium. You can see all the plan details by selecting the “Plan details” button. If everything looks good to you, you can simply select “Enroll now,” and HealthSherpa will walk you through the enrollment process.

If you want to see some other options, you can select “All Plans” in the navigation bar at the top of the screen, and HealthSherpa will show you all the other plans you’re eligible for.

What about dental and vision insurance?

HealthSherpa can help you find vision and dental insurance too, but it doesn’t offer an online interface for those. Instead, you’ll have to call the number listed on the site to speak with a customer service representative who will guide you through the process.

Important caveats about HealthSherpa

HealthSherpa is a great platform, but there are a couple things you should be aware of.

First of all, HealthSherpa is an insurance broker: it doesn’t provide any plans of its own, it just helps you find them. All the plans that HealthSherpa offers to you are also available via your state’s health insurance marketplace.

Second, you shouldn’t rely on HealthSherpa entirely — like any smart consumer, it’s a good idea to shop around. It’s possible that HealthSherpa might have missed a few plans that are actually a great fit for you, and it’s possible that you can get a better deal through your state’s marketplace.

Third, if you’re eligible for Medicaid or Medicare, you’ll need to apply via your state’s marketplace. Medicaid is a subsidized insurance program for low-income individuals and families, and Medicare is an insurance program for seniors over 65. 

If you meet the requirements for either of these programs, HealthSherpa should alert you and prompt you to apply on your state’s marketplace, but it’s always possible that the tool will make a mistake. The Medicaid and Medicare eligibility criteria vary from state to state, so check your state’s requirements on your own and make sure they match up with what HealthSherpa is telling you. 

Are there any HealthSherpa alternatives?

Yes! HealthSherpa is just one of many ways that self-employed people can get health insurance. 

Going directly through your state’s healthcare marketplace is likely the most common way that independent contractors get health insurance. Brokers like HealthSherpa exist because sometimes the marketplaces can be a bit tough to use or not so user friendly. However, the flipside is that when you use your state’s marketplace, you know for sure that you’re getting access to all of the plans that are available to you, including Medicaid. 

If you ever have any questions about your eligibility or how plans work, your state’s marketplace will always be the most reliable resource. They will have the most comprehensive and accurate information about how health insurance works in your state. You can typically call your state’s marketplace toll free to ask any questions you might have: you can go to or just google “[your state] health insurance marketplace” to find its website and contact info. 

If you prefer to use a tool like HealthSherpa, you can also look into its competitors. Stride is another tool that works just like HealthSherpa — that’s the insurance broker that DoorDash partners with. However, even if you’re not driving for DoorDash, you can still use Stride to find health insurance. 

Joshua Merritt, who has three years of experience shopping for Shipt, also advises Shoppers to use and to save money on medications: “they have saved me hundreds of dollars when my insurance still left me paying high amounts for prescriptions.

What other health benefits does Shipt offer?

Shipt doesn’t offer any other health benefits directly, but Shipt drivers are eligible for discounts for other services:

  • BetterHelp: BetterHelp is a leading provider of remote therapy. With the BetterHelp app, you can send messages, have live chats, video calls, and audio calls with a licensed, professional therapist. Shipt shoppers and drivers get one month free.
  • River: River provides health care benefits for a limited number of services, including no-cost prescriptions, $0 primary care visits, lab tests, birth control, reproductive health, mental health, and chronic disease management. River is not a replacement for a standard health care plan: it does not provide any coverage for surgical, maternal, or emergency care, which are some of the largest sources of medical debt. Shipt shoppers and drivers get one month free. 
  • Gympass: Gympass offers access to top gyms, studios, and wellbeing apps. Shipt drivers can subscribe for $14.99/month. 
  • Avibra: Avibra to their perks package, which offers $10,000 accidental life and dismemberment insurance, $1,000 life insurance, credit and debt counseling, housing counseling, discount prescriptions, a 24/7 well-being advisor, an ESG (environmental, social, and governance) advisor, and a subsidy navigator.

Berenice Comón, who has achieved top tier status on Shipt, says, “I have $5k life insurance benefits through Avibra” and “$10k in AD&D.”

How much does health insurance cost?

The average cost of health insurance in the US varies depending on your state, age, and health care needs. For a 30-year-old individual, the average monthly cost is between $466 and $512, depending on what type of plan you prefer (EPO, HMO, or PPO — your state marketplace or preferred broker can help you decide which of these is right for you). 

There’s some good news though: self-employed people can typically deduct the cost of their premiums from their taxes, which will lower the amount that you owe the IRS. 

Plus, even though you’ll have to pay for the full cost of your insurance, you get to choose your own insurance, which isn’t something you can typically do if your employer is providing coverage for you. 

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