Best Cheap Health Insurance in Alabama 2019

Find the Cheapest Health Insurance Quotes in Your Area

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In Alabama, affordable health insurance can be found on the state marketplace. We examined all the health insurance plans in Alabama and discovered that in every county of the state, the Blue Cross Select Silver was the cheapest Silver health plan. Although there are two insurers available on the state exchange, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama consistently provided the best prices on plans across all coverage tiers. But as you compare health insurance policies with different levels of coverage, the best plan for you may be different from the cheapest plan in terms of premiums, as cost sharing and benefits vary.

Cheapest Health Insurance by Metal Tier

We compared health insurance policies in Alabama by metal tier to find the most affordable plans for the different levels of coverage. The rates may change by county, but the table below provides a good starting point in comparing the costs and benefits you may expect from a given metal tier. It shows the minimum monthly rate you can expect out of each tier of coverage and the deductibles you may expect from the plan. For example, the Blue Cross Select Gold has a minimum monthly premium of $533, whereas the Blue Cross Select Silver has a minimum monthly rate of $471. Although the Blue Cross Select Silver is $61 cheaper a month, the deductible is nearly $2,000 higher.

Metal tierCheapest planDeductibleOut-of-pocket maximumMonthly cost for 40-year-old
CatastrophicBlue Protect$7,350$7,350$271.09
BronzeBlue HSA Bronze$6,450$6,450$323.40
SilverBlue Cross Select Silver$2,800$7,350$471.33
GoldBlue Cross Select Gold$850$6,000$532.54

In addition to metal tier and the policy you choose, your age also affects the actual cost of a health insurance plan. As you get older, health insurance premiums across all metal tiers increase. For example, a 60-year-old would pay $653 more a month than a 40-year-old for a Gold plan in Alabama. But if you have a Silver plan, you would pay $594 more on average as a 60-year-old.

Average Monthly Cost of Health Insurance Plans by Metal Tier in Alabama

Finding the Best Health Insurance Coverage in Alabama

The best cheap health insurance plan in Alabama will depend on the county you live in, as this determines which policies are available. It's also based in part on your income, as low-income households may qualify for cost-sharing reductions (CSR), also known as subsidies. No matter where you live, you will be able to choose from different metal tiers that offer varying levels of coverage and rates to fit your financial situation.

Gold and Silver plans typically charge higher monthly premiums. However, they charge lower out-of-pocket expenses, such as deductibles, copays and coinsurance, than Bronze and Catastrophic plans. People who expect to use their health insurance often for recurring medical costs may be better off choosing a higher metal tier policy. However, if you're young and healthy, you would likely save money by choosing a lower metal tier plan.

Gold Plans: Best for High Expected Medical Costs

The highest metal tier available in Alabama, Gold plans can be the best for those who expect to use their insurance often. These typically cover the most out-of-pocket costs, which means you'll pay lower deductibles, copays and coinsurance. These health plans are typically best for those who expect to incur high medical expenses from chronic conditions or people who have costly prescriptions. On average, you can expect a Gold plan to cover roughly 80% of your health care expenses, while you pay the other 20%.

Silver Plans: Best for Those With Low Income or Average Medical Costs

Silver policies offer a middle ground between Gold and Bronze plans. In Alabama, Silver plan premiums are 9% cheaper than Gold plans on average, but they're 52% more expensive than Bronze plans. Silver plans provide a good balance between affordable monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs, but they stand out due to their cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies. If you are part of a low-income household, you may qualify for subsidies with a Silver health plan, which would further lower your out-of-pocket expenses. Typical Silver plans cover about 70% of your health care costs while you pay 30%. But with subsidies, you could qualify for a Silver plan that covers up to 94% of your health care costs.

Bronze and Catastrophic Plans: Best for Young, Healthy People

The lowest monthly rates are available under Catastrophic plans, but they also offer the least coverage. To qualify for a Catastrophic plan, you must be younger than 30 or qualify for an exemption. Bronze plans are open to everyone, but they offer similarly lower monthly premiums than higher metal tier plans. The lower monthly rates mean reduced coverage and higher out-of-pocket costs. So if you need medical care during the year, you would have to pay more money out of pocket before coverage kicks in. On average, you can expect a Bronze plan to cover about 60% of your health costs while you pay for the other 40%.

Short-Term Health Insurance in Alabama

In Alabama, residents can purchase short-term health insurance through private health insurers at any point during the year. The state follows federal guidelines, so the coverage is limited to one year and can be renewed up to 36 months.

Short-term health insurance does not cover the essential health benefits—such as maternity care, mental health services and prescription drugs—like qualified Obamacare plans do. For this reason, you should carefully evaluate the policy against your health care needs before purchasing. Furthermore, you will be required to complete a medical exam before buying a policy, and you may be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

Find the Cheapest Health Insurance Quotes in Your Area

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Best Cheap Health Insurance Companies in Alabama

There are two health insurance companies on the Alabama state exchange: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama and Bright Health Insurance Company. Until this year, Alabama only had one insurer on the state health insurance marketplace: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. The new addition, Bright Health Insurance Company, is only available in three counties (Jefferson, Shelby and Walker), whereas Blue Cross and Blue Shield is available throughout the state.

Cheapest Health Insurance Plan by County

Although coverage through the Alabama health insurance marketplace varies by county, Blue Cross Select Silver was the cheapest Silver plan in each region. Below, the table shows sample monthly premiums for the Blue Cross Select Silver Plan based on the number of people covered. Depending on the county, the same health plan may have different rates. For example, a 40-year-old can expect to pay a monthly premium of $471 in Greene County for the Blue Cross Select Silver policy, but for the same person it would cost $542 in Birmingham, which is in Jefferson County.

CountyCheapest Silver planSingle adult, age 40Couple, age 40Couple, age 40, and child
AutaugaBlue Cross Select Silver$509$1,019$1,272
BaldwinBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
BarbourBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
BibbBlue Cross Select Silver$542$1,084$1,353
BlountBlue Cross Select Silver$542$1,084$1,353
BullockBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
ButlerBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
CalhounBlue Cross Select Silver$509$1,019$1,272
ChambersBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
CherokeeBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
ChiltonBlue Cross Select Silver$542$1,084$1,353
ChoctawBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
ClarkeBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
ClayBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
CleburneBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
CoffeeBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
ColbertBlue Cross Select Silver$471$943$1,177
ConecuhBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
CoosaBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
CovingtonBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
CrenshawBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
CullmanBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
DaleBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
DallasBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
DeKalbBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
ElmoreBlue Cross Select Silver$509$1,019$1,272
EscambiaBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
EtowahBlue Cross Select Silver$509$1,019$1,272
FayetteBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
FranklinBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
GenevaBlue Cross Select Silver$520$1,040$1,299
GreeneBlue Cross Select Silver$471$943$1,177
HaleBlue Cross Select Silver$471$943$1,177
HenryBlue Cross Select Silver$520$1,040$1,299
HoustonBlue Cross Select Silver$520$1,040$1,299
JacksonBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
JeffersonBlue Cross Select Silver$542$1,084$1,353
LamarBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
LauderdaleBlue Cross Select Silver$471$943$1,177
LawrenceBlue Cross Select Silver$509$1,019$1,272
LeeBlue Cross Select Silver$520$1,040$1,299
LimestoneBlue Cross Select Silver$555$1,111$1,387
LowndesBlue Cross Select Silver$509$1,019$1,272
MaconBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
MadisonBlue Cross Select Silver$555$1,111$1,387
MarengoBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
MarionBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
MarshallBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
MobileBlue Cross Select Silver$520$1,040$1,299
MonroeBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
MontgomeryBlue Cross Select Silver$509$1,019$1,272
MorganBlue Cross Select Silver$509$1,019$1,272
PerryBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
PickensBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
PikeBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
RandolphBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
RussellBlue Cross Select Silver$520$1,040$1,299
Saint ClairBlue Cross Select Silver$542$1,084$1,353
ShelbyBlue Cross Select Silver$542$1,084$1,353
SumterBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
TalladegaBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
TallapoosaBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
TuscaloosaBlue Cross Select Silver$471$943$1,177
WalkerBlue Cross Select Silver$542$1,084$1,353
WashingtonBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
WilcoxBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231
WinstonBlue Cross Select Silver$493$986$1,231

Average Cost of Health Insurance by Family Size in Alabama

Beyond the metal tier and the ages of your family members, your family's size will also affect the monthly rates for your health insurance policy. In Alabama, the average cost of health insurance for a family of three, assuming two 40-year-old parents and a child, is $1,321.

For each additional child, the average cost of a Silver health plan increases by $262. A family of four, assuming it has two 40-year-old adults and two children, would cost an average of $1,583 per month to insure. The monthly rate for children under the age of 15 will remain flat, but once a child turns 15 years old, the monthly health plan premium will increase as they get older.

Family sizeAverage monthly cost of health plan
Single adult$529
Adult couple$1,058
Family of three (adult couple and a child)$1,321
Family of four (adult couple and two children)$1,583
Family of five (adult couple and three children)$1,846
Adults are assumed to be 40 years old. Sample rates are based on the average cost for a Silver plan in Alabama.

Comments and Questions

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.