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Best Cheap Health Insurance in Illinois 2020

Find Cheap Health Insurance Quotes in Illinois

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Illinois residents can find cheap health insurance plans on the state exchange from a variety of coverage levels. To help you get started in your search for the best health coverage, we compared all Silver policies and found that the HMO 2500 Elite Silver is the cheapest health insurance plan in slightly over half of Illinois counties.

For the 2020 plan year, the average monthly health insurance premium for a 40-year-old is $536. This has stayed relatively unchanged since 2018 when the average monthly premium was $538.

However, the set of health insurance plans available will vary depending on the county you live in. For instance, Cigna's Connect 5000 was typically most affordable in the five counties where it was offered. The best health insurance plan in your county may be a different policy, particularly if you choose another tier of coverage.

Cheapest health insurance by metal tier

We compared monthly premiums from all Illinois plans to determine the most affordable health insurance policy available in each metal tier and help you get started finding the best policy for your preferred level of coverage.

The actual set of insurance companies and health plans offered will change depending on the county you live in, so those listed below may not be available where you live. But we recommend using these as a starting point to assess the benefits and cost sharing you expect for a given level of coverage as compared to a policy's rates.

Metal tierCheapest planDeductibleMaximum out of pocketMonthly cost for a 40-year-old
CatastrophicPerformance Catastrophic I101$8,150$8,150$326
BronzeBlue FocusCare Bronze 209$7,400$8,150$321
Expanded BronzeAmbetter Essential Care 5 (2020)$7,100$8,150$311
SilverAmbetter Balanced Care 11 (2020)$6,000$8,100$344
GoldAmbetter Secure Care 5 (2020)$1,250$5,900$438

The actual cost of a health insurance plan in Illinois will be based on your age and the ages of family members covered by the policy.

So, for instance, if you're 40 years old, your health insurance rates would be 53% cheaper for the same tier of coverage, on average, as compared to the rates for a 60-year-old. At the same time, your cost of health insurance coverage would be 28% more expensive than what a 21-year-old would pay for the same coverage.

This holds across all metal tiers of coverage, although the difference in price would be larger or smaller depending on the level of coverage chosen. For example, a 40-year-old would pay $88 more per month on average than a 21-year-old for a Bronze health plan, but $128 per month more for an average Silver plan.

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

Finding the best health insurance coverage in Illinois

The set of available insurers changes by county, so the best cheap health insurance plan available to you in Illinois will depend on where you live and your chosen level of coverage. Higher metal tier health plans, such as Gold policies, have more expensive monthly premiums but significantly lower out-of-pocket expenses, such as deductibles, copays and coinsurance.

So, if you have costly prescriptions or are concerned about unpredictable costs during the year if you become ill, a higher metal plan will likely be your best health insurance choice. On the other hand, if you have a large emergency savings to cover cost-sharing but no expected medical costs and want to keep your monthly rates down, a lower metal tier plan may be the cheapest.

Gold plans: Best if you have high expected medical costs

Gold health insurance plans have the lowest variable costs, such as deductibles and copays, that you'd need to cover before your policy would pay for medical care. However, they also come with the most expensive monthly rates. Therefore, these health plans are best if you have high expected medical costs, such as ongoing prescriptions, or are concerned about being able to pay out of pocket for an unexpected condition.

Silver plans: Best for low-income families or those with average medical costs

For households with income up to 138% of the federal poverty level, you may be able to get Medicaid, as Illinois expanded its coverage under the Affordable Care Act. If you don't qualify for Medicaid but have a low-income household, a Silver plan may be the cheapest option for health insurance coverage, as these policies are eligible for cost-sharing reduction subsidies.

Silver health plans are also a good middle ground between Bronze and Gold plans, combining affordable monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs. So, for instance, if you can't afford the rates of a Gold plan in Illinois but would have trouble covering the high deductible and copayment of a Bronze plan, a Silver plan may be the best alternative. Just note that the out-of-pocket costs of Silver plans are still much higher than those of Gold plans.

Bronze and Catastrophic plans: Best if you're healthy and have emergency savings

You can only qualify for Catastrophic health plans if you're under 30 years old or meet certain exemption requirements, although Bronze plans are available to anyone. These lower metal tier policies have cheap monthly premiums for health insurance but much higher cost sharing.

So, if you need medical care during the year, you would have to pay more money out of pocket before coverage kicks in. For instance, the Cigna Connect 7150 Bronze plan has a deductible of $7,350, whereas some Gold plans have a deductible below $1,000. If you can cover the high cost sharing in the event of an emergency and expect to have low medical costs, a Bronze plan may be your best cheap option for health insurance coverage.

Health insurance rate changes in Illinois

Health insurance rates are set by individual health insurers. Once the rates have been determined, they are sent to the federal health insurance exchange for approval.

In 2020, the Silver plan is 8% or $52 cheaper than it was in 2018. Conversely, Bronze health insurance policies saw the largest increase over the two year period — 6% or $27 per month.

Metal tier2018 Premium2020 Premium% Change
Expanded Bronze$460$4661.39%
2018 and 2020 premiums are for a 40-year-old adult.

Short-term health insurance in Illinois

In Illinois, short-term health insurance can be purchased from insurance providers outside of the state health insurance exchange. The state currently restricts short-term health insurance lengths to less than six months and allows the plans to be renewable for up to 36 months. In addition, you cannot purchase a new short-term plan from the same insurer within 60 days of the end of your last short-term policy.

It is important to note that short-term health insurance plans typically do not cover the same benefits as ACA marketplace health policies. This includes no coverage for the essential benefits and pre-existing conditions.

Find Cheap Health Insurance Quotes in Your Area

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Best cheap health insurance companies in Illinois

There are five health insurance companies on the Illinois state exchange, although you may not be able to choose your carrier, depending on where you live:

  • Health Alliance Medical Plans, Inc.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois
  • Quartz Health Benefit Plans Corporation
  • Celtic Insurance Company
  • Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc.

We recommend beginning your search for the best health insurance with Health Alliance Medical Plans if they're offered in the county you live in. This company is offered in 52 counties of Illinois in which it has the cheapest silver health insurance plan offered by all insurance providers.

Cheapest health insurance plan by county

The insurers and health plans offered on the Illinois health insurance marketplace will vary depending on the county where you reside. To help you find the best cheap health insurance policy for your family, we analyzed all plans in the state and identified the most affordable option in every county. Below, you can check out sample monthly rates for each of the health plans.

CountyCheapest planAge 40Couple, age 40Couple, age 40 + child
AdamsHMO 2500 Elite Silver$539$1,078$1,400
AlexanderHMO 2500 Elite Silver$653$1,307$1,698
BondBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$559$1,119$1,454
BooneBlue Precision Silver HMO 206$481$962$1,250
BrownHMO 2500 Elite Silver$539$1,078$1,400
BureauBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$557$1,115$1,448
CalhounBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$559$1,119$1,454
CarrollPerformance Silver I303$574$1,148$1,491
CassHMO 2500 Elite Silver$539$1,078$1,400
ChampaignHMO 2500 Elite Silver$533$1,066$1,385
ChristianHMO 2500 Elite Silver$539$1,078$1,400
ClarkHMO 2500 Elite Silver$533$1,066$1,385
ClayHMO 2500 Elite Silver$653$1,307$1,698
ClintonBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$559$1,119$1,454
ColesHMO 2500 Elite Silver$533$1,066$1,385
CookAmbetter Balanced Care 11 (2020)$344$689$895
CrawfordHMO 2500 Elite Silver$653$1,307$1,698
CumberlandHMO 2500 Elite Silver$533$1,066$1,385
DekalbBlue Precision Silver HMO 206$481$962$1,250
DewittBlue Precision Silver HMO 206$473$947$1,230
DouglasHMO 2500 Elite Silver$533$1,066$1,385
DupageAmbetter Balanced Care 11 (2020)$426$853$1,108
EdgarHMO 2500 Elite Silver$533$1,066$1,385
EdwardsHMO 2500 Elite Silver$653$1,307$1,698
EffinghamHMO 2500 Elite Silver$653$1,307$1,698
FayetteHMO 2500 Elite Silver$653$1,307$1,698
FordHMO 2500 Elite Silver$533$1,066$1,385
FranklinHMO 2500 Elite Silver$653$1,307$1,698
FultonHMO 2500 Elite Silver$550$1,100$1,430
GallatinHMO 2500 Elite Silver$653$1,307$1,698
GreeneBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$559$1,119$1,454
GrundyCigna Connect 5000$435$870$1,130
HamiltonHMO 2500 Elite Silver$653$1,307$1,698
HancockBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$557$1,115$1,448
HardinHMO 2500 Elite Silver$653$1,307$1,698
HendersonBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$557$1,115$1,448
HenryBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$557$1,115$1,448
IroquoisHMO 2500 Elite Silver$533$1,066$1,385
JacksonHMO 2500 Elite Silver$653$1,307$1,698
JasperHMO 2500 Elite Silver$653$1,307$1,698
JeffersonHMO 2500 Elite Silver$653$1,307$1,698
JerseyBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$559$1,119$1,454
Jo DaviessPerformance Silver I303$574$1,148$1,491
JohnsonHMO 2500 Elite Silver$653$1,307$1,698
KaneCigna Connect 5000$435$870$1,130
KankakeeCigna Connect 5000$435$870$1,130
KendallCigna Connect 5000$435$870$1,130
KnoxHMO 2500 Elite Silver$550$1,100$1,430
La SalleHMO 2500 Elite Silver$550$1,100$1,430
LakeBlueCare Direct Silver 212 with Advocate$470$939$1,220
LawrenceHMO 2500 Elite Silver$653$1,307$1,698
LeePerformance Silver I303$574$1,148$1,491
LivingstonBlue Precision Silver HMO 206$473$947$1,230
LoganHMO 2500 Elite Silver$539$1,078$1,400
MaconHMO 2500 Elite Silver$539$1,078$1,400
MacoupinBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$559$1,119$1,454
MadisonBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$522$1,044$1,357
MarionHMO 2500 Elite Silver$653$1,307$1,698
MarshallBlue Precision Silver HMO 206$471$942$1,223
MasonHMO 2500 Elite Silver$539$1,078$1,400
MassacHMO 2500 Elite Silver$653$1,307$1,698
McdonoughHMO 2500 Elite Silver$550$1,100$1,430
MchenryBlue Precision Silver HMO 206$482$963$1,252
McleanBlue Precision Silver HMO 206$473$947$1,230
MenardHMO 2500 Elite Silver$539$1,078$1,400
MercerBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$557$1,115$1,448
MonroeBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$522$1,044$1,357
MontgomeryBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$559$1,119$1,454
MorganHMO 2500 Elite Silver$539$1,078$1,400
MoultrieHMO 2500 Elite Silver$539$1,078$1,400
OgleBlue Precision Silver HMO 206$481$962$1,250
PeoriaBlue Precision Silver HMO 206$471$942$1,223
PerryHMO 2500 Elite Silver$653$1,307$1,698
PiattHMO 2500 Elite Silver$533$1,066$1,385
PikeHMO 2500 Elite Silver$539$1,078$1,400
PopeHMO 2500 Elite Silver$653$1,307$1,698
PulaskiHMO 2500 Elite Silver$653$1,307$1,698
PutnamHMO 2500 Elite Silver$550$1,100$1,430
RandolphBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$559$1,119$1,454
RichlandHMO 2500 Elite Silver$653$1,307$1,698
Rock IslandBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$557$1,115$1,448
Saint ClairBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$522$1,044$1,357
SalineHMO 2500 Elite Silver$653$1,307$1,698
SangamonHMO 2500 Elite Silver$539$1,078$1,400
SchuylerHMO 2500 Elite Silver$539$1,078$1,400
ScottHMO 2500 Elite Silver$539$1,078$1,400
ShelbyHMO 2500 Elite Silver$539$1,078$1,400
StarkBlue Precision Silver HMO 206$471$942$1,223
StephensonPerformance Silver I303$574$1,148$1,491
TazewellBlue Precision Silver HMO 206$471$942$1,223
UnionHMO 2500 Elite Silver$653$1,307$1,698
VermilionHMO 2500 Elite Silver$533$1,066$1,385
WabashHMO 2500 Elite Silver$653$1,307$1,698
WarrenBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$557$1,115$1,448
WashingtonBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$559$1,119$1,454
WayneHMO 2500 Elite Silver$653$1,307$1,698
WhiteHMO 2500 Elite Silver$653$1,307$1,698
WhitesideBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$557$1,115$1,448
WillCigna Connect 5000$435$870$1,130
WilliamsonHMO 2500 Elite Silver$653$1,307$1,698
WinnebagoBlue Precision Silver HMO 206$481$962$1,250
WoodfordBlue Precision Silver HMO 206$471$942$1,223

Average cost of health insurance by family size in Illinois

The amount you'll pay for a particular health insurance policy in Illinois is determined by the number of people covered and their ages. If you add your children to your health insurance plan, coverage for each child will cost a flat rate up to the age of 14, after which their premium will increase with age. If your spouse is covered by your health insurance policy, their price is determined by age — the same as your cost of coverage.

The cost of health insurance for your family will depend on the plan you choose, but the average cost to cover a family of three in Illinois with a Silver plan is $1,526, assuming two 40-year-old parents and one child. For each child added, the average health plan cost increases by $352, so the cost to cover a family of four is approximately $1,878.

Similarly, adding a spouse to your Silver policy increases your monthly premiums by $587 on average in Illinois, assuming they're 40 years old. If you're the same age, this would effectively double your monthly cost of health insurance.

Family sizeAverage monthly cost of health plan
Individual + child$939
Couple, age 40$1,175
Family of three (adult couple and a child)$1,526
Family of four (adult couple and two children)$1,878
Family of five (adult couple and three children)$2,229
Adults are assumed to be 40 years old. Sample rates are based on the average cost for a Silver plan in Illinois.


Health insurance rates and plans in Illinois stated above can be found on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) government website. Using the Public Use Files (PUF), premiums were averaged across a variety of factors such as by metal tier, by county and by family size.

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.