Best Cheap Health Insurance in Iowa (2024)

At a cost of as little as $411 per month, the Silver Primary Care plan from Wellmark is the best cheap health insurance in Iowa.

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Silver plans are a good option for most people because they give you a good amount of coverage at a moderate cost. Oscar has the cheapest overall rates for Silver plans in Iowa, but its plans aren't as well rated as Wellmark's plans.

Health insurance in Iowa costs an average of $548 per month for a 40-year-old with a Silver plan.

Cheapest: $466/mo
Oscar

Wellmark, which is part of Blue Cross Blue Shield, is the best health insurance company in Iowa. It's also the most popular company. More than 8 in 10 health insurance plans in Iowa are from Wellmark.

How much does health insurance cost in Iowa?

In Iowa, the average cost of health insurance is $548 per month for a 40-year-old with a Silver plan. Your rate will change depending on how old you are, what plan tier you choose, where you live, how many people you insure, and whether you smoke or use tobacco.

Iowa health insurance rates by age and plan tier

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In Iowa, Gold plans are only slightly more expensive than Silver plans. Because of this, it might be worth it to compare Gold plans, even if you don't think you need that much coverage. The slightly higher cost of a Gold plan is likely offset by the plan paying for more of your medical bills.


Cheapest health insurance in Iowa

Wellmark, which is a Blue Cross Blue Shield company, has the cheapest Bronze, Silver and Gold plans in Iowa. Its Gold Primary Care plan is actually $14 cheaper each month than its Silver Primary Care plan. For most people, comparing both Silver and Gold plans is a good way to find the best health insurance in Iowa.

Tier
Cheapest plan
Monthly cost
Catastrophic Oscar Secure $257
Bronze Wellmark Bronze Primary Care $311
Silver Wellmark Silver Primary Care $411
Gold Wellmark Gold Primary Care $397

Monthly costs are for a 40-year-old.

money

If you are single and make less than about $58,000, or if your family of four makes less than around $120,000, you may qualify for discounts to lower the cost of your health insurance plan. These are called monthly rate subsidies, and they might allow you to get a higher-tier plan and stay within your budget. Most people who get health insurance on HealthCare.gov qualify for subsidies.


Finding your best health insurance coverage in Iowa

The best health insurance in Iowa for you depends on your monthly budget and how much medical care you need. In general, you should try to match a plan's benefits to your health care needs. If you need more complex health care or go to the doctor often, look at Silver and Gold plans. If you are young, healthy and usually don't go to the doctor, a Bronze or Catastrophic plan could be the best option.

Gold plans: Best for complex medical needs

Gold plans pay for the highest share of your medical bills, so they can be good if you need expensive treatments or take prescription medications. Gold plans often cost the most each month. But if you need frequent medical care, the high monthly cost is usually offset by how much a Gold plan pays toward your health care bills. In Iowa, Gold plans aren't much more expensive than Silver plans, and you might even find a Gold plan that costs less than a Silver plan.

Silver plans: Best for average medical needs

Silver plans are a good option for most people because they balance coverage with monthly costs. In Iowa, however, Silver plans are only slightly cheaper than Gold plans on average, and some Silver plans are more expensive than Gold plans. If you aren't sure how much coverage you need, it makes sense to compare both the Silver and Gold plan options available to you.

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Silver is the only plan tier that is eligible for a type of discount that lowers what you pay for health care, called a cost-sharing reduction or CSR. These discounts give you lower deductibles, coinsurance and copays. To qualify, you have to make less than about $36,000 per year as an individual or $75,000 per year as a family of four. You may also qualify for a rate subsidy to lower your monthly rate. Even with cost-sharing reductions and rate subsidies, though, you might be able to find a Gold plan that is cheaper and gives you the same or better coverage.

Bronze and Catastrophic plans: Best for few medical needs

If you are young, generally healthy and don't go to the doctor often, a Bronze or Catastrophic plan could be a good way to save money each month. But you should make sure you have savings to pay for high medical costs if you need expensive health care. Bronze and Catastrophic plans pay the lowest amount of your medical bills, so you'll pay more yourself.

Anyone can buy a Bronze plan, and they're the most popular plan tier in Iowa. To get a Catastrophic plan, you have to be under 30 or qualify for an exception. You also can't lower your monthly cost with a rate subsidy on Catastrophic plans.

Medicaid: Best if you have a low income

Medicaid provides health insurance coverage to low-income adults, children, pregnant women, seniors and people with disabilities. If you make less than about $20,000 per year as a single adult, or $41,000 per year as a family of four, you may qualify for Medicaid. Being on Medicaid can significantly reduce or eliminate your health care costs.


Are health insurance rates going up in Iowa?

The cost of health insurance in Iowa has gone down for 2024. Bronze plans are the most popular plan tier in the state, and they cost $35 less each month for 2024 compared to 2023. Gold plans are the only tier that didn't get cheaper, but rates stayed roughly the same.

Tier
2022
2023
2024
Change (2023 to 2024)
Catastrophic$321$354$279-21%
Bronze and Expanded Bronze$413$445$410-8%
Silver$533$552$548-1%
Gold$514$551$5541%

Monthly costs are for a 40-year-old.

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Best cheap health insurance companies in Iowa

Wellmark is the best health insurance company in Iowa.

It has low average rates and excellent customer service. It also sells the cheapest Bronze, Silver and Gold plans in the state. Wellmark is the most popular choice for health insurance in Iowa, accounting for over 80% of the health insurance plans in the state.

Cheapest health insurance companies in Iowa

Company
Cost
Oscar logo
Oscar$466
Wellmark logo
Wellmark$468
Medica logo
Medica$662

Average monthly cost for a 40-year-old buying a Silver plan in IA.

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Only three health insurance companies sell plans on HealthCare.gov in Iowa. While this limits your choices, it also makes it easier to compare all the options available to you and pick the plan that best fits your needs.


Cheapest health insurance plan by Iowa county

The cheapest Silver plan for you in Iowa depends on where you live. That's because companies, plans and rates vary by county. Across most of Iowa, Wellmark sells the cheapest Silver plan.

The Silver Primary Care plan from Wellmark is the cheapest plan in Cedar Rapids and most of Des Moines. Although it is the cheapest Silver plan in the state, it's only available in 19 out of Iowa's 99 counties. The Wellmark Standard Silver plan is the cheapest Silver plan in most of Iowa.

County
Cheapest Silver plan
Monthly rate
AdairWellmark Standard Silver$510
AdamsWellmark Standard Silver$510
AllamakeeWellmark Standard Silver$484
AppanooseWellmark Standard Silver$441
AudubonWellmark Standard Silver$510
Show All Rows

Cheapest Silver plan with rates for a 40-year-old


Average cost of health insurance by family size in Iowa

An average family of four pays $1,754 per month for a Silver plan in Iowa, assuming both children are under age 15. It costs a flat rate of $328 per month to add a young child to a Silver plan. But after age 15, the rate will increase with age.

Family size
Average cost
Individual and child$877
Couple, age 40$1,097
Family of three (adult couple and a child)$1,425
Family of four (adult couple and two children)$1,754
Family of five (adult couple and three children)$2,082

Short-term health insurance in Iowa

Short-term health insurance can be a good choice if you need coverage for a small window of time, like between jobs. But these plans don't typically have the same level of coverage as plans from HealthCare.gov. You might not have coverage for common medical needs, like prescription drugs or mental health care.

In Iowa, short-term health plans can last up to a year at a time and can be continued for up to three years total. Iowa requires that plans must pay up to at least $500,000 during each plan period. There are also limits on how much a plan can require you to pay for your health care yourself. For plans longer than four months, you won't pay more than $30,000 for large medical bills. Depending on your plan, you may have a different limit, but it can't go over $30,000.


Frequently asked questions

How much is health insurance in Iowa per month?

A Silver plan costs an average of $548 per month for a 40-year-old in Iowa. Silver plans are a good option for most people. Gold plans cost $554 per month, on average, and pay for more of your medical bills. Bronze plans cost an average of $410 per month, and Catastrophic plans cost $279 per month, on average. Typically, the cheaper the monthly rate, the more you will have to pay when you get medical care.

What is the best health insurance in Iowa?

Wellmark is the best health insurance company in IA because it has low average rates, high-quality plans and excellent customer satisfaction. You can only get health insurance from three companies on HealthCare.gov in Iowa, though, so it's a good idea to compare all your options.

Does Iowa have the Affordable Care Act?

Yes, if you live in Iowa, you can get Affordable Care Act plans, also called "Obamacare" plans, from HealthCare.gov. From the website, you can input your ZIP code to see the plans available in your area, fill out an application and see if you qualify for monthly rate discounts.


Methodology

Iowa health insurance rate and plan information for 2024 is from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). ValuePenguin determined the average rates by age, plan tier, family size and region by referencing cost data from the public use files (PUFs) on the CMS website. Plans and providers for which county-level data was included in the CMS Crosswalk file were used in our analysis; those excluded from this data set may not appear. Other sources include KFF and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

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.