Health Insurance

Best Cheap Health Insurance in Hawaii 2020

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Hawaii residents can often find affordable coverage options on the health insurance exchange.

In 2020, the average health insurance cost is $455 which has remained unchanged since the 2018 plan year.

We researched all of the health insurance policies in the state and found that the KP HI Silver 4000/45 from Kaiser Foundation was the cheapest Silver health plan in every county. However, Hawaii Medical Service Association offered the lowest cost Catastrophic, Bronze, Extended Bronze, Gold and Platinum health plans in Hawaii, making it the most affordable insurer for more basic or comprehensive policies.

Cheapest health insurance by metal tier

With six different metal tiers offered in Hawaii, knowing which coverage to choose can be difficult. To help with your search, we compared all of the policies in Hawaii to find the most affordable health insurance option at each level of coverage offered on the state exchange.

Metal tierCheapest planDeductibleOut-of-pocket maximumMonthly cost for a 40-year-old
CatastrophicHMSA Catastrophic Plan$8,150$8,150$196
BronzeHMSA Bronze PPO$8,150$8,150$365
Expanded BronzeHMSA Bronze HMO$6,000$8,150$363
SilverKP HI Silver 4000/45$4,000$8,000$460
GoldHMSA Gold PPO 1000$1,000$8,150$455
PlatinumHMSA Platinum PPO$0$7,150$539

As you can see above, health plans with higher monthly premiums have lower out-of-pocket costs if you do use your insurance.

For example, the minimum monthly premium on a Bronze plan for a 40-year-old in Hawaii is $365, which is $174 cheaper than the cheapest Platinum plan. But the Bronze plan has a $8,150 deductible, whereas the Platinum plan has a $0 deductible.

Metal Tier and age are two important factors when insurers determine the actual cost of your health insurance plan. As metal tier increases, your coverage increases, but your monthly premium will typically increase as well. And as you get older, your monthly premium will increase, regardless of the health insurance policy you choose.

A 21-year-old, for instance, would pay $286 per month on average for a Bronze plan in Hawaii, while a 40-year-old would pay $79 more for the same coverage. On a Silver plan, on the other hand, a 40-year-old's health insurance rates would be $104 more per month than a 21-year-old's.

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

Finding your best health insurance coverage in Hawaii

The best cheap health insurance plan for you in Hawaii will depend on your coverage needs and personal financial situation. Typically, higher metal tier policies have pricier monthly premiums, but they also provide lower out-of-pocket expenses, like deductibles, copays and coinsurance.

This means a Gold or Platinum health plan can be a cost-effective choice if you think you may become sick or you already have high recurring medical costs, like prescriptions. Alternatively, if you're young and healthy, a lower metal tier may help you reduce your monthly premiums while keeping you insured in case of any medical emergencies.

Gold and Platinum plans: Best for high expected medical costs

Platinum and Gold policies are considered higher metal tier health plans and cover the greatest share of out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles, copays and coinsurance. These benefits come at the expense of a higher monthly premium.

Generally, Gold and Platinum health insurance plans are the most cost-effective if you expect to incur high medical expenses for chronic conditions, or if you 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 higher metal tier plans, like Platinum or Gold, and lower metal tier plans, like Bronze or Expanded Bronze. And lower-income households can qualify for cost-sharing reduction (CSR) 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 under CSR 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

Catastrophic plans may offer the lowest monthly rates but are limited to those under 30 or those who qualify for an exemption. Furthermore, these plans provide the least coverage and are only recommended if you have the financial means to cover a large portion of your health care expenses in case of an emergency.

For example, in Honolulu, the Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) Catastrophic Plan has a deductible of $8,150, which is $4,650 more than the deductible of the HMSA Silver PPO 3500 plan.

Bronze plans are open to everyone and similarly offer cheaper monthly premiums than Silver plans alongside 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%. Expanded Bronze plans increase coverage to about 65%, while you pay roughly 35%.

Health insurance rate changes in Hawaii

In Hawaii, health insurance providers update their premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums on a yearly basis. These changes are then submitted to federal regulators to be approved for the following plan year.

In 2020, Catastrophic health insurance policies fell over 20% since 2018 which was the largest change among all of the metal tiers. Additionally, Bronze health policies increased the most — becoming more expensive by nearly 6%.

Metal tier2018 Premium2020 Premium% Change
Catastrophic$246$196-20.42%
Bronze$346$3655.61%
Expanded Bronze$356$3714.31%
Silver$492$480-2.43%
Gold$478$4871.87%
Platinum$552$5652.37%
Rates are based on a 40-year-old adult.

Best cheap health insurance companies in Hawaii

Before 2016, Hawaii had a state-run health exchange, but the state has now decided to use the federal system instead. On the federal exchange, you will find two health insurance companies for Hawaii: Hawaii Medical Service Association and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. Although both companies offer health insurance plans in each of the five counties in Hawaii, Kaiser does not offer any Bronze or Catastrophic plans in the state.

Cheapest health insurance plan by county

Although the cheapest Silver health insurance plan in every county is the KP HI Silver 4000/45, the best plan for you depends on your personal medical circumstances. In the table below, you can find the cheapest Silver plan in each county as well as sample premiums for an individual, couple and a family of three.

CountyCheapest Silver PlanSingle Adult, Age 40Couple, Age 40Couple, Age 40, plus Child
HawaiiKP HI Silver 4000/45$460$921$1,197
HonoluluKP HI Silver 4000/45$460$921$1,197
KalawaoKP HI Silver 4000/45$460$921$1,197
KauaiKP HI Silver 4000/45$460$921$1,197
MauiKP HI Silver 4000/45$460$921$1,197

Average cost of health insurance by family size in Hawaii

In addition to the coverage tier, the size of your family and their ages will affect your monthly health insurance premium. If you have children, the cost of health insurance remains flat until the child turns 15 years old, after which the monthly health plan premium will increase annually as they get older.

The average cost of a Silver health insurance policy for a family of three, assuming two 40-year-old parents and a child, is $1,247 in Hawaii. For each additional child, the average cost of a policy increases by $287. So a family of five, assuming two adults and three children, would cost an average of $575 more per month to insure.

Family SizeAverage Monthly Cost of Health Plan
Individual + Child$767
Couple Age 40$960
Family of three (Adult couple and a child)$1,247
Family of four (Adult couple and two children)$1,535
Family of five (Adult couple and three children)$1,822
Adults are assumed to be 40 years old. Sample rates are based on the average cost for a Silver plan in Hawaii.

Methodology

The rate and health plan data for Hawaii used in this analysis was sourced from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) website. ValuePenguin used the CMS Public Use Files (PUF) in order 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.