Best Cheap Health Insurance in Illinois 2019

Find the Cheapest Health Insurance Quotes in Your Area

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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 Blue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203 is the cheapest health insurance plan in half of Illinois counties. But the set of health insurance plans available will vary depending on the county you live in. For instance, Cigna's Connect 4000 was typically most affordable in the seven 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 health insurance plans to determine the cheapest 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 planDeductibleOut-of-pocket maximumMonthly cost for 40-year-old
CatastrophicHMO 7350 Elite Catastrophic$7,350$7,350$333.32
BronzeCigna Connect 7150$7,150$7,350$304.82
Expanded BronzeHMO 6650a Elite Bronze$6,650$7,350$406.90
SilverAmbetter Balanced Care 4: IlliniCare Health Network$7,050$7,050$402.98
GoldBlue FocusCare Gold 211$500$7,350$487.99

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 $99 more per month on average than a 21-year-old for a Bronze health plan, but $139 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 have 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.

Best Cheap Health Insurance Companies in Illinois

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

Health Insurance Companies on the Illinois Exchange

  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
  • Celtic Insurance Co.
  • Cigna HealthCare of Illinois Inc.
  • Health Alliance Medical Plans Inc.

We recommend beginning your search for the best health insurance with Celtic Insurance and Cigna if they're offered in the county you live in. These companies typically offer the cheapest Silver health plan in the counties where they're available (Cook, Dupage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall and Will counties). For instance, in Chicago's Cook County, Celtic's Ambetter Balanced Care 4 plan was the cheapest Silver health insurance policy offered.

If you live in another part of Illinois, your options for health insurance will likely be limited to Health Alliance Medical Plans or Blue Cross and Blue Shield—the only insurer available in every county.

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 Silver planSingle adult, age 40Couple, age 40Couple, age 40, and child
AdamsHMO 3500a Elite Silver$571$1,142$1,484
AlexanderBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$666$1,332$1,730
BondBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$558$1,115$1,449
BooneBlue Precision Silver HMO 206$499$998$1,297
BrownHMO 3500a Elite Silver$571$1,142$1,484
BureauBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$537$1,075$1,397
CalhounBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$558$1,115$1,449
CarrollBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$628$1,255$1,631
CassHMO 3500a Elite Silver$571$1,142$1,484
ChampaignHMO 7350 Riverside Silver$542$1,084$1,408
ChristianHMO 3500a Elite Silver$571$1,142$1,484
ClarkHMO 7350 Riverside Silver$542$1,084$1,408
ClayBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$666$1,332$1,730
ClintonBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$558$1,115$1,449
ColesHMO 7350 Riverside Silver$542$1,084$1,408
CookAmbetter Balanced Care 4: IlliniCare Health Network$403$806$1,047
CrawfordBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$666$1,332$1,730
CumberlandHMO 7350 Riverside Silver$542$1,084$1,408
DekalbBlue Precision Silver HMO 206$499$998$1,297
DewittBlue Precision Silver HMO 206$489$979$1,272
DouglasHMO 7350 Riverside Silver$542$1,084$1,408
DupageCigna Connect 4000$433$866$1,126
EdgarHMO 7350 Riverside Silver$542$1,084$1,408
EdwardsBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$666$1,332$1,730
EffinghamBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$666$1,332$1,730
FayetteBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$666$1,332$1,730
FordHMO 7350 Riverside Silver$542$1,084$1,408
FranklinBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$666$1,332$1,730
FultonHMO 3500a Methodist Silver$583$1,166$1,515
GallatinBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$666$1,332$1,730
GreeneBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$558$1,115$1,449
GrundyCigna Connect 4000$440$880$1,143
HamiltonBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$666$1,332$1,730
HancockBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$537$1,075$1,397
HardinBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$666$1,332$1,730
HendersonBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$537$1,075$1,397
HenryBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$537$1,075$1,397
IroquoisHMO 7350 Riverside Silver$542$1,084$1,408
JacksonBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$666$1,332$1,730
JasperBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$666$1,332$1,730
JeffersonBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$666$1,332$1,730
JerseyBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$558$1,115$1,449
Jo DaviessBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$628$1,255$1,631
JohnsonBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$666$1,332$1,730
KaneCigna Connect 4000$433$866$1,126
KankakeeCigna Connect 4000$440$880$1,143
KendallCigna Connect 4000$440$880$1,143
KnoxHMO 3500a Methodist Silver$583$1,166$1,515
La SalleHMO 3500a Methodist Silver$583$1,166$1,515
LakeBlueCare Direct Silver 212 with Advocate$458$916$1,190
LawrenceBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$666$1,332$1,730
LeeBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$628$1,255$1,631
LivingstonBlue Precision Silver HMO 206$489$979$1,272
LoganHMO 3500a Elite Silver$571$1,142$1,484
MaconHMO 3500a Elite Silver$571$1,142$1,484
MacoupinBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$558$1,115$1,449
MadisonBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$542$1,083$1,407
MarionBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$666$1,332$1,730
MarshallBlue Precision Silver HMO 206$519$1,038$1,349
MasonHMO 3500a Elite Silver$571$1,142$1,484
MassacBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$666$1,332$1,730
McDonoughHMO 3500a Methodist Silver$583$1,166$1,515
McHenryBlue Precision Silver HMO 206$482$964$1,253
McLeanBlue Precision Silver HMO 206$489$979$1,272
MenardHMO 3500a Elite Silver$571$1,142$1,484
MercerBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$537$1,075$1,397
MonroeBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$542$1,083$1,407
MontgomeryBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$558$1,115$1,449
MorganHMO 3500a Elite Silver$571$1,142$1,484
MoultrieHMO 3500a Elite Silver$571$1,142$1,484
OgleBlue Precision Silver HMO 206$499$998$1,297
PeoriaBlue Precision Silver HMO 206$519$1,038$1,349
PerryBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$666$1,332$1,730
PiattHMO 7350 Riverside Silver$542$1,084$1,408
PikeHMO 3500a Elite Silver$571$1,142$1,484
PopeBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$666$1,332$1,730
PulaskiBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$666$1,332$1,730
PutnamHMO 3500a Methodist Silver$583$1,166$1,515
RandolphBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$558$1,115$1,449
RichlandBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$666$1,332$1,730
Rock IslandBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$537$1,075$1,397
Saint ClairBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$542$1,083$1,407
SalineBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$666$1,332$1,730
SangamonHMO 3500a Elite Silver$571$1,142$1,484
SchuylerHMO 3500a Elite Silver$571$1,142$1,484
ScottHMO 3500a Elite Silver$571$1,142$1,484
ShelbyHMO 3500a Elite Silver$571$1,142$1,484
StarkBlue Precision Silver HMO 206$519$1,038$1,349
StephensonBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$628$1,255$1,631
TazewellBlue Precision Silver HMO 206$519$1,038$1,349
UnionBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$666$1,332$1,730
VermilionHMO 7350 Riverside Silver$542$1,084$1,408
WabashBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$666$1,332$1,730
WarrenBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$537$1,075$1,397
WashingtonBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$558$1,115$1,449
WayneBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$666$1,332$1,730
WhiteBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$666$1,332$1,730
WhitesideBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$537$1,075$1,397
WillCigna Connect 4000$440$880$1,143
WilliamsonBlue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$666$1,332$1,730
WinnebagoBlue Precision Silver HMO 206$499$998$1,297
WoodfordBlue Precision Silver HMO 206$519$1,038$1,349

Average Cost of Health Insurance by Family Size in Illinois

How much 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, each child will cost a flat rate for coverage up through 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 $1,661, assuming two 40-year-old parents and one child. For each child added, the average health plan cost increases by $383, so the cost to cover a family of four is approximately $2,044.

Similarly, adding a spouse to your Silver policy increases your monthly premiums by $639 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
Single adult$639
Adult couple$1,278
Family of three (adult couple and a child)$1,661
Family of four (adult couple and two children)$2,044
Family of five (adult couple and three children)$2,426
Adults are assumed to be 40 years old. Sample rates are based on the average cost for a Silver plan in Illinois.

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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.