Health Insurance

Best Cheap Health Insurance in Idaho 2020

Find Cheap Health Insurance Quotes in Idaho

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You can purchase cheap health insurance in Idaho through the Your Health Idaho health insurance marketplace or acquire coverage by applying to Medicaid. After comparing policies offered in the five largest counties in the state, we found that the SelectHealth Silver 3500 was the cheapest Silver metal tier health plan available in Idaho. Although this is the most affordable policy, it may not be offered in your county, as some health insurance companies do not offer plans in every region of the state.

Cheapest Health Insurance Coverage by Metal Tier

We compared health insurance plans from the Idaho marketplace to find the lowest-cost options at each metal tier. The table below shows the cheapest individual health insurance plans for each metal tier along with the monthly cost for a 40-year-old, deductible and out-of-pocket maximum. These policies should be used to gauge what is affordable based on your financial situation.

If you do not currently have health insurance through your employer or are not enrolled in a federal health insurance plan, then you can purchase coverage through the state exchange. For example, if you own a business and are self-employed, then you could find health coverage on the marketplace.

Metal TierCheapest PlanDeductibleOut-of-Pocket MaxMonthly Cost for 40-Year-Old
CatastrophicSelectHealth Catastrophic 7900$7,900$7,900$257.91
BronzeIDID Southwest Bronze 7900$7,900$7,900$303.53
SilverSelectHealth Silver 3500$3,500$6,750$478.67
GoldLink Gold$900$5,500$479.50
Sample rates are from the largest five counties in Idaho.

As you can see, health insurance in Idaho is broken down into four different metal tiers: Catastrophic, Bronze, Silver and Gold. All metal tiers cover the essential health benefits but differ in the amount that you would spend for that care. The lower tiers (Bronze and Catastrophic) have the cheapest premiums but the largest deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums, meaning you would have to spend a lot on medical expenses before benefits would begin. On the other hand, Silver and Gold plans have more expensive premiums but smaller deductibles.

The most influential pricing factor that insurers consider when determining health insurance rates is age. The graph below shows the average cost of health insurance for different age groups at each metal tier of coverage. As you can see, the cost of health insurance is higher for older applicants. For example, for a Silver-level policy, a 40-year-old would pay $565, which is 28% or $124 more per month than what a 21-year-old would pay for the same policy in Idaho. If you are older than 60, then you will find that your premiums have an even larger bump in price for the same metal tier of health insurance coverage—60-year-olds pay 111% or $629 more per month than 40-year-olds.

Average Cost of Health Insurance ID

Finding the Best Health Insurance in Idaho

The best health insurance for you will depend on the availability of plans in your area as well as your health and financial situation. Expanded Medicaid is available in Idaho, which means that anyone with a household income of less than 138% of the federal poverty level would be able to apply for the program. However, Idaho has enacted an additional work requirement that only allows working individuals to be eligible for Medicaid.

When evaluating health plans, you should begin by comparing the premiums and out-of-pocket maximums of policies to determine what is affordable for your situation. Typically, if you expect to have moderate to high medical expenses throughout the year, then you should purchase an upper-tier policy with a smaller deductible but more expensive premiums.

Gold: Best If You Have High Expected Medical Costs

Gold metal tier policies are the most expensive health insurance plans in Idaho in terms of monthly premiums. However, these plans can be cost effective if you have a lot of medical costs due to the lower deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. For example, if you needed to have a prescription filled monthly for an expensive drug, then you would reach the low deductible level quickly and then begin coinsurance or copays with your insurance provider.

Silver: Best for Affordable Premiums and Average Deductibles

We would recommend Silver plans in most situations, since these health insurance policies have modest premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.

All health insurance policies except Catastrophic plans offer premium tax credits, but Silver policies in Idaho are also eligible for cost-sharing reductions if your household income falls below 250%. This benefit discounts on the amount that you pay in premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. For this reason, Silver plans can be the most cost-effective tier of health insurance policy if you are eligible for the cost-sharing reductions.

Bronze and Catastrophic: Best for Low-Income and Healthy Applicants

The cheapest plans on the health insurance marketplace in Idaho are Bronze and Catastrophic. Both of these policy tiers have low monthly premiums but also high deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. This means that you would need to spend a lot on medical expenses out-of-pocket before you would gain access to coinsurance. For this reason, you should only consider these plans if you are healthy and don't expect to have any costly health care expenses.

Bronze plans are available for applicants of any age, but Catastrophic policies are only available if you are under 30 years old or have an exemption.

Short-Term Health Insurance in Idaho

Idaho short-term health insurance is available for purchase through insurers outside of the state insurance marketplace. The state allows for these types of policies to have term lengths of up to one year but does not permit the plan to be renewed after the initial term. Short-term health insurance plans in Idaho, similar to those in every state, are not required to provide the same level of coverage as marketplace health insurance policies. Therefore, they may not cover the essential health benefits, and you may not receive coverage for the treatment of preexisting conditions.

Find Cheap Health Insurance Quotes in Your Area

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Health Insurance Companies in Idaho

In Idaho, there are currently four companies that provide health insurance on the state exchange:

  • Mountain Health CO-OP
  • Blue Cross of Idaho
  • PacificSource Health Plans
  • SelectHealth

As we mentioned before, SelectHealth offers the SelectHealth Silver 3500, which is the cheapest silver health insurance policy available. However, you should explore policies from other companies even if they have more expensive premiums, as those providers could offer exclusive benefits to their policyholders. This can include extras like gym membership discounts or rewards for participating in healthy activities.

Cheapest Silver Plan by County

Along with your age, health insurance providers will adjust premiums based upon the county that you live in. Furthermore, some companies may not offer any policies in your area. For example, Blue Cross of Idaho is available in all of Idaho's five largest counties, but SelectHealth can only be found in Ada, Canyon, Kootenai and Bonneville. For this reason, we recommend you check and compare prices for health insurance and then choose a company that works best for you.

CountyCheapest PlanPremium Adult, Age 21Premium Adult, Age 40Premium Adult, Age 60
AdaSelectHealth Silver 3500$374.55$478.67$1,016.53
CanyonSelectHealth Silver 3500$374.55$478.67$1,016.53
KootenaiEngage Silver$392.63$501.78$1,049.08
BonnevilleSelectHealth Silver 2750$400.06$511.28$1,085.76
BannockPQA Southeast Silver$429.49$548.89$1,165.64
Sterling Price

Sterling Price is a research analyst at ValuePenguin specializing in health and life insurance. He graduated from Syracuse University with a bachelors degree in Finance and Accounting and has previous experience as a licensed life insurance representative.

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.