I found out later on SSL.com the reason all the signing certificate providers increased costs.
SSL.com was the only place I found that would sell certificates individually for $129. They can also sell you the FIPS USB with token for $249, or you can pay a monthly subscription to use their eSigner service which is basically uploading your files to their server, they will sign it with your certificate, and you will download the signed file. Hidden within their FAQs is a method to be able to sign files without the FIPS USB or their service using a program they provide that basically creates a key locked to your computer user account and hardware as well as your account with SSL.com.Starting June 1, 2023, SSL.com’s Organization Validation (OV) and Individual Validation (IV) Code Signing Certificates will only be issued either on Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2 (FIPS 140-2) USB tokens or through our eSigner cloud code signing service. This change is in compliance with the Certificate Authority/Browser (CA/B) Forum’s new key storage requirements to increase security for code signing keys. The previous rule allowed OV and IV code signing certificates to be issued as downloadable files from the internet. Since the new requirements only allow the use of encrypted USB tokens or cloud-based FIPS compliant hardware appliances to store the certificate and private key, it is expected that instances of code signing keys being stolen and misused by malicious actors will be greatly reduced.
The process with them was quite simple especially compared with K Software. The only thing needed was an authenticator app on your phone so you could then take pictures of driver's license, passport, or other government issued ID and also a selfie to prove your identity. I did this on a Sunday and my identity was verified within a few hours. My certificate was approved and released the next day. Then it was a matter of figuring out how to use the certificate and automate my signing which their FAQ was very helpful for.