Health Insurance

Best Cheap Health Insurance in Arizona 2020

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Cheap health insurance plans can be purchased in Arizona through the state marketplace, or low-income households may be eligible for coverage through Arizona's Medicaid expansion. To help you find the best health insurance plan for your family, we evaluated all policies on the state exchange to find those with the lowest premiums.

In 2020, the average health insurance cost for a 40-year-old is $487. This represents a 6% decline in cost since the 2018 plan year.

Depending on where you live in Arizona, the cheapest Silver health insurance plans are the TrueHealth HMO 6000 - Neighborhood Network, Ambetter Balanced Care 12, and Silver 1. Bright Health is only available in Pima and Maricopa counties, so their Silver 1 health plan is the best cheap option in these regions. Similarly, the Ambetter Balanced Care 12 plan is the most affordable in the five counties where Ambetter from Health Net is available.

Cheapest health insurance coverage by metal tier

Health insurance plans on the Arizona exchange are divided into metal tiers, which indicate the benefits you would receive from a policy as well as its out of pocket costs and premiums. To help you find the best cheap health plan for yourself, we compared all those listed on the Arizona marketplace and identified the most affordable policies in each metal tier. Not all of these health insurance policies are offered in every county, but we recommend using these to get a sense of the costs and benefits you can expect in each tier of coverage.

Metal tierCheapest planDeductibleOut-of-pocket maximumMonthly cost for 40-year-old
CatastrophicSimpleHealth HMO - PimaFocus Network$8,150$8,150$245
BronzeBronze$8,150$8,150$277
Expanded BronzeBronze Plus$7,500$7,500$284
SilverSilver 1$4,700$8,150$325
GoldEverydayHealth HMO 2000 - PimaFocus Network$0$6,000$427

The actual cost of a health insurance policy will vary depending on your age in addition to the policy you choose and the number of people covered. As you can see below, the cost of a health insurance plan in Arizona is 22% cheaper for a 21-year-old than for a 40-year-old, which translates to an average savings of $108 per month for the average Silver plan. A 60-year-old, on the other hand, would end up paying 112% more for the same level of coverage.

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

Finding your best health insurance coverage in Arizona

If your household income falls below 138% of the federal poverty level, you may qualify for Arizona's expanded Medicaid program to gain health insurance coverage. For those that don't qualify, the county you live in, your household income and your expected medical expenses will all help determine the best cheap health insurance plan available through the Arizona marketplace. Different health plans are available in different counties. For example, a Pima resident would have different coverage options than a person who lives in Apache.

Within a given Arizona county, you'll be able to choose from different metal tier health plans, each of which has its own pros and cons. Lower metal tier plans, such as Bronze and Catastrophic policies, come with the cheapest health insurance premiums. However, the trade-off is paying higher out-of-pocket costs if you become ill. You may have to cover much higher deductibles and copays than you would if you were to choose a Gold plan.

Gold plans: Best if you have high expected medical costs

Though Gold health insurance policies come with the highest premiums — on average they're 32% more expensive than Silver plans in Arizona — your variable expenses will be much lower. Gold health plans have the lowest cost-sharing features, such as deductibles, copays and coinsurance, making them the best health insurance option for those with high expected medical expenses. If you have ongoing prescription needs, for instance, you'll likely find that Gold plans have the most affordable out-of-pocket expenses for drugs.

Silver plans: Best for average medical costs or people with low income

Silver plans are eligible for cost-sharing subsidies, so one of these policies is likely to be the best cheap health insurance plan if you're in a low-income household. Silver policies are also a good middle ground between Gold and Bronze plans, combining affordable monthly premiums with out-of-pocket expenses if you do need medical care.

Bronze & Catastrophic plans: Best for healthy people with low expected medical costs

Catastrophic plans are only available to people under the age of 30, or those who meet certain exemptions, but we would only recommend these policies for people who are fairly young and healthy. Similarly, a Bronze plan will likely be the best cheap health insurance policy if you have low expected medical costs and are able to pay the high out-of-pocket expenses in the event that you need medical care. Though Bronze and Catastrophic health insurance plans have the cheapest monthly premiums, their high deductibles, copays and coinsurance mean that you may face a particularly large bill before your coverage kicks in.

Health insurance rate changes in Arizona

In Arizona, health insurance premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums are determined yearly by the health providers. The changes are then approved by federal regulators.

In 2020, most health insurance premiums decreased on the Arizona health insurance exchange. The largest decrease was seen in Expanded Bronze tiers which declined by 17%.

Metal tier2018 Premium2020 Premium% Change
Catastrophic$314$37118.12%
Bronze$424$382-9.92%
Expanded Bronze$513$426-16.98%
Silver$573$497-13.32%
Gold$728$655-10.05%
2018 and 2020 premiums are for a 40-year-old adult.

Short-term health insurance in Arizona

Short-term health insurance is available for purchase in Arizona. Federal regulations allow short-term health insurance to last up to 12 months with the ability to renew after that. However, in Arizona, state regulations restrict policy lengths to six months and only allow renewability for an additional six months thereafter.

Most short-term plans do not cover the essential benefits, including maternity, mental health and prescription drug coverage. For this reason, they are not qualified Obamacare plans and are not offered on the state marketplace. It can be useful to consider short-term health insurance if you are looking for a more affordable option for health coverage or missed open enrollment.

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Best cheap health insurance companies in Arizona

There are five health insurance companies on the Arizona state exchange:

  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona, Inc.
  • Bright Health Company of Arizona
  • Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc.
  • Health Net of Arizona, Inc.
  • Oscar Health Plan, Inc.

Bright Health Company of Arizona and Ambetter from Health Net offer the best-priced Silver plans in the counties where they're available. Unfortunately, if you want to compare health plans from multiple companies, you may not be able to do so depending on where you live, as only one insurer is available in eight Arizona counties. Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the only insurer available across the entire state.

Cheapest health insurance plan by county

The lowest-cost health plan and its price will vary based on the region you live in. For instance, you would pay $70 per month less for the Silver 1 health plan if you live in Pima County than you would as a resident of Maricopa County. To help you find the best health insurance plan where you live, we identified the cheapest Silver policies in each county below.

CountyCheapest Silver planSingle adult, age 40Couple, age 40Couple, age 40, and child
ApacheTrueHealth HMO 6000 - Neighborhood Network$656$1,311$1,704
CochiseTrueHealth HMO 6000 - Neighborhood Network$543$1,086$1,411
CoconinoTrueHealth HMO 6000 - Neighborhood Network$656$1,311$1,704
GilaAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$491$983$1,277
GrahamAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$499$999$1,297
GreenleeAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$499$999$1,297
La PazTrueHealth HMO 6000 - Neighborhood Network$698$1,397$1,815
MaricopaSilver 1$394$789$1,025
MohaveTrueHealth HMO 6000 - Neighborhood Network$656$1,311$1,704
NavajoTrueHealth HMO 6000 - Neighborhood Network$656$1,311$1,704
PimaSilver 1$325$649$843
PinalAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$491$983$1,277
Santa CruzAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$345$690$896
YavapaiTrueHealth HMO 6000 - Neighborhood Network$648$1,297$1,685
YumaTrueHealth HMO 6000 - Neighborhood Network$698$1,397$1,815

Average cost of health insurance by family size in Arizona

The cost of a health insurance plan in Arizona will vary depending on the size of your family, in addition to your age and the policy you choose. For example, the average cost of a Silver health insurance plan in Arizona would cost 46% more for a family of five than it would for a family of three.

Health insurance premiums are determined for each adult based upon their age, while children below the age of 15 are priced at a flat rate. So, if you add your 40-year-old spouse to your health insurance plan, your premium would increase by an average of $497 per month in Arizona. But the cost of an average Silver health plan would only increase by $297 per child added to the policy.

Family sizeAverage monthly cost of health plan
Individual + child$794
Couple, age 40$993
Family of three (adult couple and a child)$1,291
Family of four (adult couple and two children)$1,588
Family of five (adult couple and three children)$1,885
Adults are assumed to be 40 years old. Sample rates are based on the average cost for a Silver plan in Arizona.

Methodology

The Arizona health insurance rate data in this analysis was sourced from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) website. ValuePenguin used the CMS Public Use Files (PUF) in our calculations to average premiums across a variety of factors such as metal tier, county and family size.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.