SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Aug 31, 2016) - Stride Health, the first benefits platform for independent workers, announced the release of Stride Drive, an app that maximizes independent drivers' take-home income by easily managing their tax deductible expenses.
With Stride Drive, Stride Health makes a leap into serving the financial health component of workers' benefits, helping independent workers hit their income goals by maximizing the portion of income that they take home. Stride Drive is an end-to-end solution that enables workers to keep more of what they earn when it comes to taxes and links directly with their benefits.
As one of Stride's key partners, Uber piloted Stride Drive with more than 20,000 drivers this summer, and is now rolling it out to driver-partners nationally. During the pilot, drivers using the app deducted more than $15 million in expenses. In addition to those drivers, more than 100,000 independent workers who drive with Uber currently use Stride for health coverage and care guidance. Coupled with their healthcare savings, Stride Drive users save more than $3,500 per year.
"While ensuring the physical health of drivers with better access to healthcare, we found an inextricable link between health and financial wellness," said Noah Lang, CEO of Stride Health. "Drivers told us they need better tools to maximize their income. We built Stride Drive to make them a successful business-of-one and to ensure their driving is as financially viable as possible."
"We are always looking for ways to make the Uber experience more rewarding and stress free for drivers," said Jeff Miller, Director of Business Development at Uber. "Stride Drive is an easy, flexible way for drivers to make the most of their time on the road." Stride and Uber partnered to offer Stride Drive to all drivers for free.
Independent Contractors Miss Thousands in Tax Savings
Stride has spent the last two and a half years helping rideshare drivers navigate affordable health insurance and unlock access to better care. For many drivers that also meant getting tax credits to pay for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. But the company recognized most 1099s were overlooking a key component in accessing those credits: since every tax deduction taken lowers your taxable income, it also means a potential increase in government health premium subsidies.
There was only one problem -- two-thirds of contractors weren't entering a single deduction.
As a business-of-one, independent contractors have some of the most complex and time-intensive tax responsibilities of anyone. Unlike large businesses, however, they don't have anyone or anything to manage those responsibilities. As a result, they leave a lot of money on the table.
Earning More, Stressing Less
Stride Drive was designed specifically for rideshare drivers. Stride Drive makes sure drivers take home as much of their earnings as they deserve by tracking every expense and managing their daily income stream. Stride has leveraged its tax code expertise and several years of tax data from this burgeoning workforce to solve rideshare drivers' daily set of expense and compliance challenges.
Stride Drive makes mileage tracking, this workforce's largest deductible expense, as simple as possible. With just two clicks a day most drivers deduct hundreds of dollars per week in mileage expenses. Stride Drive also uses smart expense tracking, directly integrating with drivers' bank accounts, to guide them in correctly categorizing and maximizing all deductions.
With both real-time and weekly deduction reports, drivers always know the exact amount to set aside for taxes and how much they are actually earning, allowing them to stay right-side-up financially every single day. Maximizing tax deductions means drivers also can readily increase government health premium subsidies, and Stride's healthcare and benefits guidance are now available directly from the Drive app.
Focus on Fiscal Health and Expanded Uber Partnership Strengthens Gig Workers
Stride Health continues to break new ground in delivering a complete suite of "independent benefits" that links independent contractors' and self-employed Americans' coverage and compensation. The company launched its hassle-free approach to independent health coverage in 2014, scaled nationally in 2015 and this year has expanded into a broader set of protections to empower this workforce.
Stride first partnered with Uber in 2014 to provide healthcare guidance tailored for driver partners using the Uber platform, and now more than 100,000 drivers use Stride to save on health coverage and unlock access to better care. In addition to needing help navigating the coverage landscape, drivers now have a toolkit to manage their income and expenses.
When Stride launched in 2014, it tackled one of the biggest hurdles independent workers face: finding affordable health insurance. Using an algorithm that evaluates 38 factors, the company built a recommendation engine that saves the average user more than $400 a year on healthcare coverage by guiding them to an optimal health plan, providing access to government subsidies and offering award-winning guidance year round at no additional cost.
The company is partnered with the largest digital labor and capital marketplaces, including Uber, Etsy, Postmates and Care.com. Stride is directly integrated into these marketplaces, assessing an individual's banking data, health data and work lifestyle to deliver the optimal suite of benefits. Today Stride's coverage benefits include major medical health insurance and a custom set of dental plans. The company plans additional coverages in 2017.
Stride Health continues to expand what benefits look like in the future of work. Helping on-demand and gig-economy workers keep more of what they earn enables them to be healthier, both physically and financially. Within Stride Drive, the company now links an individual's daily income and expenses to their personal benefits, ensuring they have the right mix of coverage necessary for a business-of-one.
Stride Drive is currently available for free in the Apple App Store. Stride also offers a host of educational resources for drivers to learn how to keep their independent businesses strong and growing.
Stride Health is the leading benefits provider for independent workers. The company supports independents' physical and financial well-being with tools for maximizing income and ensuring the sustainability of their businesses-of-one. Stride's health insurance recommendation engine connects independent workers to the best health insurance plans in all 50 states. Stride members' insurance coverage is managed by an award-winning advisory team and software that provides access to in-network medical practitioners, and negotiated drug prices at 70,000 local pharmacies. Stride Drive expands the suite of benefits available to independent workers with automated tax tracking and access to essential income protection.
Based in San Francisco and available nationwide, Stride Health (www.stridehealth.com) launched in early 2014 and is venture-backed by the leading health and consumer finance firms Venrock, New Enterprise Associates, and Fidelity's F-Prime Capital.